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 October 03, 2013
Sarawak Bureau Encourages Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) For Conventions

 Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) helps to enhance business events by providing opportunities to give back to the local community and connect on a deeper level.

Sarawak offers unique Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programmes that allow you and your organisation to spend more time helping the local communities by providing a better future for others during your convention.

Following on from successful buyer familiarizations to Kuching and Miri this year, Mr Mike Cannon, Managing Director of Sarawak Convention Bureau (SCB) said, "We are pleased to work with organisations such as Sarawak Forestry Corporation who have put a lot of effort in creating CSR programs for Sarawak."

He added, "CSR plays an important role in promoting a warmer image of an organisation and conventions in general. Having goals and a vision that go beyond products and profits by actively participating in social responsibility programmes portrays a friendlier image to clients and the general public."

Organisations can choose their level of involvement in a CSR programme, for example to provide funding and resources for worthwhile social causes - such as donating money or employee time to charities, or putting together a real plan to produce products or provide services that are in the best interests of the society. These include ideas like using safe materials in design and manufacturing, corporate environmental initiatives, and other factors such as job creation and economic development.

The most successful corporate social responsibility programmes integrate both ways of CSR, ways that show a true commitment towards a cause. Such examples include; a company that uses sustainable materials in their products, donates financial resources to environmental causes, and allows employees to take paid time off for volunteering at environmental charities. This displays a true commitment to the environment that goes beyond any single CSR initiative.

The benefits are remarkable, as shared by some of our FAM trip participants:

"Fantastic, memorable and touches my soul"- Dr Caroline Hong (CEO, SME Association of Australia)

"The experience was invaluable and an eye opener"- Ms Lisa Wong (Malaysian TV Host)

Subject to your organisation's preference and objectives, we can help you to create a socially responsible activity from scratch. An example being part of a long house community or a remote village and working hand-in-hand with the local people in constructing much needed facilities, such as medical clinics, schools or bridges. At the same time, you will get to learn about paddy planting, how to fish with bamboo traps, creating your own masterpiece of local arts and crafts, and taking part in local entertainment such as traditional music, games and dance.

On the other hand, you can choose from our existing CSR programmes below:

Heart To Heart With Orang-Utans

The orang-utan is a much-loved international icon of the rainforest. Highly endangered, irrefutably rare and as intelligent as a small child, this species is found only in Borneo and Sumatra. Wildlife conservationists have been fighting against the extinction of this species for decades. Try out a day in the life of the unsung heroes who sacrifice time and effort to bring these gentle giants of Borneo's forests back from the brink of extinction. Get down and dirty with the orang-utan keepers at Matang Wildlife Centre and share a day of joy with these intelligent, soulful animals which were once found in abundance throughout Sarawak.

Habitat For Humanity

Generosity and acts of kindness are what make us human. Be part of Sarawak and her aid for her disadvantaged through this incentive to help provide a better future for Sarawakians in need. Help build clinics, school buildings and other essential facilities in poor communities. Take the opportunity to be a part of a longhouse community and share their lives whilst you help bring basic amenities to them.

Swiflet Conservation Programme

Edible nest swiftlets have been part of Sarawak culture for centuries, so much so that the species almost went extinct from over-harvesting of their nests. But not to worry, they are back from the brink because of the efforts of the Government and biologists alike. This means the swiftlet industry is thriving, providing employment and revenue for Sarawak. This programme showcases sustainable swiftlet management and conservation in Sarawak while creating awareness and enhancing knowledge on the importance of such conservation efforts. Explore the caves and meet the locals while learning about the history of birds nest trading and industry, including the production process. An educational experience with a whole load of adventure, it will be an unforgettable walk through the limestone forest. A fairly high fitness level is required for this activity.

Benefits of CSR

Prominence in Social Media

In order to build the organisation's brand and visibility, social media is used to promote the organisation's social responsibility activities. It creates a positive branding image and allows the organisation to engage with the audience on a deeper level beyond its products and services.

Great for Public Relations

Public relations is crucial in developing an organisation's image and how others will perceive it. Organisations that publicise their social responsibility activities through the media are one step closer to powerful branding, media publicity and contributing to the development of local communities.

Ease in Government Relations

Organisation's that practice CSR have a better experience in dealing with politicians and government regulations. As opposed to businesses that lack CSR programmes often find themselves being questioned and probed by public service organisations. CSR projects a positive public perception towards and organisation and is less likely to face inquiry from competing organisations and governmental bodies.

Boosting Positivity in the Workplace

Among the benefits of exercising social responsibility in the workplace is the positive it builds for the team. Employees will feel more enthusiastic and engaged in their work, knowing that their organisation is also working towards a greater cause. This in turn builds teamwork and camaraderie amongst employees, leading to a more productive and happier organisation.

"CSR is a commitment that works best when it comes from the heart. At SCB, we encourage your organisation to put in the time and efforts required to reap lasting and meaningful rewards in socially responsible activities. Look at CSR as a win-win situation; a win for your organisation, and a win for the communities you help," added Mr Mike Cannon.

Sarawak Convention Bureau

Sarawak Convention Bureau (SCB) was established in 2006 by the State Government of Sarawak. We are a non-profit company whose aim is to bring Sarawak to the forefront as a competitive destination for international meetings. The Bureau is a member of the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA). Our goal is to help connect NGOs, corporations and government bodies with whatever necessary to make international conventions a success in Sarawak. In 2012, SCB supported 45 convention bids representing 19,688 delegates, and 66,945 delegate days, which contributed an estimated direct delegate expenditure of RM39.9 million to Sarawak.