Corporate Social Responsibility in Pakistan

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While different organisations have derived different meanings for the term corporate social responsibility, however there continues to be much in common between all the strategies adopted by companies for CSR programmes. While it is commonly argued that Pakistan is a country that is still lacking in CSR practices among companies there have been certain organisations that have taken the lead and must be lauded for their efforts in contributing to the society and people of Pakistan.
Corporate Social Responsibility can be understood as “the continuing commitment by businesses to behave ethically and contribute to economic development while improving the quality of life of the workforce and their families as well as of the local community and society at large.”

Unilever CSR initiatives

One company that has been exemplary in its CSR initiatives is Unilever and I say this not because of any personal biases against any other companies but because their CSR programme titled the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan has covered a wide domain of areas that has considerably impacted the society and the underprivileged people.
According to the Sustainable Living Plan, the company has outlined a number of goals to be achieved by the year 2020. These are:

Small Actions. Big Difference

n Halve the environmental footprint of our products
n Help more than 1 billion people take action to improve their health and well-being
n Source 100% of our agricultural raw materials sustainably
n Unilever Pakistan’s Sustainable Living Plan focuses on the following:
1. Reduce the Environmental Impact of our products through reduction of greenhouse gases, optimisation of water usage and waste management
2. Enhancing Livelihoods by rural programmes and creating opportunities through enhanced distribution and empowerment through education
3. Improving Health& Hygiene by helping more than 68 million people take action to improve their health and well being through our personal care products. Nutrition enhancement to reduce salt and calories in our food brands
4. Promoting Sustainable Workplaces by improving employees’ lifestyles, encouraging diversity and creating an environmentally friendly office.
Through this programme they have reached 6.2 million people in the year 2010. In their health and hygiene programme, they have managed to reach approximately 5.2 million people, under their nutrition programme 82,608 meals were provided to the world food programme, under their environment initiatives they managed to reduce carbon footprint through Unilever Head Office Initiatives by 16 per cent. They also took part in flood rehabilitation programmes by contributing Rs2.43m towards flood relief and rehabilitation work.

PSO CSR initiatives

Another company that has taken leaps as far as corporate social responsibility is concerned is PSO. The company engaged in a plethora of initiatives encompassing Education, Healthcare, Community building, Women empowerment, Special children welfare, Sports development and Relief Activities. The company has led from the front in its CSR campaign by financially supporting several national educational institutes in order to enable the outreach of education to the underprivileged across the country. With the help of the heritage foundation, PSO has also helped build two schools in the earthquake affected region of Mansehra, whereas five more such schools are still in the pipeline.
With regards to healthcare, PSO has partnered with various institutions in the health sector to facilitate the underprivileged in having access to healthcare facilities. The company has provided financial assistance to institutes such as the cardio Vascular Diseases, Karachi. Further an annual donation is also given to the Marie Adelaide Leprosy center. PSO has also helped a number of hospitals to acquire ambulances and state of the art medical equipment among other similar CSR initiatives.
According to the PSO website under their community building platform they have made efforts in the domain of Women empowerment, special children welfare, sports development and relief activities.

Women Empowerment

PSO has been supporting Behbud Association, a national NGO working in the field of reproductive health, community development, education, vocational training, to uplift the underprivileged sections of society. Moreover, PSO also assists Rashid Memorial Welfare Organization which carries out Education, Health, and Vocational Training for females and orphans and takes poverty alleviation measures. By providing financial assistance to this organisation, PSO aids the substantive development of a large proportion of rural population.

Special Children Welfare

PSO has generously supported Institute for Special Children Quetta, the only institute of its kind in Balochistan to upgrade its equipment to facilitate imparting of education to the special children.
Moreover, the company financially assists Pakistan National Institute for the deaf children of rural areas, Kamoke, district Gujranwala. The major objectives of this institute were to uplift the living conditions of the neglected special children by imparting education and vocational skills. So far several hundred students have benefited from this institute. PSO extends financial support to this institute to overcome the maintenance, transportation expenses of this institute and to construct Skill Development Training Center. On the same lines of helping the special children of the society the company has provided financial assistance to Munir Arshad Memorial Trust that has been working for the poor children of rural areas on modern lines. It aims to develop personality and character qualities inner discipline and control. PSO is also associated with Family Education Services Foundation, a non-profit, educational, volunteer organization working in Karachi. They have established Deaf Reach, a school for the Deaf in Karachi as well as two vocational training centers for Deaf students; one in Karachi which has been running for the past ten years, and another in Lahore which was opened six years ago. PSO appreciated the commendable community services of Family Education Services Foundation by adopting some students and providing their monthly expenditure and also by facilitating them in providing free pick and drop service to needy students by providing free diesel.

Sports Development

PSO has always been at the forefront of promoting various sports at all levels. In such an endeavor, we sponsored the PSO-CNS International Squash Championship 2007, which is a world-class squash event. It was held at the Roshan Khan / Jehangir Khan Squash Complex. International and National players of world ranking participated in this event. Further more, we were the tournament sponsors of Asian Football Confederation (AFC) held in September 2007 that was arranged by Pakistan Football Federation (PFF). League champions from AFC’s eight emerging countries participated in this tournament. Recently we sponsored the national Skiing Tournament.

Relief Activities

Amongst other economic contributions, we also take pride in our immediate response to any situation. While it may be impossible to prevent disaster and misfortune from happening, it is possible to provide relief. Infact, we feel it is our duty to do so.
The 2007 Cyclone that lashed Pakistan’s southern coast crippled life in the affected areas specially in Bolochistan. About a million were made homeless by the rain-water and floods. Worst affected areas are Turbat, Gwadar , Pasni, NaseerAbad, Jafferabad, Jhal Magsi, Bolan and Sibi. PSO as a good corporate citizen as always was on the forefront.
On July 13, 2007 two convoys comprising three truckloads for Turbat and two truckloads for Pasni left the company headquarters.
They were carrying 3,000 food packets, 500 kitchen utensils, 650 tarpaulin sheets and 30,000 bottles of mineral water. Earlier on July 9, 2007 PSO had dispatched a similar batch of food packets and mineral water to Greshia, 35 km from Khuzdar. This was the first relief to reach this devastated village.
Similarly in previous natural calamities, PSO staff was involved in the relief operations from day one ensuring uninterrupted and smooth fuel supplies to the defence forces’ aviation fleet operated by Navy, Air Force and Army at Pasni and Turbat airports. Company donated Rs5 million to the President’s Disaster Relief Fund to help the victims.

Siemens – Flag-bearer of
Corporate Social Responsibilty

Corporate social responsibility is one of the most significant gauges one can use to measure the worth of any company, and its contribution towards the nation. Siemens Pakistan, has been one of the leading companies in Pakistan with regards to just about any economic façade and certainly if one pulls out the corporate social responsibility yardstick. Siemens is a firm believer is sustainability and for the company sustainability implies that they should act responsibly on the behalf of future generations for the fulfillment of economic, environmental and social progress. Siemens takes this responsibility as an employer, a contractor, an investor and provider of innovative technology solutions. And of course as an integrated technology company, the company wants to promote as many opportunities of sustainable development as possible.
Compliance is another facet that can be peddled as the cornerstone of responsibility conduct. Corporate responsibility can fully realise all of its prospects if everyone complies with external and internal company rules and regulations. Decision making and actions should always be in synchrony with moral principles and values. And Siemens has rightfully claimed that it measures itself by this abovementioned standard. Siemens’ compliance programme is what towers above and showcases the depth and fortitude of a truly formidable company.
And then there is the factor of diversity – another feather in the cap of Siemens. The company’s success is a corollary of a multitude of ideas – ones that ensure that the product is a diverse ensemble of competence and compliance. And Siemens oozes with such dependability and integration of diversity. The company realises its social responsibility and ensures that no discrimination prevails – be it owing to race, religion, colour or any sort of backgrounds whatsoever. Siemens provides that quintessential environment that enhances productivity with responsibility. The company considers responsibility as a strategic, management-driven assignment and binds the business, environment and citizenship activities and this in turn creates sustained tangible and intangible value for the company and also for the myriad of stakeholders. And also this is done within the realms of ethics and morality. Even though there has been an indubitable economic and financial turmoil in Pakistan, Siemens has ensured that it maintains a top-drawer standard and cements their high level of commitment for projects that run the entire gamut from health, education, culture and sports. Siemens values the corporate social responsibility, and makes sure that it is a well thought out process that encompasses sustainable projects with long term benefits. The Agha Khan Hospital’s new emergency center and the workshop for the disabled are noteworthy examples. As Siemens touts so brilliantly; that they are vying to make Pakistan a wise, healthy and enjoyable place – and fair play to the company.

21 COMMENTS

  1. corporate social responsibility gives an added advantage and boost to the organisations provided they focus on their basic purpose of existance well.if that purpose is not ful filed, the other efforts do not give proper dividend.the organisations must concentrate on their primary task first.

    • In reply to your comment, I would say that only those organisations have entred in CSR activities who are already doing very well in their primary tasks. They have a good turn over, high market share etc.

  2. We should encourage the Civil Society to propagate the need of the CSR in Pakistan.

  3. I am working for Pak Suzuki's CSR team, you may check our channel on youtube. Namely : paksuzuki13.
    We are trying our best to be the best in this concern, looking forward to more success. INSHA'ALLAH.

    • If Pak suzuki is involved in CSR, than kill me please. Kindly enhance your car standard and make them safe cars for traveling. Pak suzuki is manufacturing sub standard cars which are not appropriate for roads.
      Please manufacture safe car, it will be considered as CSR for the nation.

    • Well Daniyal, I am Urooj Fatima student of Jinnah University For Women I am doing research on this topic , can you arrange an interview my cell number is 03212707606.

    • Dear Daniyal
      I'm student of M.COM(finance) department of commerce university of karachi . Currently we are studying course "Community Development" in this course sir gave us Assignment ,this activity is requirement of this course. assignment is that "collection of fund' for poor and needy people who don't afford education.
      kindly arrange and manage meeting on that activity ,i have letter from chairman of commerce department university of karachi
      i will be waiting for your reply
      thank you
      M Usman
      [email protected]
      0312-2002817

  4. No doubt CSR is a very useful tool for social development and mostly multinational organizations are engage in that area. The point which we should investigate with concern is that these activities of CSR are not matching with local tradition norm and religion teachings.
    How many organizations are promoting Islamic or eastern tradition in Pakistan or rest of the world through CSR. Do you have any answer please tell me I am awaiting to a logical answer. Thanks

  5. Mr. anwaer, how could u say that the activities of CSR are inconsistent with the norms or religious teachings? would u like to elaborate ur view point.

  6. Great Tip. Thanks for sharing. We are actually starting a crazy big project here in a few weeks and will take all the advice we can get. Let us know at Thanks again.

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