In the first article of Public Affairs at PR INDONESIA, January 2018 edition, it discussed the latest understanding of public affairs. Namely, as a non-market corporate function. This function mainly connects government relations, issues management, social and corporate responsibility, media communications, political education, and strategic communication.
With the increase in the Indonesian economy to become a country that has reached the status of a middle income economy, this function will become increasingly important in line with the development of an increasingly modern society.
From the above understanding, it is clear that one of the main areas of concern for public affairs is Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). In line with this understanding, CSR has become one of the areas that has been one of the focuses of Kiroyan Partners (KP) from the start. The CSR concept that KP adheres to refers to ISO 26000 Guidance on Social Responsibility. This international standard was adopted by the National Standardization Body (BSN) through No. SNI ISO 26000:2013. There are six main areas (core areas), namely human rights, labor practices, fair operating practices, consumer issues, environment, community involvement and development, and one element that underlies the whole, namely the rules of good governance.
A financial institution which is a subsidiary of a multinational company recently requested KP’s assistance to evaluate its CSR activities. This company has run many CSR programs. Over time, the degree of complexity increases, making management more difficult. Some of the CSR programs also question the validity of whether they are really included in CSR. The management of the company realizes that streamlining is necessary to maintain the relevance and to make sure that the programs are well organized so as not to damage the reputation of this well-known financial institution.
Evaluation means making judgments based on certain criterias as objectively as possible. In the end, it was agreed that the basis for this evaluation is a guideline that has become a reference in many countries, including Indonesia, namely ISO 26000. Then, there needs to be an alignment of CSR programs with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In Indonesia, SDGs are stated in the Presidential Regulation of the Republic of Indonesia No. 59/2017 concerning Implementation of Achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
By combining ISO 26000 with SDGs in compiling corporate CSR programs, several benefits will be obtained. First, there are objective and internationally recognized standards so that cross-country comparisons can be made. Second, because the SDGs have been adopted by ISO 26000, it will greatly facilitate companies in terms of compliance with regulations. CSR is often said to be beyond compliance, meaning that a company that adheres to the principles of CSR will carry out its activities beyond mere legal obligations, because the point is to conduct business ethically.
For companies that are required to issue annual reports, other international standards for reporting that are in line with ISO 26000 are available, namely the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards which are de facto standards in today’s world. So, what many public companies do today is compile CSR programs with reference to ISO 26000 and report using GRI Standards, and all of them are aligned with the SDGs.
After we started evaluating the above client, another company which is also in the financial sector asked KP to carry out an evaluation of its CSR programs. So at almost the same time we conducted a CSR evaluation of two different financial institutions.
Unlike the first client, this company is a completely local company. We apply the same principles in conducting this evaluation, namely referring to ISO 26000 and SDGs. The generally accepted standards internationally can be applied to companies in any field regardless of their status as a local or international company.
Chairman & Chief Consultant, Kiroyan Partners
This article has been published in PR Indonesia magazine 42nd Edition, issued on September 2018, page 55.
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