Formed in 2004, the Arabia CSR Network (ACSRN) is one of the very first multi-stakeholder platforms that engage small and large businesses and government institutions to strengthen their commitment to sustainable development across the Arab world.
The Arabia CSR network also aims to bring into greater focus the local and regional efforts undertaken at the corporate and civil society levels to further the case of CSR in the Middle East. Working under the slogan "Building Partnerships for a Sustainable Future"Â the Arabia CSR Network's aim is to facilitate exchange of ideas and to forge lasting partnerships across sectors for an improved society based on UNGC's ten principles for human rights, labor rights, the environment and anti-corruption.
Based in the UAE, ACSRN aims to position the Arab region as a leader in Business Excellence and CSR by working in the areas of sustainability awards, research, training and more. Over the year it has grown into up to be one of the foremost CSR and sustainability related professional organizations in the Arab region.
What is Corporate Social Responsibility?
The World Business Council for Sustainable Development defines Corporate Social Responsibility (commonly referred to as CSR) as "the continuing commitment by business to behave ethically and contribute to economic development while improving the quality of life of the workforce and their families as well as of the local community and society at large".
Over the years, companies have earned a reputation of mean, profit making machines that are not concerned with betterment of society or the preservation of the natural environment. Today, this image of firms has negatively impacted business and affected the perception of consumers. Therefore, CSR has become the face of the 21st century corporate organizations. Companies and firms want to give back to the society in which they thrive and sustain.
CSR is strictly a voluntary action of a company to go beyond business. CSR however, is not a quick fix solution that you can apply onto your business activities to make them look 'good'. It is in part, connected with the way you do business. CSR is also the vehicle that can help businesses to ride out the storm of economic chaos, social unrest, political uncertainty and depleting natural resources. With clear benefits arising out of a synergetic commitment to business, society and the environment, CSR helps define a clear and strategic path to long term success.