CORPORATE social responsibility (CSR) can be seen in many forms and for 3R Quest Sdn Bhd director Jerome Heah, it is about being able to lead the way for people to appreciate the environment better.
Heah firmly believes that CSR is not just about writing cheques.
His company, which offers scheduled waste management solutions for clients ranging from printing companies to manufacturing facilities, is a sterling example of leadership by example.
“It involves every deed and action of the company. Our business is centred on helping our clients manage their waste in a proper manner, taking into account environmental factors, but that is not all we do,” Heah said.
Every year, the company takes in an average of six interns to learn and subsequently become leaders in specific projects that could benefit the local community.
These undergraduates in fields ranging from environmental science to chemical engineering may take up internships to further their knowledge but giving back to society is part of their training at 3R Quest.
The projects will then be supported by every employee. This includes using a working day just to help out in welfare centres such as retirement homes, disabled and special needs centres and orphanages.
It is not about the dollars and sen, but rather the impact it has on the people.
“We spend time in orphanages, teaching them Science and Mathematics. Apart from that, when they need help, we find the most environmentally friendly way to assist,” Heah explained.
He said the company did not buy new things if there was a reusable or recyclable alternative available.
For instance, in an orphanage where they needed to repaint the lines of a badminton court, Heah’s team used leftover paint to do the job.
Another example was when they made mini football goalposts for orphanages entirely from normally discarded material such as the wood from pallets, crates and mesh.
His mother, Brenda Heah, 63 who is also a company director, said the management had made it clear from day one that business should contribute to society’s well-being.
The winner of The Star Outstanding Business Awards 2016 (SOBA), Silver Award for the Best in CSR (corporate social responsibility) category also ensures that the interns carry out community awareness programmes for primary school students on environmental matters.
“It is too deep for primary school students to learn about scheduled waste management hence our interns will focus on the basics of what caring for the environment is about,” Jerome says.
The company, which was founded in 2001 and started operations in 2007 on a 0.4ha plant in the Chembong industrial zone in Rembau, Negeri Sembilan, has a staff of 20.
A very interesting internship no doubt but such activities also promote awareness for the interns to look at doing things differently that works to the benefit of the environment.
Jerome’s father, David, who founded the company made some careful observations in his early days.
Being educated at the then London College of Printing, London, in the early 1970s, David was amazed at how simple things such as a piece of cloth which the technicians used to wipe oil from their hands and printing machines were properly treated with chemicals instead of just simply being disposed.
“We do not know if the business would succeed, but I know it is good for the country to treat its waste properly as it would affect the whole environment, from the water source to the food chain,” David explained.
Despite the challenging economic environment at the moment, Jerome says they will continue with what they are doing.
“Our clients know about what we do and many are happy to be with us for what we stand for,” Jerome concluded.