SINGAPORE- Media OutReach - 7 October 2020 - A total of 81 projects and business leaders across Asia were selected asrecipients of the Asia Responsible Enterprise Awards 2020 (AREA),which was an increase of 27% from last year. Widely regarded as the goldstandard for CSR and sustainability practice, this year's award ceremony wasorganized virtually due to the unprecedented global healthcare crisis. A diversityof industries and leading organizations from all over the region received theAREA, demonstrating a continued dedication to responsible business practicesdespite the pandemic.
Organized byEnterprise Asia, the leading non-governmental organization for responsibleentrepreneurship in Asia, the AREA aims to recognize and honor Asian businessesand leaders for championing sustainable and socially responsible businesspractices. The award categories are Social Empowerment, Investment in People,Health Promotion, Green Leadership, Corporate Governance, Circular EconomyLeadership and Responsible Business Leadership. Through the award ceremony,this unique opportunity has provided over 600 attendees to interconnect andcelebrate virtually.
SOGO was established in 1987 andjoined the Far Eastern Group in 2002. The Company actively develops digitalmarketing and omnichannel platform as its operational goals, hoping to meet theneeds of customers to keep up with the rise of diversified retail malls,e-commerce and mobile consumption.
New Era of Tableware
Disposable tableware has been a convenient and affordable choice forfood services. However, cups, plates, bowls and other utensils made from paper,plastic or styrofoam has a negative impact on the environment. In Taiwan,60,000 tons of disposable tableware are consumed each year and throughout theprocess of manufacturing and disposing of these tableware, natural resourcesare continually depleted and the burden of waste management increases, causingserious damage to the environment overtime.
Well-Being of Employees and Community to Create Happiness
Employees are invaluable assets and enterprises must provide happyworkplaces to ensure employees' health and well-being are being looked after.Many enterprises primarily focuses on providing training for employees toimprove their professional skill but Pacific SOGO Department Stores Co., Ltd.discovered that employees' mental stress is closely related to their workperformance. Therefore, the Company is committed in providing mentaldevelopment training, guaranteeing well-being of employees', creating safeworkplaces and hiring professional instructors to design health managementprograms.
Both CSR programs corresponds to the United Nations' SustainableDevelopment Goals (SDGs).
Raising Awareness onGlobal Warming
The Company launched the project by targeting to change consumers'behaviour on tableware consumption, to ultimately encourage consumers' toabandon disposable tableware, to reduce waste and to relieve Mother Earth'senvironmental burden. In order to achieve that, in 2017, melamine tablewarewere disposed in food courts, restaurants and staff canteens while imposing aban on disposable tableware for dine-in customers. To further encourage thisproject, the Company invites customers to join "Zero Waste Eating" byencouraging customers' to bring their own tableware to leave as little wastebehind as possible. Additionally, in May of 2019, the Company imposed a ban onplastic straws and also stopped providing disposable utensils for take-awaycustomers'.
Well-Being for Greater Happiness
The Company focuses on workplace safety, healthcare, mental developmentand employee benefits. With this framework, the Company ensures that thewell-being of their employees and the community is being looked after.Moreover, through persistent and rigorous safety checks with in-depth employeetraining, the Company creates a safe and happy workplace for employees tobetter provide high-quality service. The Company has long promotedcomprehensive workplace safety and the Company even held an "AED & CPRFirst Aid Training" that was participated by thousands of people. To add on tothat, the Company received the Exercise Enterprise Certification Award byprioritizing healthcare, in which they hired professional fitness instructorsto design health management programs and provide personal training. Not only that,the Company also arranges different courses on a quarterly basis to fulfillemployees' mental needs and as for employee benefits, the Company would havedomestic and international trips to show gratitude to their employees.
Achievements and Impact
Inan attempt to increase the awareness of global warming, recycling and reusing,the Company fully banned disposable tableware for both dine-ins and take-away,reducing 200 tons of waste annually. An estimated 4.5 billion pairs ofdisposable chopsticks are consumed annually in Taiwan and with a total lengthexceeding 20 times of Earth's perimeter. Furthermore, the Company collaborateswith the Environmental Protection Administration and non-governmentalorganizations to share their experience on banning disposable tableware.Moreover, the Company encourages customers' to bring eco-friendly bags byoffering discounts, thus making every purchase as environmentally friendly aspossible. In 2019, the supermarket in Zhongxiao Store saw a reduction in 55,000plastic packages, a 88% reduction compared to 2018. With over 2 years ofexperience, the Company has helped retailers all over Taiwan to painlesslyreduce waste and customer satisfaction survey shows that more than 88% ofcustomers are highly satisfied with the "New Era of Tableware" project.
To enhance employees' well-being, the Companybelieves that a safe workplace is the foundation of business development and in2019, the Company held 82 "AED & CPR First Aid Trainings" which wasparticipated by over thousands, thus receiving the "Safe LocationCertification". To add on to that, the Company is the first retailer in Taiwanto provide on-site healthcare service while further benefiting the community byinviting residents to screen for four major cancers. The Company receivednumerous awards for their workplace safety, including the first among otherdepartmental stores to receive the "Occupational Safety Award" for sevenconsecutive years, the only departmental store recommended by Taipei CityGovernment to receive the national award of "Outstanding Occupational Safetyand Health Entities" and the first to receive the "Exercise EnterpriseCertification Award".
Being the leading departmental store in Taiwan forover 33 years, the Company believes that they have the responsibility to sethigher standards and to continuously increase public awareness on globalwarming, recycling and reusing before any government intervention. Therefore,the Company puts itself in all stakeholders' shoes to come up with variousideas for the betterment of the society, customers, employees, vendors and theCompany itself. As far as the Company is concerned, establishing greendepartmental stores is as important as profiting and they are committed toreduce daily waste while also increasing customer acquisition. Additionally,the Company will make full use of their advantage to invite customers toparticipate in being environmentally friendly throughout their customer journeyand continue to practice green and sustainable lifestyles.
Under the ongoing sustainability trend, the Company values theimportance of professional empowerment training and career development.Moreover, employees and staff of partnering vendors have access to thehealthcare services and the Company plans to cooperate with professionaldoctors, nutritionists, fitness instructors, and counseling psychologists todesign personal health promotion plans according to each individual's healthexamination results. The Company will continue to extend the healthcare projectto local communities and disadvantaged groups while enhancing healthcareeducation to create healthy and energetic communities.
About Enterprise Asia
EnterpriseAsia is a non-governmental organization in pursuit of creating an Asia that isrich in entrepreneurship as an engine towards sustainable and progressiveeconomic and social development within a world of economic equality. Its twopillars of existence are investment in people and responsible entrepreneurship.Enterprise Asia works with governments, NGOs and other organizations to promotecompetitiveness and entrepreneurial development, in uplifting the economicstatus of people across Asia and in ensuring a legacy of hope, innovation andcourage for the future generation. For further information, visit www.enterpriseasia.org.
About Asia Responsible Enterprise Awards
The Asia Responsible Enterprise Awards program recognizes and honorsAsian businesses for championing sustainable and responsible entrepreneurshipin the categories of Green Leadership, Investment in People, Health Promotion,Social Empowerment, Corporate Governance, Circular Economy Leadership andResponsible Business Leadership. For more information, visit: https://enterpriseasia.org/area/.