New Delhi - September 25, 2015
The laureates have been unanimously elected among 21 excellent dossiers. The jury included members from The Indo French Chamber of Commerce, Business France, Embassy of France and French Trade advisors.
"CSR is not just about spending money on charitable causes. The idea is to have companies rethink the very way they work in order to make sure their actions and processes have a positive impact on the world around them. But CSR best practices should fit within a company's business model and be profitable. Because in a corporate environment, anything that isn't profitable isn't sustainable either", said Patrick Rousseau, President of French Foreign Trade Advisors.
France: committed to CSR
Almost 1000 French companies are present in India as per the latest report from Economic Mission of the French Embassy. Most of them were already engaged in CSR program before the new companies act 2013 itself.
"CSR over the years has not only become a focus for French companies but also for the French government who promotes it through the French Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy. In 2012, it published its National Sustainable Development Strategy, a document that gives all French actors of the economy a common platform to harmonize their initiatives. In the context of the organization of COP21 in France by end 2015, this award is a particular symbol of French implication", added H.E. Mr Francois RICHIER, Ambassador of France in India.
A strong CSR program is now a significant component of a company's approach to reputation and risk management. Such trends lately gained popularity among Indian corporates and is now epitomized by Section 135 of the Companies Act, 2013 making India the first country mandating companies of a certain turnover and profitability to contribute towards society.
The French association of the Foreign Trade Advisors (CCEF) Selected for their competence and their international experience, the 'Conseillers du Commerce Extérieur de la France' (CCE - French Foreign Trade Advisor) are appointed among Senior Executives and Directors from French companies by prime ministerial decree, on the recommendations of the Minister for Foreign Trade. For more than 115 years, on a voluntary basis, they have been placing their experience at the service of France's economic presence around the world. Established in 146 countries, they have daily experience of dealing with the opportunities and risks of the world's markets and they have extensive, hands-on, concrete and very practical information to share. These exchanges enable CCEs and economic decision-makers (French and international) to compare and share their experiences and their analyses. They work to enhance the profile of France and to promote its appeal.
The Indo French Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IFCCI) is a bilateral business organization with 550 active members, both French and Indian companies from a variety of sectors. The organization belongs to the 112 French Chambers network across the Globe, helping French and Indian companies to develop business in both countries and offering a number of services to its members to facilitate business between the 2 countries. IFCCI operates from 4 offices in India, in Mumbai, New Delhi, Chennai and Bangalore.
Business France is a government agency supporting the international development of the French economy, responsible for fostering export growth by French businesses, as well as promoting and facilitating international investment in France. Business France has 1,500 personnel, both in France and in 70 countries throughout the world. Business France India, thanks to its dynamic team spread out in four offices (New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai), supports French companies and Indian investors throughout the lifetime of their projects, and is driven by an efficient, result-oriented working culture.
Three French companies have been rewarded for the quality of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs, in the first edition of the CSR Impact Prize, organised by the French Foreign Trade Advisors Organisation (CCEF), in association with the Indo French Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IFCCI) and Ubifrance.
Three prizes were awarded for initiatives that respectively touched environment, public health and social issues. "The idea was to cover the major domains to which CSR applies, in a manner that would be relevant to the Indian context" says one of the organisers.
"The thing about CSR" says a member of the jury "is that it is not just about spending money on charitable causes. The idea is to have companies rethink the very way they work in order to make sure their actions and processes have a positive impact on the world around them. But CSR best practices should fit within a company's business model and be profitable. Because in a corporate environment, anything that isn't profitable isn't sustainable either."
Dedicating a part of their profits to charity has become nearly unavoidable for US companies in need of social acceptance. A trend that recently started gaining popularity among Indian corporates. However, companies that accept to question the way they work and to change their habits in order to benefit society are still scarce. The efforts required to change established and proven processes often deter well-meaning executives. But the move is worthwhile, or at least, this is what the Impact Prize tries to prove. And indeed, tangible results are there, through social impacts, but also higher levels of employee satisfaction and profits for the company. Apparently a win-win situation.
France : committed to CSR
CSR has not only, over the last years, become a focus for French companies but also for the French government who promotes it through the French Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy. In 2012, it published its National Sustainable Development Strategy, a document that gives all French actors of the economy a common platform to harmonise their initiatives.
French companies doing business in India spend, each year, over 1.2 Mn Eur (Rs 7.8 Cr) on CSR programs, in the fields or health, education and environment.
The French association of the Foreign Trade Advisors is an international network of senior expatriates, empanelled by the French Government. They share, on a voluntary basis, their experience by providing recommendations, sponsoring small companies in their international expansion and educating and informing young people about international trade careers.
Established in 1977 in Mumbai, the Indo French Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IFCCI) is a bilateral business organization with 500 active members today, both French and Indian companies from a variety of sectors.
Ubifrance is the French Agency for International Business Development. It promotes technologies, products, services and know-how from France, and puts French-based professionals in contact with their international counterparts.