Keeping in mind that staff well-being and motivation are among its main levers of performance, Kulara Water exercises its social responsibility through numerous concrete commitments aiming to ensure a fair level of remuneration, training, recognition, and promotion of the teams. "Beyond getting involved with our common goal of providing the best, our teams share a certain pride in supporting the development of a unique brand, produced in Cambodia, that is healthy and able to compete with the biggest local and international brands” explains Jacques Marcille, Managing Director of Kulara Water.
Kulara Water is engaged in a collaborative process with all its stakeholders. Strong bonds of trust have been created with different private and public organizations, employees, suppliers, shareholders, and consumers. Kulara Water also regularly supports many causes and events in keeping with its values of excellence, sharing, and solidarity. As part of its corporate citizenship and solidarity approach, Kulara Water has been involved in civil society for many years and on many fronts in the form of sponsorships (e.g. French Week, Royal Ballet, Edota / GIZ, Ultra Trail of Angkor etc.), donations (e.g. Cambodian Red Cross, Water for all etc.), or partnerships (e.g. Pour un Sourire d’Enfant, Passerelles numériques, Archaeology and Development Foundation, Safe House Children, Institut Pasteur etc.). Since the closure of the Safe House Center (supported by Kulara Water between 2013 and the end of 2017), Kulara Water is also committed to supporting the schooling expenses of all the children of its current 96 staff.
Ten years ago, the choice of the Kulen massif was obvious due to the spring’s original purity, the sanctity of the site, and its particularly pristine environment and low population density. Initiated in 2018, the Kulara Water Reforestation Program completes the company’s commitment to protect the environment at its source, from the foot of the Kulen Mountains to the bottom of the well.
In 2018, 3800 trees were planted on the Kulara Water site with a further 3,400 new trees to be planted by August 2019. Most of the selected species are threatened with extinction. For example, Dalbergia Cochinchinensis, Dalbergia Oliveri, and Afzelia Xylocarpa, which are all in the top ten of the IUCN’s Red List of Endangered Species, and are perfect examples of precious wood species in Cambodia. Kulara Water’s goal is to revive and replant 33 native and endemic species of the Kulen Mountains.
Beyond Kulara Water’s own tree nursery, three other nurseries sponsored by the company have been established in the primary schools of Ta Penh, Sangke Lak, and Anlong Thom villages. The goal is to provide Kulara Water with the seedlings for the areas that will be reforested and to educate local young people on the importance of protecting the environment and its biodiversity. Supervised by their teachers and the Archaeology and Development Foundation, young students are mobilized to carry out a detailed inventory of native species to plant, planting seeds, watering seedlings, and maintaining nurseries. The Kulara Water team ensures the preparation of plans for reforestation and the transplantation and monitoring of the trees on the 32 hectares around the well. Kulara Water’s commitment also includes manual weeding of reforested surfaces without treatment and replacement of species that have failed to adapt due to diseases or weather conditions.
The wild bees of the Kulen massif are also the subject of much needed attention. At a time when the forest cover of the Kulen Massif continues to decrease, their population shows obvious signs of decline. By committing to regenerating a part of the forest area of the region, and ensuring a continuous flowering throughout the year from one plant to another, Kulara Water hopes to see the return of Giant apis dorsata, a species of bee that is becoming increasingly rare in the region. These bees are essential for the pollination and reproduction of plants and for the entire food chain. With the support of the NGO Agrisud International, an ongoing process of education and training of villagers in the Kulen Mountains is also being conducted by ADF to ensure the growth of the bee population and sustainable harvesting of their honey.
Kulara Water's commitment to CSR meets many of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the United Nations. In partnership with the ADF Foundation, the reforestation program contributes in particular to "sensitizing the younger generations to climate change to quickly put them on the road to sustainability" (SDG 13 “Climate Action"), "encourages them to plant trees, restore degraded land and soil, prevent the extinction of threatened species, and ensure the conservation of ecosystems (SDG 15 “Life on Land”).
Kulara Water's policy on compensation, internal mobility, employability, and skills development is in line with SDG 8 ("Decent Work and Economic Growth") which aims to promote "sustained economic growth, shared and sustainable full and productive employment and decent work for all". Finally, Kulara Water's support for the school expenses of its staff children contributes to SDG 4 which focuses on Education and Social Inclusion. It recognizes the essential nature of education and lifelong learning to achieve full employment and eradicate poverty.
Kulara Water won in June 2019 the 1st CSR Award in the "Large companies" category. This distinction recognizes and rewards Kulara Water's strong commitment to sustainable development since the launch of its natural mineral water, Eau Kulen, in 2013. Through this Award, the jury, co-chaired by His Excellency Sok Chenda Sophea, Minister attached to the Prime Minister and Secretary General of the CDC (Council for the Development of Cambodia) and H.E. George Edgar, Ambassador of the European Union to Cambodia, has highlighted Kulara Water's unique corporate strategy, as well as the relevance of its holistic approach.
One year later (September 2020), Kulara Water won the Asia Responsible Enterprise Awards. Only two Cambodian companies won this 10th edition of the AREA Awards: Smart Axiata in the “Social empowerment” category and Kulara Water in the “Investment in people” category. The AREA 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 and Responsible Business Leadership.