Sustainability has always been an important factor which we incorporate into our business at KOSSAN. While aiming for top financial performance and growth, we believe that it should be done in line with the highest standards of corporate and social responsibility (“CSR”).
We are committed to integrate corporate responsibility and sustainability across every aspect of our business. That is why we launched Yayasan Kossan in December 2015 to facilitate a well-structured, organized and focused platform to carry out KOSSAN’s Corporate Social Responsibility efforts effectively and with strong impact in reaching out to those in need.
KOSSAN’s CSR agenda is fully aligned with Bursa Malaysia’s CSR Framework for Malaysian Corporations. Our CSR programmes and initiatives rest on four pillars: Marketplace Development; Workplace Development; Community Development and Environment preservation.
KOSSAN embraces good corporate governance as a driver of performance and creation of value over the long-term. Our shareholders expect their company to be run in a responsible, sustainable and transparent manner and the Board is determined that KOSSAN be known for its high standards of corporate governance. The policies and practices we have in place are consistent with the Corporate Governance Standards prescribed by the Malaysian Code of Corporate Governance 2012. These are revisited and strengthened from time to time in fulfillment of our social responsibility as a corporation.
In the digital age, investors and other stakeholders depend on corporate websites as a source of reliable information. Organised into useful categories, our home page www.kossan.com.my, provides information relating to our business activities, career opportunities as well as financial information, including our latest annual report. This service is part of our commitment to provide current and accurate information to shareholders and other constituents on a continuing basis. The latest announcements on developments affecting the Company can also be accessed through Bursa Malaysia’s website.
In managing our supply chain, we strive to operate our business to the highest ethical standards and we work closely with our vendors and suppliers so that they too meet high standards of ethics and business conduct. We believe they deserve fair and equitable treatment and we adopt great degree of transparency in all our dealings with our suppliers and vendors, ensuring that they have the same access to information. Even as we grow, we try to ensure that our growth is inclusive through various efforts including vendor development programme and annual satisfaction surveys for mutual improvements.
Undoubtedly, one of KOSSAN’s biggest contributions to the marketplace is through its research and development (“R&D”) activities. Each year, a reasonable percentage of our operating budget has been channeled into R&D to enhance the functionality and quality of our products. Among our many breakthroughs is the invention of an accelerator free nitrile glove that reduces the possible risk of chemical allergies to certain users. In FY 2015, we reduced the weight of the accelerator free nitrile glove further to only 3 grams, which is the one of the thinnest in the industry that meets various medical requirements. This light weight nitrile glove is also priced cheaper owing to lower material and production costs, making it affordable for more users. We place great emphasis on quality and 80% of our glove capacity is exported to developed markets where quality standards are very stringent.
Connecting with our stakeholders, both internally and externally, is important to identify and manage issues that may affect our ability to create value over time. Our investor relations initiative is headed by the Managing Director who is assisted by the General Manager of Investor Relations. Face-to-face meetings with our shareholders and other investors have been organised along with road shows and investment conferences locally and overseas. We have also organised site visits so that our investors can have a first-hand look at our manufacturing facilities. KOSSAN enjoys a good working relationship with the various media and to keep them abreast of key developments, interviews and briefings are held on a regular basis.
As a Company with a bold vision, we recognise that our ability to deliver depends on the calibre of our people. Our employment value proposition includes job security, unlimited opportunities for career advancement, an attractive remuneration package, generous performance-based bonuses and comprehensive medical benefits. We strive to make KOSSAN an exciting and highly satisfying place to work as we believed, a conducive working environment will boost employee’s sense of belonging and loyalty to the company. At a time when many companies are retrenching, it is noteworthy that KOSSAN is bucking the trend, hiring new peoples to realise its current expansion.
The culture we try to inculcate is one marked by openness, integrity, honesty and professionalism. We see ourselves as a progressive employer, and with almost 75% of our workforce comprising foreigners, we have a policy of non-discrimination and offer an equal treatment to our foreign workers like the local workers. As always, we remain attentive to the needs of our foreign workers, providing them with housing, canteen facilities and rest areas. In the pipeline are plans to build staff quarters within the compounds of our plants that are guarded for greater security and safety. Through Yayasan Kossan, we offer financial and medical aids to workers should the need arises. Besides this, their children are also entitled for the monthly education subsidies provided under the education funds of Yayayan Kossan.
We take the training and development of our human capital very seriously and in FY 2015, sufficient financial resources was invested in training, which consisted of both internal and external programmes. Structured training programmes have been designed to enhance the knowledge, professional and personal skills of staff at every phase of the employment life-cycle. Each year a training needs analysis is conducted so that programmes can be specifically tailored for the respective employees. This ensures that our training effort is more fruitful and effective. During the year, the training calendar included a revisit to Dr Stephen Covey’s the “7 Habits of Highly Effective People”, which has become a blueprint for personal development. We encourage our people to better themselves academically and we are willing to sponsor suitable candidate who might want to pursue a postgraduate programme in a field relevant to our business.
KOSSAN recognises that succession planning is an essential part of any successful business. We thrive on meritocracy and we have developed a succession plan whereby high-potential candidates are identified through assessment and evaluation.
The safety of our employees, contractors and suppliers is a paramount concern for us and we continually strive to make KOSSAN a safer place to work. We comply fully with the health and safety standards prescribed by the Department of Occupational Safety and Health Malaysia (“DOSH”). Led by our Safety Department, we adopt a proactive stance in rolling out preventive programmes to minimise accidents at the workplace. The department is supported by a Work Safety Committee whose task is to develop policies and improve safety and hygiene conditions. In FY 2015, various agencies were invited to instill road and workplace safety awareness in our employees. Our staff also benefited from consultations with nutritionists and also complimentary eye and dental check-ups. All these efforts were done through our Health and Safety Campaign conducted on yearly basis.
Putting the Company’s safety policy into practice is challenging and all employees are expected to play an active role in making their contributions. However, we are encouraged that all our efforts in safety have paid off. Nonetheless, we are not about to take things for granted and we are now working to earn accreditation to Occupational Health & Safety Management System “OHSAS”).
Working together to achieve the corporate objective is part of the culture at KOSSAN, JOM the Kossan Way was launched to deliver the message on the key values to inculcate a win-win attitude for the betterment of all.
In today’s world, successful corporations are also measured in terms of their standing in the eyes of the community.
We have long realised that our success is closely linked to the vibrancy and well-being of the communities we serve.
One of our priorities was the establishment of Yayasan Kossan in December 2015 as a platform for KOSSAN to utilise part of its corporate profits to bring the promise of a better tomorrow for the various communities we serve. The key emphasis areas of Yayasan Kossan covered education, welfare and charity; and cultural developments including art and performance. Traditionally, we have lent our support to programmes related to education, community health and well-being and preventing the abuse of child labour.
At the corporate level, KOSSAN continued to support many charities throughout the country. When the severe flood hit the east coast states, we donated RM50, 000 in January 2016 to help the flood victims in Kelantan. Reaching out to the community is a responsibility shared by KOSSAN employees. Under “Project Smile”, many of our staff volunteered their time and efforts in beautifying a rural school in Jeram. Our people also visited an Orang Asli community deep in the rainforest of Temenggor when they were affected by floods. They delivered much needed clothing, food items, drinking water and even toys for the children. For these volunteers, visiting the community was an eye-opener and ultimately enriching experience and genuine understanding, compassion and empathy were forged. Though the time spent was all too short, our people will always carry with them indelible impressions interacting with the community. KOSSAN people have also been exemplary at all our blood donation campaigns. In FY2015, 104 employees turned up for the annual event and donated a total of 98 pints of blood.
Since 2000, KOSSAN has established an internship programme whereby students at diploma and post-graduate levels in both the technical and non-technical disciplines, are given an opportunity to receive on-the-job training. The duration of internship varies from 3 to 6 months and each intern is given a monthly allowance besides being covered by the Company’s personal accident and hospitalisation insurance. For FY 2015, a total of 50 scholars were accepted under our internship programme, at the end of which, exceptional and deserving candidates were offered scholarships. Since 2014, we have offered 29 scholarships and education subsidies to those bright and eligible but less affordable students to continue their studies.
Forty-five years since the inaugural Earth Day celebration, the world today is in greater peril than ever. Scientists have reported that 2015 was the warmest year since record-keeping began, breaking a mark set only a year before. The outlook for Planet Earth is not promising and according to the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change, human impact on climate change is ever increasing with no signs of abatement. It has come to a point when all of us must step up and take immediate actions to conserve our planet.
We use natural gas to generate heats for our manufacturing needs and as compared with fossil fuel and coal, natural gas is a greener and more environmental friendly energy. Many of our environment preservation programmes have been focused on minimising the social impact of our operations on the immediate communities where our business operations are located. One of our plants has already earned certification to the ISO 14001 Environmental Quality Management System and we are currently working actively towards certification of all our plants in stages within the next 5 years.
While we do not produce any hazardous wastes in the manufacturing process, both waste water and gas generated during the manufacturing process will be treated or neutralized to the standard prescribed by the Department of Environment and related authorities, before discharging it into the drainage or air. In the wake of the recent water shortages and disruptions in supply, we have invested in initiatives to recycle waste water which will help reduce consumption of fresh water.
Project Smile plays an active role in encouraging our employees to “Recycle, Reuse and Reduce”. During the year, we joined forces with the Tzu Chi Foundation to clean up at various housing estates at Pulau Ketam. The thrash collected along with those collected on our premises was first sorted out and ultimately recycled. KOSSAN also made a cash donation to the Tzu Chi Foundation to enable it to carry out its charitable work.
We are determined to make tomorrow a better place for all of us. With the establishment of Yayasan Kossan, we are taking a more holistic approach to CSR in identifying long-term projects and to see where our initiatives are most relevant, needed and impactful.