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Pioneering the Future: MENA's Corporate Giants Lead the Charge in CSR Innovation

Cicero & Bernay (C&B), in collaboration with CARMA International, has launched the fourth edition of their annual regional corporate social responsibility (CSR) report. This year's report highlights significant achievements and trends in CSR across the MENA region, with Egypt, Saudi Arabia (KSA), and the UAE leading the charge with awareness rates of 96%, 92%, and 91% respectively.

Key Findings:

  • Increased CSR Activities: 80% of MENA executives expect a rise in CSR activities this year.
  • Expanding CSR Efforts: Egypt (93%) and KSA (87%) show the strongest intent to expand CSR initiatives.
  • Strategic Importance: 84% of business leaders now recognize CSR metrics as crucial to strategic planning.
  • Consumer Trust: CSR-driven companies are experiencing increased consumer trust and loyalty.
  • Active Programs: 71% of firms currently operate active CSR programs, with an additional 24% preparing to launch initiatives.
  • Egypt's Growth: Awareness and understanding of CSR in Egypt grew significantly, from 84% to 94%.
  • Positive Impact: Over 80% of executives report a positive impact of CSR on customer engagement, profitability, and competitive positioning, a significant increase from last year's average of 38%.

The report surveyed over 340 C-suite and senior executives across various sectors, including technology, banking, oil & gas, construction, healthcare, automotive, and real estate. It offers a detailed analysis with industry-specific insights, highlighting the pivotal role of CSR in strategic business planning and its growing impact on consumer behavior.

Transforming from CSR to ESG: As businesses face increasing pressure to operate sustainably and ethically, the MENA region is at the forefront of integrating environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors into business operations. The report marks a significant milestone in this transformation, emphasizing the shift from CSR to ESG.

Ahmad Itani, Founder and CEO of C&B, commented, "Transitioning from CSR to ESG isn't just a trend—it's a transformative journey that cements our commitment to future generations. This report is a beacon for where we're headed, underscoring our dedication to fostering a sustainable and ethically-driven market landscape."

Mazen Nahawi, Founder and CEO of CARMA International, added, "Our partnership with Cicero & Bernay reflects the incredible potential within the MENA region. Through our collaborative efforts, we are not only highlighting the remarkable CSR achievements over the past year but also paving the way for future advancements in ESG and responsible business practices."

Looking Ahead: The report predicts that by the end of 2024, over 90% of surveyed MENA businesses will have fully integrated CSR strategies, with significant advancements in environmental sustainability and governance transparency. The use of advanced CSR metrics to track and report on sustainability efforts will provide stakeholders with clear insights into corporate performance.

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