CSR-shunning retailers 'risk reputations'

Mohammed Alshaya has urged Arab businesses not to confuse corporate social responsibility with charity and to focus on programmes for the long-term growth of the region.
CSR-shunning retailers 'risk reputations'
By Administrator
Sun 08 Jun 2008 04:00 AM

Mohammed Alshaya has urged Arab businesses not to confuse corporate social responsibility with charity and to focus on programmes for the long-term growth of the region.

At the World Economic Forum Does Arab Business Care session, the executive chairman of M.H. Alshaya Co., pointed out that globally, CSR has evolved beyond compassion and extends to long-term involvement of businesses with communities and governments.

"In the Middle East, corporate social responsibility is still in its infancy, it is very much associated with ‘giving' through charitable donations.

There is much more we can do in partnership with governments and NGOs to tackle deeper issues like unemployment, lack of quality education and carbon footprint reduction," said Alshaya.

"The regional corporations should place more emphasis on their social responsibilities, as consumers and governments are becoming increasingly conscious of ethical and environmental issues.

Businesses not committing to CSR will not only risk their reputations but also give up the opportunity to contribute to the growth of this region, or successfully expand outside it, " he said.

"As Middle Eastern companies expand globally, they will have to address CSR more seriously, "Mr. Alshaya added, "it will allow them to compete on a level playing field with competitors.

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