At Paramount Corporation Berhad (Paramount or the Company), Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) remains close to our heart as a business practice. Begun as a family concern, the Company entrenched the values of the founders in the boardroom for decades and, over the years, it evolved into a corporate philosophy that has been easily embraced by management and staff.
This background to CSR has served Paramount well. The Company always maintains the best values and practices in its relationship with all stakeholders, which, we believe, is why Paramount is regarded as a good employer and trusted business partner, and one that cares for and involves itself in the local and wider communities and the environment in which the Paramount group of companies (the Group) operates. Paramount also holds the long-term view that a rapidly changing world brings new responsibilities and concerns that have to be constantly addressed and, more importantly, are not in conflict with the attainment of the Group's objectives.
CSR in the Environment
The nature of our business does have a bearing on the environment. Thus, we need to take a proactive and positive approach on environmental issues at all times in order to sustain our business in the long term. Our key commitments are to:
- Protect and enhance the environment at large. Our commitment is best exemplified in our development and building approach where a conscious effort is made to preserve the beauty of the natural surroundings. Paramount's ethos of respecting people and planet was best exemplified when, in Octobar 2014, the Company launched Chengal House by Paramount Property. The 11,000-square feet clubhouse located within Sejati Residences in Cyberjaya is the first commercial property development of its kind in Malaysia to be built using 200-year-old chengal timber, salvaged from a 70-year-old factory owned by Paramount. Complementing the ecologically sustainable design approaches is an arboretum within the lended residential development, showcasing the rich diversity of Malaysian woods.
- Mitigate any possible adverse impact on the environment. Our buildings and homes are designed to incorporate features that promote energy conservation. Given that the construction process typically generates large volumes of waste, there were concerted efforts, over the past year, to mitigate the problem through positive measures to reduce waste generated. In our office environment, we ensure that waste is re-used or re-cycled as far as possible. The Group is also seeking ways to improve its water and energy consumption.
- Comply with the requirements of all relevant legislation and best practice as a minimum standard. We place utmost importance in conforming to and satisfying the regulations set by the Department of Environment. The flagship campus of KDU University College in Utropolis, Glenmarie has been granted a provisional Green Building Index (GBI) certification for its sustainable approaches in a higher-education development. Starting with the use of the Industrial Building System materials, KDU University College, Utropolis makes admirable progress in green building construction and maintenance, tracked by the Advanced Building Management System.
- Provide employees with appropriate literature on environmental issues. We ensure that all our employees have the necessary information they need in order to undertake their work without any adverse impact on the environment and help our customers meet their own environmental targets.
- Promote our environmental values to clients, consultants, advisers, suppliers and all business contacts. We also encourage good environmental practices within our supply chain and require all contractors working on our behalf to adopt these standards of care. A winner of numerous national and international FIABCI awards, we walk the talk when it comes to environmental issues.
CSR in the Workplace
Employees at every level are encouraged to make the fullest contribution to the Group's performance and the achievement of its goals. We seek to achieve this by:
- Ensuring people with the right skills and qualities are recruited, trained, supported and retained to create high levels of motivation, achievement and job satisfaction. We aim to be the employer of choice in the industries that we operate.
- Providing employees with the opportunity to have a direct ownership of the Company through participation in our Long Term Incentive Plan.
- Creating a working environment that is conducive to good working relations by demonstrating good leadership and adopting the best in Human Resource practices with well developed policies and procedures. These are continually subject to review, and are updated.
- Employing a workforce that reflects the diversity of our society by promoting our commitment to equal opportunities for all regardless of age, gender, race, religion, disability, nationality, etc.
- Providing training and career development so that employees can grow and achieve their potential. We strive to maintain a knowledgeable, stable and motivated workforce that increases the satisfaction levels of our customer base whilst reducing recruitment and retention costs. In our employees' annual appraisal, training and personal development requirements are mutually agreed, and plans for the training and development are drawn up and budgeted for each year. We take a proactive approach in providing opportunities for our employees to obtain professional and nationally recognised qualifications. We also encourage participation in continuous professional development programmes that are conducted internally and externally. Senior managers are selected to attend executive education and professional development programmes at renowned Business Schools and all our senior managers are encouraged to attend the Management Development Programmes organised by our executive education and professional development sector.
- Ensuring worksites and surrounding areas maintain high health and safety standards, as we do not compromise on the safety of our employees, sub-contractors and visitors. In this regard, our construction segment has adopted and adheres strictly to the guidelines on public safety and health at construction sites issued by the Department of Occupational Safety and Health. Regular health and safety training are provided.
- Recognising that effective employee communication and consultation are important in achieving our business objectives. As such, information on the progress and activities of the Group and the external financial and economic factors affecting it, both from sources in the public domain and those published internally, are readily made available to employees through the intranet.
- Promoting family friendly policies and work-life balance initiatives to encourage the general well-being of our employees.
CSR in the Community
Paramount is committed to operating in ways that add value to the communities in which we operate through various ongoing engagements that enhance the long term sustainability of our business. These include:
- Contributing to local charities and voluntary organisations. We have made significant inroads in promoting community interaction through social programmes and activity. We support numerous charitable causes both in cash and kind, and through the provision of scholarships to deserving students. In 2014, Paramount made donations in cash and kind totaling RM8.7 million.
- Supporting local communities through opportunities for employment, interaction with schools, liaison and support for local well-being. We actively promote community interaction through social programmes and activities. In Sungai Petani, the Company's Bukit Banyan Green Ride was started as Kedah's first eco-ride in 2012 and, today, it is an annual get-together event that brings friends and families together.
- Encouraging wider employee participation in community projects organised. We encourage our people to volunteer in order to help others in the community and we recognise the benefits that volunteering can bring through the development of skills and competencies.
- Using our influence to steer change for the better.
CSR in the Workplace
We constantly and actively engage and respond to our other stakeholders including shareholders, analysts, fund managers, customers, suppliers and government and non-government bodies with a view to fostering better relations and understanding. We engage with our stakeholders in a number of ways. These include:
- Committing to high ethical standards in the areas of marketing, advertising and procurement. Our customers remain at the heart of everything that we do. Their feedback is reviewed on an ongoing basis and used to improve our customer service. We seek to protect our customers' rights through responsive customer complaint procedures and by meeting the strictest data protection requirements.
- Building long term partnerships with our suppliers based on the compatibility of their values and behaviour as well as product quality and price. We believe that this is key to servicing our customers' needs and developing the highest products and quality standards. By working closely with suppliers, we continue to find new ways to improve efficiency, lower costs for our customers and address growing health and safety, and environmental requirements.
- Maintaining clear, timely and open communications with shareholders, analysts and fund managers. Paramount is committed to helping its shareholders, analysts and fund managers develop a clear understanding of the Company's strategy, performance and growth potential through timely and open communications. Information on the Group's website are to ensure that they are accessible to all interested parties.
- Maintain high standards of corporate governance. We monitor and evaluate risk on an ongoing basis as part of our commitment to sustainable business.
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