CSR Middle East, CSR dedicated platform with 3.515 corporate members in the Middle East.
3BL ‘Triple Bottom Line’ Associates (3BL), Bahrain’s first social impact and sustainability consultancy and think-do-tank, has released the results of the Bahrain Responsible Business Survey.
The research, which was launched in media partnership with Arabic Knowledge@Wharton, the online journal of the Ivy League Wharton School of Business, is the first of its kind, and assesses the Kingdom’s responsible business landscape.
According to report, the most popular understanding of corporate social responsibility (CSR)—chosen by 87 per cent of respondents—is community engagement. Whereas, the most prevalent CSR activities—practiced by at least one third of respondents’ organizations—are: Community Engagement, Employee Wellness, Transparency, Corporate Governance, Health and Safety, and Gender Equality and Diversity.
Despite climate change being named among the top five global threats in 2013 by the World Economic Forum, the importance given to the environment among survey respondents was much lower than for social responsibility. Only 55 per cent of respondents cared whether or not the company they worked for was environmentally responsible, and only 26 per cent of respondents’ organizations engaged in environmental protection as part of their CSR.
“Since we launched 3BL in 2010, we have experienced the added challenge of creating a new market in a region in which CSR has been largely viewed through a marketing-donations-sponsorship lens; and sustainability an after-thought or weekend beach clean up,” said 3BL co-founder and Managing Director Leena Al Olaimy.
“CSR and sustainability have far more value than just ‘doing good’, and have the potential to simultaneously contribute to national socio-economic development, and to raise Bahrain’s rankings on a number of indices such as the Global Competitiveness Index,” Al Olaimy added.
“The survey results are freely available for download on our website, and we hope that this report will inspire conversations in every boardroom in Bahrain—large and small—and that social responsibility and sustainability will climb the policy agenda in 2013,” Al Olaimy concluded.
Interestingly, respondents favoured government interventions regarding CSR: almost 80 per cent believed there should be government regulations requiring companies to implement CSR. While, 95 per cent believe the government should provide incentives for companies to implement CSR. And around 83 per cent of respondents agreed to some degree, that there should be government funding to support CSR.
In addition to the public sector’s role in incentivizing CSR, an overwhelming 97 per cent of respondents believed in the private sector’s ability to address important social issues facing Bahrain through CSR.
When it came to measurement of CSR and sustainability, the survey revealed that 65 per cent of respondents’ organizations did not publish CSR or Sustainability reports, and almost half of respondents (48 per cent) said they did not believe that their organizations would in the near future. Comparatively, two thirds of Fortune 500 companies report on sustainability. Other GCC countries such as the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia also outperform Bahrain in sustainability reporting.
Further information can be found by downloading the Bahrain Responsible Business Survey report on 3BL Associates website.