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Friday, May 31, 2024

Shell’s corporate social responsibility

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During our class discussion on corporate social responsibility (CSR), our professor said companies have obligations and accountability to society, especially the communities where they operate. It’s how the company makes profits, not how it spends them. 

Companies are not only economic but moral actors, too. According to Davis and Blomstrom, the company needs employees with integrity at all levels and appropriate organizational structure to take actions that protect and improve the welfare of society along with their own interests.

The summary of notes below is copied from the company’s social arm page.

Pilipinas Shell Foundation Inc. (PSFI) was established on August 19, 1982, as the social arm of Shell companies in the Philippines. We aspire to spearhead fit-for-purpose projects that respond not only to the needs of Shell’s worksites and host communities but to the rest of the country.

PSFI work focuses on six thematic areas comprising various programs that are best fit for the communities we work with, aligned with the UN SDGs, and developed and implemented by experts.

The company aims to be a good neighbor wherever we work by contributing to the well-being of neighboring communities. We work closely with them to manage the social impacts of our business activities, address any concerns about our operations, and enhance the benefits that we can bring.

The company works closely with communities to understand their concerns and identify how to address them. We aim to avoid or reduce any adverse impacts and manage those that may be unavoidable.

By engaging openly with communities, we can identify how and where we can bring sustainable benefits. We do this in many ways: by creating new jobs, encouraging local businesses to be a part of our supply chain, and providing useful skills training for people.

To ensure the positive and sustainable impact of PSFI’s programs, we remain committed to: (1) the in-depth assessment of communities’ needs, (2) the strategic development of programs alongside the identification of the most suitable key partners to collaborate with, (3) acquiring resources to support the sustainability of the programs, and (4) the adept implementation of excellent programs. As key, we have a strong monitoring and evaluation system mainstreamed throughout the process, and we ensure the active involvement of our dedicated team of experts.

I am proud to say that for the past eight years of my career life, I have been involved in some CSR programs such as BIYAHERO (Be A Hero), SINAG (Save, Invest, Nurture Access to Green Energy), and SKIL (Sanayan sa Kakayahang Industriyal). For BIYAHERO, in partnership with the Automotive Association of the Philippines, we conducted pedestrian awareness campaigns regarding proper road conduct and behavior for the community and school children. In collaboration with the Bureau of Fire, we discussed the basic concepts of fire and practical and safe measures that the community can take to suppress the fire, including who they should contact for support.

For SINAG, in partnership with a local supplier of Solar Panels, we can provide usage and basic troubleshooting training to a target community in Mindoro to equip them with the awareness they need. A solar panel donation follows this after they finish the course. For SKIL and a partner technical school, we provided welding training, a prevailing skill needed for work in the nearby area, given the continuous industrialization, for 25 qualified individuals. I am glad I also got to be part of the speaker during their graduation. 

Additionally, we hold yearly coastal cleanups with industry and government partners such as the Philippine Coast Guard and the Philippine Ports Authority, as well as books and educational materials donations to partner schools and many more programs. There are strategic programs that we plan and revisit every year as necessary to ensure their sustainability in achieving the objectives.

Based on what I researched, know, and experienced about the company’s social responsibilities, I can say that we are in CSR 2.0 on the CSR continuum. I am proud and grateful that I work for a company that values the communities where we operate and partners with government and other industries to contribute to nation-building.

The author is an MBA student at the Ramon V. Del Rosario College of Business of De La Salle University. He wrote this reflection paper for his class on Lasallian Business Leadership, Ethics, and Corporate Social Responsibility. He can be reached at   virgil_mariano@dlsu.edu.ph.

The views expressed above are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official position of DLSU, its faculty, and its administrators.

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