78 percent of Saudi firms actively engaged in CSR

Most businesses now understand the value CSR adds to the bottom line

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Saudi Arabian Airlines has announced its participation as Strategic Partner of the CSR Saudi Arabia Summit, which will be held on Nov. 24-26, 2014 at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Jeddah.

“Saudi Arabian Airlines is proud to support the social responsibility summit as Strategic Partner within the framework of the airline’s position as a national leader in community service,” said Abdullah bin Mushabab Al-Ajhar, executive assistant general director of public relations at Saudi Arabian Airlines, referring to the airline’s mission to support all social responsibility initiatives including social, cultural and sports activities and healthcare and traffic awareness programs across the kingdom.

Jeddah Chamber of Commerce & Industry (JCCI) has also announced that it is supporting the summit as part of its commitment to furthering the practice and development of corporate social responsibility in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Expressing JCCI’s commitment to supporting the CSR Saudi Arabia Summit 2014, Secretary-General Adnan Mandourah said: “The popularity of corporate social responsibility is growing across the region, where CSR initiatives are driven by strong sociocultural factors which already promote such values. Moreover, although traditionally it has been seen as a philanthropic practice, Informa’s report shows that most businesses now understand the value CSR adds to the bottom line.”

Hoda Abdelhay, conference producer at Informa, the organizers of CSR Saudi Arabia 2014, said: “Based on a study done with more than 150 organizations and CSR professionals, there is a good number of companies actively engaged in CSR, whether they are in the process of implementing a CSR strategy or have already a well-established platform that they are working and improving on. The survey also showed that 7 percent of organizations are actively engaged in corporate social responsibility and 66 percent already have integrated CSR strategies.”

Mohammad al-Ayed, president and CEO of TRACCS, said “we are very pleased that TRACCS is participating in the CSR Summit as Official PR partner for the second year running. Globally, CSR has become an essential and integral part of public relations activities and I am proud to say that the kingdom of Saudi Arabia enjoys the status of being a world leader in developing and implementing innovative CSR programs that deliver solutions for specific community needs as well as benefitting all sectors of society in general.”

CSR Saudi Arabia 2014 will gather leading representatives of corporate organizations, ministries and other government bodies, non-governmental agencies, universities and SME’s from across the kingdom and around the world. Some of the topics that will be discussed include how to embed corporate and social sustainability into CSR programs to drive community development, methods that can strengthen education delivery and empower the Kingdom’s youth, as well as best practices that can enhance employment generation and the development of women.

This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette on Thursday, Nov. 19, 2014.