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Saudi Arabia will have the Saudi Index Consultation Council for Responsible Competitiveness in the Corporate Social Responsibility of Companies operating in the Kingdom to help create responsible competition among companies in providing CSR programs, deputy governor and chief operating officer at the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority Ali Sheneamer said Tuesday.
He said CSR started on donation level, then turned into development programs that follows strategies which he hoped will be implemented in the Kingdom.
Sheneamer said the authority has conducted a survey and 62 percent of participants believe that CSR is essential in building trust among companies and consumers, while 56 are attracted to companies because of their CSR programs. According to the study, 60 percent of employees become more productive in companies that provide CSR programs.
Asked if they have any plans to use Zakah in CSR, he said Zakah falls under the responsibility of the ministry finance and goes to social security programs. On the use of companies for their CSR to promote for their companies and create public relations for them, Sheneamer said consumers are now more aware and can identify campaigns and CSR that is meant to promote only and those that hopes for advancing CSR development projects.
Companies in the Kingdom still are not aware completely of the importance of corporate social responsibility programs and their role in advancing the development of individuals and societies, the secretary general of King Khalid Award Riyad Al-Abdulkrim said. He told the Saudi Gazette that companies are not aware of the role that the General Investment Authority can play in increasing competition among them in CSR programs.
There is a need to create a commission that organizes the CSR programs, said Al-Abdulkrim and added "all SCR should be under one umbrella. All efforts played by companies in this regard now go separate. We should unify efforts so they don’t go unrecognized." In this context he called for more workshops, forums and programs that would increase the awareness among companies on the importance of CSR programs.
The Saudi CSR was inaugurated Tuesday at Park Hayat under the patronage of Prince Mishal Bin Majid, Governor of Jeddah. The two- day event is organized by the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Al-Iktissad Wal-Aamal.
Officials and specialists who attended the event were over 600.Ahmad Al-Hamdan the head of the CSR Center at JCCI announced the JCCI prize for Jeddah CSR that aims at highlighting the best CSR programs in the kingdom based on objective measures.
Al-Hamdan said the forum is part of their efforts to expand their activities to increase awareness about the culture of CSR.
Their center has called for an initiative to make Jeddah easy for disabled people by making all building and places capable of welcoming them and also by easing their transportation. There programs he said also help the productive families and stress on work ethics, he added.
Faisal , deputy CEO of Al-Iktissad Wal-Aamal, said some Saudi companies have succeeded in providing successful models in CSR not only in Saudi but also in the region. "Investments should be directed towards social issues that are of national priority. Here comes the necessity of collaboration between the private and public sectors," he added.