Cropping up: Solar power to water farmlands
Social innovation is on the rise amid quest to deepen corporate citizenship
7 Nov 2018 | Asset Benchmark Research

Bright blue solar panels fastened on boat-like platforms bobbing in calm water is now a fixture in a remote community in Thailand's Prachin Buri province.

The device, a pair of floating solar panels, is helping advance peoples' lives.

Homes and farmlands from Ban Khon Kwang community get a regular supply of fresh water, thanks to machine pumps that run on solar power. PTT Public Co with the help of a local foundation set up this solar floating device in Ban Khon Kwang. It is installing the same gadget in five more communities within and outside Prachin Buri.

The floating device powers pumps that deliver water from source (like a reservoir) to farmlands and homes. Communities used to run these machines with expensive diesel fuel. The high cost of fuel has been a burden for farmers, limiting their agricultural production. There are days in certain areas where there is no water.

Since the beginning of the project, the floating solar machines have been delivering more than 53,000 cubic metre of water to farmland in communities a year. About 500 households and 2,000 locals participating in the project have earned additional income of six million baht in total from agriculture. The project has helped communities reduce spending on fuel worth more than 580,000 bath a year.

The initiative is making a huge difference in the lives of communities and is therefore deserving of The Asset Best Social Responsibility Initiative for 2018.

Also winning the initiative award is Globe Telecom. It launched a programme called Digital Thumbprint aimed at promoting healthy digital citizenship and cyber safety. It teaches the youth to take a critical look at their online behaviour and constructively address anti-social activities online.

Globe, one of two telecommunication providers in the Philippines, has launched the programme before 17,510 public and private high school students. The programme involves workshops, educational videos and social media where digital safety is a focus. The programme is particularly relevant in the country where majority of the population are millennials and are therefore digital natives, and despite the internet's slow speed, attract internet use from up to 63% of Philippines' 104 million population.

In Thailand, communications conglomerate True Corp is making a difference in the lives of autistic individuals and their families. Tapping into its technological strength, the company developed learning apps for autistic children. It also distributed tablets for their use. And True wants to do more.

The company plans to establish a centre for autism, the True Autistic Centre that will offer occupational career training to autistic individuals. This will help autistic adults obtain some degree of independence. There are over a million people in Thailand diagnosed with autism.

The Asset Best Initiative in Social Responsibility applauds those companies who recognize they have a commitment to broader society that extends beyond furthering their commercial business activities.

Worth mentioning are three other initiatives that get the Highly Commended award.

Philippine banking company BDO, through its foundation, built 100 typhoon resettlement homes for victims of the Typhoon Haiyan that hit the Philippines in November 2013 and left thousands homeless. Also in the Philippines, port operator ICTSI wins commendation for its outreach to Aeta communities in Tarlac, providing the community with fresh tap water.

In Thailand, petroleum exploration and production firm PTTEP wins the same recognition for its Crab Hatchery Learning Center Project that are benefitting a number of farmers and communities.

For the list of Best Investor Relations Team 2018, please click here

For the list of Best Initiatives, please click here

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