Over 60% of UAE brands have experienced a tangible growth in consumer engagement as a direct result of increase in CSR (corporate social responsibility) activities and in KSA 52% believe that CSR improves consumer trust with brands.
Overall efforts to increase CSR grew significantly in the UAE and the GCC compared to last year, with over 90% of those surveyed being in tune with CSR’s definition and purpose, said Cicero & Bernay Communication Consultancy (C&B), a leading Mena agency headquartered in Dubai, who in partnership with 3Gem Research and Insights, a global research partner, brought out the third edition of its annual Mena CSR Report 2022.
Eight in ten UAE companies are planning to increase their CSR practices, with Egypt and the GCC now at a similar level, with over 65% of the companies, on average, actively tracking and enforcing CSR performance.
Investing in CSR
Managers in the UAE were more likely to strongly agree that investing in CSR activities has a long-term, net-positive impact on ‘my’ business’s bottom line (profits) compared to managers in the KSA.
In recent years, countries in the Middle East have started to take significant steps towards fostering a culture of social responsibility, with the UAE and KSA leading the way in promoting sustainable and socially responsible practices. The 2022 report also highlights a positive change in sentiment among some previously low-scoring countries.
The survey engaged 314 C-level executives from nine countries across 12 industries in the Mena region, providing a representative sample of the business community, with respondents from companies of various sizes and sectors.
The survey was designed to be comprehensive, covering a wide range of topics that are relevant to the corporate social responsibility (CSR) landscape in the region. As a result, the CSR Mena Report is a credible and solid source of information that provides insights into the perceptions and actions of business leaders in the region.
The increased perception of the importance of CSR in the region, especially in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, signals a significant shift towards a more sustainable and socially responsible business environment. This highlights the increasing recognition of the role that businesses can play in promoting sustainable development and the potential for these countries to lead the way in this area.
Ahmad Itani, founder and CEO of C&B, said: “Through our report, we aim to drive further progress in sustainable business practices and to promote the role of businesses in fostering sustainable development. The growing recognition of CSR's importance in the region is a cause for optimism, and we are confident that our continued efforts will help build a more sustainable and socially responsible future for us all in the region.
“In the post-2020 era, as CSR continues to grow, it is heartening to see the UAE and KSA continue their paramount lead in regional CSR efforts and countries such as Egypt and Qatar meeting regional standards of CSR engagement and surpassing them in some ways. This is a testament to the efforts of governments and businesses in these countries in prioritising social responsibility and sustainability.”
No scaling back
Darren Ryan, global creative director – 3Gem Research & Insights, said: “It was encouraging that, consistent with last year’s report, the majority (three-quarters) of Mena companies plan to increase their CSR activities over the next 12 months, with a further fifth planning to replicate their CSR activities from last year. Also promising to discover, was that hardly any companies will be scaling back CSR activities. This latest edition offers valuable insights into how businesses continue to approach corporate social responsibility now and for the future.”
Itani concluded: “The importance of CSR has never been more critical, and we are proud to have been a part of this journey and to have played a role in underpinning the consistently growing importance of CSR in the Mena region.”--
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