CSR Middle East, CSR dedicated platform with 3.555 corporate members in the Middle East.

Featured Member: Meet with Nikos Avlonas : President of Centre for Sustainability & Excellence (CSE)

Meet with Nikos Avlonas : President of Centre for Sustainability & Excellence (CSE)


CSR Middle East : Can you tell us a little bit about your background and experiences in the CSR Sector?


Nikos Avlonas : CSE is a global Sustainability (CSR) strategic advisory and training organization with offices in Chicago, Brussels and Athens. We work in more than 20 countries with private and public sector clients, including FT500, for the integration of Sustainability (CSR) within their operations and has extensive experience in the areas of Sustainability (CSR) Strategy, Reporting, Carbon footprint and Supply Chain Management. We are also a leading training provider to more than 5000 Executives and have partnerships with leading global institutes including Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), CDP, myclimate, Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA). Our services aim at producing positive impacts, enhancing best practice and promoting Sustainability and Excellence through key service areas:

  • Sustainability (CSR) Reporting based on GRI Guidelines
  • Life Cycle Assessment & Carbon / Water Footprint
  • Sustainability Verification & Assurance
  • Green & Social Cause Related Marketing
  • Sustainable Supply Chain Management
  • Certified Professional Training Workshops


CSR Middle East : What does CSE do in the region? Can you tell us more about your activities?


Nikos Avlonas : CSE has created an innovative framework for Sustainability Assessment and Reporting for the Dubai Government two years ago .The Dubai Government Integrity program is a leading case for sustainability in the public sector based on International Standards and best practices.

In addition, CSE developed an advanced CSR Report based on Global CSR practices for the Dubai Centre for Corporate Values (DCCV), a new initiative that aims to promote the awareness and practice of corporate social responsibility (CSR) in Dubai’s business sector. Moreover CSEs presence in the region is active through our Certified Sustainability (CSR) Training (IEMA approved) and through active participation in leading conferences.


CSR Middle East : Would you please share with us best CSR practices from the region?


Nikos Avlonas : In the Middle East, it is worth mentioning CSEs contribution to leading initiatives that have been implemented by Zain (organization wide training initiative), the Savola’s Center for Empowering Persons with Disability (CEPWD). Also Chalhoub Group has implemented best practice examples and so has Aldar.


CSR Middle East : What are some effective ways for a business to become more sustainable, especially in our region?


Nikos Avlonas : Sustainability is a concept that is still not clear to everyone, including big organizations in private and public sector. Implementing Sustainability requires a change in the way organisations perceive progress and development. Sustainable development is a shift to a responsible management approach where organisations act responsibly towards environment, society, workplace and marketplace. This cultural shift can be achieved only through training and assessment of stakeholders. Identifying stakeholders and stakeholder needs and expectations allows for improvements, innovation and differentiation that lead to organisational excellence. Sustainability need to be seen as a strategic tool for risk management and decision making. Only organizations that operate in a sustainable manner will maintain their competitive advantage and make the difference.


CSR Middle East : What do you think about CSR Middle East and your recommendations for future…


Nikos Avlonas : CSR Middle East is an important initiative that enforces Sustainability and promotes CSR in the Middle East region. Such initiatives make me feel confident and optimistic that Middle East will move forward towards a more sustainable future.

The way platform allows for interaction and best practice sharing between members is great and the opportunities for ideas exchange make the platform utilize all aspects of social networking. Keep up the good job!


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Comment by Dr. Fatih Mehmet Gul on October 8, 2011 at 5:41pm
It is great pleasure to have such experts with us at CSR Middle East and thanks for your kind words about the platform. We look forward seeing more contribution from yourself and CSE...

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