Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is an emerging concept in Pakistan. More companies are developing their CSR policies as well as investing in increasing percentages of gross sales for community services and sustainable development.
Under this programme, a network was born out of the need to improve the sustainability of value chains, especially in the South Asian countries.
This network was formed in Dhaka where a common goal and agenda for CSR Networking was identified among the founding members. Founding members include: SDPI from Pakistan, Prakruthi from India, CSR Center from Bangladesh and the Center for Afghan Civil Society Support (CACSS) from Afghanistan.
SANSAR, officially launched on 29th March, 2012 in Bangalore, India, is an initiative in the right place at the right time. In 2012, Pakistan has drafted its own national CSR voluntary guidelines on the economic, social and environmental responsibilities of business. SANSAR is ideally placed to demonstrate the link between CSR, sustainability and poverty alleviation, and partner with businesses to initiate change in the region to bring about inclusive solutions. Its vision is: “A world in which Sustainable & Responsible Business is the norm, the network’s mission hence is to promote the understanding and practice of Economic, Social and Environmental Responsibilities of Business.”
The main objective of it is ‘raising awareness for CSR interventions and activities addressing social and environmental issues’, and the core strategies through which it will achieve objectives are identified as:
- Policy Outreach
- Media Action
- Research Update/Actions
- Policy Advocacy
- Lobby Stakeholders
- Direct action
- Capacity Building
Best practices and strategies have to be shared to inspire the stakeholders to commit themselves to work on practical solutions on the producers’ side as well as the consumers’ side of the value chain.
National chapters of SANSAR are now being set up in all founding countries. Membership to SANSAR National chapters will be through different categories. The main members will be CSOs, Academia and Foundation of Corporates who actively work with links in commodity or industry value chains.
SDPI, a founder member of SANSAR, has recently launched the Pakistan chapter of SANSAR. SANSAR-Pakistan was launched recently in Islamabad with the objective to strengthen the network and raise awareness on the subject. In this regard, SDPI conducted a series of talk-shows, which were aired through SDTV and are available online. Currently, 63 applications for membership have been received, out of which 43 organizations/institutions/bodies have been awarded membership.
- To contextualize CSR in Pakistan by encouraging corporate sector to act responsibly
- After having conducted research on CSR, SDPI initiated advocacy campaigns
- Talk Shows on CSR through SDTV
- A countrywide campaign to raise awareness
- CSR should be included in syllabi of business schools.
- Regulations should be framed to strengthen more business-friendly approach through tax deduction and awards.
- Nationwide awareness campaigns should be launched to bring businesses on board and instigate a consumer driven demand for CSR compliant products.
- There should be SAARC branding of CSR compliant products. This will encourage trade of CSR compliant products.
To become a member of SANSAR Pakistan please fill out the form. You may send in soft copies of the filled form at firstname.lastname@example.org or by post to: Taimur Chambers Plot # 10-D (WEST),Fazal-ul-Haq Rd, Islamabad