Corporate Social Responsibility should be the underlining principle that drives growth in all organisations. In order to be truly effective, CSR principles must be adopted at all levels and implemented on a day-to-day basis.
Majid Al Futtaim Properties has discovered this link and has developed a unique strategy which reaches out to its over 140 million customers. Their policies are designed to support employees, customers, tenants and community, and economic development. For 2012 the company will allocate a budget for resource efficiency and sustainability. This will ensure that natural resources are used in construction thus reducing carbon footprint. In addition they will invest in systems and equipment that are more efficient in using water and power.
"The best companies are those which demonstrate that they are committed to a long term sustainable strategy that balances the interest of all stakeholders," says Ibrahim Al-Zu'bi, Head of CSR at Majid Al Futtaim Properties and speaker at this year's 9th CSR Summit.
"Getting this balance right is Corporate Social Responsibility and underlies the principles that drive growth which should be economically efficient, socially fair and environmentally sustainable. Companies need to relealise that CSR is not just the responsibility of the CEO, senior management team or the board. To be truly effective, CSR principles must be adopted by everybody in the organization," he added.
Al-Zu'bi said sustainable CSR policies need to work in conjunction with partners. Majid Al Futtaim Properties reduces the amount of CO2 emissions from cars by encouraging their customers to use public transportation. By involving their tenants in their CSR policy, they engage in active dialogue with them in order to reduce energy waste in their stores and encourage environmentally friendly procedures such as tenants signing "green clauses". They have also introduced "green star" ratings based on how environmentally efficient tenants are.
They do the same with their employees by promoting localisation and providing equal opportunities for men and women. In order to develop community and economic development, they create job opportunities and partner with local service providers from the community, this includes non-profit organisations.
Rabea Ataya, CEO of Bayt.com and also a speaker at the Summit, agrees that CSR is highly beneficial to organisations.
"At Bayt.com, we strongly feel that the community at large is a key stakeholder that must be engaged and satisfied for the sustainability of our work. Our CSR focus comes from the realization that we can only succeed if we empower people in our community to lead better lives," continued Ataya.
The 9th CSR Summit will take place from 10 to 13 June at The Mövenpick Hotel Jumeirah Beach, Dubai, where Al-Zu'bi and Ataya will discuss how organisations can lock CSR into its core business along with other speakers. Also presenting at the summit, will be Rania Tayeh, Branding and CSR officer for Dubai Aluminium Company, Huw Gilbert, Senior Director of Corporate Affairs-AMEA for PepsiCo, and the events official CSR partner.
In addition, for the second consecutive year, PepsiCo will once again be holding its CSR Youth Forum, bringing together like-minded youth from around the region to debate and develop a route for creating a more sustainable and healthier future for the Middle East. This year's full-day event will include interactive workshops, speaker panels and discussion groups on topics relating to health, environment and talent sustainability under the theme of 'Be the Change'. PepsiCo is investing in this forum to provide a platform where youth can have their voices heard and to build their leadership capabilities in the area of social responsibility.
IIR would like to thank the Summit sponsors and exhibitors for their continued support at this year's Summit: PepsiCo, Henkel, Counterpart International and Procter and Gamble.
10% of all delegate fees at the event will be donated to the Dubai Autism Centre as part of IIR Middle East, the event organisers CSR initiative.