I recently joined several members of our Women Executives Club in the Chamber Theatre to help prepare care packages for distribution to some of Hong Kong’s most needy families. We provided a mix of daily necessities, healthcare products and a few treats, and distributed them in cooperation with the Society for Community Organization. We are very grateful to the generosity of our members who contributed the various items that went into creating these meaningful packages.
This event was part of the Chamber’s ongoing programme of CSR activities. Other recent activities have included HKGCC staff preparing lucky bags for the elderly, and participation in Hong Kong’s annual Dress Casual Day to raise funds for The Community Chest charity.
It is good to be able to do something, however small, to help the local community, particularly amid the current turmoil. Although Hong Kong has done a good job of keeping the Covid-19 outbreak under control, we are quite dependent on a healthy global economy. With Europe and the United States seeing rising coronavirus cases, and new lockdowns in some regions, the immediate future still looks grim.
In any economic downturn it is usually the poorest members of society that are the hardest hit. The local unemployment rate has risen to 6.4%, meaning that the number of Hong Kong people in need is likely to grow in the next few months. We believe it is important to help wherever we can and we encourage our members to do the same.
Of course, we understand that many local companies are dealing with acute issues of business survival right now, and that CSR will not be a priority. But we hope that those companies that are in the fortunate position of being able to continue their community work will do so.
We are very pleased to note that CSR has been a growing trend in recent years – not only with community events but also an increased focus on protecting the environment. Here at the Chamber, for example, we have been trying to cut down on waste at all of our events, and we continue to look for new ways to operate in a more sustainable manner.
Businesses around the world are also planning for the recovery process once the coronavirus crisis recedes, and many commentators agree that this could be an opportunity to “build back better” for a greener, healthier world.
For Hong Kong to remain a global leader, it is important that all members of society can benefit from our city’s success. Through continuing to help the underprivileged where possible, and by striving to operate our businesses in a more sustainable and inclusive way, we can help to create a better world for everyone.