As a trendsetter and pioneer in the field of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) & Sustainability, Arab African International Bank is keen on spreading a wider impact by educating surrounding communities on Sustainability meaning, components and aspects/pillars.
CSR is globally mature, regionally well-defined; while nationally is newly/recently introduced ten years ago. It was first introduced in Egypt before ten years ago in philanthropic/charitable framework; it started to mature towards the year 2011 with the exponential growth in population and citizens’ needs that exceed the government capacity. The voices calling for business to contribute in responding to the growing needs have created a pressure on the private sector to think of the CSR.
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CORPORATE SOCIAL RERSPONSIBILITY (CSR)
Corporate Social Responsibility is a management concept whereby companies integrate social and environmental concerns in their business operations and interactions with their stakeholders. CSR is generally understood as being the way through which a company achieves a balance of economic, environmental and social imperatives (“Triple-Bottom-Line- Approach”), while at the same time addressing the expectations of shareholders and stakeholders. In this sense, it is important to draw a distinction between CSR, which can be a strategic business management concept, and charity, sponsorships or philanthropy. Even though the latter can also make a valuable contribution to poverty reduction, will directly enhance the reputation of a company and strengthen its brand, the concept of CSR clearly goes beyond that’s.
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FROM CSR TO SUSTAINABILITY: A MAJOR TRANSFORMATION
“Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs (Brundtland Commission 1987)”.
The onset of the 21st century presents us with a new set of givens and a dynamic landscape urging humanity to revisit economic and financial paradigms that were prevalent throughout the 20th century. While CSR address the only “social” aspect of the development process, which presents a risk to the continuity and long-term impact of the development process; this risk has questioned the genuine goal of CSR as a concept. This is when the UN mandated Brundtland Commission first conceived the concept of “Sustainable Development”, which was introduced in its 1987 report “Our Common Future”. The report was triggered by a growing awareness that growth is not the same as development.
To learn more about Sustainability and Sustainable Development, please visit: https://www.iisd.org/sd/
EESG (Environment, Economic, Social & Governance)
As seen above, in the distinction between CSR & Sustainability, is the integration of three main pillars in the processes of development. These pillars are “ESG”. EESG stands for Environmental, Economic, Social and Governance. There is growing evidence that suggests that ESG factors, when integrated into investment analysis and decision-making, may offer investors potential long-term performance advantages. ESG has become shorthand for investment methodologies that embrace ESG or sustainability factors as a means of helping to identify companies with superior business models.
The (ESG) is a term and concept first proposed in June 2004 by the UN Global Compact’s “Who Cares Wins” initiative to focus mainstream investors and analysts on the materiality of and interplay between environmental, social and governance issues. Investors and analysts consider ESG performance in their fundamental analysis of companies with the underlying premise that companies that proactively manage ESG issues are better placed than their competitors to generate long-term tangible and intangible results. (Source:
ESG issues cover:
• Environmental: Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, biodiversity loss, pollution and contamination, carbon regulation exposure, renewable energy;
• Social: Labour practices, community displacement, human rights, health and safety, financial inclusion;
• Governance: Corruption and bribery, reputation, management effectiveness
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SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE INVESTMENT (SRI)
Sustainable, responsible and impact investing (SRI) is an investment discipline that considers environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) criteria to generate long-term competitive financial returns and positive societal impact.
Common themes for socially responsible investments include avoiding investment in companies that produce or sell addictive substances (like alcohol, gambling and tobacco) and seeking out companies engaged in environmental sustainability and alternative energy/clean technology efforts. Socially responsible investments can be made in individual companies or through a socially conscious mutual fund or exchange-traded fund (ETF).
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