|Richform Holdings Ltd (ˇ§RHLˇ¨) is a small company in Hong Kong addressing the drinking water market with solutions including the Everpure branded drinking water filters. Established in 1998, RHL started becoming profitable in its seventh year of operation, and it started adopting corporate social responsibility (ˇ§CSRˇ¨) initiatives six to seven years ago. Examples of caring initiatives include establishing a volunteer service team, partnering with non-governmental organisations (ˇ§NGOsˇ¨) for knowledge transfer activities, offering job opportunities to disadvantaged and unengaged youngsters, providing employees with living allowances, extending paid lunch hours, offering summer internships to employeesˇ¦ dependents, making purchases with environmentally friendly principles, locating suppliers with green values, giving cash incentives to motivate environmentally friendly behaviour in the office and so forth.
Incidentally, the same period also saw the company growing its business with a year-on-year double-digit growth rate, and its annual customer renewal rate was over 90%. According to Dr Jimmy Lau, the founder and owner of RHL, one key success factor was RHLˇ¦s investments in CSR practices. Its CSR initiatives focus on three stakeholders: people, including internal and external parties that RHL works with and for; the local community in which RHL does business; and the environment in which RHL operates. The company started actively participating in CSR-related competitions in 2008 and has received major awards and recognitions for its CSR practices. The company has become a widely acknowledged small to medium-sized company (ˇ§SMEˇ¨) in Hong Kong that has embraced CSR. This business case examines the strategic reasons and management philosophy behind the companyˇ¦s CSR investments and practices, what CSR initiatives have been implemented, and how CSR strategies and practices help an SME to succeed.