2020 marked the start of GCB’s CSR Committee, Caring Beyond Cocoa, to solidify our commitment as a socially responsible company. Our four pillars of Happy Employees, Thriving Communities, Healthy Planet, and Good Cocoa and Beyond aims to promote social responsibility at various levels and in a holistic manner throughout the company.
We kickstarted the Caring Beyond Cocoa programme with the formation of a CSR Committee helmed by committed individuals from various departments with the passion to promote social responsibility in their various subcommittees. With the support of the Board of Directors, the CSR Committee organized and executed various events, with an initial focus on our subsidiaries in Malaysia and Singapore. We also launched a CSR page on the GCB website to share our progress and commitment on social responsibility with our investors, customers, suppliers and the public.
The infographic Below summarizes our impact for 2020:
In 2020, the Employee Care team focused on promoting healthy lifestyles among employees. We organized a weekly fruit day session for employees with the mission of providing every employee with a piece of fruit every week to encourage them to include more fruits in their diet. We have also provided nutritional facts of the fruits received so that the employees are well aware of the health benefits from consuming more fruits.
Our Fruit Day impacts:
- More than 9,700 pieces of fruit provided to our employees in Malaysia from October to December 2020, reaching about 70% of our employees in Malaysia.
- 43% of employees reported an increase in their fruits consumption and adopted a healthier diet
Overall, 84% of employees felt that there was a general improvement in employee welfare based on the CSR activities conducted.
In addition, we continue to provide many opportunities for staff to receive training to gain new skills and knowledge. The training hours per employee averaged 6.18 hours, 55% higher than the target 4.0 training hours. We will continue to promote training and opportunities for career advancement for our employees.
In 2021 the Employee Care team will continue to encourage healthy lifestyles among employees with more exciting and varied Fruit Days. The team is also organizing a series of lifestyle talks and seminars of the employees’ interest on topics such as financial management and healthy living to promote employee well-being.
Amidst COVID-19, many communities have been impacted with the loss of jobs and income. Recognizing the need to support the community with our capabilities, GCB has taken action to support our communities in the following ways:
- Donated 600 bags of Cacao Rich Hot Chocolate Drinks to Food Bank Singapore to support vulnerable families in Singapore
- Donated another 180 bags of Cacao Rich Hot Chocolate Drinks to SMK Kota Masai 2, a school in Pasir Gudang, to support the food security of low-income students.
GCB staff with students of SMK Kota Masai 2, receiving GCB Food’s Cacao Rich Hot Chocolate Drinks
- Supported the 34 chronically ill and disabled residents at Johor Cheshire Home over 3 months by helping the home cover the daily necessities of all residents.
- Contributed biohazard coverall suits to the healthcare workers and masks to the police to relief the strain in healthcare resources in Malaysia during the COVID-19 pandemic
- Donated $30,000 to the global cocoa and chocolate industry response to COVID-19 in cocoa-growing communities in West Africa and elsewhere.
Moving forward, the Community Care team will continue to extend our support to vulnerable communities and will organize activities to encourage more employees to volunteer in causes of their interest.
In 2020, we continued to support existing efforts to recycle waste and pioneered new projects to reduce our use of water and use more renewable energy:
- In July 2020, we installed solar panels at our warehouse in Keluli, Pasir Gudang. This achieved a CO2 reduction of more than 720 tonnes from July to December 2020, equivalent to planting 40,004 trees or saving 293 tons of coal.
- In 2020, we recycled more than 87,500 kg of waste in our Malaysia facility, including cocoa shells, cartons, plastic and wooden pallets. Notably, we recycled 16% more cocoa shells and 27% more plastic than the year before.
- We are installing new recycling bins in our Malaysia factory, along with posters and notices on recycling to educate employees on proper recycling practices.
- We are continuously upgrading our offices and factories to reduce the amount of water we use in our daily operations by installing new automatic water taps in our Malaysia facility.
In 2021, we are working closely with employees to organize park and beach clean-up sessions in our community. We are also collaborating with experts to increase energy efficiency in our Malaysia facilities and measure our carbon footprint so that we can better devise suitable solutions to minimize our impact on the environment.
2020 has been a meaningful year for GCB as we take our first steps towards having a formalized CSR programme. In 2021, we hope to build on our successes in the year before to expand our reach, engagement and impact. We look forward to an exciting 2021 with more activities planned to promote Happy Employees, Thriving Communities and a Healthy Planet!