Life’s Good: LG’s Social Responsibility Leadership

Nov 16th, 2015

LG logo
If there’s one thing that corporate executives of large and small companies will tell you, is that understanding the benefits of corporate social responsibility (CSR) to the corporation is something that should never be taken for granted.
 
The business environment has changed drastically over the decades and with it comes new business practices which have become critical to the relationship that a company enjoys with its external stakeholders. It has become imperative for today’s conglomerates to be focused more on being leaders in the area of corporate social responsibility.
 
The concept of social responsibility from a business perspective, is harder to grasp than one might expect, principally because most corporate philanthropists approach their social good efforts with more of an eye toward impact on the community than on the firm, which is essentially the agreeable thing to do.
 
Since its establishment in 1958, LG Electronics has been a leading technology innovator in consumer electric/electronic products and mobile communication devices, emerging as a global leader in the industry over this period. Today, LG Electronics continues to make strides in contributing to the economic development and the prosperity of its international community.
 
LG Electronics has in the past year put its weight behind working collaboratively with community-based groups around the country to address pertinent issues that impact the well-being of these groups. Through pro-active collaboration and engaging communities, LG has established efficiencies in pushing forward with new projects because such interaction has secured for the company, a solid social license to operate. Moreover, this has helped LG to develop the most innovative products and processes to best meet the need to balance the sometimes conflicting points of view across the operating sphere, inadvertently forcing the multination to think outside the box for new solutions.
 
Based on its management principles of Customer-Value Creation and People-Oriented Management, LG Electronics pursues sustainability management that is balanced with the triple bottom line—society, the environment, and the economy. This is evidenced in the causes which the company chooses to align with.
 
The big challenge which has remained for executives is how to develop an approach that can truly deliver on CSR ambitions. However, LG Electronics has managed to overcome this hurdle. The company has carved a way to focus on key areas of impact between the business and society and subsequently developed creative solutions that draw on the complementary capabilities of both to address major challenges that affect each partner.
 
Concentrating its CSR efforts on those areas where the business significantly interacts with, LG has gained a deeper understanding of mutual dependencies which exists. Amongst such, a strategic partnership between LG and OMO was born. This partnership saw LG donating its flagship, state-of-the-art Hygienic Sapience Washing Machine to the Nomthandazo Children’s Care Centre – a preschool care centre operated under the wing of Oliver’s House, which looks after 195 children around the heart of Benoni. Another one of such a donation was to the Woodrock Animal Rescue, a non-profit, pro-life, rescue, rehabilitation and the re-homing facility in Johannesburg, to assist them with the cleaning up of the animals’ blankets and toys. These donations forms part of numerous sponsorship.
 
LG has proven time and again that enterprising a spirit that embraces change, innovation, and social responsibility is the backbone of its success. While donating products seems to be an easier approach, the company has taken it one step further and continues to contribute to the country’s health issues as well.
 
Taking cue from the need for a supply of blood in South Africa, LG participated in a blood drive initiative hosted at Alberton City Mall in early October 2015. One of the main reasons for the company’s participation resulted from the realisation that blood stocks took major shortfall during the winter period as reported by the South African National Blood. Blood supply needs to be replenished constantly and in South Africa, a staggering 3,000 units need to be collected nationally every day. Allowing employees to donate blood is a prime example of how LG supports communities in a positive way.
 
These are only but a few initiatives titles encompassed in the company’s partnership goals of promoting sustainability initiatives throughout the country. LG Electronics’ ultimate goal of sustainability management principles is to reflect the different voices of its stakeholders in its management activities and to generate differentiated value for them which will serve as a firm foundation for the company’s sustainable growth.