Friday 19 July 2024

Ahmad Itani

Mena's corporate giants lead the charge in CSR innovation

DUBAI, June 10, 2024

Some 84% of business leaders surveyed in the Mena region now recognise CSR metrics as integral to their strategic planning, ensuring a responsible and sustainable business model, says Cicero & Bernay (C&B). 
In its groundbreaking Mena CSR Report in collaboration with Carma International, C&B says CSR-driven companies are seeing a surge in consumer trust and loyalty, reflecting a growing preference for brands with robust ethical practices. 71% of firms operate active programmes, with a further 24% preparing to launch their initiatives.
Egypt, the KSA and the UAE lead the charge, with an awareness majority of 96%, 92% and 91% respectively.
Egypt and KSA
In the current year, 80% of Mena executives expect increased CSR activities. Regionally, Egypt (93%) and the KSA (87%) show the strongest intent to expand CSR efforts.
In Egypt, awareness and understanding of CSR grew the largest this year, increasing significantly from 84% to 94%. 
Over 80% of executives surveyed report a positive impact of CSR on customer engagement, profitability, and competitive positioning. This reflects a 110% increase in sentiment compared to last year's average of 38%, which supports the view that CSR significantly enhances business outcomes. 
The 2023 Mena CSR report surveyed over 340 C-suite and senior executives across the UAE, the KSA, Egypt, the Levant, and several other GCC countries. This comprehensive survey spans various high-impact sectors, such as technology & engineering, banking & finance, oil & gas, construction, healthcare, automotive, and real estate, showcasing a broad and diverse sectoral engagement in corporate social responsibility initiatives across the region.
Into the limelight
As businesses globally face increasing pressure to operate sustainably and ethically, the Mena region steps into the limelight with pioneering initiatives that integrate environmental, social, and governance factors into the core of business operations. The 2023 report captures this pivotal transformation, marking a significant milestone in how regional businesses will approach ESG moving forward.  
"Transitioning from CSR to ESG isn't just a trend-it's a transformative journey that cements our commitment to future generations," said Ahmad Itani, Founder and CEO of C&B. "This report doesn't just reflect where we are; it's a beacon for where we're headed, underscoring our dedication to fostering a sustainable and ethically-driven market landscape."
Mazen Nahawi, Founder and CEO of Carma International, said: "Our partnership with Cicero & Bernay is a reflection of the incredible potential lying within the Mena region. The rich tapestry of progress here is a story the world is still discovering, and through our collaborative efforts, we are not only highlighting the remarkable CSR achievements over the past year but also paving the way for future advancements in ESG and responsible business practices."
CSR outlook
Looking ahead, the report predicts that by the end of 2024, over 90% of surveyed Mena businesses will have fully integrated CSR strategies into their operations, with significant advancements anticipated in environmental sustainability measures and governance transparency. The report also highlights a growing trend towards using advanced CSR metrics to track and report on sustainability efforts, providing stakeholders with clear and actionable insights into corporate performance.--TradeArabia News Service


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