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

I read these messages on this great forum, I get the weekly updates, read the news and wonder, if this is the right forum to present these initiatives. Blood donations and breast cancer are important things, donating scholarships just the same, but are they CSR? The answer is very clear, they are not CSR - they are charity, donations, philantrophy, good initiatives, but definitly not CSR. I know that in the Middle East that is what is understood mostly under the term CSR. But maybe it is time to make a shift here. CSR is a strategical tool to manage your business towards a sustainable future. Or as the European Commission has formulated it now in its newest communication on CSR just published last Monday: The Commission puts forward a new definition of CSR as “the responsibility of enterprises for their impacts on society”.Short and sweet. It touches exactly on what CSR is really about. Taking the responsibility of the impacts on society, so this means, analysing what the company is doing, how does it impact society, how how can it take action to deal with these impacts. The key, it is related to business, to the core business of the company, it is a strategical management tool to run your business, to deal with the question of "How do we do our business". Only when this will be understood by the companies then CSR will be able to unfold its full potential. As long as it is about charity, it does not give any indication on how the company runs its day to day operations, if it is destroying the environment, exploiting its employees, paying its taxes etc. If you want to learn more about this approach that will make businesses understand that CSR is about earning money, not spending money, an investment rather than a cost, then go to www.csr-company.com or follow me on twitter: csrmartin.

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Comment by Dr. Fatih Mehmet Gul on October 28, 2011 at 9:04am

Dear Martin, Thanks for your message and explanations. CSR Middle East has been established to create such discussions. Discussions will help and assist regional business community and will bring a better future and investments. Hope we will be able to have such discussions published at the regional media and increase "real" CSR awareness across the region. Thanks for your contributions.

Comment by Houssam Lahrech on October 27, 2011 at 10:50pm

Quite agree!

The roots of the CSR concept started with philanthropy, but now it is shifting towards mainstream management practices. CSR is becoming crucial for companies around the world to be gain competitive advantage. CSR is only effective in doing so if well integrated within the management practices of the firm. It can help create value through cost reductions, creating synergy, and hedging risks. The notion of risk management has evolved and now include intangible risks such as reputational, human capital, legal and operational risks. These can translate to material risks impacting the financial performance of the company. Examples include BP oil spill case, and more recently Olympus case in which stock price decreased by 56% due to the inefficiencies within the internal control set by the company to protect shareholders. Indeed, CSR includes corporate governance issues as well since shareholders can also be vulnerable stakeholders. Philosophic activities is part of CSR as well since it can help hedge reputation risks or enhance the reputation asset of the company. Overall, it is the level of integration within mainstream business activities that define how effective the CSR strategy of the firm is.

 

Houssam

Comment by Lama Diab on October 27, 2011 at 12:49pm

Dear Mr.Martin,

I would like to thank you for your note.I am so interested in the CSR and in the " real" CSR that u talked about.

I read about your company very interesting.I would like to ask you if  you are going to have an office in Lebanon?

Regards,

Lama Diab

Comment by CSR Middle East on October 27, 2011 at 12:24pm

Dear Martin,

Thanks for your note. We share the same understanding with you, however CSR has different versions in different parts of the world. Updates are taken from the regional media and in all Middle East countries, CSR is understood as the charity contribution and community initiatives.

I am happy to hear that you're going to have an office in Jeddah and start spreading the right word from that point. We all hope to see the global way of CSR through your initiatives and updates. 

Please be so kind to share your initiative updates with the members that audiences can see right approach from the region..

Best,

Susanne

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