2020 CSR Report: COVID-19 response and information security as a corporate social responsibility

In difficult times, teamwork is the backbone of recovery. This fact has been emphasized more than ever by the COVID-19 pandemic as reflected in Samsung C&T’s newly published 2020 CSR Report.

“COVID-19 served as an important reminder of the lesson that without harmonious cooperation with society and the environment, no enterprise can be sustainable,” wrote Lee Hyun-soo, chairman of Samsung C&T’s Governance Committee, in a message introducing the report.

Note that the report itself is in line with global standards, with 86 percent of S&P 500 companies publishing CSR reports annually. It is aimed at communicating with stakeholders how Samsung C&T is doing in terms of its economic, social, and environmental impact – demonstrating how CSR management is now an essential part of any sustainable corporate vision.

Overcoming the COVID-19 crisis

As COVID-19 has affected all areas of business throughout the world this year, it has become a corporate social responsibility to act accordingly.

Samsung C&T’s 2020 CSR Report makes clear that the company’s immediate priority was protecting the health and safety of employees. Right from the outbreak of COVID-19, a dedicated team was set up to monitor developments and respond as needed. Being a global company with dozens of offices worldwide, specific guidelines were given for business sites based on their location.

The outcome has seen the adoption of a series of anti-infection measures, including video conferencing, telecommuting, special measures for employees returning from business trips, and symptom monitoring through office screening centers and mobile-based self-examination.

In addition, Samsung C&T along with other Samsung affiliates have been supporting local communities via medical relief efforts, donating diagnostic kits, and in the case of the company’s Trading & Investment Group, helping to import the materials needed to produce and supply around 88 million face masks. Protecting customers has also been a major priority. For example, the Resort Group’s Caribbean Bay adopted strict guidelines issued by the South Korean government and the World Waterpark Association to ensure visitor safety and water quality control.

Mutual benefits with partner companies

One of Samsung C&T’s other key strategies has been expanding support for mutually beneficial cooperation with partner companies in pursuit of a win-win outcome for all concerned.

Financial issues have been among the biggest challenges facing firms of all sizes in the recent COVID-19 crisis. It is fitting then that Samsung C&T operates a funding program to help partner companies find a more stable footing – whether it be Engineering & Construction Group partners benefiting from an advance payment system or the Fashion Group supporting stores that are feeling the stress of plummeting sales.

Moreover, as CSR management in the supply chain has become a vital global issue, Samsung C&T also helps to ensure its partners adhere to necessary labor and human rights standards, introducing CSR evaluation of partner companies in 2019. It does this by providing hiring support and training, as well as using CSR evaluation criteria to select partner companies and seek enhanced partnerships.

Protecting information in a rapidly changing environment

The 2020 CSR Report covers many other developments over the last year, including in the area of information security amid rising cyberthreats. This is especially important to Samsung C&T’s sustainability given the growth of online services and as the company’s groups harness AI and IoT technology.

A big part of the challenge is staying ahead of cyberattacks and threats to private data related to the corporation and customers. Samsung C&T’s preemptive strategy assesses security threat prediction reports and incorporates other tactics like deploying vulnerability prevention activities.

To oversee these various efforts, the company appointed a Chief Information Security Officer last year while establishing a companywide Information Security Team. Activities to support the team have been aligned with the characteristics of the Engineering & Construction, Trading & Investment, Fashion, and Resort Groups.

A responsible future

COVID-19 and evolving security threats are major recent examples that show the importance of constantly evaluating corporate social responsibility. As such, Samsung C&T plans to overhaul its CSR management system, increase monitoring, and strengthen communication.

Being stronger together means fostering a spirit of cooperation and creating a CSR philosophy that recognizes all stakeholders – valuing employees, enhancing partnerships, safeguarding customers, and ultimately, seeking to make our surrounding community a better place

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