US companies blazing CSR path in IndiaMay 2012
A thriving CSR movement among US-based multinationals in India has been revealed in the most detailed catalogue yet of initiatives in the country.
The ‘compendium’ of 60 companies’ projects, drawn up by the US Chamber of Commerce and covering almost every industry, will make invaluable reading for other multinationals in the area. The companies include Bank of America, Cargill, Caterpillar, Dow Chemical, Ford, Kimberley-Clark, Microsoft and Walmart.
The most innovative efforts are generally in education. They include Bank of America’s Million Hour Challenge, which provided a million volunteered hours to help communities with issues from financial literacy to healthcare, and Walmart’s offers of short-term vocational certification courses through a curriculum developed by the company at its training centre.
Intel, meanwhile, claims to have trained 1.5 million teachers in India as part of a drive to improve the quality of technology education and entrepreneurship.
Other activities concentrate on access to medicines, social infrastructure, water conservation and disaster relief.
Annaswamy Vaidheesh, managing director of Johnson & Johnson Medical India, which directed the compendium, said: “The initiatives of the US companies impact tens of thousands of lives by providing jobs, improving livelihood though financial aid and skill development. For most companies, CSR has become a strategy to positively impact their chosen communities.”
In addition, in a new partnership not included in the Chamber’s document, IBM India and construction multinational Ingersoll Rand will combine their respective intelligent building management systems with energy-saving products to drive sustainable growth in India’s booming construction industry.
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