Mitsubishi Electric has been partnering with Smile Foundation for over two years now, to provide educational support to the hardest to reach children in urban slums.
Q. Do you think NGOs’ partnership with the corporate world can help them become more effective towards environmental progress and betterment of society?
Yes, NGOs’ partnership with the corporate world may lead to fruitful results and reinforcement of positive energies provided the NGOs ensure their core mission for social development and non-profit approach. The partnership is effective due to the fact that they often enjoy a high degree of public trust, because they work closely with the community and can effectively make efforts for the development to of the society with the help of funding of the corporates.
Q. Strategic partnerships and philanthropy can add to the greater good of society. What are the constraints that come between them?
Companies need their partnerships to reflect their values, and advance their business and social objectives. A sustainability framework has the potential to do this at a deeper and more strategic level than other forms of CSR. It is now recognized that bright ideas for development of society and environment and their translation into transformative and meaningful change is not the sole province of any Government and it requires private sector’s collaborative problem solving.
As a result there has been an intensifying interest in philanthropy by private sector and NGOs working together, taking active steps to engage with each other on a more formalized and consistent basis.
The major constraints between the strategic partnerships can be: changing the behaviours of the targeted society, changing their mindsets and bringing them along for their development, and secondly understanding their religious and community constraints and catering to the same with organization expectations with transparency.
Q. What is the core CSR ideology of Mitsubishi? How do you see CSR 10 years from now?
The Mitsubishi Electric group follows the same ideology worldwide and it has positioned Citizenship as a pillar of its corporate management, based on its Corporate Mission and Seven Guiding Principles. One of these principles is “As a global player, contribute to the development of communities and society as a whole”.
Accordingly, the Group has made committed efforts to become a corporation whose efforts are appreciated through its initiative towards solving social issues. Or in other words, a corporation that is trusted by its stakeholders, including its society, customers, shareholders, and employees as a whole, and that earns their satisfaction through its business practices.
We foresee CSR as a core stream of business as each business unit doing business and making profit is obliged to return some share towards upliftment of under privileged section of society or work towards social developmental activities. The next generation of business leaders is even more likely to prioritize CSR. Rather than staffing a modest CSR department — and slapping it on the org chart as a small offshoot of the public relations or philanthropy division — many companies are now trying to embed CSR into their operations. Thus in upcoming years we may witness focused CSR which will be integrated into the DNA of the organizations.
Q. Mitsubishi has been implementing CSR initiatives with Smile Foundation. How has the journey been?
We have been associated with Smile Foundation since November 2015 to provide education support for 400 children at two centres in Gurgaon i.e. Nangli Umarpur and Bhawani Enclave. The journey with Smile Foundation has been very good and we appreciate their contribution towards the MEAI’s CSR focus on supporting education.
“Financial matters are not the only factor important for a company continuing to be seen as needed; its efforts in terms of corporate social responsibility are also extremely important. In keeping with the sentiment of our Corporate Statement “Changes for the better,” the group is united in its effort to contribute toward realizing this aim: “To Become A Company That Society Needs”
– Masaki Sakuyama, Group President, Mitsubishi Electric
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