It’s not easy being green
Firms that have the will to be eco-friendly often don’t have the means, reports Gulf Marketing Review.
January 28, 2010 6:47 by Alex Malouf
“Another example is Carrefour. They are replacing plastic bags with paper bags before they are required to by law in the UAE. Are they doing this because they decided to do so locally or because Carrefour is doing this globally? Actually, it is a global Carrefour initiative and Carrefour wants to ensure that its shoppers carry paper bags that say Carrefour on them in order to both comply with CSR and to aid marketing. It is likely that as facilities become available local companies will move to implement their own CSR initiatives. This is a huge subject, but suffice it to say that good CSR planning helps with both recruiting and marketing as well as in the efficient allocation of resources.”
According to Hughes, the focus on green among Gulf firms is long overdue, with many business owners still unaware of these issues. “We have noticed some local firms here who have realized phrases such as CSR. One company boss gave us a call, as he’d presented to a government organization. They’d asked him what his CSR plan was and he stood there blank as he didn’t know the phrase. We went and described CSR and explained to him how to get a CSR initiative going. The driver for this is Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s vision for Dubai government, which is understandable. In the UAE we need 12 hectares of productive land to offset our carbon emissions. The global average is 2.2.”
One company which has tried to set its own example has been advisory firm KPMG Saudi Arabia, which began paper recycling several years back, according to the company’s communications and marketing manager, Khalid Alkhudair.
“When I first joined two years ago, I saw in KPMG that there were boxes being thrown out and I said you can’t do that. I’d just come from Canada where they are very strict on recycling. So we started recycling. One of our clients was a paper manufacturing company and they came to our office. We get paid for our waste which we give back to the community. It is a very simple initiative and it promoted a culture where employees brought paper from home.”