The Asia Responsible Enterprise Awards (AREA) 2023 is pleased to honor 78 outstanding business leaders and enterprises for championing sustainable and responsible business practices. Presented by leading regional NGO Enterprise Asia, the AREA is the most reputable award recognition program recognizing organizational efforts in creating a culture of compassion, integrity, and in being socially responsible corporate citizens. The AREA serves as a badge of excellence to spur further innovation and best-practice for sharing about the organization and the world at large.
Insular Foundation, Inc. (Insular Foundation) was among the recipients who were conferred with the Social Empowerment Award. As the corporate social responsibility subsidiary of Insular Life (InLife), and it has been making a difference in Philippine society for more than 50 years through programs that advocate quality education, social and economic mobility, a sustainable environment, disaster response, and employee volunteerism.
The recent Covid-19 quarantine restrictions inevitably caused prolonged stay-at-home periods which led to Filipinos tolerating a sedentary lifestyle. In a bid to encourage InLife stakeholders to get into physical activities while donating to worthy causes, Insular Foundation mounted the “Race for the Extra Mile”.
The “InLife Race for the Extra Mile” Challenge is a fitness-for-charity volunteerism project that promotes health and wellness through walking, running, or cycling to raise money for two carefully selected partners in sustainable development – the Last Mile Schools of the Department of Education in Rizal province and the Waves for Water, Philippines.
The participating runners and bikers pooled together 60,704 kilometers which were matched by the Insular Foundation with cash donations. The choice to run this project was also for the purpose of pursuing sustainability for communities without potable water and sustainability for the least assisted and far-flung public elementary schools in the Rizal province, Philippines.
The campaign was launched through internal email, external digital newsletters, and the Insular Foundation website. During the 8-week race, participants sent their applications’ kilometer readings to their assigned organizer at the end of each week. Insular Foundation’s pledged PHP450 for every 30 kilometers covered through walking or running and for every 80 kilometers covered through cycling. The communication plan included weekly updates and features on the two recipients of the donations. This was intended to help motivate participants to cover more distance and raise higher amounts, and in doing so, increase their personal fitness and endurance.
The project was able to surpass the number of participants from the company’s two previous similar volunteerism programs with 338 participants in 2022, whereas the program had 155 participants in 2021, 264 participants in 2020, and 235 participants in 2019. Besides that, the project was able to increase its donations from PHP600k in 2020 to more than PHP900K in 2022.
A post-race survey among the participants obtained a satisfaction rating averaging 4.88 on a scale where a score of 5 was the highest. InLife employees also expressed their pride in being part of the race for their health and wellness, and for charity. They noted that because of the over month-long race, exercise became a habit in their daily routine.
Policyholders shared their gratitude to be part of the fitness-for-charity program and indicated their willingness to participate in similar initiatives in the future. Beyond the
quantitative results, this fitness-for-charity challenge supported the Insular Foundation’s focus on education, and InLife Sheoes’ advocacy to support women-led institutions.
Volunteerism is embedded in the advocacies and ESG strategy of the Insular Foundation. The success of this project is an excellent indicator for the continuation of the project, but there is also a desire to inject more innovation and creativity to rally more participants and to attain bigger impact in the future.
About Enterprise Asia
Enterprise Asia is a non-governmental organization in pursuit of creating an Asia that is rich in entrepreneurship as an engine toward sustainable and progressive economic and social development within a world of economic equality. Its two pillars of existence are investment in people and responsible entrepreneurship. Enterprise Asia works with governments, NGOs and other organizations to promote competitiveness and entrepreneurial development, in uplifting the economic status of people across Asia and in ensuring a legacy of hope, innovation and courage for the future generation. Please visit https://www.enterpriseasia.org/ for more information.
About Asia Responsible Enterprise Awards (AREA)
The Asia Responsible Enterprise Awards program recognizes and honors Asian businesses for championing sustainable and responsible entrepreneurship in the categories of Green Leadership, Investment in People, Health Promotion, Social Empowerment, Corporate Governance, Circular Economy Leadership, Corporate Sustainability Reporting, and Responsible Business Leadership. For more information, visit: https://enterpriseasia.org/area/.