CSR conference, Abu Dhabi

Arabia CSR Network partners with Embassy of Sweden and Abu Dhabi Chamber for CSR conference in Abu Dhabi, UAE

Date: 23rd Oct 2012

The Embassy of Sweden, the Swedish Trade Council, the Swedish Business Council, the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and the Arabia CSR Network organized a seminar on Corporate Social Responsibility on Tuesday October 23, at 9.30am-2.30pm, at the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The seminar, titled ‘Meeting Future Challenges of Corporate Social Responsibility’ invited a number of corporate leaders, government officials and CSR managers to discuss challenges on implementing CSR and sustainability initiatives in the UAE. It also shed light on a number of good practices by private and public organizations across the UAE.

At the seminar, Ms. Habiba Al Marashi, President of the Arabia CSR Network stated, ‘When you read case studies from companies that have benefited from implementing effective CSR strategies, you hardly read about the challenges they faced in their journey. And for most of us today who are in the business of corporate responsibility and sustainability, we know that executing CSR efficiently and effectively is more of an ideal situation that what reality allows us.’

Ms. Al Marashi went to on list the key challenges to CSR and sustainability in the region. These include, among others, buy-in from senior leadership, fear of the unknown, and the lack of benchmarking and comparative credibility of CSR initiatives taken by hundreds of organizations in the MENA region

Also present at the seminar was Sweden’s new Ambassador for CSR, Mr. Bengt Johansson. He spoke about lessons learned in Sweden and what the government and the business community have done to make Sweden a global forerunner in CSR.

The seminar focused around two main topics: i) Advancing Transparency through Good Governance and Anti-Corruption and ii) Human Capital Development through Innovative Employee Engagement.

In each panel, there were speakers from both Swedish companies and Emirati companies who shared their experiences from CSR. Some of these speakers included Anna Nordiner from Volvo, Nick Nadal from Hawkamah Institute for Corporate Governance, Gary Foote from ABB, Stuart Mee from Al Futtaim Carillion and others.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is mainly driven and performed by the business community. During this event Emirati and Swedish companies were given an opportunity to share expertise and best practices on CSR what they have done, how they did it and what the results were.