CSR grows business, say 75pc of ME firms
Dubai, May 31, 2010
About 75 of per cent of companies in the Middle East feel that corporate social responsibility (CSR) can be used as a means to attract new investment and capture new markets, a report said.
The recent survey by the Sustainability Advisory Group, an international federation of sustainability specialists, on ‘What regional leaders in the Middle East think about corporate social responsibility (CSR)’ highlighted that CSR should be recognised as a framework for future growth.
The results of the survey were presented at the ongoing seventh edition of the CSR summit, which opened yesterday (May 30) at Hotel Shangri-La in Dubai to run until June 3.
The survey was conducted with 100 key decision makers across UAE, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Yemen.
Further, 86 per cent of respondents strongly agree that CSR fosters innovation while 82 per cent believe it can help to attract new customers.
“We are very excited by the survey results,” said Maria Sillanpaa, founding director of Sustainability Advisory Group and speaker at the CSR Summit.
“They reveal a reassuring level of sophistication in the regional markets’ understanding of CSR. Where once CSR was seen as a series of ad-hoc good-will gestures, today’s leaders are seeing it as a framework for business growth, innovation and enduring prosperity.”
Organised by IIR Middle East , summit will witness high-level speakers that include Robert Swan OBE, the first person in history to walk to both the North and South Poles, Habiba Al-Marashi, chairwoman, Emirates Environmental Group (EEG), Tom Ehr, director, MTV Foundation and Thomas Bergmark, sustainability manager, Ikea among others.
“CSR is very important and relevant to small and large organizations,” said Gillian Foster, corporate environment and energy adviser.
“It is not a new trend among companies in the UAE as many have adopted CSR in the past. The opportunity that CSR now presents to companies is identifying risks and opportunities while at the same time exploring new business models,” Foster added.
Key discussion points at the summit are set to include CSR opportunities in recessionary times, CSR as a risk management tool and dealing with CSR controversies. – TradeArabia News Service