Six Questions about Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) – Special Interview with Roy Kim, Senior Manager, and Jiyoung Kim, Manager, CSR team of LG Electronics – June 17, 2013 By BoRi KimonJune20,2013

In this recent interview, Roy Kim and Jiyoung Kim shared their views on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and their stories of ‘LG Way’.

Roy Kim started off by saying “There was a time when our employees heard the term, CSR; they believed it to be ‘Computer Service Repair’, a department that deals with computers.”


LG Electronics, with such low awareness of CSR among the employees, has taken strategic CSR activities and now transformed to one of the most active firm to adopt CSR. They believe deeply embedded Jeong-Do Management, which includes Management Philosophy of ‘Customer-Value Creating’ and ‘People-Oriented Management’; among all employees was the way of successfully implementing CSR within LG Electronics (hereafter LGE).
1 South Korea’s Supply Chain (supply chain) is one of big issues in our society. How does LGE manage code of ethics such as ethics, human rights, and labor with its partners?
Currently, LGE is providing education programs, which includes CSR, to all of its business partners. LGE believes in win-win growth because LGE knows the importance of supplier competence for the company. For instance, when a Foxconn employee committed suicide the consumer boycotted Apple. Thus, LGE considers its partners’ problems as its own. Furthermore, LGE encourages its partners to comply with Supplier Code of Conduct and monitors them annually. To those partners who do not meet the standards are asked to improve their weaknesses through CSR Risk Management.
As a global company, using the marketing infrastructure to social contribution can be one of the cases. Since 2009, UNEP and LGE collaboratively worked together to promote environmental awareness worldwide by providing its billboards in New York and London at no charge to display environment related video clips. Case on utilization of skills are yearly distribution of 2000 specialized mobiles phones for visually impaired; development of air conditioner that eradicates mosquitoes for countries like Indonesia; and low power products for Thailand, India, and Malaysia to meet their needs. Social contribution can be divided into three parts: Products, Marketing Infrastructure, and Employee. LGE is approaching CSR strategically in LG’s way by applying LGE’s strengths.
2. What are some cases of CSR activities or social contribution through utilizing LG’s expertise? 
3. What international issues is LGE focused on?LGE is focused on disease, environment and poverty. Under the slogan “Hope for Life’s Good,” LG has been working with World Food Programme (WFP) to improve poverty in LDCs in Asia. In addition, with International Vaccine Institute (IVI) LGE participated in development of oral vaccines and primary inoculation was given.A new slogan of ‘Life is Good with LG’ will be announced shortly. To elaborate more on this slogan is that it was made to encourage the employees to participated in CSR activities voluntarily and eventually create CSR culture. The employees of LGE can also engage in through actually volunteering work, salary rounding fund, executive contribution funds, and productivity consulting.

4. What are the requirements for joining the CSR team?

Previously, two capabilities were emphasized, language skill and proactive personality. Language skills are required since LGE is a global company; it deals with many overseas businesses. Relationship between external agencies, organizations and recipients were critical so it was essential to be active.

However, most importantly it’s the heart because authenticity will make it last long. As a result, employees with sincerity are evaluated highly. So now, Integrity, Expertise, and Relationship are more underscored. CSR has gone beyond just volunteering. Thus, it would be wiser to prepare in a specific area, such as human rights, environment, and poverty, from a wide range of CSR.

5. How is LGE able to successful carry out CSR activities?

Since when Lak Hui Chemical Industrial Corp. was established in 1947, the founder shared the philosophy of ‘A company must exist in the community”. All employees try their best to follow Jeong-Do Management to meet the business philosophy so LGE is proud of its own CSR activities.

6 How does LGE communicate with customer to provide better understanding of LGE’s CSR?
The firm does not actively promote CSR activities because LGE is not interested in doing CSR activities to patronize it. Lately, ‘Green-washing’ and ‘Blue-washing’ have been an issue but basically it’s the ultimate form of corporate propaganda. LGE does not wish to be seen as part of them.

It is quite difficult to communicate with consumers. Therefore, we are making a new slogan that can remind them of LG. ‘Life is Good with LG’ will be put on LGE products to expose it to the consumers. Through this, LGE can promote public interest in those products and CSR. Soon, the consumers will notice CSR of LG.

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