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CSR performance of Saudi firms in focus

The third edition of Saudi Corporate Social Responsibility Forum (CSRF) will be held in Jeddah from April 9-10.
The event, which has the support of Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, is being organized by the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce & Industry (JCCI) at the Park Hyatt Hotel.
The winner of the CSRF Award recognizing best practices and initiatives in social responsibility will be announced at the forum, which will have the participation of a number of senior government officials, experts and businessmen from Saudi Arabia and elsewhere in the Arab world.
Ahmed bin Abdul Aziz Hamdan, head of Jeddah Social Responsibility Council, said: “The forum will focus on finding the appropriate mechanisms for the formulation of national agendas for social responsibility and will review the latest developments in the field of CSR along with the new challenges facing this activity in the Kingdom."
Hamdan added: "We have been witnessing a remarkable and intense approach from most Saudi companies toward adopting social responsibility initiatives and demonstrating awareness of their role in the development of society based on our Islamic values. Many distinctive CSR programs involving high levels of innovation and creativity have emerged and they have underscored the depth of companies’ expertise in social responsibility and their efforts to make these initiatives meaningful and effective in order to live up to the private sector’s important role in the process of social development in the country. "

The forum, which the JCCI is organizing in partnership with Al-Iktissad Wal-Aamal Group, is expected to review a number of key issues, especially the performance of Saudi companies in social responsibility programs. The participants will discuss ways to establish a triple social partnership between the public and private sectors, and charities. Also on the agenda will be the role of initiatives and social responsibility programs in building brands for national companies and mechanisms to involve shareholders and customers in these programs. It is expected that the forum will benefit from the participation of a wide range of institutions, government agencies, companies and groups from Saudi Arabia specifically and other Arab countries in general, as well as the expected participation of consulting firms and specialized consultancy offices.
Over the past two years, the CSRF has succeeded in promoting its position as a platform to launch national initiatives in this field. Among the most prominent initiatives were the launch of an endowment fund for small enterprises and productive families and the Tayseer project for rehabilitating all buildings to be used by the physically disabled, as well as recommending the launch of a national charter for social responsibility. One of the forum’s aims is to continue spreading awareness of social responsibility among companies and identify and address the challenges that impede the private sector in performing its role in the service of the Saudi society, which will positively impact the development and conservation of natural resources and the development of human capital.

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