Corporate leaders convene to discuss social responsibility

The Rami Fouad Makhzoumi Corporate Governance Initiative at AUB’s Suliman S. Olayan School of Business (OSB) and the Hawkamah Institute for Corporate Governance hosted a joint conference titled “Governance of Sustainability and Corporate Philanthropy” on March 26 in Dubai at the Dubai International Financial Center. The event helped explain sustainability using key elements of environment, social factors, and governance. It also shed the light on corporate philanthropy. The event was attended by professionals representing different fields and disciplines from all across the Middle East.The one-day event featured speakers with expertise in fields such as corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, and sustainability. The speakers were representatives from family businesses (Chalhoub Group and Majid Al Futaim), NGOs (The Pearl Initiative), and multinationals (IBM).

The welcome presentation was delivered by Dr. Ashraf Gamal-Eldin, CEO of Hawkamah, who emphasized that “A key element of good governance is taking care of stakeholders like employees and customers.” He added, “A company that does not pay attention to environmental, social, and governance issues is not sustainable and will eventually fail”. Moreover “When it comes to CSR, it is the tone at the top that makes a difference,” concluded Dr. Gamal-Eldin.

The keynote speaker was Mr. Fouad Makhzoumi, Chairman of Future Pipes Group and a Lebanese Member of Parliament. Mr. Makhzoumi emphasized that “The importance of governance in creating strategy, particularly in our rapid growing economies.”

He highlighted during his speech how his late son Rami turned their future pipes business from a multi-million dollar business into a $1.5 Billion business and he always believed in the principles of good governance.

Today his foundation the Makhzoumi foundation has become the largest NGO in Lebanon and has helped over 160,000 Lebanese in different disciplines.