DIGNITARIES of various industries had the opportunity to explore potential sustainability partnerships with non-governmental organisations and foundations during a high-tea event.
Themed “CSR Beyond Corporate Image”, the afternoon soiree at Mandarin Oriental, Kuala Lumpur was hosted by United Business Media (UBM) Malaysia and Water Air Food Awards (Wafa).
Corporations learnt about Wafa, and more importantly, the initiatives by pioneers across the globe who created and implemented sustainable, scalable and replicable solutions in the field of water, air and food.
This would allow companies to collaborate with specific project partners looking to replicate their projects to solve global problems and empower local communities in other countries.
Wafa was established in 2008 to focus on new innovative solutions aimed at ending hunger, preserving clean air and providing access to clean water.
It also acknowledges exceptional pioneers and hopes to share their stories across multiple platforms for a global reach.
UBM Malaysia co-chairman Gen (Rtd) Tan Sri Mohd Azumi Mohamed stressed that environmental sustainability today was not only a concern of the government but also civil societies like Wafa, the Asiawater Responsible Business Alliance (AWRBA) and business entities.
“Many businesses are partners in sustainable programmes, eradication of poverty, and promotion of better living.
“UBM Malaysia also seeks to play a corporate social responsibility role in areas of innovation, sustainable and community-based solutions. This is what ‘serve to lead’ is all about.
“Through its alliance group initiative of AWRBA, UBM Malaysia aims to bring together leading charities from the region with the mission of bringing clean, safe drinking water and sanitation to the underprivileged,” he said in his speech.
The event also held a dialogue with invited academicians and celebrated past Wafa winners who in their endeavours have made significant difference in their community.
Dubbed the “silent heroes”, they include 2010 award-winner Permaculture Research Institute, represented by co-director Rhamis Kent, and 2016 award-winner Kamalnayan Jamnalal Bajaj Foundation, which was represented by its chairman Shishir Bajaj.
On a royal note, it was also announced that Raja Muda of Selangor Tengku Amir Shah Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah was Wafa’s latest patron who would be supporting its global initiatives.
“We are facing various challenges in creating a sustainable global food production and access to clean water and air.
“Wafa has become a gateway to extensive knowledge of global conditions in developing countries and can assist corporations in identifying concrete projects and solutions which can be a breeding ground for partnerships,” he added.
Tengku Amir is keen to see projects from Malaysia apply for the awards as well, and encourages corporations to collaborate with them.
There was also a raffle prize session where paintings by well-known artists were presented to winners of the raffle draw.
The paintings were part of the efforts to raise fund for the Wafa documentary series that would feature the silent heroes and their initiatives.
Guests had the honour of watching the first of the series, which was done on a low budget, according to Wafa founder and president Tina Lindgreen.
“It all depends on the funds. We have to raise more funds to be able to produce more documentaries and hopefully, the videos will go viral.
“This will encourage the public to come together and replicate the effort,” she commented.