Waves of Social Impact at Seven Clean Seas

January 23, 2024
Indradhi Faisal Ibrahim
x min read

We know you know that sustainability is a hot topic. At Seven Clean Seas, we understand that sustainability also encompasses social and economic aspects. Our parallel mission focuses on cleaning up the oceans and making waves of social impact to ensure long-term sustainability. Now, let's explore the significance of social impact, why building it into projects is essential, and how we achieve it at Seven Clean Seas.

What is Social Impact?

Before going on about what we do, let's talk about what social impact is. Social impact refers to the positive changes a project or initiative brings about in society, enhancing the quality of life for individuals and communities. Through it, we can give more meaning and happiness as it gives access to basic needs, health and healthcare, education, financial stability, job satisfaction, social relationships, and safety. 

To sum up: Social impacts enhance people's quality of life and focus on advocating for equality by providing access to improve quality of life factors.

Why is it essential to build social impact into projects?

While technology plays a massive part in our day-to-day work lives, we can't deny that most of our work, ideas, and initiatives are done by us little humans. We're the ones doing the thinking, the planning, the ideation, the execution, and so on. Therefore, the individuals engaged in the project and those affected by it will determine its effectiveness, longevity and scalability, and overall impact on achieving the project goal. 

The benefits of social impact

Obviously, social impact gives certain benefits and advantages to people and others surrounding us – including those we work, collaborate, and engage with, directly or indirectly.

1. Quality of life improvement

Creating social impact positively affects the quality of life of the direct and indirect beneficiaries, such as project-engaged individuals and the community in which they live, an inherent benefit and goal. This could mean providing workers better access to benefits and opportunities – giving them permanent formal employment that offers financial stability, healthcare, and job satisfaction

2. Enhancing awareness and knowledge

Understanding and giving the social context and impacts to stakeholders and communities around us helps create awareness about the many issues while spreading knowledge about the importance and urgency of tackling specific matters.

3. Longevity and sustainability

Social impact may affect the overall sustainability key areas: environment, social, and economy, as it contributes to providing long-term effectiveness and efficiency solutions in all vital area problems. 

How we do it at Seven Clean Seas

Here at Seven Clean Seas, creating meaningful and distinctive Social Impact in our projects for its stakeholders is essential to ensure long-term success. Building strong and locally relevant Social Impact is critical for a project's sustainability and creating buy-in from those involved. 

By implementing and delivering social impact, we have provided workers better access to benefits and opportunities – giving them permanent formal employment that offers financial stability, job satisfaction, and social security such as healthcare, work accident, old age protection, and pension plan. We believe everyone deserves justice in having financial security and quality of life. That's why we prioritise hiring marginalised people from the communities we operate.

To date, a total of 89 local communities have availed themselves of these benefits through our initiatives.

Working and employing local people within this community empowers people and our crew to build a more stable and fulfilling life. Moreover, this goes beyond just one individual; it also positively impacts their families. According to our Social Impact Questionnaire, we are on the right track in helping our crew members make a positive and lasting difference in their lives, as we have given them the benefit and access to invest in a better and happier life.

In addition to enhancing their well-being, we are dedicated to improving their knowledge and soft skills, such as financial literacy. In the past year, we organised a comprehensive 2-day workshop aimed at scaling up their financial literacy. The workshop covered crucial topics, including 1) finance, investment, and insurance; 2) English language (basics); and 3) Business Management. By engaging in these activities, our crew members not only gain valuable insights into essential financial concepts such as taxes, budget creation, and investment opportunities but also acquire the skills to avoid and effectively manage debt. After a successful financial activity, we will conduct other important skills training, such as conflict management. 

"SCS has changed my habit of throwing cigarette butts carelessly so that now I'm not. Working here allows me to buy a new iPhone, a new motorbike, and be able to save money, and Seven Clean Seas has changed my life for the better. In my experience while working at Seven Clean Seas, I got a lot of knowledge, and I made more friends. I learned types of plastic and explored Bintan more than before. Teamwork is really important here, and we do very well. Seven Clean Seas gives me a meaningful experience."Bintan Crew member.

Aside from changing one (or more) individual lives, we're also actively involving community members and fostering open communication. There are approximately more than 135 thousand individuals spread across 11 sub-districts. Throughout our ocean impact projects, we can join forces to find practical solutions and ignite positive change in waste management practices while building a sense of belonging to the community as well. We cannot achieve the environmental impact we need without building this social enablement and engagement, which will ultimately lead to a cleaner community environment and a sense of empowerment over this aspect for the members – a quality of life improvement.

Another thing that we do for local communities is provide them with knowledge and understanding of environmental causes, specifically plastic pollution, and what our project and their participant can do to tackle that issue together. We start from school; changing and understanding behaviours is crucial at the early stage. In only a total of 6-9 hours of classes, the students showed a significant result; for instance, they reduced up to 60% of the waste generated, demonstrated in reducing single-use plastics, and increased their comprehension of the topic of plastic pollution.

Implementation of education program to schools in Tanjung Pinang

Ensuring these impacts is a continuous journey that requires ongoing communication and collaboration with key community, helped by our Site Managers and Operation leads so that we can stay informed and engaged and integrate their concerns and ideas into our operations to improve our work's environmental and social impact.

Together, we strive for a more sustainable future where our actions drive positive change and contribute to a cleaner, healthier environment for all. 

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