The Chamber of Commerce and Industry France Ghana (CCIFG) organised a conference on CSR Policies on 4th April at the Labadi Beach Hotel. Facilitated by Decathlon Ghana, Kasapreko Company Ltd., Ghana Rubber Estate Ltd, Coca-Cola Beverages Africa (Voltic Ghana Ltd.), Fan Milk Ghana Ltd and CSR expert Lisa Lovatt-Smith from OAfrica, the conference gathered about 70 business executives from various sectors in corporate Ghana.
The conference began with an overview of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and its effective implementation by Lisa Lovatt-Smith. She introduced the audience to the major step involved in becoming the “perfect donor”, which is finding out the reason for giving. Commenting on this, she mentioned that this step is very crucial to choosing the most suitable area of interest because it allows the company go to the root of the problem in question.
She also advised participants to commit to CSR projects for a minimum of two years, because it allows for proper planning by beneficiaries. She concluded by emphasizing the need to follow the necessary protocol in managing any CSR activity, which includes drawing up an agreement with the beneficiary, ensuring that its beneficiary has a legal and good track record and following-up with financial records.
The next presentation was made by the Country Manager of Decathlon Ghana, Kwasi Tabury and Customer Service Leader, Abigail Dzamesi. Mr Tabury mentioned how Decathlon Ghana focuses its key performance indicator (KPI) on increasing life expectancy from 67 years today to 77 years by 2028, and how this has influenced its mission statement of being sport entrepreneurs driven by a social cause. He went on to explain how Decathlon has identified, and as such prioritized, filth, as a problem in the country.
As a result of this, the company decided to organize clean-up exercises once a month by engaging the local community to collect plastic waste along the Nungua beach. Ms. Dzamesi then took turn to mention some of the activities the company has organized so far in bid to protect the environment and make sports available for the locals. She was elated to announce that Decathlon has cleaned 2 beaches, collected 1500kg of waste and organized some sporting activities thanks to its positive impact booster workshop.
The following presentation was given by Jeffrey Arthur from Kasapreko Company Ltd. He shared with participants the social causes the company has gotten involved in over the years, some of which are: donations to the June 3 flood victims; donations to the Ebola fund under the Ministry of Health; and the Ghana Heart Foundation.
The highlight of his presentation was to make people understand the concept behind its charity-driven bottled water. He explained that in 2016, Kasapreko introduced Awake bottled water with the tagline “One4Life”. He mentioned that with the Awake Purified Drinking Water, one pesewa on every bottle sold is donated to the Cardiothoracic Unit of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital.
Since the inception of the Awake One4Life, the brand through this initiative has aided 53 people to undergo surgery and donated GHS 1 million. Mr Arthur elaborated further saying that two communities in the Central Region who had challenges accessing potable water have also been aided by the “Awake” initiative with the supply of a borehole system and water storage tanks in both communities. The longevity, sustainability and the impact on a life is what drives their CSR projects.
Perry Acheampong from Ghana Rubber Estate Ltd(GREL), then took up the stage. Mr Acheampong explained that in relation to its CSR activities, GREL takes initiatives from an economic, a social and an environmental point of view. From the economic angle, the company has participated in rural development by providing infrastructure such as road and electricity. On a social spectrum, it has built a health centre, a school block, and provided training programmes.
He then went on to note that, GREL is a sustainable agro-related business as its raw material, rubber, is sourced from a fraction of the community’s forest reserve. The activity for sourcing the rubber involves cutting down of trees, which should have an adverse effect on the environment. However, in an attempt to protect the environment, the GREL team has put in measures such as reforestation, saving energy and fossil resources, and also observing non-polluting production process. He also shared the company’s 5-year strategic plan (2016 to 2021) for participants to find inspiration from.
The next facilitator was Joyce Ahiadorme, the Public Affairs and Communications Manager of Coca-Cola Beverages Africa (Voltic). She explained that at Voltic, CSR means sustainability and as such, their focus is on the 3Ws meaning Women, Water and Water. Ms Ahiadorme elaborated saying Voltic has identified about 80% of women under its value chain who have a high potential growth and it responds by empowering these women economically and socially; as a water manufacturing company, it provides accessibility to water stressed communities and schools; and in relation to waste management, it engages its employees in a segregation campaign.
It is also in partnership with Total Petroleum Ghana & Coliba to provide alternative bins to encourage segregation. She then spoke shared with participants, the Ghana Recycling Initiative by Private Enterprises (GRIPE), an initiative to reduce plastic waste in the country. She concluded mentioning the success of these projects, saying the 3Ws strategy by Voltic Ghana has affected 900 women directly, 3000 students from 6 schools have benefitted from its water programme with 130,000+ litres of water supplied, and under the waste management Voltic has collected 2 tonnes of plastic waste with 40 waste containers spread across Accra and Tema.
The final presentation was then given by Fanmilk, witht hen facilitators being Habib Seck, Public Relations Manager, and Naa Quaynor-Mettle, Sustainability Project Manager. The facilitators made participants aware of Fanmilk’s commitment to serve its customers, a product with a purpose. As such, the company’s CSR activities have been divided into nutrition, education, job creation and partnership.
Ms Quanor-Mettle then went on to share with participants, information on its Pick-it project, which engages the local community. The project she mentioned, goes beyond contributing to protecting the environment (so as to contribute to climate change in accordance with SDG 13), but has also helped create a good number of job opportunities.
She mentioned that the waste picking association, established in 2017, has been a success, collecting 23 tons of plastic waste so far. In her final remarks Ms Quaynor-Mettle added that. Fan Milk Ghana Ltd. in line with its sanitation project has been able to distribute 1000 litter bins across the country and reached over 2 million school children with its scholarship programme in partnership with GNASBA.
The insightful presentations generated a number of thought provoking questions and views from participants to the various facilitators of the event. Conversation continued even further at a networking cocktail organised after the event.