Founder and Chairman of Royal Golden Eagle (RGE), Sukanto Tanoto, believes in the importance of corporate social responsibility (CSR), which is a company’s initiatives to take actions to be transparent with social, cultural, and environmental issues. He mainly considers community engagement as one of the key pillars of CSR and also an important factor for the survival of the company.
The success of RGE was not easily obtained. Sukanto Tanoto started RGE from scratch and turned it from a local company into a global corporation. A lot of hard work, planning and determination played a major part in its success, now with assets worth an estimate of USD20 billion, and 60,000 employers under its wing, and business units spread across Indonesia, China, Brazil, Canada and Spain.
Every success obtained by RGE made Sukanto Tanoto realise that the sustainability of the company could not be separated from the community, and he was increasingly convinced that without the community, the existence of any business would not last very long. Tanoto then made it a directive for every RGE business unit to pay close attention to the needs of their surrounding communities, and to carry out various community development efforts and programmes through CSR.
One of RGE’s business units that has been a perfect example is Asian Agri, an important player in the palm oil industry, that produces crude palm oil of up to one million tons per year. Their existence does not only benefit RGE, Asian Agri is also a blessing for the surrounding community, especially farmers.
They provide CSR programmes, teaching the farmers good palm oil plantation systems and cattle breeding training using feed from the palm oil plantations. They also formed a cooperative, providing seed assistance and pest management, which has been a great help in improving the welfare of the farmers.
Another of RGE’s business units that runs CSR programmes to benefit the community is the APRIL Group, which is one of the largest pulp and paper producers in Asia. APRIL constantly seeks to develop the abilities of local entrepreneurs by providing training for small and medium-sized entrepreneurs on the ins and outs of business.
They teach basic management, financial management, and accounting, and provide opportunities for local entrepreneurs to become business partners by opening themselves up to being a supplier or provider of any service related to the company’s operations.
APRIL also helps with the capital of a business, being a guarantor for these businesses, which makes it easier for entrepreneurs to get funds as venture capital. These are two examples of the effective application of CSR in RGE, just as directed by Sukanto Tanoto – to always provide substantial benefits to the community.