An independent CSR Centre Launched

Date:

Event Name : Recent Events

Date : 5 September, 2007- ,

Description :

With a mission to establish corporate social responsibility (CSR) as a key strategy for corporate excellence in Bangladesh to maximize stakeholders’ benefit, the CSR Centre was formally launched at a ceremony on Wednesday September 05, 2007 at the BRAC Centre Inn in Dhaka. An innovative new establishment to promote corporate social responsibility through the provision of commercial products and services, the CSR Centre aims to establish CSR as a key strategy for corporate excellence in Bangladesh. The Centre aims to be the leading provider of complete solutions to CSR business needs in Bangladesh.

Mr. Fazle Hasan Abed, Chairman of BRAC, and the chief guest of the ceremony, said that businesses can no longer rely on sporadic acts of charity and philanthropy to offset growing concerns over issues of sustainable development, environmental degradation and health and safety practices. He added that CSR has become a matter of survival for companies as consumers are beginning to value responsible and ethical business practices.

Mr. Farooq Sobhan, Chairman of the CSR Centre Board of Trustees and President, Bangladesh Enterprise Institute, introduced the CSR Centre as an independent autonomous organization that has been set up to provide dedicated CSR service in Bangladesh to facilitate, promote, and advance CSR understanding and learning in Bangladesh. The Centre was launched with private sector start-up funding from eight corporate and non-corporate members.

The CSR Centre’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Iftekar Ahmed, in his welcome address, said that CSR can unlock the promise of sustainable growth in Bangladesh. He highlighted the various product offerings of the Centre and explained how CSR can be a strategic tool to facilitate sustainable growth of organizations through direct engagement in activities that augment stakeholders’ interests. It creates new business opportunities, builds synergies and creates partnerships with stakeholders including the community at large. Used strategically it can be a powerful tool for facilitating sustainable growth of organizations through direct engagement in activities that augment stakeholders interests. Strategic CSR makes good business sense and results in win-win outcomes for all stakeholders. It is about investing in future business growth, ensuring sustainability of markets, customers and the environment.

As part of the CSR Centre launch, a CSR Mela highlighted just a few of the many companies and organisations undertaking CSR programmes in Bangladesh. CSR strategies and projects from CARE Bangladesh, Changemaker, Development Research Network (D.Net), Hathay Bunano, and Warid Telecom provided practical examples of how corporate Bangladesh can use CSR to boost competitiveness.

The Center’s primary objective is to become the principle source of information, resources, and advisory services on Corporate Social Responsibility in Bangladesh. The Centre set up with private sector start-up funding will serve as an institutional champion to facilitate, expand and encourage CSR practice in the Bangladesh private sector.

The CSR Centre defines Corporate Social Responsibility as “a set of business practices based on ethical norms and transparency that contributes to the sustainable development of internal and external stakeholders in the best interest of business, society and environment.”

CSR is an emerging concept in Bangladesh and its limited familiarity is perhaps the greatest impediment to its wider adoption. Although practitioners commonly equate CSR with philanthropy, a fully integrated CSR strategy can add greater value to brand enhancement, reputation and returns on the CSR investment. CSR is particularly important for the development of the competitiveness of business sector, including SMEs, adding to their product quality and profits.

The majority of organizations in Bangladesh do not currently have sufficient resources necessary to act on the CSR opportunities. The CSR Centre aims to strengthen local institutional capacity, raise CSR awareness and serve as a champion for CSR adoption and implementation in the region.

For further information, please contact Mr. Iftekar Ahmed, CEO, CSR Centre or Mr. Ataur Rahman, Research Associate, BEI.

Posted Date : 4 March, 2012

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