Vanguard in Fulfilling Social Responsibilities
What is the social responsibility and What has Pishgaman Cooperative Group done so far in this regard?
Corporate Social Responsibility, or CSR, is a part of Business Ethics which deals with corporate roles in society. The CSR is a series of tasks and commitments observed by the corporate in order to maintain, safeguard, and help the society in which it exists.
The CSR is defined as: "Activities which promote social benefits and interests and are either beyond the organization's interests or legal commitments."
Questioning organizations to "act responsibly" against the society is one of the issues which has escalated towards the end of the twentieth century in line with increasing effects of such questioning on fundaments of sustainable development which are "economy", "society", and "environment". Such increase has led to creation of a concept in the modern global management called corporate social responsibility, or CSR. The CSR simply means that organizations are responsible in front of the society in which they exist since they benefit from its natural, economic, and labor resources. Unlike the traditional view of business management, the organizations are no more responsible for their shareholders and they should not merely think about increased short-term benefits of the shareholders. In this regard, the organizations, which are related to other beneficiaries as well, are seriously expected to take into account their legitimate demands.
Pishgaman Cooperative Group joined the country's cooperative system in Yazd province in 1996 in the IT sector aiming to expand communications culture. In a short period of time, the group managed to establish trust for teamwork and cooperation.
Although Pishgaman Cooperative Group may not have enjoyed great financial benefits from different sectors of social responsibility it has entered and invested in, such measures taken by Pishgaman are definitely considered as crucial "symbolic wealth" which will maintain Pishgaman's brand on honorable national and international peaks.
Pishgaman Sport and Cultural Club
After a few years of supporting cultural, educational, and social initiatives locally and nationally, Pishgaman Cooperative Group officially unveiled its first social responsibility zone by founding a cooperative company named "Arman Pishgaman Kavir Yazd Sport and Cultural Club". Among the main aims for creating Pishgaman Club were to take care of necessary hardware for sports and infrastructures, bolstering sports among the juniors, focusing on indigenous population, and successful function in professional sports.
During only seven years of activity, Pishgaman Cultural and Sport Club have managed to invest in popular sports such as cycling and to obtain brilliant results as Yazd has long been known as the City of Bicycles. Pishgaman has also increased social exhilaration and attracted a wide range of citizens in sports such as swimming, water polo, handball, and volleyball. Creation, boosting, and maintaining social exhilaration is undoubtedly among the most important social wealth by which an organization can define its social responsibilities.
Pishgaman Customers Club Cooperative Company (Gamplus)
Customer satisfaction is of crucial importance in corporate goals and successful managers are certainly aware that reaching ambitions heavily rely on customer satisfaction. I line with this policy, Pishgaman Cooperative Group, PCG, founded the "Pishgaman Customers Club Cooperative Company, commercially known as Gamplus, as a means to acquire customers satisfaction and introducing loyalty among shareholders and all the individuals who deal with the group. The club made contracts with a wide range of service providers including cultural, sports, recreational, tourism centers, as well as insurance companies, restaurants, cafes, hospitals, etc. and formed an extensive discount network for the members. The network was formed to provide customized inexpensive services and to spot the most popular service providers in the target market through market analysis.
Pishgaman San'at Sabz Cooperative Company
While the environment is continuously transforming and "water" and "air", as two crucial elements of life, are subject to numerous damages; it would be of extreme cruelty against the nature and humanity to cut down the trees and consume large amounts of water to produce "paper" the consumption of which is increasing on a daily basis. In order to meet another social responsibility, the PCG made another great achievement by establishing the first factory to produce paper out of stone in the country and the Middle East. Stone paper is recyclable and they prevent the trees to be cut down. In a near future, this paper will create a great revolution in printing and packing industry as well as in advertisement and interior designing. Pishgaman's stone paper does not need water, providing a sustainable help for environment, human community and future generations. Stone paper has numerous advantages over cellulose paper among which we can mention resistance against water and moisture, tensile strength, anti-flammability and being anti-insect. The paper is currently available for people for different applications as an environmental friendly product.
Pishgaman Solar Energies Cooperative Company
Solar energy is the most massive energy source in the world. Such clean, cheap, and endless source of energy is recoverable in most parts of the globe. Limited sources of fossil fuels as well as environmental consequences of global warming have created suitable opportunities for the solar energy to compete with fossil fuels particularly in countries with high levels of radiation. Iran has been located in a location with highest reception and of solar power. Iran's solar irradiance has been estimated to be annually between 1,800 and 2,200 kilowatt hours per square meter which is above the global standard. Averagely, more than 280 days have been reported sunny in Iran, while the figure hits 330 in Yazd province.
The PCG, in line with its social responsibilities and in order to improve the environment in the province, has entered the renewable energy sector by establishing "Pishgaman Kavir Solar Energy Production and Distribution Cooperative Company".
Pishgaman Solar Energy Cooperative Company pursues various goals among which the following can be mentioned: Producing energy from renewable sources aimed at obtaining energy independency in residential and commercial sectors and relieving the environmental effects; providing power from potential energies (solar, wind, waves, bioenergy, hydroelectricity, and geothermal energy) aimed at supplying a consistent and sustainable energy cycle; presenting the most advanced technologies to benefit from renewable energies and developing such technologies in order to harness clean energy; seeking ways to increase efficiency in energy production systems using renewable sources; and last but not least establishing a smart energy monitoring system aimed at providing security for the country's energy security.
Pishgaman Innovation Acceleration Cooperative Company
Creating an appropriate ground to nurture and implement technological business ideas is currently the main priority for scientific and research centers across the world. In line with fulfilling its social responsibilities, the PCG has established the first cooperative acceleration center in the country known as Pishgaman Innovation Acceleration Cooperative Company. The company, headquartered in Yazd University, aims at promoting education and training; and developing economy, entrepreneurship, employment in Yazd province, and smart businesses based on new technologies. The cooperative supports innovative and executable startup ideas. Apart from financial supports, the center holds pre-acceleration and acceleration courses as a means to facilitate startup procedures.
University students, graduate students, entrepreneurs, and all those concerned can register their ideas after the official announcement. After the evaluation team performs the initial survey, selected teams will be led into pre-acceleration courses. The teams are evaluated again after accomplishing pre-acceleration course and the selected ideas will be given a chance to attend acceleration courses. Ultimately, after a 4-month acceleration course, the teams prepare to present their plan and secure an investment for their business. Thanks to the expertise of Pishgaman Acceleration Technical and Scientific team, Echobaar and Pinjob, among the startup teams in the first cycle, were selected as the best startups in the first international Silk Road Startup Conference.
Pishgaman Kavir Open Vocational School
Training knowledgeable and expert work force is considered a prerequisite for development and progress of organizations and corporate especially those of private or knowledge-based. Nowadays, forethoughtful managers consider knowledge reserve among the labor as their top agenda.
Establishing Pishgaman Kavir Open Vocational School is another example of activities implemented by the PCG to fulfill its social responsibility. The school has been founded with a priority to hold training courses, approved by authentic scientific and research centers, for managers, staff, shareholders, and ordinary citizens. The certificate issued for courses on business management held by the PCG is approved by all the organizations.
Pars Central Plateau Cooperative Irrigation Company
Yazd has long been an influential city in national development. The industrial province's manufacturing and employment statistics demonstrate to be higher than the optimal level, considering its population and facilities. The most obvious analogy on the value of water is undoubtedly the verse in Quran "We have made from water every living thing". Thousands of years of attempt by people in Yazd, to dig Qanats and to extract water from deep down the earth is not only a valuable trend but a holy one.
Presently, existence in this ancient city relies on water. If water does not exist, it would be impossible to live, work, and develop the country.
The water is supposed to be transferred from Oman Sea or the Indian Ocean, desalinated at the origin and used as drinking water or industrial water in Iran's Central Plateau.
The major reasons behind establishing Pars Central Plateau Cooperative Irrigation Company is to fulfill common needs for modern economic, social, cultural, and agricultural activities; help expand the plateau as a way to meet social justice and make the population sustainable; and desalinating water to sell it on the way to the central plateau.
With the background of commitment to the community, the PCG has been trying hard for the past 22 years to cooperatively find solutions for the country's problems whether economic, cultural, or educational. The two-decade performance by the PCG has been brilliant. Such success proves true belief in social responsibilities which has always been a serious concern for think tanks at Pishgaman.