Huw Gilbert, Communications Director, PepsiCo, Asia, Middle East and Africa and speaker at the 8th CSR Summit
The first comprehensive study carried out on the state of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and corporate governance in the UAE found that 42 percent respondents believe that CSR increases productivity. The Dubai Chamber study, which was conducted by the Center for Responsible Business in collaboration with the Emirates Foundation further revealed that 40 percent of the respondents feel that it contributes to employee loyalty.
The concept of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) however, has yet to strengthen its roots in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The study revealed that 56 percent of respondents did not participate in CSR activities due to lack of awareness, while 41 percent cited lack of financial resources as a main obstacle. These reasons kept 66 percent of companies in Dubai from taking part in initiatives.
Elaborating on PepsiCo’s commitment to CSR sustainability, Huw Gilbert, Communications Director, PepsiCo, Asia, Middle East and Africa and speaker at the 8th CSR Summit said: "At PepsiCo, we promised to deliver sustainable growth by investing in a healthier future for people and our planet. This promise is the cornerstone of our ‘Performance with Purpose’ corporate mission: our belief that our financial success - Performance - must go hand-in-hand with our social and environmental responsibilities - our Purpose.”
Moreover, CSR initiatives have not been proven to have a direct impact on brand recognition and business profitability, especially in the UAE where the practice is largely untried. Industry analysts are of the opinion that companies in the UAE that do take on CSR as corporate policy should focus on programs that are sustainable and directly related to that company's core business.
“A CSR policy that is not sustainable or achievable is useless. Moreover, a good CSR policy should start with the core business skills of a business therefore there is no right CSR policy for all unless it is environmental,” said Wafa' Tarnowska, CSR Manager Middle East for DLA Piper Middle East LLP.
PepsiCo, a global leader in sustainability will be launching a Youth CSR forum on April 24th, 2011 as part of IIR Middle East's 8th CSR Summit. The forum provides a chance to youth aged between 15 and 30 to share their views and increase knowledge on two important CSR related topics - ‘Empowerment through Education’ and ‘Protection of the Environment’. Scheduled to be held in Dubai from April 24th - 28th, 2011 at Mövenpick Hotel, JBR, the Summit will see cutting-edge debates and discussions. Key speakers include Maxime Chaya, Explorer and Mountaineer from Lebanon and Khaled Khalifa, Head of Middle East - Asia Bureau, UN IRIN News Service, Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, UAE among others.