CSR Guidelines for the Financial Sector - page 4

. Overview of CSR
According to theWorld Bank Institute, although the concept of CSR has been developing since the early 1970’s,
there is no single, commonly accepted definition of CSR.
CSR generally refers to:
- a collection of policies and practices linked to relationships with key stakeholders, values, compliancewith legal
requirements, and respect for people, communities and the environment; and
- the commitment of business to contribute to sustainable development.
Corporate citizenship is based on the concept of the organization as a citizen and is also frequently usedwhile
referring toCSR. The two terms are sometimes used interchangeably.
In 2007, Schema held the first CorporateGovernance and Responsibility (“CGR”) Forum to engage the thought
leaders of theMiddle East andNorthAfrica (MENA) onCorporateGovernance andCSR. The definition of CSRwas
put to the vote to over 120 business leaders and the agreed on definitionwas a definition put forward byWikipedia
that is:
"Corporate Responsibility is a term that has come to characterize a family of professional disciplines that help a
corporation stay competitive bymaintaining accountability to its fourmain stakeholder groups: customers,
employees, shareholders, and communities. The professional disciplines included in theCorporate Responsibility
field include: legal and financial compliance, business ethics, corporate social responsibility, public and community
affairs, investor relations, stakeholder communications, brandmanagement, environmental affairs, sustainability,
socially responsible investing, and corporate philanthropy."
Furthermore, at theCGR Forum it was suggested that CSR is important for theMENA region for the following
reasons in their order of priority:
• To facilitate the long-term development of theMENA region
• It makes good business sense and it is recognized good practice
• To empower the private sector to take part in the region's development and the direction of development
It was also suggested that themost important principles of CSR for theMiddle East region:
• To acknowledgewhat the stakeholders/customers need or want through engagement
• To encourage corporate community involvement
• To build private – public partnerships
“CSR is not a cosmetic; it must be rooted in our values. It must make a difference to theway we do our business.”
(Phil Watts, GroupManagingDirector Royal Dutch/Shell Group)
“Corporate citizenship is our global commitment, our knowledge and our solutions create a better world.”
(Siemens AG, HQ inGermany)
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