When a business reaches maturity
Corporate social responsibility is an inherent part of any successful business. So no wonder that in addition to contests such as Altyn Sapa and Best Product in Kazakhstan, we have annual Paryz competition promoting the principles of CSR. Birzhan Nurymbetov, Vice-Minister of Health and Social Development of the Republic of Kazakhstan, told us how Kazakhstani companies can benefit from participation in Paryz.
What is the role of Paryz in making Kazakhstani businesses more socially responsible?
Today, the company’s success is measured in terms of increasing all kinds of capital, e.g. industrial, financial, social, human. As international experience shows, the greatest capitalization is achieved by companies investing in creating decent working conditions, solving environmental issues, introducing new principles of remuneration, as well as new methods of social support for employees.
In 2008, at the first Corporate Social Responsibility Forum in Zhezkazgan, the President emphasized that businesses had to become much more engaged in solving social issues. The government was told to continue its efforts in creating an environment that encourages businesses to be more socially responsible. This certainly sent a strong message to Kazakhstani entrepreneurs. During the Forum, the President also established a special competition called Paryz to promote the principles of CSR.
This year, the Ministry of Health and Social Development together with Atameken National Chamber of Entrepreneurs, the Federation of Trade Unions, the Ministry of Energy and municipal authorities is holding Paryz competition for the eighth time. It has become a tool helping companies to successfully implement social projects and programs, to determine standards and criteria for the evaluation of the company’s activities in this area and to develop various forms of social practices. Fair distribution of wealth is an essential element in building a sustainable relationship between employers and employees, and the number of Kazakhstani entrepreneurs who follow this principle has been growing during the past several years. After all, ensuring decent labor conditions, as well as creating an environment promoting social accord and reducing social tension, is the key to their sustained prosperity and economic growth of our country.
Is the number of applications to join the competition still growing in the current economic situation? How many participants are we talking about this year?
The latest competition had more than 3,000 participants, including small, medium-sized and large businesses. Although the situation is difficult, 541 companies from all regions of the country applied for participation in 2015. The leaders are East-Kazakhstan Region (57), Karaganda Region (56) and Pavlodar Region (53).
The largest number of business entities, 264, are in the “The Most Socially Responsible Company” nomination. The main requirement for the participants is implementation of social initiatives aimed at supporting their employees, disability outreach programs and programs promoting the well-being of society as a whole.
One hundred companies have applied for participation in “The Best Collective Agreement” nomination. Here, we are talking about collective agreements that significantly improve and strengthen the employees’ labor and social rights.
Seventy nine entrepreneurs applied for participation in the new nomination called “The Most Occupationally Safe Company.”Here, the important thing is to demonstrate working conditions with superior occupational health and safety standards.
There are 98 applicants in “The Environmental Contribution” nomination. The companies are expected to have implemented some impressive environmental initiatives aimed at improving the environment.
What are the criteria for awarding the title of “The Leader of Social Responsibility”?
The main prize of Paryz competition is awarded by the President to a company with the best performance and track record in implementing the principles of corporate social and environmental responsibility. During the history of the competition, the leaders of social responsibility were Kazakhmys Corporation (2008), Turgai Petroleum (2009), CNPC-Aktobemunaigaz (2010), Tengizchevroil (2011), KazTransOil (2012) and Ust-Kamenogorsk Titanium Magnesium Plant (2013). Last year, the first prize went to Kazgermunai.
Each of these companies made a significant contribution to social and economic development of the regions, raised working conditions for employees to a new level based on collective-contractual relations.
I also want to note that small and medium-sized businesses are playing a special role in promoting social responsibility.SMEs help to implement a number of projects in rural areas, from real estate development and rural infrastructure support to the objects of social and cultural importance.
Promoting corporate social responsibility is primarily the recognition of the role that entrepreneurs play in the country’s development. And the government creates all the necessary conditions. Business growth with a combination of economic, social, environmental and high-tech factors makes both businesses and the nation more competitive.
Born in 1968 in Abay village in Zhambyl Region. Graduated from Al-Farabi Kazakh State National University (Mechanics and Applied Mathematics) and Almaty Academy of Economics and Statistics (Bachelor of Finance).
1993: Tax inspector, section head in the tax inspection of Zhambyl. 1996: Adviser to the first deputy governor, section head of the administrative office of the governor of Zhambyl Region. August 1997: Director of Zhambyl branch of the State Center of Pension Payments. May 4, 2008: Chairman of the Committee on Control and Social Protection in the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of Population. March 2009: Vice-Minister of Labor and Social Protection of Population. 2012: Deputy Head of the Office of the Prime Minister. June 2015: Vice-Minister of Health and Social Development.
Awarded medals “The 10th Anniversary of Independence of the Republic of Kazakhstan,” “The 10th Anniversary of the Constitution of the Republic of Kazakhstan,” “For Contribution in the Establishment of the Eurasian Economic Union” (II degree).