CSR Middle East, CSR dedicated platform with 3.515 corporate members in the Middle East.
CSR Middle East launches featured member. You will meet with the featured members and will learn more about their activities and background.
CSR Middle East: Can you tell us a little bit about your background and experiences in the CSR Sector?
Maali Qasem: I come from a professional legal background were I have practiced law for several years in a variety of specializations including corporate law, mergers & acquisitions and human rights law.
Such practice reinforced my desire to do “good” and encourage others to do good. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to practice law in a highly ethical environment encouraging the best and most responsible practices in the public and private sector. This formulated and advanced my desire to do something of a more social nature such as CSR and advance responsible practices in all areas of commercial work.
CSR Middle East: What does Schema do? Can you tell us more about your activities
Maali Qasem: Schema is an established advisory practice focused on Sustainability by providing tailored solutions in Corporate Governance ("CG") and Corporate Social Responsibility (“CSR”) across the Middle East and North Africa region.
It is the only Sustainability advisory practice in the Middle East and North Africa region that specializes purely in Corporate Governance ("CG") and Corporate Social Responsibility ("CSR"), allowing us to maintain our focus and evolve with the rapid development in these fields.
Schema’s Corporate Governance (“CG”) division is a pioneer in establishing best practices and tailoring successful frameworks to ensure Sustainability through effective implementation of CG principles, including accountability, transparency and disclosure.
Schema's Corporate Social Responsibility ("CSR") division is at the forefront of providing tailored solutions for clients to maximize the impact of their CSR investments; enhancing their Sustainability while building internal CSR capacity in the process.
We are committed to Sustainability, delivering value to clients in the areas of Corporate Governance ("CG") and Corporate Social Responsibility ("CSR"). Everything we do at Schema is based on our 4 core values:
We don’t sit on the sidelines; we believe in innovation, thought leadership and curiosity. For this reason, through its many activities, Schema has had and will continue to have a positive impact on the CG and CSR landscape in the region.
We believe in practicing what we preach. Sustainability has to be based on honesty, ethics, and accountability – these are three principles on which Schema is founded.
We believe strongly in what we do. At Schema our passion for Sustainability and for our client’s success is what drives us.
We believe in working with our clients, not simply for them. Goals are achieved when teams work together, which is why Schema will always be a partner to its clients, working to achieve their goals.
CSR Middle East: Wonderful to know about Schema. On this note can you tell us more about the CGR forum\ you recently managed...
Maali Qasem: The Corporate Governance and Responsibility ("CGR") Forum, is an ongoing engagement by Schema, a unique knowledge generating platform created to identify, address and enable development in the areas of Corporate Governance ("CG") and Corporate Social Responsibility ("CSR"), while building an awareness of the importance of Sustainability.
The objective of the Corporate Governance and Responsibility ("CGR") Forum 2011 is to establish the link between the areas of Corporate Governance ("CG") and Corporate Social Responsibility ("CSR"), and their implementation towards realizing Sustainability.
CSR Middle East: What are some effective ways for a business to become more sustainable, especially in our region?
Maali Qasem: Just like any nascent practices there are no blueprints. For businesses in the region to become more sustainable they need to try alternative routes and means of doing business and for focusing on principles such as responsibility and sustainability in there day to day actions and operations. It needs to be instilled as a value for consideration in every decision they make.
Our region is unique in that it has social pillars of responsibility and therefore, it is my opinion that there should be less shareholders and stakeholder resistance and more business acceptance provided that businesses understand that to be sustainable and responsible does not mean increasing their charitable contribution but identifying key ways of growth, development and investing into the community encouraging sustainable development, effective partnerships and win-win relationships.
CSR Middle East: Would you please share with us best CSR practices from the region
Maali Qasem: Some of the best CSR practices we have seen in the region are those stemming from senior management belief system and commitment i.e. where the board is fully supportive of CSR in principle. This has encouraged businesses to identify collaborative CSR initiatives that are both desired and sought after in their communities.
These include varies environment initiatives encouraging recycling and environmental conscious shopping, reaching out to conscious consumers in terms of effective responsible marketing strategies, and accountable supply chain management providing substantial added value to the business by minimizing risks in view of current circumstances.
This is in reality an endless list but these are key practices that we have seen regularly succeed in this region.
CSR Middle East: What do you think about CSR Middle East and your recommendations for future…
Maali Qasem: Its great to have such a portal in the Middle East and it is a needed resource to pool the know-how and experts available in the Middle East making information and resources accessible to all those that may be interested in investing in this field so thank you very much for all your efforts.