Maria Sillanpaa, Founding Director of Sustainability Advisory Group
Maria Sillanpaa, an internationally recognised corporate responsibility and sustainability figure, and Founding Director of Sustainability Advisory Group, will conduct a three-day training course in Dubai, addressing “The Why, The What and The How” of “Creating Value Through Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Management”. The hands-on and highly interactive course, from February 26 to 28, will approach the topic both from strategic and practical perspectives.
Sustainability Advisory Group, which is an international alliance of Corporate Responsibility (CR) and Sustainability experts and specialists in multiple fields, says the course will help organizations struggling to define corporate responsibility and sustainability programmes that add real value to their business. It is designed to cut through the confusion that prevails in the market, with the use of diverse terminology related to the concept and practice of corporate responsibility and sustainability, and offer insights into best practice and standards that have emerged from around the world, and are being constantly updated.
“The course is aimed at bringing clarity and focusing on how best to build a corporate programme that adds value to the bottom line as well as enjoys wide stakeholder acceptance. The first day will look at the concept, drivers and strategy; the second day will be devoted to practical guidelines to designing and implementing value-adding corporate programmes; effective reporting and communicating based on international best practice, coupled with lessons in building effective engagement with stakeholders will be the content on the third day,” says Sillanpaa. The course is being held in partnership with IIR Middle East.
“Our Corporate Responsibility Survey of 2010 showed that almost 90 percent of senior corporate executives in the region think that CR and sustainability are key in building and maintaining a strong corporate reputation, and 86 percent believe that that they are vital in fostering business innovation. However, at the practical level, we find that there is a knowledge and skills gap that prevents regional businesses from converting their readiness and aspirations on CSR and sustainability into solid value-adding strategies and programmes,” she says.
Sillanpaa, who has previously held pivotal roles at The Body Shop International, KPMG and AccountAbility, has made significant contributions a number of international sustainability initiatives, including AA1000 Series of Standards and Global Reporting Initiative. Her publications include The Stakeholder Corporation – A Blueprint for Maximizing Stakeholder Value.