In their own ways, the winners of this year’s Best Initiatives in The Asset ESG Best Corporate Awards are finding novel ways to redefine how they are giving back to the community. Meanwhile, the most effective investor relations team experienced significant challenges in a year when market swings have kept them on their toes.
Nellie Joseph, Daphney Nasinom and Nasunu Joe are not names that resonate with most people. But in Papua New Guinea (PNG), the trio of able women hold the distinction of being the first female operators of rubber-tyred gantries and mobile harbour cranes in the country.
That singular achievement was made possible by a global ports operator located more than 3,000 kilometres northwest of Port Moresby in the Philippines, International Container Terminal Services Inc (ICTSI), which has a 25-year concession agreement signed in 2017 with PNG Ports Corp.
ICTSI, which also sponsors the national women’s rugby team to play in the Sevens World Cup, is among this year’s winners and highly commended Initiatives in Diversity and Inclusion in The Asset ESG Best Corporate Awards. A total of 31 corporate initiatives were recognized across innovation, social and environmental responsibility as well as diversity and inclusion.
Recognizing and empowering women resonates too with organizations such as Bank of Ayudhya (Krungsri) in Thailand where the majority, 70%, of its more than 30,000 employees, are women. The bank adheres to the principle of “equal opportunities, diversity and no discrimination mindsets from hiring to retiring”.
Part of its drive for diversity also includes supporting persons with disabilities (PWD). In 2018 at its microfinance unit, Ngern Tid Lor Co, it hired 40 PWDs. Since 2016, it has been working with the government’s Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities to offer career opportunities.
Singapore’s United Overseas Bank adds another dimension to supporting PWDs with its project called The Unlimited. Led by the bank’s brand team, it set out to solve a common problem on hiring faced by its client-companies with the growing number of unemployed PWDs. The result is the first-of-its kind tripartite platform to make it easier for companies to hire people with disabilities. Since its launch in July, it has created 20 different roles that accommodate takers with varying abilities.
Green is the colour of choice for many companies that sent in submissions for environmental initiatives. Thailand’s B.Grimm Power’s climate and green bond initiative, earmarked for nine operational solar power plants with a total of 67.7 megawatts and seven solar power plants under construction with a total of 30.8 megawatts all in Thailand; together with the energy company’s two solar power plant projects in Vietnam with a total of 677 megawatts, which commenced operations in June this year, stood out for how the company is resolutely adding to its portfolio of renewable energy.
Combining green with technology, PTT, Thailand’s largest energy firm has developed a web application called PTT Group SSHE token. For the collection of recyclables such as plastic waste and metal cans and calculate the greenhouse gas reduction from the waste sorting, employees who participate receive tokens, which can be redeemed for rewards.
This blockchain-based web application is part of the group’s broader aim to reduce plastic waste under the PTT Group Touch Green Society. PTT is pleased to report that about 6,900 kg of plastic waste and 606 kg of aluminium cans have been recycled from May to December 2018.
PTT also is recognized with The Asset Environmental Sterwardship Award as it uses vetiver grass plantation to control soil erosion with the installation of the Yadana gas pipeline. From China, CNOOC also earned The Asset Environmental Stewardship Award for its three-year action plan for upgrading environmental protection in the Bohai oil field.
This year’s winners and highly commended companies for initiatives on social responsibility encompass the areas of education programme, health care support, social enterprise loan programme, and investment in smart technology to improve the community living standards. Among all social responsibility initiatives, CTBC’s Love & Arts for Dreams Initiatives and Infosys’s collaboration with Visakha Jilla Nava Nirmana Samithi (VJNNS) take the top accolades.
For best innovation initiative, advancements in green technology emerged as the winners. GPSC’s Energy Storage System Solution prototype, critical to address base load concerns, is now being tested with some households. PTT’s Integrated Pipeline Maintenance and Monitoring System (iPMMS) employs the narrow band Internet of Thing (NB-IoT) network for the maintenance of natural gas pipelines, reducing the cost and risks incurred by the traditional manual monitoring system. E. Sun’s Mobile Payment Instant Card Linking, a financial services enhancement, speeds up the card linking process, making it more convenient for the bank’s customers.
For the best investor relation teams, it has been by far the most competitive year. Thirteen companies are recognized for their crisis management, effective communication, and a firm grasp of investors’ concerns. As the scrutiny of companies is likely to increase over the years, these teams look set to weather what could well be more market volatility ahead.
The Asset ESG Best Corporate Awards, now in its 20th year, will celebrate the winners of the 2019 annual rankings and The Asset Best CEO Awards on December 5 at the Four Seasons in Hong Kong. To view the list of The Asset ESG Initiative Award winners, please click here and best IR Team winners, please click here. To join the dinner celebration, please click here. To join The Asset ESG Summit, please click here.