This article was originally published on The Business Times.


SINGAPORE’S National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre (NVPC) has updated its framework on how businesses can “do good” – with the spotlight now on corporate purpose instead of corporate giving.

Titled “Corporate Purpose: A Framework and Blueprint for Businesses in Singapore”, the updated strategy will provide clarity on the principles, practices and indicators related to corporate purpose. The announcement was made at the NVPC’s inaugural Company of Good Singapore Summit on Thursday (Jan 12).

Businesses that wish to be recognised as a Company of Good (COG) – organisations that integrate corporate purpose as part of business – will be evaluated in five impact areas – people, environment, society, economic and governance. 

The non-profit organisation will convene a new judging panel for the COG evaluation, and it will co-chair the programme with the Singapore Business Federation.

The panel will identify critical areas and provide input on a company’s submission to ensure relevance and practicality, said Tony Soh, chief executive officer of NVPC. 

The judges will then assess how companies set out their corporate purpose, their plans to achieve it, and their efforts across the five areas.

This is in contrast to the previous model, where companies were evaluated by their efforts in doing good, such as volunteering, donation and fundraising initiatives.

“Corporate purpose is about companies that are not just profit-oriented but also ensure their operations generate value for society,” said guest of honour, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Edwin Tong. 

“Businesses that recognise a shared responsibility to the wider society will find that it benefits both the community and the business; making businesses more sustainable and purposeful,” added Tong, who is also Second Minister for Law. 

NVPC chairman Seah Chin Siong said: “With more companies looking to create deeper, lasting impact on society that is aligned with their business objectives, I am confident that the corporate purpose framework and blueprint will serve as a guide for companies looking to progress on their journey in making Singapore the City of Good.” 

NVPC will also work closely with industry partners that can help connect businesses to resources and networks. These partners include the UN Global Compact Network Singapore, Singapore National Employers Federation and National Council of Social Service.

COG Summit