Organisations’ Responsible Stewardship Of Community Engagement And Empowerment
“Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is becoming more mainstream as forward-thinking companies embed sustainability into the core of their business operations to create shared value for business and society. CSR refers to a business practice that involves participating in initiatives that benefit society. Sustainability isn’t just important for people and the planet, but also is vital for business success. Communities are grappling with problems that are global in scope and structurally multifaceted. The business case for engaging in corporate social responsibility is clear and unmistakable. Billions are at stake if fast and large-scale action is not taken” – Liz Maw, CEO Net Impact, a nonprofit organisation
While we may yet be aware of all the implications of our hyper-connected society, it is clear that the rapid growth in the capability and availability of smart technology is a net positive for everyone. For LG Electronics, with more than more than 93,000 people working in over 120 operations around the world, the technological revolution of the past 150 years has given people around the world easy access to everything from smartphones to life-saving medical devices. However, despite the progress that has accompanied bringing futuristic technology to many homes, the revolution has had a negative impact on the environment.
The rise of mobile technology means consumers are spending more time on such devices, as well as increase in power consumption around the globe, particularly, in emerging markets. The increased demand for smartphones has also fueled exploitative labour practices and environmentally hazardous strip mining for coltan and other minerals in underdeveloped parts of Central Africa.
Unfortunately, the costs associated with the massive steps forward in technological development are being borne by those living in emerging markets. With its extensive CSR activities aimed at giving back to its host communities, LG Electronics is leading the way with its CSR activities that are helping to redefine the company as humanitarian crusader. It’s involvement in charitable causes has set it apart from profit-driven competitors and helped improve countless lives.
As a leading business around the world, the company uses its influence to bring attention to the most pressing issues of our time, particularly those that require a global response. With interests scattered throughout the world, LG strives to contribute to inclusive growth and sustainable development everywhere that it does business. And to realise its lofty goals, the company has invested in a number of corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities, especially in efforts to protect the environment and expand access to education by leveraging the core strengths of LG’s business model.
In order to effectively respond to global issues, the company abides by three principles, which govern the operations of its corporate social responsibility initiatives. This includes, striving to gain consumers trust and encourage stakeholder participation through CSR programs that are specifically designed to address the specific local issues that are important in each market; expanding the impact and range of its contributions by utilising its unique products and technologies, and seeking to engage with communities and bring about change at the local level by promoting employee participation through the donation of time, talent, and money.
In line with its drive to immensely contribute to raising the standard of education in Nigeria, LG Electronics recently opened a Commercial Air Conditioning Academy as well as awarding scholarships to 10 meritorious students of the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Lagos (UNILAG). Quintessentially aimed at enabling students gain the most up-to-date skills and training in Commercial Air Conditioning (CAC), an evolving aspect of air conditioning, the training Academy is positioned to provide Engineering students of the University of Lagos with necessary skills and training in Commercial Air Conditioning.
The scholarship scheme, which is in its third year, is designed to empower young people as well as develop the educational sector, ensuring that youths who are the future leaders are adequately empowered with the required funds and assistance to enable them achieve their dreams and aspirations.
Speaking at the commissioning of the Academy, Managing Director, LG Electronics West Africa operations, Mr. Seonghak Kim, said: “As a socially responsible and purpose driven organisation, LG Electronics believes that in order to get the best out of students, the right learning environment ought to be created, which is what informed the establishment of the LG Commercial Air Conditioning Academy in the University of Lagos.
“Indeed, we believe this will go a long way to boost the intellectual and technical capabilities of the students. This scholarship is being awarded to 10 students of 400 and 500 levels from the Faculty of Engineering who emerged as best students after a careful selection by both the university authority and LG Electronics based on their Grade Points of 4.0 to 5.0, which made them stand out from their colleagues.”
In his remark, the Vice Chancellor, University of Lagos, Professor Rahamon Bello, said the school is highly appreciative of the gesture. “LG Electronics’ partnership with the University of Lagos has been longstanding as the company has continually contributed to the growth of the university with its donation of the LG Design Lab containing 100 computers for students’ convenience and its continuous initiative of scholarship awards programme,” he said.
As a leading partner in the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals established in 2000, with the backing of 191 world leaders, the technology giant through its LG Hope Community, a long-term CSR project active in Ethiopia, Bangladesh, Cambodia and Kenya has improved lives by granting greater access to education, medicine and technology.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that over 300 million new cases of malaria arise each year, with 2-3 million deaths resulting from contraction. In Nigeria, malaria is a massive health problem as the available methods of mosquitoes control all have some inconvenience in one form or another. This malady affects the morbidity and mortality rates as well as the national economy.
In order to support the local communities’ fight against malaria, the company introduced the ‘Mosquito Away’ Air Conditioners. The product emits ultrasonic waves that repel mosquitoes and is completely harmless to humans. The effectiveness of the product was certificated by the University Of Ibadan College Of Medicine and the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON). As part of commitment to the fight against malaria and eco-friendly society, the electronics manufacturing company has donated units of its Mosquito Away AC to some primary health centres and communities in Nigeria including, the Ojokoro Primary Health Centre in Ifako Ijaiye LCDA, Lagos.
Over the years, it has constantly marked the World Environment Day (WED) with a tree planting activity, which has not gone unnoticed with the recognition of its pioneering work in the area of tree-planting and environmental protection initiatives. The company in 2012, was honoured as the corporate organisation with the best nurtured trees by the Lagos State government.
Another laudable initiative of the company in making the world a better place and combat inequality not only in the workplace, but also on the athletic field is the LG Cup, which provides more opportunities and promotes women around the world in sports, especially in the game of baseball. In the 2015 tournament, there were teams from Australia, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Taiwan, USA and two teams from the host country, South Korea.
In response to this, LG Electronics in conjunction with its sole distributor in Nigeria, Fouani Nigeria Ltd, recently initiated an empowerment programme, which has so far benefited 15 deaf and mute persons who have been offered employment at the company’s facility in Apapa, Lagos.
According to the Managing Director, Fouani Nigeria Limited, Mr. Mohammed Fouani, the empowerment initiative was put together in response to the large-scale call for the engagement of people with disabilities.
“LG Electronics is committed to support the reintegration of disabled persons into the workforce and society. In recent times, we have offered employment opportunities to them. Our empowerment initiative is a pragmatic approach towards the betterment of the lives of the citizenry irrespective of their status. On the whole, we are committed to leaving a positive impact in the markets it enters. It believes in giving back to the communities it operate,”
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