At an event organised by Unilever Nigeria towards the end of last year, on the company’s CSR plan, a telecast shown on how a former Vice President of the United States of America, Mr. Al Gore, was working assiduously to galvanise support for the campaign on sustainability spoke volumes on how global brand were taking the advantage of CSR to increase their bottom lines.
In the telecast, the former VP stated that despite the uncertainties in the global economy during the economic meltdown, companies remained highly focused on the value of sustainable business strategies. He said a recent survey revealed that sustainability held a critical valued seat at the table when it came to defining corporate strategies for growth in today’s market.
According to him, “Sustainability is now on the agenda for so many companies around the world, in a way it was not in the past,” he said. “Many companies that did not think of sustainability and responsibility in the past are starting to figure out that it is a business plus. Businesses now understand in a much more textured way that what you represent is a very positive benefit. This is now a global agenda.”
Early this year, it was reported that many companies first examined how effective their branding was and how they were perceived by their customers and the general public in 2012.
With all else being equal, companies that took an active role in promoting their corporate social responsibility programmes were believed to have been generally viewed more favorably than those that didn’t have visible programmes.
Reacting to this, Onuk, told THISDAY that having goals and a vision for company beyond products and profits provides a warmer image of business that consumers will be more eager to engage with.
According to her: “Consumers respond to actions from business owners and if a business owner is passionate about them, tendencies are that they (consumers) would respond accordingly”.
For the 2013 edition, many local and international experts have been lined up to do justice to the subject, with the President, Mara Group and Forbes Africa’s Youngest Billionaire Ashish J. Thakkar, as the Keynote Speaker.
A statement issued by the organisers indicated that leaders would gather to share their expertise and experiences on an array of business and development topics, and make a case for a greater focus on transformational leadership in seeking innovative and responsible ways for sustainable development.
Also, series of events have been scheduled to take place such as the CEO round-table sessions followed by a one-and-a-half-day conference, Sustainable Solutions Showcase (an exhibition of eco-friendly products and Sustainable service solutions), Eco-Tourism Tour, Networking cocktails and Gala Dinner amongst other inspiring and intellectually stimulating activities.