Community Investment and Inclusion Fund (CIIF) was set up by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in 2002 to implement diversified Social Capital development projects in the community, promote reciprocity between the public and private sectors, and build together a cross-sectoral collaborative platform and mutual help network. The Fund seeks to build Social Capital – to garner mutual trust, social networks, spirit of cooperation and social cohesion, and enhance mutual support among individuals, families and organizations, so that our community can grow from strength to strength.
While addressing organization’s objectives and targets, the CIIF funded projects aim to achieve six core Social Capital dimensions, namely, (1) social networks; (2) trust and solidarity; (3) mutual help and reciprocity; (4) social cohesion and inclusion; (5) social participation; and (6) information and communication.
Nowadays, corporations around the world and their stakeholders, including direct stakeholders such as their employees, customers, end-users, investors, suppliers, and indirect stakeholders such as the regulators, governmental agencies, non-governmental organizations, pressure groups, neighbourhoods and media, etc., are becoming increasingly aware of the need for corporations to exhibit and disclose their socially responsible behaviour. This may pose social risks to the corporations but these, when being properly managed, will in turn bring about numerous opportunities for corporations.
Corporations could enhance their transparency and accountability to their stakeholders by means of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) or sustainability reporting, which would communicate the risks and opportunities they face and how they manage them for achieving sustainable development.
To promote the concept of social responsibility and to assist organizations in contributing to sustainable development, the ISO 26000:2010 Guidance on social responsibility identifies norms of seven core subjects of social responsibility, including organizational governance, human rights, labour practices, the environment, fair operating practices, consumer issues, and community involvement and development (International Organization for Standardization [ISO], 2010). By addressing and acting on the core subjects, corporations are not only performing their social responsibility, but also contributing to sustainable development and creating benefits for society.
In 2014, the Hong Kong Quality Assurance Agency (HKQAA) designed and developed its proprietary management and assessment methodology, namely, the HKQAA Sustainability Rating and Research (HKQAA SRR) methodology, for organizations to manage their social risks and opportunities, and ultimately assess their social responsibility performance in contributing to sustainable development (HKQAA, 2016). Since then, this methodology has been used for the HKQAA Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Index Plus assessment and for supporting the compilation of Hang Seng Corporate Sustainability Index Series (Index Series).
The HKQAA SRR was developed mainly based on ISO 26000:2010 Guidance on social responsibility and the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) model (Moen & Norman, 2009). The PDCA management model is widely adopted by various international management system standards, such as ISO 9001 Quality Management Systems (ISO, 2015a) and ISO 14001 Environmental Management Systems (ISO, 2015b).
This Corporate Social Capital Implementation Guidance Document (GD) is intended to assist corporations to develop their Corporate Social Capital (CSC) while performing their CSR. More specifically, corporations will learn how to use the HKQAA SRR methodology and its elements as a management tool in performing CSR with the six core Social Capital dimensions as the underlying concepts. The linkage to the Index Series will also be demonstrated in this GD. Figure 1 illustrates how the adoption of GD can help corporations in performing CSR and to maximize their contribution to sustainable development.
Figure 1. Adopting the GD in performing CSR