Winner of the Corporate Social Responsibility Award

November 2009 Swiss Re was very pleased to present the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Award to the Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Group (MSIG) at the 2009 Asia Insurance Industry Awards on 9 November in Singapore.

MSIG was selected by a distinguished judging panel comprising international industry leaders, practitioners and regulators. In choosing MSIG, the panel found that the CSR initiatives highlighted the company’s awareness of the complex challenges the world was facing and also showed its commitment to sustainable growth.

Commenting on the award, Susumu Fujimoto, Director, Senior Executive Officer of MSIG said, “Long before the term ‘CSR’ was coined, we already adopted social responsibility practices consistent with our core business and values. We feel this award is recognition of MSIG’s efforts to give something back to society in the markets in which we operate.”

Central to the company’s social commitment is its pledge to build bonds of trust with its seven key stakeholders – customers, shareholders, local and international communities, business partners, employees, agents and the environment.

Over the years, MSIG has spearheaded multiple social responsibility projects in the region. According to Alan Wilson, CEO for MSIG Asia, the company engages in a variety of CSR initiatives because “we want to do what’s meaningful for the communities in which we operate. Because Asia is so diverse, the initiatives are different to meet the varied needs.”

Noteworthy achievements include the following:

In 2004, MSIG became the first financial institution in Japan to participate in the United Nations Global Compact, dedicating itself to addressing various issues in the areas of human rights, labour standards, the environment and anti-corruption.

In April 2008, MSIG co-founded and chaired the Japan Business Initiative for Conservation and Sustainable Use of Biodiversity, which brings together Japanese companies to observe international requirements for biodiversity.

In 1975, MSIG founded the Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Welfare Foundation (MSIWF) which disburses research grants focused on senior citizen welfare and traffic safety, and is open to academic researchers in Japan, Singapore and Thailand. MSIWF has handed out more than US$21 million to date.

In Hong Kong, MSIG has been working with Heep Hong Society to provide professional training and education to children of different abilities. In 2008, MSIG initiated “United for the Future”, a tailor-made, 4-month pre-job training programme for autistic job hunters to enable them to locate and secure employment.

Since 2005, MSIG has collaborated with the Indonesian government to rehabilitate and regenerate the Paliyan Wildlife Sanctuary in Java. As of 2008, 300,000 saplings have been planted on 350 hectares of a mountainous area previously ruined by illegal logging.

In April 2008, MSIG launched “MSIG Eco-Smile” in Japan, an initiative that encouraged employees to adopt an environmentally-friendly and socially-responsible lifestyle which was then matched in yen. In total, more than US$16,000 was raised and will be donated to non-profit organisations this year.

In 2008, MSIG also supported the construction of a library at the Baan Kao Wang Border Patrol Police School (under the patronage of HRH Princess Sirindhorn) in the southern Thai province of Nakhon Sri Thammarat. This educational initiative, which included donations of computers and books, was part of MSIG Thailand's Development Education for Kids (DEK) Programme.

Dedicating the award to everyone in the MSIG family, Mr Fujimoto added, “It is due to their tireless passion and efforts in pursuing social responsibility that we are being honoured. We are committed to sustaining our CSR activities in the region and this award gives us great encouragement to continue to do more.”

The Asia Insurance Industry Awards is an annual gala event recognising excellence in the industry. Swiss Re has been a Sponsor of the Corporate Social Responsibility Award since 2005.

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