Article by Wendy Campbell

Corporate Social Responsibility - Good for this Global Business!

by Wendy Campbell
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Corporate Social Responsibility – Good for this Global Business!

On the 3rd March 2006, DHL was awarded the Excellence Award for Best Corporate Social Responsibility at the Institute of Public Relations of Singapores prestigious PRISM (Public Relations In the Service of Mankind) Awards in Singapore (www.iprs.org.sg).

DHLs success in winning the top award in the Corporate Social Responsibility category was in recognition of the companys immediate and comprehensive disaster management response provided during the December 2004 Asian Tsunami and its ensuing efforts to help with the recovery and rehabilitation process.

DHL is deeply humbled by this recognition. For us, this award reaffirms our commitment to assist the communities in which we operate, said Christina Koh-Aurbakken, Vice President – Corporate Affairs, DHL Asia Pacific, who also oversees the regions Corporate Sustainability program. It also serves as a tribute to the collective efforts of the staff and management of DHL and our parent company Deutsche Post World Net in responding to one of the worst disasters to hit Asia Pacific in recent years.

DHL is committed to providing assistance in the aftermath of major sudden-onset natural disasters by contributing its employees expertise in the management of complex logistics and transportation processes and by transporting urgently needed relief materials and medical supplies.

Thus DHL was among the first companies to respond to the tsunami tragedy, mobilizing its resources within 24-hours in disaster-hit areas to provide free delivery of relief materials, flight charters, staff volunteers, cash contributions and relief items. DHL business entities across the Asia Pacific region contributed almost 500,000 (US$594,000) while the parent company, Deutsche Post World Net (DPWN), donated 1 million, in addition to the 2.2 million raised from a joint DPWN and eBay auction of goods donated by members of the public.

As part of a long-term rehabilitation program to help the tsunami victims, DHL donated a total of US$250,000 to Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka, Thailand and the Maldives to fund the construction of school buildings, houses and other critical infrastructures. DHL is also currently working with the United Nations Development Program in funding the livelihood rehabilitation program of becak (motorized rickshaw) drivers in Banda Aceh.

More recently, DHL commissioned the Economist Intelligence Unit to conduct a study on the lessons learnt during the Tsunami, with the end view of assisting governments, aid agencies and companies in improving last-mile logistics management in disaster response. DHL Asia Pacific is also currently finalizing the creation of a Disaster Response Team (DRT) to address bottlenecks at disaster site airports, which is one of the major obstacles in the timely and effective supply of relief aid to affected areas and victims. Leveraging its logistics expertise, DHL, through the DRT, aims to ensure an uninterrupted and effective relief supply chain in affected airports during a natural disaster.

The biennial PRISM Awards, organized by the Institute of Public Relations of Singapore, rewards and recognizes organizations and individuals for excellence in public relations and communications, as well as outstanding contributions and achievements to raise the level of PR professionalism in Singapore.

Why does DHL do this?

According to Sara Carden, PR and Sponsorship Manager DHL, Oceania, DHL has a strong business philosophy of giving back to the communities in which we operate. We feel that it is only right for us to be responsible corporate citizens, committed to the welfare and sustainability of local communities.

Customers appreciate DHLs community values and employees are proud to work for a company that contributes to a meaningful and intensely worthwhile cause as well as to the honour of DHL winning this prestigious award.

The crying need for disaster relief in the wake of the tsunami took these sentiments beyond boundaries to those surviving fellow citizens of our earth whose lives had been so completely and utterly devastated.

So who will customers and staff choose for their preferred supplier and/or employer of express and logistics services?
And who will they will be proud and privileged to be associated with?
Who do you think?

DHL of course!

Post Note: According to the Australian Standard, AS 8003-2003, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is defined to be:
“A mechanism for entities to voluntarily integrate social and environmental concerns into their operations and their interaction with their stakeholders, which are over and above the entitys legal responsibilities.”