What is CSR?
Corporate social responsability (CSR) is a form of corporate self-regultation integrated into a business model. It is a voluntary activity undertaken by a company to operate in an economic, social and environmentally sustainable manner. Its aim is to embrace responsability for the company's actions and encourage a positive impact through its activities on the environment, consumers, employees, communities, stakesholders and all other members of the public sphere who may also be considered as stakehorlders.
Today, Many corporations have developped a CSR or a sustainable development department. International institutions adopted guidelines such as the UN with The principles for Responsabible Investement. ISO 26 000 is the recognized international standart for CSR
CSR in MENA
Currently, CSR has substance in almost all MENA countries, yet its perspectives differ from country to country, according to governance performance and the economic reform strategies being applied. In some countries, the focus is on the search for a business case, while in others, CSR is arising from or responding to pressures and demands from society. Still, in others, the debate is driven by and rooted in moral reasoning. Certainly the gradual change in the role of governance has highlighted the need to transcend CSR from an ad hoc, voluntary, charity, and philanthropic action to a deliberate and regular developmental action that will leave sustainable impacts and support countries’ socio-economic development plans. Therefore, education, youth empowerment and employment projects supported by private corporations have been increasing in the MENA region - shifting the simple acts of charity and donation to the implementation of sustainable development projects.
CSR activity in the MENA region has been strong over the last few years despite the recent economic downturn. A study conducted by Hawkamah Institute (ESG Index - 2011) of leading companies reveals an increasingly strong dedication of CSR budgets from donations to socially responsible sustainable projects.
For instance, the National Bank of Abu Dhabi has an objective to ensure 1% of pre-tax profits go towards community investments. National Bank of Abu Dhabi has given over AED 100M over the last 3 years to CSR programs.
The Arab Bank Pre-tax profits invested into the community were 3.1%.
Orascom Construction Industries is one of the few companies in the MENA that do not just disclose their charitable contributions ($ 5.4 million), but they also report on spending on other CSR activities (that their training budget amounted to $ 0.6 million)
Other regional companies with strong CSR culture are Dubai Aluminum, Abraaj Capital, EFG Hermes, Commercial International Bank (Egypt) S.A.E, Egyptian Company for Mobile Services (MobiNil), Lafarge Ciments, DP World, Du Telecom, Aramex, Al Shayaa Group...
CSR and Pi Slice
What is Pi Slice added value for a CSR policy?
Several large corporations have shown their commitment to the fight against poverty. Pi Slice proposes to thoses companies to develop microfinance in their CSR policy by actively supporting micro-entrepreneurs in Middle-East. What Pi Slice proposes is to integrate employees of a company to microfinance support and not only the CSR department. Thus, employees of Pi Slice partners can directly finance projects in a specific community created for their entreprise. Employees can be proud of their company.
Pi Slice wants to integrate microfinance as an integrated tool of CSR policies. Thanks to Pi Slice, employees will be encouraged to finance micro-entrepreners.