MANILA, Philippines – Top students from the country’s leading universities in Metro Manila recently came together for the Creating Shared Value (CSV) Youth Forum, a gathering hosted by Nestlé Philippines, the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP), and the Asian Institute of Management- Ramon V. del Rosario Sr. Center for Corporate Social Responsibility (AIM-RVR Center for CSR).
The forum challenged students to become future leaders involved in social development as they welcomed insights and learnings from the 2014 Global CSV Forum held last year in Switzerland where international leaders from business, civil society and government gathered to discuss how the sectors can cooperate to accelerate sustainable development across the world.
Participants included students majoring in business and engineering from Ateneo de Manila University, De La Salle University, University of Asia and the Pacific, University of the Philippines and University of Santo Tomas.
In his keynote address, Sen. Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV emphasized the role of the youth in generating inclusive growth and social development.
A panel discussion on the role of business in social development with a focus on CSV as a sustainable approach featured Nestlé Philippines chairman and CEO John Martin Miller; PBSP executive director Rafael Lopa; AIM-RVR Center for CSR executive director Francisco Roman Jr., DBA; and Hybrid Social Solutions Inc. founder and CEO Jaime Ayala.
Nestlé, according to Miller, focuses on three areas in creating shared value: nutrition, water and rural development. Miller cited as an example the company’s Nescafe Plan, a global initiative that supports responsible coffee farming, production and consumption. The plan seeks to guarantee a long-term supply of quality coffee by creating and improving the livelihood of coffee farmers and making coffee farming more attractive to the next generation, with a lower environmental impact.
Roman, on whether corporate social responsibility or CSV should be required via legislation, said he sees the role of government as creating an enabling environment for companies to engage in CSV.
Ayala saidit is important to create partnerships with stakeholders to solve social needs in a way that creates value for all involved, and that CSV does not necessarily need to be viewed in terms of costs because of its positive impact on business.
Edith de Leon, SVP and head of corporate affairs of Nestlé Philippines, said that Creating Shared Value is part of Nestlé’s way of doing business, benefiting both the company and society by improving the lives and health of consumers.
A highlight of the forum was a simulation workshop to introduce participants to Creating Shared Value with a hands-on value chain analysis and the development of possible shared value initiatives. The workshop was capped by a sharing of output and the judging of best initiatives.
Aldrin Chua, an Ateneo de Manila management honors major, said: “The key takeaway I gained is the importance of Creating Shared Value, which benefits all stakeholders and provides inclusive development with a social impact that is sustainable.”
For her part, Kathleen Huang, a UP Diliman business administration major, said: I learned that there is more behind a business than just being driven by profit. That gives me so much motivation to pursue a life in the corporate world because I know that there is meaning behind all of the work.”
Keith Caasi, UST marketing management junior, observed: “CSV will create a competitive advantage for companies in the future as they create value for all stakeholders unique to their businesses.”