Sarawak Energy Wins International Awards For Community Initiatives – Platinum And Gold At 10th Annual Global CSR Awards 2018

KUCHING: Sarawak Energy’s efforts in community development and women empowerment for communities affected by the Baleh and Murum hydropower projects received international recognition at the recent 10th Annual Global Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Awards 2018 held in Lombok, Indonesia this week.

The state-owned energy developer and power utility’s ‘Handicraft Programme for Sustainable Livelihood Development of Murum Artisans’ was awarded Platinum under the Empowerment of Women category while the ‘CSR Eye Vision Programme for Better Living in the Rural Community’ was awarded Gold under Best Community Programme category.

Sarawak Energy’s Executive Vice President for Corporate Services, Aisah Eden received the award from Ibu Kurleni Ukar, Assistant Deputy for Industry and Regulation from the Ministry of Tourism, Republic of Indonesia.

Aisah said that the awards validate the company’s strategic and long-term commitment to improving lives through sustainable initiatives that meet real community needs. The programmes were developed with the communities through early and proactive engagement in line with the IHA Sustainability Protocols, as well as the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.

The Platinum Award was won for its CSR and community development work with Murum Penan artisans to enhance the commercial viability of their handicrafts, expanding their market and providing for a more sustainable form of economy for the Murum Penan community. The handicraft programme was organised in partnership with Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS), Malaysia Handicraft Development Corporation (MHDC) Sarawak Branch and Sarawak Craft Council.

“The handicraft programme in Murum has successfully increased the number of artisans in the Murum resettled community from about 30 in 2014 to about 170 today. We aim to help them to generate more income, which subsequently leads to an improved standard of living for the community,” she said.

The programme focuses on cultural heritage as the foundation for building and expanding sustainable livelihood opportunities for the community, especially the women.

“We are thankful for the continuing warm relationship that we have with the host community, and are gratified by their reception of these initiatives. This success would not be possible without their cooperation,” she continued.

Sarawak Energy CSR Eye Vision Programme community outreach programme was carried out in collaboration with Klinik Katarak 1Malaysia (1Malaysia Cataract Clinic) - an initiative under the Malaysian Health Ministry to address cataract disease, one of the main causes of blindness and visual impairment in the country. The programme provides free eye screening and operations for cataract and pterygium patients.

The programme was supported by the Sarawak Health Department, working collaboratively with the Ophthalmology Department of Sarawak General Hospital and Kapit Hospital, and involved more than 50 volunteers from the medical teams as well as volunteers from the local community.

“In Baleh and Kapit, our CSR Eye Vision Programme has managed to improve the quality of life and productivity within the community as they are able to resume work with restored eyesight,” she elaborated.

Also present at the ceremony were Assistant General Manager for Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability Jiwari Abdullah, Senior Manager for Social Investment and Community Development Joanne Tan Cho Yian (陈楚燕), Covering Manager for Community Relations Augustine Supen Taja, Community Relations Executive Alis Ekan and Assistant Community Relations Executive Florida Havit.

The theme for the event was ‘Rethinking CSR for the Next Decade’, and challenged participants to reflect upon the journey that the corporate social responsibility or CSR community over the past decade. Over 20 high profile speakers covered wide-ranging topics on the successes and lessons-learned in policy and decision making, case studies and best practices on CSR over the past decade.

Jiwari shared the company’s experiences in its CSR, community engagement and sustainability initiatives at a roundtable discussion on ‘Empowering Communities and Eradicating Poverty - Lessons and Successful Projects from the Regions’, moderated by Habitat for Humanity Indonesia Resource Development Director, Tommy Pacatang.

The roundtable included Datuk Ir Aminuddin Mohd Amin Senior General Manager of Corporate Affairs & Communications for Tenaga Nasional as well as Okty Damayanti, Head of CSR from Adora Energy; Bernard Creed, Senior Vice President of Finance for Dubai Duty Free and Andy Budiarto, Manager for Technical, Environment & CSR for Pt Jawa Power.

Sarawak Energy’s CSR and Sustainability initiatives have received numerous awards in recent years.

They include the CSR Excellence Award in the Sin Chew Business Excellence Award, Excellence in Provision of Literacy and Education Award for Murum Penan Literacy and School Programmes in 2015, Excellence in Provision of Literacy and Education Award for Baram Literacy and Youth Training Programme in 2016, Best Community Programme Award for CSR Solar Project in Batang Ai at the 2017 Annual Global CSR Summit and Awards, Social Empowerment Award at the Asia Responsible Entrepreneurship Awards, and its Sustainability Report 2015 won Bronze at the 31st Annual International ARC Awards, New York.

Aisah (center) receiving one of the awards from Ibu Kurleni (2nd from right).

Aisah (third right) and Jiwari (third left) together with (from left) Florida, Augustine, Joanne and Alis at the 10th Annual Global CSR Awards 2018 held in Lombok, Indonesia.