Thursday, 1 August 2013

CSR: Sustainability is business itself – Etisalat CEO

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives can only make the desired impact on people, community, environment and business if sustainability measures are strategically built into them and implemented.
Etisalat CEO Steve Evans highlighted the essential nature of sustainability at the recent International Sustainability Conference with the theme ‘Sustainability Management in Growing Emerging Markets.’
Evans said: “Sustainability is not something done beyond business; it is about the business itself. One of the reasons why Etisalat Nigeria has been able to record modest achievements on CSR is because we have gone beyond the general myth and incorporated sustainability into the life, blood and culture of the organisation, as opposed to making it something we do downstream.”
The CEO counselled businesses to take on CSR as an integral part of the business that could also contribute to its overall success. “Business owners have to remember that a well-thought out CSR strategy can improve the business, particularly if the area chosen is in harmony with the core competencies of the business,” he said.
Enase Okonedo, dean, LBS-Pan Atlantic University, in her opening remarks, noted that the conference was “to enlighten the CSR stakeholder community and share knowledge on the best way to drive good public initiatives by corporate organisations.
She called on business leaders to take sustainability as a core part of the business, stressing that “CEOs must make sustainability one of their top three priorities or else, little will be achieved in that regard.”
The conference had as keynote speaker, a professor of management practice and director of the Euro-China Centre of Leadership and Responsibility (ECCLAR), China Europe International Business School (CEIBS), Mike Thompson and brought together chief executives of businesses, both locally and internationally, as well as intellectuals, to chart a way forward for sustainability practices in emerging markets.