File - The fourth conference held by CSR Lebanon in December.
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Baraka was further impressed at the conference he went on to attend, the fourth held by homegrown consultancy CSR Lebanon.Kassar views companies' efforts in Lebanon as mostly one-off, piecemeal initiatives, rather than part of a long-term strategy related to and integrated into a company's core operations. He added that there was a lot of CSR-washing instead, which refers to a company's public relations efforts made under the guise of CSR. While CSR Lebanon has established itself as a leading authority on the topic and is the only consultancy of its kind in Lebanon, its clients remain located in the Gulf – Dubai, Qatar, Saudi Arabia. At most, its clients may have some business projects in Lebanon. Businesses in Lebanon tend to think short-term rather than investing in a multiyear strategy.Baraka also noted that SMEs usually take a different approach to CSR than big businesses, which necessarily affects CSR efforts in Lebanon given its predominance of small and medium enterprises.While Lebanon seems on the right track, Baraka noted that leading multinational companies that have long been committed to CSR still have a long way to go. "Marks & Spencer, which many would say is a world leader on CSR, talk about being perhaps a little more than 10 percent of the way to being fully 'sustainable'." Still, he is optimistic about CSR eventually reaching critical mass in Lebanon.
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