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Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Sustainability

(Source: A recent survey by the Sustainability Advisory Group on 'What Regional Leaders in the Middle East Think about Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)' highlights that CSR should be recognized as a framework for future growth. The report suggests that approximately 75% of companies in the Middle East feel that CSR can be used as a means to attract new investment and capture new markets and market share.


The survey was conducted with 100 key decision makers across eight countries namely United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Oman, Qatar, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and Yemen. Further, 86% of respondents strongly agree that CSR fosters innovation while 82% believe it can help to attract new customers.

Maria Sillanpaa - Founding Director of Sustainability Advisory Group and speaker at the 7th Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Summit said: "We are very excited by the survey results. 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."

The four-day 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, Thomas Bergmark, Sustainability Manager, IKEA among others.

Gillian Foster, M.A, Corporate Environment and Energy Adviser said: "CSR is very important and relevant to small and large organizations. 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."

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.

The 7th CSR Summit is being held from May 30th - June 3rd, 2010 at Hotel Shangri-La, Dubai, UAE.

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Well, it is good to confirm statistically that CSR fosters innovation and attract new customers to investors; in principle, I also agree with the concept of using CSR Model as a framework for business growth, innovation and enduring prosperity. But, I further argue CSR should be a portion of an investment; it should not be seen as favor of investors to society, mainly because the society are not a mere beneficiary of the opportunity, believe it or not they are/(must be considered as) shareholders. So, if those investors convinced on this concept and put things in practice authentically, they will be no economic or financial crisis, neither business failure nor foreclosure, rather perpetual prosperity in all side.


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