Building Strong Community Relationships
Gulf Group is an energy company that supplies electricity, steam, and chilled water to public and private Thai industries. Most of the company’s energy is supplied through gas-fired power plants, but the company also has several projects in renewable energy, which they hope to expand in the future. The company has received several national and international awards for its commitment to safe, sustainable energy production.
The visit to the power plant involved an introduction to the company and a tour of the grounds, which include not only the plant itself but also a rice farm and mango grove. During our meeting, the company showcased their involvement in the community, including their rice farm that is used to educate the community, support of the local soccer team, provision of water to local religious temples, and much more. The company also elaborated on their commitment to maintaining a transparent and positive relationship with surrounding residents, which Gulf Group achieves by reaching out to communities two years before beginning new projects and keeping open lines of communication with Gulf staff. After discussing the company’s current CSR practices, we had the opportunity to divide into teams and devise strategies for focusing on “big picture” CSR practices (for example, launching a social media campaign showcasing personal stories of community members).
The company stated that Gulf Group is now one of the most highly traded stock in Thailand, which seems unsurprising given the company’s commitment to sustainability and corporate social responsibility. In fact, several of the company’s business partners have said that Gulf Group does too much to stay involved with surrounding communities. Regardless, Gulf Group serves as a success story of corporate social responsibility and developing strong relationships with surrounding communities. The company hopes to inspire other companies to develop similar practices not simply to create a positive public image but to give back to communities
is currently a sophomore studying Journalism at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. She has a passion for environmentalism and health, and someday hopes to work on documentary films. This is her first time out of the United States.