It’s inspiring to see how an increasing number of companies are taking their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities seriously.

Clearly, CSR has progressed beyond traditional notions of being social work, philanthropy or charity and is now a mainstream agenda in thousands of global corporations. It adds value to business and creates a favourable impression in a way that no amount of advertising can do. In fact, it’s even considered a core component in business strategies for the future.

On news reports, we  an see a rising number of corporate initiatives and sustained efforts taken to preserve the environment, reduce carbon footprints, care for the underprivileged and the welfare of children, and protect endangered animals. These are efforts that certainly won’t go unnoticed.

However, one common problem has yet to be properly addressed. And it just happens to be a problem that affects each and every one of us critically, every single day. What have we really done for road safety?

Everyday, more than 3500 people become victims of road crashes around the world. In a year, more than a million lives are lost. Over 50 million more suffer injuries and disabilities. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), road traffic accidents kill more people worldwide than the dreaded Malaria. It’s also the leading cause of death for young people aged 5 to 29.

Just last year, Malaysia recorded over 400,000 road accidents with nearly 30,000 injuries and close to 7,000 deaths. The numbers have been steadily rising over the years. Sadly, the ‘victims’ are often people we know – members of our family, friends, relatives, neighbours and even employees.

Road crashes are preventable. Most of us have read or know of institutes, groups and associations around the world devoted to ensure safety of all road users. Even Malaysia has dedicated departments and agencies to ensure road safety. But they need our support to make a difference.

Road safety has yet to be fully explored as a CSR initiative in Malaysia, so here’s a real opportunity to save lives. Some of the most respected organisations and people around the world today have answered the call for safer roads, understanding the impact such an initiative can make on the economy, on businesses and communities. It’s interesting to note that not all of these companies and individuals are in road-related businesses; some are simply inspired to help.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg initiated a global call to action on road safety and made a contribution of USD125 million to facilitate various global road safety efforts, particularly in low and middleincome countries.

Dato’ Michelle Yeoh, was chosen to be the global ambassador for Make Roads Safe and has made Malaysians proud by being actively involved in many successful road safety initiatives around the world. Clearly, global leaders and members of the international community understand the magnitude of this problem and the need for immediate action.

Road safety has been made a key agenda at the United Nations General Assembly and efforts have been stepped up with the formation of the Decade of Action for Road Safety. This inspiring movement highlights the need for all of us to focus on sustained efforts and on the actual application of plans, ideas and strategies – for the sake of saving lives.

The United Nations General Assembly aims to stabilise and reduce the forecast level of road traffic fatalities around the world by increasing activities conducted at the national, regional and global levels.

CSR can make a positive impact on businesses. By ensuring the safety of our most important assets – our employees – we can create a work environment that’s safe, responsible and productive. Considering the fact that all employees are road users and travel for work-related matters, we are simply spending on ourselves. We stand to benefit directly from our CSR investments.

Successful organisations also understand the importance of making the right impression. By addressing a pressing social need and responding to a critical problem, and by showing respect for human life – we can create a lasting, favourable impression.

As a corporate citizen and an active supporter of road safety for over a decade, Innovate Solutions is inspired to act and make a difference. We have taken a step forward by being the first Malaysian organisation to contribute to the Road Safety Fund for the Decade of Action (read more at www.decadeofaction.org and www.roadsafetyfund.org) and look forward to help like-minded corporate citizens. Together, and for the sake of each other, we must strive for safer roads.

Do get in touch with us today to take your CSR initiatives further and make a difference that would serve your company, your employees and all Malaysians. Find out more at www.innovate-solutions.com

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Sleep well, fast well

August 19, 2011

During Ramadan, the day often starts very early. It is normal to wake up at 4 am for sahur, followed by prayers. Then life goes on as usual until the break of fast at sunset, followed by prayers again. Do you think you are losing sleep during Ramadan? Here are some tips about healthy sleep patterns. Get at least five to seven hours of quality sleep daily. Quality sleep is un-fragmented, which means you sleep undisturbed. Sleep from 11 pm to 4 am, says Prof Dr Abdullah Sani Mohamed of the Ear Nose Throat Department of UKM, Medical Centre in Cheras.

Use the lunch hour to catch up on sleep if you did not get enough in the night, even if it is in a sitting position. The sleep specialist adds, “I catch 30 minutes to an hour of sleep during lunch. A nap is rejuvenating, especially when one is fasting.”

It is also important to note that sahur is best eaten in the morning not before one goes to sleep. This is because the body needs energy during the day to carry out daily tasks. Do not go back to sleep after sahur as it will cause fragmented sleep and disturb the rhythm of the body for the day.

Sleep well and get enough rest for safer balik kampung journey.

Adapted from New Straits Times, 9 Aug. 2011

Selamat Berbuka Puasa

August 1, 2011

Ramadan Selamat Berpuasa 

Wishing all our Muslim friends and associates

“Selamat Berbuka Puasa” in this holy month of Ramadhan.

Please remember to drive safely and courteously as we travel
on the road to be with our loved ones.

Together we can save millions of lives.