Wiki Impact Launches “BURSA Top 20: Who’s The Most Charitable?

Sime Darby, Tenaga Nasional, Telekom Malaysia and CIMB amongst the top givers in 2021.

Kuala Lumpur – What do the top 20 highest-earning companies listed on Malaysia’s stock exchange have in common? Besides sizable profits and large business operations, they also have been the biggest givers in Malaysia, as the country battled the economic and social challenges prompted by Covid-19.

Produced by Wiki Impact, ‘Bursa Top 20: Who’s The Most Charitable?’ charts the trends and practices of corporate giving based on sustainability and annual reports as published by the respective companies.

“These Top 20 Bursa companies have generously and openly given out of a strong sense of corporate social and environmental accountability. By communicating their giving, we hope to challenge and inspire other companies to give generously and that it will encourage transparency and clarity in reporting,” said Terence Ooi, Co-Founder of Wiki Impact.

Bursa Top 20: Who’s The Most Charitable?’ sets a baseline and paints a vision for other companies to follow or surpass in their giving. Customers and stakeholders are also increasingly looking for brands that align with their values and serve a bigger cause, aside from profits.

“This evidence-based reporting not only paints a picture of corporate giving in Malaysia but also presents an opportunity to spark conversations in boardrooms on the need and significance for profit-making companies to contribute in cash and in-kind – and be transparent about how they are making a difference,” Ooi continued.

Top Cash Givers (Cash Giving To Net Profit)
A total of RM159.69 million was donated by the Bursa Top 20 companies in cash in 2021 based on publicly available data. The average percentage of cash-giving to net profit across all 20 companies is 0.29 percent.

With RM20 million of its RM1.42 billion net profit going to charity and other social and environmental initiatives, Sime Darby Berhad was the biggest cash giver at 1.40percent (cash giving to net profit). Additionally, Tenaga Nasional Berhad earned RM3.66 billion in net profit and gave over RM39.57 million in cash donations, exceeding the 1 percent cash giving to net profit threshold.

Top In-Kind Givers (In-Kind Giving To Net Profit)
Aside from cash giving, companies also gave in-kind, in the form of CSR programmes, food, products and services to support their staff, societies and communities affected by the pandemic.

Tenaga Nasional Berhad was the top in-kind corporate giver, providing approximately RM117.97 million in-kind, which accounted for 3.22percent of the company’s net income. Second, Telekom Malaysia Berhad gave RM23.55 million in-kind, representing 2.63percent
of its net profit of RM895 million in 2021.

Additionally, corporate social responsibility can also be measured through volunteer employee participation where corporate professionals contribute their time and expertise to NGOs and grassroots initiatives.

A total of 7 of the 20 companies quantified and recorded their employee volunteer hours, with CIMB Group Holdings Berhad providing the highest number of volunteer hours at 67,278.

Impact Made Through Changemakers
Covid-19 assistance, relief and financial aid were the biggest causes that companies gave to in 2021. 95 percent of the companies recorded cash and in-kind contributions towards Covid-19 initiatives.

Funds were channelled to on-ground NGO partners such as Mercy Malaysia and the Malaysian Red Crescent Society, as well as other grassroots organisations to mobilise food aid and medical supplies and to facilitate the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK) at the height of the pandemic.

Besides providing Covid-19 relief, companies also supported organisations that advocate for better education and healthcare for the vulnerable and marginalised, as well as run environmental initiatives.

These are some of the organisations and initiatives mentioned in the top 20 Bursa companies’ reports; MERCY Malaysia, Yayasan Food Bank, Rise Against Hunger, Teach For Malaysia, Food Aid Foundation, Kechara Soup Kitchen (“KSK”), Kembara Kitchen, Mutiara Food Bank, Me.reka Studios, Wild Asia, Dignity for Children Foundation, CERDIK, Hospital Kuala Lumpur, Hospital Selayang and Hospital Ampang.

None of the positive changes would be possible without changemakers putting action to the cause.

How Does Malaysia’s Top 20 Compare?
In the United States, Latona’s listed Gilead Sciences as donating the most money in 2019, amounting to $388 million, a total of 2.9percent of their pre-tax profit, while Goldman Sachs Group donated 2.5percent of their pre-tax profits, a total of $280 million. Both companies were well above the 2 percent mark in their giving.

In Asia, India is the first country to make corporate social responsibility (CSR) mandatory and a statutory obligation. Following an amendment made in the Companies Act 2013, companies above a certain size and profitability have to spend 2 percent of their average net profit over the last three years on CSR initiatives. The CSR spending must be made for social or environmental efforts within the country thereby benefiting the nation and its

Wiki Impact used information from the selected companies’ public reports dated Y2021, from which quantitative and qualitative data was systematically and meticulously compiled and corroborated. Where information is unclear and needed further explanation, Wiki Impact reached out to individual companies for answers. A handful of companies responded to Wiki Impact’s requests and others did not respond. Also, some companies clearly stated the monetary value of their in-kind giving, while others did not offer explicit information.

“While combing through the reports, we found a lack of uniformity in reporting. Different measures of materiality – what and how much to disclose, and inconsistent giving measures. For example, in-kind donations, giving from the board of directors or cash giving were often not properly defined. Nevertheless, these issues present an opportunity and need for a standardised giving framework and consistent and transparent reporting,” said Ooi.

A Chance For Greater Equality And Lasting Legacies
The pandemic prompted a rethinking and shifting of values for corporations. Not just in combating the Covid-19 Pandemic, but also for social and environmental impact movements.

“The tides are changing and so are the expectations of what companies should stand for and prioritise. Companies can shape lasting legacies through meaningful giving. The biggest earners also have the privilege and responsibility to be the biggest givers. By building a culture of giving, transformation happens from the boardroom and office cubicles to communities and vulnerable groups,” said Deborah Chan, Co-Founder, Wiki Impact.

Visit ‘Bursa Top 20: Who’s The Most Charitable?’ to see the full list and detailed giving from these companies.

© 2023 BlackButterfly DesignArts