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Revealing the Role and Challenges of Environmental CSR in Indonesia

Updated: Sep 7, 2023


The EU Delegation's involvement in the mangrove planting environmental CSR activity "Indonesia Climate Diplomacy Week 2021" in Jakarta, carried out in collaboration with CarbonEthics.

Corporate Social Responsibility in Indonesia


Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has become an increasingly relevant issue in the world of industry, especially in the context of environmental conservation. Amidst the growing awareness of the negative impacts of industrial activities on the environment, companies in Indonesia are becoming more cognizant of their responsibility to contribute to the preservation of nature and limited natural resources.


This article will discuss the crucial role of CSR in the field of environmental conservation in Indonesia, while also highlighting the challenges faced in its implementation. By doing so, it aims to provide a deep insight into how companies can effectively and sustainably carry out environmentally-oriented CSR initiatives.



Table of Contents:




Definition of CSR and the Environment


The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) (2022) views Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) as a way for companies to achieve a balance between economic, environmental, and social interests (Triple-Bottom-Line Approach) while meeting the expectations of all stakeholders by implementing a beneficial program.


CSR aims to encourage companies to consider the social, environmental, and ethical impacts of their operational activities. The main objective of CSR is to ensure that companies not only benefit their internal stakeholders, such as shareholders and employees, but also provide advantages to the local community, environment, consumers, and society at large.


In the environmental context, CSR emphasizes the need to maintain ecological balance and preserve natural resources. Companies that adopt environmental CSR strive to reduce negative impacts on the environment, minimize carbon footprints, utilize renewable energy, support biodiversity conservation efforts, responsibly manage waste, and implement eco-friendly production practices.


Furthermore, through CSR, companies can play a pioneering role in promoting environmentally friendly innovations and technologies. Corporate support for sustainable technologies, renewable energy, and eco-friendly product design can help shift the industrial paradigm towards more sustainable consumption patterns, positively impacting the environment.


The implementation of CSR in the environment also brings long-term benefits to the companies themselves. Reducing environmental impact leads to better resource efficiency, lower operational costs, and avoidance of reputation risks that may arise from environmentally damaging business practices. Moreover, maintaining a positive image as a company that cares about the environment can enhance customer loyalty, gain public trust, and attract investors who are increasingly concerned about social and environmental issues.


Impactful and Sustainable CSR Programs for Nature and Society


The Role of CSR in Environmental Conservation in Indonesia


1. Positive Contributions of Companies to the Environment


Companies play a significant role in environmental conservation efforts in Indonesia through the implementation of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). One crucial aspect of this role is the positive contribution made by companies in supporting environmental sustainability. Companies that are conscious of their social responsibilities strive to reduce the negative impacts of their operational activities on the surrounding natural environment.

The positive contributions of companies to the environment can be realized through various initiatives and programs that focus on nature preservation and environmental sustainability. For instance, companies can engage in mangrove planting activities to reduce carbon emissions and improve air quality. Moreover, companies can prioritize the use of renewable and environmentally friendly natural resources in their operations, such as transitioning to renewable energy sources and reducing excessive water usage.


According to Sharma et al. (2017), the CSR role in a company's positive contribution to the environment also encompasses advocating for and supporting better environmental policies. By pioneering change in the realm of sustainable business, companies can exert a positive influence on a broader environment and encourage sustainable practices across industries.


2. The Role of the Government in Promoting Environmental CSR Implementation


In the efforts towards environmental conservation in Indonesia, the role of the government is a crucial key in driving the implementation of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives in the environmental sector by companies. The government holds a strategic role in formulating policies, regulations, and environmental-related guidelines that provide direction and guidance for companies to effectively and sustainably carry out their social responsibilities.


In a study conducted by Wenqi et al. (2022), the government's role in promoting environmental CSR implementation encompasses several vital aspects. Firstly, the government can establish and strengthen stricter environmental regulations, offer incentives for environmentally friendly business practices, and enforce sanctions for environmental violations. With clear and stringent regulations in place, companies will feel more compelled to undertake environmental CSR as part of their commitment to responsible operations.


Indonesia's government itself regulates CSR through Law No. 40 of 2007 concerning Limited Liability Companies (PT). This law refers to CSR as social and environmental responsibility.


Furthermore, referring to Article 74 of the Limited Liability Companies Law, carrying out social and environmental responsibilities is mandatory for companies conducting activities in the field and/or related to natural resources. Based on this provision, the law sets limitations regarding which companies are required to implement CSR, specifically those engaged in natural resource-related activities.


Social and environmental responsibility is an obligation of the company that is budgeted and accounted for as a company expense, implemented with fairness and reasonableness. Failure to fulfill this obligation will result in sanctions in accordance with statutory regulations. This provision is further regulated by Government Regulation No. 47 of 2012 concerning the Social and Environmental Responsibility of Limited Liability Companies.


The government's role in further promoting CSR implementation involves acting as a facilitator and mediator between companies and the community in addressing complex environmental issues. By creating a platform for dialogue and public participation, the government can engage various stakeholders, including companies, communities, NGOs, and environmental experts, to collaboratively find the best solutions for maintaining environmental sustainability.


Secondly, the government can provide assistance and support to companies in terms of access to information and resources for more effective implementation of environmental CSR. By offering guidance, training, and mentoring, companies can be better prepared and equipped to face the challenges of carrying out their social responsibilities more effectively (Mariane, 2020).


Thirdly, the government's role in promoting environmental CSR implementation includes monitoring and evaluating the CSR programs implemented by companies. By conducting regular monitoring, the government can assess the impact and success of these programs, and provide constructive feedback for further improvements.




Challenges in Implementing Environmental CSR in Indonesia


Mangrove farmers inspecting mangrove seedlings before planting.

1. Regulatory and Policy Constraints


One of the main challenges in implementing environmental CSR in Indonesia is the complexity of regulations and policies related to the environment. Companies often encounter difficulties in understanding and complying with various applicable regulations, especially when these regulations are not consistent or overlap.


Uncertainty stemming from unclear environmental policies can lead to doubt and confusion for companies in planning and executing CSR programs that align with the existing rules.


2. Resource Limitations


Many companies, especially small and medium-sized enterprises, face challenges in allocating sufficient resources to carry out environmental CSR programs.


The implementation of sustainable and responsible initiatives sometimes requires significant financial investment, as well as adequate human and technical resources. These limitations can hinder companies from making their maximum contribution to environmental conservation.


3. Public Awareness and Participation


Awareness of the importance of environmental conservation remains an issue that needs attention in Indonesia. Not all members of society or consumers are aware of and value the positive impacts of environmental CSR programs.


The lack of support and participation from the community can diminish the effectiveness and positive outcomes of a company's CSR efforts in environmental conservation. Therefore, efforts to enhance environmental awareness and education are crucial to engage the public more actively and garner their support for CSR programs.


4. Coordination among Involved Parties


Effective coordination among companies, government, NGOs, and communities is a critical factor in the success of environmental CSR implementation. Sometimes, the lack of communication and coordination among these stakeholders can lead to program overlaps, resource wastage, and a lack of synergy in environmental conservation efforts. Close collaboration and strong cooperation among all parties are necessary for CSR programs to run efficiently and have maximum impact on the environment.


In addressing these challenges, companies need to adopt a comprehensive and well-planned approach to environmental CSR implementation. Support from the government, community awareness, and productive collaboration with various stakeholders will be key to fulfilling social responsibilities effectively and having a positive impact on the environment in Indonesia.


Impactful and Sustainable CSR Programs for Nature and Society


Innovations and Solutions to Overcome Environmental CSR Challenges in Indonesia


1. Environmentally Friendly Technologies and Innovations


In addressing environmental CSR challenges in Indonesia, environmentally friendly technologies and innovations have become a primary focus in efforts to create a positive impact on the natural environment. Companies are increasingly realizing that technology can be a powerful tool in mitigating the negative impacts of their business operations on the environment.


The implementation of environmentally friendly technologies and innovations offers various benefits. Firstly, by using more efficient technologies, companies can reduce the consumption of natural resources such as water and energy, as well as generate fewer waste and carbon emissions. Renewable energy technologies, like solar panels or wind turbines, can decrease reliance on fossil resources contributing to climate change.


Secondly, innovation also provides opportunities to design more eco-friendly products. Companies can create products that are more durable, easily recyclable, or made from recycled materials to minimize their environmental impact. Innovations in packaging can also help reduce plastic waste that pollutes the environment.


Furthermore, technology plays a crucial role in environmental monitoring and surveillance. By utilizing sensor technologies and geographic information systems, companies can track and monitor the environmental impact of their operations in real-time. The information obtained from such monitoring enables companies to take preventive or corrective measures to minimize negative impacts.



Explore the growth of your mangrove and coral adoptions through Digital Monitoring

2. Partnerships and Inter-Party Collaborations


In the effort to ensure sustainability and environmental preservation in Indonesia, partnerships and collaborations among various stakeholders have become a crucial approach. Faced with the complexity and urgency of environmental issues, companies in Indonesia increasingly realize that environmental CSR challenges cannot be addressed in isolation. Close collaborations with government, NGOs, academics, local communities, and industry partners are key to creating a sustainable positive impact.


Partnerships and inter-party collaborations offer several benefits. Firstly, by working together, involved parties can leverage diverse expertise, resources, and knowledge to achieve more optimal outcomes in environmental preservation efforts. Companies can contribute their financial and technological resources, while NGOs and academics can provide relevant research and data to inform policies and actions taken.


Secondly, collaboration facilitates the exchange of ideas and best practices among involved parties. This allows companies to gain deeper insights into relevant environmental issues and find inspiration to develop more innovative and effective sustainable solutions.


Moreover, partnerships and collaborations can create synergy and strengthen support for environmental CSR efforts. Actively involving various stakeholders in the planning and execution of environmental programs can enhance community trust and participation, generating more support and motivation for collectively carrying out social responsibilities.


However, the success of partnerships and collaborations doesn't happen automatically. Companies must build mutually beneficial relationships based on transparency, integrity, and shared goals. Additionally, long-term commitment from all involved parties is key to the success of sustaining partnerships and collaborations.



3. Enhancing Environmental Awareness and Education


In facing the challenges of environmental CSR in Indonesia, enhancing environmental awareness and education has become an inevitable strategic step. Public awareness of the importance of environmental preservation and sustainability serves as a vital foundation to mobilize active participation in efforts to protect nature and reduce the negative impacts of human activities.


Efforts to enhance environmental awareness and education can encompass various measures. Firstly, companies can act as agents of change by involving employees and the local community in educational programs about environmental issues and the significance of practicing sustainable social responsibilities. Strengthening the understanding of the environmental impact of business activities can motivate communities and employees to participate in environmental conservation efforts.


Secondly, environmental awareness campaigns through social media, mass media, or community activities can be effective means to disseminate information and pro-environment messages. Through creative and inspirational campaigns, companies can create awareness and inspire communities to take real actions in sustaining the environment.


Furthermore, environmental education plays a crucial role in shaping environmentally friendly mindsets and behaviors. Educational programs that teach sustainable practices in resource utilization, waste reduction, and environmental management can help alter consumer behavior and strengthen awareness of the impact of individual actions on the environment.



Success of Environmental CSR in Indonesia


Collaboration between Allianz Indonesia and CarbonEthics in Mangrove Planting CSR Program on World Cleanup Day 2021

Allianz Indonesia and Its Participation in World Cleanup Day and Planting 2,000 Mangroves in Thousand Islands


This case study discusses the implementation of Allianz Indonesia's environmental CSR during World Cleanup Day 2021 and a series of related activities. Through the Allianz Peduli Foundation (YAP), Allianz Indonesia continued its commitment to environmental care. Allianz Indonesia initiated the planting of 2,000 mangrove trees, environmental education webinars, and the empowerment of mangrove farmer communities and waste management facilities on Harapan Island, Kepulauan Seribu.


In this CSR program, Allianz Indonesia actively engaged the community in its activities. The public had the opportunity to participate by donating through the "Instagram Photo Challenge - Mangrove Donation," a photo competition centered around environmental conservation activities such as recycling and waste segregation. Each uploaded post was equivalent to planting one mangrove tree.


Through the "Instagram Photo Challenge - Mangrove Donation" program, Allianz Indonesia not only demonstrated its commitment to environmental preservation to the public but also involved consumers and the community, resulting in a positive impact on brand image and the market.


Furthermore, Allianz Indonesia offered a contribution for each merchandise or insurance policy transaction that would go towards mangrove planting. Participants would receive a certificate indicating their participation in the mangrove planting donation program with Allianz.


Allianz Indonesia also collaborated with Bobo Magazine to conduct virtual classes for children about "Membuat Sampah Menjadi Kreasi Mainan Daur Ulang", teaching waste management to the next generation. Through this program, Allianz Indonesia showcased its awareness of the importance of environmental education, especially for the generations to come.


In this CSR program, Allianz Indonesia collaborated with CarbonEthics and other stakeholders to emphasize the importance of the mangrove ecosystem as a mitigation strategy against the climate crisis, which significantly affects coastal communities.


The tree planting and donation initiatives by Allianz Indonesia and CarbonEthics also raised consumer awareness and empowered mangrove farmers. Additionally, Allianz Indonesia educated the community about waste management facilities (waste banks) and correlated this with the Kepulauan Seribu community to promote coastal environmental cleanliness.


This serves as an example that businesses or corporations also need to contribute to environmental preservation. Allianz Indonesia demonstrated this through its CSR program, creating sustainable business strategies and making a positive and lasting impact on the environment and the local coastal communities.



Companies in Environmental Conservation in Indonesia


Companies play a crucial role in environmental conservation through Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), including activities like mangrove planting and the utilization of renewable resources. The government also contributes through regulations, incentives, and dialogues with the community.


However, the complex regulatory landscape, limited resources, uneven public awareness, and ineffective coordination present significant challenges to CSR implementation in Indonesia. Synergy among companies, the government, NGOs, and the public is essential to overcome these obstacles and achieve the positive impacts of CSR.


The future of CSR implementation in Indonesia holds great promise, with consumers increasingly conscious of environmentally friendly products or companies and the positive outcomes demonstrated by existing CSR case studies.


It is hoped that the government will further strengthen clear regulations, provide incentives, and prioritize stakeholder collaboration.


Advancements in technology that support innovative CSR practices and broader environmental education, along with increased community involvement, are also anticipated. Through active participation, companies are expected to play a substantial role in ensuring environmental sustainability and creating significant positive impacts for a sustainable future in Indonesia.


Impactful and Sustainable CSR Programs for Nature and Society


References


Wenqia, D., A. Khurshid, A. Rauf and A. C. Calin. Government Subsidies’ Influence on Corporate Social Responsibility of Private Firms in a Competitive Environment. Journal of Innovation & Knowledge. 7 : 1 - 10.


Chastity Heyward. The Growing Importance Of Social Responsibility In Business. Retrieved August 09, 2023, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesbusinesscouncil/2020/11/18/the-growing-importance-of-social-responsibility-in-business/?sh=723ca432283b


Sharma, N. K., A. K. Shukla and R. Ramesh. 2017. Corporate Social Responsibility in Our Changing Business World. International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research. 2 (4) : 28 - 36.

DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.30674.58562


Mariane, I. 2020. Peran Pemerintah dalam Pemberdayaan Perempuan melalui Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Jurnal Ilmu Administrasi. 11 (1) : 1 - 15.

E-ISSN: 2656-2820


Wirba, A. V. 2021. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR): The Role of Government in promoting CSR. Journal of the Knowledge Economy. 1 : 1 - 27.

https://doi.org/10.1007/s13132-023-01185-0


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