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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Corporate Social Responsibility


Please to know that ABN-AMRO Bank is exercising their social responsibilities of not financing the operations of casinos in Singapore. They will still be financing the construction of the casino though, as they view it as any other real estate development.
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Gambling - for one to win, many have to lose. :)
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ABN Amro says no to casino financing
Dutch bank among big firms with 'green' social conscience
Christie Loh, Today, Wednesday April 18 2007
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Unlike governments and companies increasingly lured by the lucrative casino business. ABN-Amro is saying not to the glitz and gains.
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The line that the Dutch bank will not cross: Financing the casino operators of Singapore's two upcoming integrated resorts (IRs). "That is against our social and ethical risk model, " said Mr David Wong, the bank's managing director and chief executive for South-East Asia.
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What is acceptable is the financing of the IR's construction, as it would be "like any real estate project", he said yesterday on the sidelines of a forum on corporate social responsibility (CSR) and the environment.
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As the event participants heard, ABN Amro is part of a rising tide of global businesses guided not only by their social conscience, but by a "green" heart too.
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Last year, environmental concerns led the Dutch lender to turn down 4 out of 33 financing projects in Asia. The rejections - none of which were for Singapore proposals - were for sectors such as forestry, mining, oil and gas, and gambling, said Mr Wong. No money is loaned if a proposal fails to meet the Equator Principles, a set of business guidelines adopted by 40 global financial institutions since 2003.
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ABN Amro itself started sustainable development initiatives in 1998. It has, for instance, refused to lend money to an Indonesian miner until the bank has inspected and found the firm's nickel mining process eco-friendly, said Mr Wong.
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Admittedly, however, it is "not easy to reconcile commercial demands with sustainable needs", he added.
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This is a challenge facing businesses on the path to sustainable development.
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"There must be economic drivers for human behaviour to change," said Lee Tzu Yang, chairman of oil giant Shell Singapore.
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In his presentation during the forum, he recounted how the multi-national corporation effected a change in the public sector mindset. Shell had a project in southern China that involved uprooting an entire rural community.
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Instead of leaving the people to fend for themselves, Shell asked the province's government to find them homes and jobs, said Mr Lee. These are relocating issues that the officials would never have thought of without the oil giant's beckoning.
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In Singapore, it is a case of a lukewarm private sector, said Ms Claire Chiang, president of Singapore Compact, a non-government platform which promotes CSR. She cited the "very limited response from Singapore" for another "green" event here; the United Nations' first Global Business Summit for the Environment starting tomorrow.
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"Singaporeans don't pay to got to forums unless htey are being funded to do so by the Government, " said Ms Chiang. Until chief executives are convinced of the benefits of sending their employees for such conferences, public awareness will not grow, she said.

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2 comments:

Christiana said...

Ha ha ha!!! So even mafias have a moral bottomline sometimes (or maybe this is just another PR strategy at work? :-p)

Interesting to see some posts related to current news here at Vacuum State; it's becoming like a box of assorted chocolates!

jupilier said...

Deep down mafias know that they are spiritual beings. All of us do.