Seah Kian Peng


CEO, NTUC FairPrice Co-operative Ltd

 
We have a strong heritage in reaching out and being attuned to the needs of our community. CSR is an extension of this sense of duty to build a better community and environment, through the way we conduct our business and how we interact with our stakeholders. It has already been in our DNA, and aligns intrinsically in our business decisions.
Mr Seah Kian Peng has been a strong advocate for responsible entrepreneurship, and has led strategic efforts for NTUC FairPrice’s CSR initiatives since he took on the role of the company’s CEO in 2010.

Corporate social responsibility is not new to FairPrice, as the organisation was set up more than 40 years ago with a social responsibility to moderate the cost of living by ensuring that quality essential items will be available to everyone at affordable prices. FairPrice also aspires to be the retailer with a heart, reaching out to the less fortunate in the community and caring for the environment.

Under Mr Seah’s leadership, FairPrice has reinforced its position as a socially responsible retailer by adopting a holistic approach to CSR, which goes beyond philanthropy. CSR has become integral to FairPrice and conscious efforts have been put in to meld this with the organisation’s business strategy.

In 2010, Mr Seah guided the set-up of a high-level CSR Committee to develop strategic directions to ensure that FairPrice took a holistic approach towards CSR, and develop KPIs that will help the organisation set specific targets and chart its progress. FairPrice now has a clear CSR framework that focuses on four main values – buying and selling responsibly, sharing with the community, protecting the environment and caring for staff.

Even as NTUC FairPrice strives to remain sustainable to contribute to the needs of the nation, Mr Seah ensures FairPrice’s business model meets the triple bottom line of providing for people, profits and the planet. Be it green initiatives like FairPrice’s signature annual Share-A-Textbook project to give old books a new life, the organisation’s staff volunteer programme, being a responsible employer or upholding standards in responsible retailing, Mr Seah leads the organisation in taking an extra mile to give back to the community.

Staff volunteerism is something close to Mr Seah’s heart, as he believes in giving back to the community through both corporate and personal efforts. This year, FairPrice committed to a goal of 5,000 hours in volunteer contributions, as part of its staff volunteer programme. Staff are actively encouraged and engaged to participate in such efforts, with time set aside to consciously give them the time to do so. Since its founding in 2012, the FairPrice staff volunteer program has contributed a collective 6,820 hours of such efforts.

FairPrice, under Mr Seah’s leadership, also recently launched the FairPrice Food Waste framework, a forward-thinking initiative that FairPrice has taken the lead in addressing. This framework, which is summarized in three Ps: Processes, Partnerships and Public Education take a comprehensive approach to tackling food waste.

Environmental sustainability is a thread that runs in many of FairPrice’s CSR efforts, including the successful Bring Your Own Bag (BYOB) initiative. The initiative which started in 2007, has seen FairPrice giving out green rebates to reward customers who bring their own bags when shopping. FairPrice also has various green stores that feature green tips and facilities to educate customers and increase environmental awareness. As of 2012, FairPrice also ceased the sale of shark’s fin, to remain socially and environmentally responsible.

Even as NTUC FairPrice continues to grow, Mr Seah constantly advocates and ensures that this growth is closely tied to the organisation’s social contributions to the community and beyond. Under his direction, social good continues to remain at the core of FairPrice’s business strategy.

Commenting on CSR, Mr Seah said, “We have a strong heritage in reaching out and being attuned to the needs of our community. CSR is an extension of this sense of duty to build a better community and environment, through the way we conduct our business and how we interact with our stakeholders. It has already been in our DNA, and aligns intrinsically in our business decisions. In a nutshell, our CSR goal is ‘to be the most responsible retailer, caring and doing the right things for our customers, our staff, our community and our environment.’ “