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Opening Remarks by Sun Xueling, Minister of State, Ministry of Social and Family Development and Home Affairs at the Company of Good Conferment 2024 on Thursday, 18 July 2024, 4.00pm-10.00pm at Raffles City Convention Centre

Type: Official Speeches (All), Official Speeches: Sun Xueling

Topic(s): Social Service Agencies & Partners


Mr Tony Soh, Chief Executive Officer, National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre,

Distinguished guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

Introduction

1          It is very heartwarming to be accompanied by so many corporates and community partners who have done right, done good and done well. It is indeed my pleasure to join you today at the Company of Good, 3 Hearts Conferment 2024 Ceremony to recognise companies that have demonstrated a strong commitment to Corporate Purpose and have made significant contributions on a national level.

 

Collective responsibility of all to build a stronger Singapore

2          In Singapore, we have a vibrant network of businesses, and I think we all recognise that businesses as economic entities, obviously have to undertake economic activities and generate economic output. But increasingly, I think there are growing expectations for companies to do right, and to do good as they do well. This is fully lined with the Forward Singapore narrative where businesses in Singapore must contribute to a better nation by bringing your capabilities and assets to support the national development. I think that in Singapore, we believe that we would like to collectively do well, because that is the only way we can take the next step forward further and better. As corporates, you play a vital role in supporting our social compact and ecosystem of support so that our individuals, our families and our communities can thrive.

 

3          As a company that is corporate purpose driven, you not only benefit society, but also build and protect your social license. Businesses like your organisations gain trust and prosper because you are committed to do good on a sustainable basis.

 

4          On this note, the National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre, or NVPC, seeks to support companies on your corporate purpose journey through its Corporate Purpose Framework and Company of Good initiative. Some concrete ways of doing so can include adopting inclusive hiring practices, or by having formal corporate policies that support employee volunteerism.

 

5          NVPC has been collaborating with stakeholders like the National Council of Social Service (NCSS), Singapore Business Federation (SBF), Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF) to advance the understanding and adoption of Corporate Purpose through events such as today’s conferment.  

 

6          I am extremely heartened to be here today, we are recognising 290 companies, of which 55% are SMEs. I understand from Tony today that this is the new high for SMEs to be conferred this achievement. I am very inspired by all who are gathered here today, as the recognition of Company of Good – 3 Hearts acknowledges the commitment made by so many of you, to Corporate Purpose and in turn, to our people, communities, environment and our Nation.

 

Commending impact achieved

 

7          Kindly allow me to highlight some examples of businesses making a purposeful difference.

 

8          In the area of People, we see companies such as Ensign Infosecurity recognising the strength of everyday individuals. Through their employee-centric policies and programmes, they foster a thriving work environment and contributes to Singapore’s reputation as a hub for talent attraction and retention.

 

9          Their commitment to Diversity and Inclusion is shown through their partnership with Singapore’s Autism Resource Centre, ARC, where they create an employment programme tailored for individuals on the autism spectrum, focusing on their cognitive strengths and offering training and job opportunities in the industry.

 

10          Furthermore, they have targets in place for female representation in leadership positions and partnerships with stakeholders to inspire young women to join the cybersecurity industry, promoting a workforce that reflects Singapore’s multicultural society and closing the industry’s gender gap.

 

11          Next, I would also like to acknowledge the pioneering work done in the area of Society, such as the one by Heritage Hospitality. Through the partnership between their subsidiary 21 Carpenter, a boutique hotel, and the charity HealthServe, we see how businesses can redefine their impact to society through an event such as the opening of their hotel. By encouraging their partners to donate instead of sending floral displays, 21 Carpenter raised around S$14,000 for HealthServe, targeting to reach S$88,000 by the fourth quarter of 2024.

 

12          This innovative and purposeful method of giving not only benefits the beneficiaries, but also helps to reduce unnecessary waste generated during the event, further broadening the positive impact by the company.

 

13          These are just a few examples of how our corporates are making a difference to our society. I would also like to acknowledge all companies in this room, big and small alike. Thank you very much. Your dedication in any of the five impact areas of People, Society, Governance, Environment and Economic sets a commendable example for others to follow. 

 

14          The Ministry of Social and Family Development has designated 2024 as the Year of Celebrating Volunteers to recognise the work of our volunteers. I would like to encourage more corporates to also establish a culture that values your people so that they continue to engage in community and volunteerism, to promote a stronger giving culture as we strengthen our social compact and build an even stronger shared future together.

 

Closing

15          With that, congratulations to all the Company of Good – 3 Hearts recipients! Thank you very much.