CSR Oman 2014 Summit Addresses National Sustainability

CSR Oman 2014

CSR Oman 2014, a summit that has brought together the Omani business community to debate and discuss the changing role of corporate social responsibility (CSR), was inaugurated under the auspices of H.E Sultan bin Salim Al Habsi, Secretary-General, Supreme Council for Planning at the Grand Hyatt. Informa Middle East, in association with the Capital Market Authority (CMA), Oman Oil Company (OOC) and the Oman Society for Petroleum Services (OPAL) organised the two-day summit that kicked-off with two pre-summit workshops on Sunday, 28 September.

H.E Yahya bin Said Al-Jabri, Chairman of the board of directors of the Capital Market Authority (CMA), said in the opening speech, “CSR is crucial for sustainable development and partnership between the public and private sectors for economic growth. Through supporting social, economic and cultural programs, we can assure a brighter future for the coming generations. Therefore, it is essential to have a comprehensive vision, mutual cooperation, innovative initiatives and shared efforts to make the CSR more effective which is the main goal of this summit.”

Mulham Al Jarf, Deputy CEO of OOC, said, “It is Oman Oil Company’s strategy to make significant contributions on the CSR and sustainability development front. The summit is a great platform to plan and implement tangible ways to benefit our community.”

The morning panel discussions focused on the work of Government institutions towards supporting the adoption of CSR and sustainability policies, and their positive impact in the local community. The discussion on the government outlook focused on the current infrastructure and network for successful CSR initiatives, and illustrated the success of corporate CSR initiatives in making an impact on social and community development. Sayyed Hamid Sultan Al-Busaidi, acting General Manager of Oman Centre for Corporate Governance and Sustainability, and Mulham al Jarf, Deputy CEO – Oman Oil Company, were key speakers who advocated the implementation of a standardised national CSR policy that would address future objectives.

“Case studies and best practices, expert roundtables and panel discussions are a great way to gain insight, explore projects and develop future partnerships. This platform is guaranteed to drive sustainability and establish a link between CSR and business growth,” said Sayyed Hamid Sultan Al-Busaidi of Oman Centre for Corporate Governance and Sustainability.

Annelise Hodge, CSR Manager – Dubai Chamber of Commerce addressed Middle East trends and how engaging the entire organisation in CSR and ethical business practices can drive sustainable change. Dr. Khalid Abdul Wahab Ahmed Al Balushi, Senior Manager, Government, Relations  and Sustainability, CEO’s Office-OmanAir brought to light CSR vs Sponsorship in an Oman case study.

“Having taken place in Oman for the first time, the CSR Summit brings great value in highlighting the importance of “corporate social responsibility”. It is a relevant forum to share ideas and experiences, as well as receive feedback. Interaction and networking in this regard from a professional audience adds further benefits. We are glad to be a part of this event,” said Irshad Al Lawati of OPAL.

CSR Oman 2014

The NGO round-table lunch posed as a great opportunity for leading NGOs to gather and share CSR projects ideas and discuss future potential collaboration. Post lunch, Belinda Scott, Senior Manager corporate Sustainability, NBAD, touched on maximising stakeholder relationships to leverage successful CSR outcomes. Meanwhile, Lina Hussein, Communications Manager & Sustainability Advisor, Zubair SEC advocated the establishment of CSR benchmarks as a key driver of business growth and sustainability within the local community.

Finally, measuring the tangible and intangible benefits of CSR initiatives, developing key CSR partnerships and environmental objectives were addressed by Aisha Al Kharusi, Head of Corporate Communications & CSR – Alizz Islamic Bank, Dana Saloum, Head of CSR – Boeing Middle East and Clare Woodcraft-Scott, Chief Executive Officer – Emirates Foundation respectively.

The expert line-up for day two of the summit will include – Malak Shiabany, Director General, The National Business Centre. Joe Y. Battikh, Head of Sustainability Corporate Responsibility & Brand Management MENA, Ericsson, Hani Obeid, Advisory Board Member, Zubair SEC, Dana Haidan, Head of Corporate Responsibility Brand & Marketing Communications, Vodafone Qatar and Salma & Aisha Al Hajri, Founders of Salma’s Chocolates.

Commenting on Omantel’s role on the sustainability front, Hamdan Moosa Al Harasi, General Manager Corporate Affairs noted, “We at Omantel are pleased to provide our support to the first CSR summit to be held in the Sultanate. We believe this event will give extra impetus to the efforts being made to promote CSR in the Sultanate as it will present regional and international experiences in the area of CSR. Sustainability is a key focus area for us at Omantel and we are one of the first Corporates in the Sultanate to have a dedicated CSR Department to look after our social investments and most importantly how we embed and integrate sustainability into every aspect of our business.”

He concluded by saying, “It is noteworthy that Omantel has been the first telecom company and among the first companies in Oman to issue an annual sustainability report to highlight the efforts and achievements made by the Company in the economic, social and environmental aspects”

Support for CSR Oman 2014 also comes from Strategic Enabler – Omantel, Gold Sponsor – Oman LNG, Silver Sponsor – Vale and Bronze Sponsor – BoardVantage.

Running for 11 years, Informa’s CSR summits are designed to share CSR and sustainability excellence to help drive social and economic development throughout the Middle East and Africa. The CSR focused forums are developed by working closely with key stakeholders including government, corporates and the CSR community to ensure a sustainable future for the region in areas such as youth engagement, education, community development, and employment, development of women, human rights and entrepreneurship.

Visit www.csrsummitseries.com for more information on our CSR Series.

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