EMRBI Talk on private sector and non-for-profits collaboration in sustainable development
The 2nd EuroCham Myanmar Responsible Business initiative talk gathered representatives from the private sector, not-for-profits organisations and DICA (Directorate of Investment and Companies Administration)
Moderated by Ms. Inga Makusheva from MCRB (Myanmar Center for Responsible Business), the event started by giving the floor to each panelist to present their respective collaboration project to the audience.
- The Responsible Business Fund is part of the Danish Development Assistance to Myanmar. Represented by Mr. Amarnath Reddy, Team Leader at RBF, the organisation provides partial grants to SMEs for the implementation of innovative projects in one of the following areas: energy efficiency, water use efficiency, water use efficiency, waste treatment and recycling, occupational safety & health, food safety, managerial & supervisory skills, and practical & technical skills.
- U Thant Sin Lwin, Director General of the Directorate of Investment Company and Administration (DICA), underlined how important the private sector is to support the development of the country. He insisted on how responsible business is a joint obligation, reminding that companies should not cause any socio-economic losses. DICA is a major actor in linking businesses with the government and has been doing extensive work to promote responsible investment and inclusive business.
- Mr. Ujjwal Pokhrel, Sustainable Production Manager, presented the Tha Bar Wa Project launched in 2018 by WWF. This initiative encourages cleaner production in the food and beverage industry by promoting wastewater treatment plants, energy efficiency and renewable energy. The project supports factories to design, finance and implement cleaner production solutions; works with the government to develop a roadmap for cleaner production guidelines; supports financial institutions to offer banking products for cleaner production.
- U Ye Htuk Htake, Managing Director of Mya Ayer, a Myanmar family business in the coconut oil industry presented the company’s goal to build a sustainable business for farmers and develop the Man-Aung Island into a responsible project around coconut cultivation. They have been working with RBF regarding energy efficiency, OSH and food safety. They are also conducting inclusive business initiatives with DaNa Facility for their zero-waste factory project on Man-Aung Island.
- Mr. Philippe Battle, Area General Manager at Novotel Yangon Max detailed several initiatives implemented in collaboration with NGO’s and foundations The hotel has tied relations with the Shwe Minn Tha Foundation, thanks to whom Novotel Yangon Max now counts 14 disabled permanent employees in its team. Another project Novotel Yangon Max has implemented is a move to an eco-friendly approach banning plastic use with the supports of FXB, a Swiss NGO that help young girls escape poverty through training program.
- U Min Thu, Head of Business Sustainability and Special Projects at Telenor, introduced the Corporate responsibility at Telenor means maximizing the impact of telecommunication technology by creating added value, both for business and society. In that sense, they have established worldwide partnerships with UNICEF and Plan International. Since August 2018, they have been working with the first on a Mobile Birth and Death Registration. With the latter, they have launched a Digital Literacy Program supported by the Ministry of Education.
The panel discussion addressed how collaboration becomes more and more essential as both parties see the added value of enhancing living standards and protecting the environment. Panelists detailed how the trend to move from traditional donation model to a partnership donation model, where both compagnies and NGOs are actively participating, providing funding, ideas and dedicated staffs, is lifting up the impact on societies.
The discussion focused on the way to foster those collaborations, identifying the benefits and the challenges to be expected, but also what incentives to put in place by the stakeholders and the government to step forward. A recall of the crucial role the community plays was made as its engagement is the key to achieve success in those projects.
A video introducing those collaboration projects is available here.
The EMRBI talks are organised on a quarterly basis and address various topics around responsible practices undertaken in Myanmar.