Vodafone Qatar has recently hosted a group of CSR and Sustainability experts to discuss trends, best practices and case studies in the field and shed the light on the growing role of sustainability within an organisation’s business model and strategy.
The roundtable, coinciding with World CSR Day 2014, is one in a series of events Vodafone is planning to organise as part of its ongoing CSR Majlis programme, a programme that aims to provide an open platform that facilitates dialogue and knowledge sharing between peers representing both the public and private sectors of Qatar.
Vodafone named Ernest & Young as the Knowledge Partner for the event. Mr. Dinesh Aggarwal, Senior Manager, Ernst & Young, Clean Energy & Sustainability Services, gave a presentation on the role of CSR and Sustainability and the growing impact of the latter on the way businesses are done.
Additionally, Dinesh shared few live cases to emphasize that sustainability is pivotal to the survival of a business today and said: “The organizations that preferred to ignore the relevance of sustainability struggled to survive in the long run and have eventually perished. On the other hand, companies endorsing the concept of sustainability are today known as the biggest brands that everyone wants to get associated with.”
“While Qatar Government is doing its bit by initiating the programmes like “SDIR”, “Tarsheed”, “Estedama” etc. to promulgate the culture of sustainability, it is for the organizations to recognize and endorse and not only enrich its business DNA but contribute towards a sustainable national economy.” Dinesh added.
Vodafone’s CSR Majlis also saw in attendance “Estedama”, Qatar National Project for Sustainable Development. “Estedama” is a platform that helps develop sustainable social and economic growth by raising awareness about the environmental issues and empower people to act in their society, ensuring the sustainability of natural systems and environment, for social and economic thrive, to meet the needs of the present, without compromising the future generations’ needs.
Attendees joined Vodafone and Ernst & Young in an active debate on how CSR and sustainability should be deeply engrained within a company’s business strategy instead of being considered as a cosmetic and publicity element. Some of them showcased examples of how both practices have developed within their organisations to become an integral factor of success.
Dana Haidan, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability at Vodafone Qatar, said: “As a global company with very local roots, corporate social responsibility ranks high on our agenda and our aim is to continue to make a real contribution to society. At Vodafone Qatar, we use our expertise in communication technology to make a positive social impact. We also believe we can help to build a more sustainable future by delivering commercially viable products and scalable services that transform and improve the quality of lives and enable positive economic, social and environmental outcomes for our stakeholders.”
“Conducting our business responsibly and ethically entails the strong emphasis we place on the health and safety of our employees and our community; the protection of our environment; the privacy and freedom of expression; and digital awareness. It involves our focus on continually giving back to the community through the Vodafone Qatar Charitable Fund; our annual World of Difference program which identifies and supports social entrepreneurs; our partnership with ROTA, our Vodafone for All accessibility initiatives with MADA and our digital parenting programme, AmanTECH.”
Through CSR and Sustainability, Vodafone envisions enabling sustainable living for all through operating ethically, responsibly and contributing to community development in Qatar.
“At Vodafone Qatar, we firmly believe that CSR should stretch well beyond the mere charitable activities to encompass our integrity in everything we do and to ensure that the initiatives we spearhead are of true and genuine value to the larger national vision of 2030.” Haidan concluded.
Vodafone will hold a CSR Majlis, with different themes, on a quarterly basis with the aim to connect the leaders of this field and bring them together to explore ways of collaborations and mutual support.
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