Mention corporate social responsibility (CSR) and you will be lucky if you find more than a handful of people who would describe it as a tool to achieve higher levels of economic productivity through diversification, technological upgrading and innovation, including through a focus on high-value added sectors. That it promotes development-oriented policies that support productive activities, decent job creation, entrepreneurship, creativity and encourages the growth of micro, small and medium sized enterprises, including through access to financial services. That it decouples economic growth from environmental degradation, while creating a framework of programmes on sustainable consumption and production, with developed countries taking the lead. That it strengthens the capacity of domestic financial institutions to encourage and expand access to banking, insurance and financial services for all.

Understanding and integrating the real meaning of CSR is the topic of the next Malta BNI Business Briefing (BBB). This fifth BBB, entitled ‘Becoming a Better Corporate Citizen’ will be delivered by Helga Ellul and Matteo Privitelli, CORE Platform’s chairperson and executive respectively on Thursday, February 25 at noon via Zoom. Visitors are welcome for this 30-minute briefing. CORE Platform is a Malta BNI de Paule Chapter member, where it has been invited to join the world’s leading business networking organisation, following Malta BNI’s CSR initiative to assist NGOs during this difficult period created by the pandemic.

Since its launch in September 2015, CORE Platform and its work have grown and developed in both their reach and their outcomes. Despite still being very small and having limited resources, its impact in the field of corporate social responsibility, sustainable development and its network of contacts are increasing with every passing day.

CSR objectives should be linked directly to your business

Operating under the patronage of the President of Malta, CORE Platform, is made up of Malta’s business institutions, namely the Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry, the Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association (MHRA), the Malta Employers’ Association (MEA), the Malta Business Bureau (MBB), the Chamber of SMEs, and SOS Malta, which is represen-ting NGOs.

Ellul, former CEO of Playmobil Malta Ltd and now board member and chairperson of various Maltese enterprises, said that CSR is the responsibility of enterprises for their impacts on their stakeholders, the public and the environment. It is a self-regulating business philosophy, that integrates social, environmental, ethical, consumer and human rights’ concerns in the day-to-day business decisions and operations. It also generates HR benefits.

“Only when your people feel part of the organisation, are treated as part of it, are empowered, and feel that they have a future in your company, they will wholeheartedly embrace CSR. Only then should your CSR objectives, which should be linked directly to your business and products, be used externally, as your people in your organisation will then become your ambassadors and, together with them, you can share and export what you live inside your organisation to the outside with the community you work in, your customers, your suppliers and whoever is connected to your business,” she explained.

CORE Platform is also a member of CSR Europe, the largest CSR lobby group in Europe, which gives the organisation the opportunity to showcase and promote its CSR initiatives, while also discussing matters related to the subject at a European level. The organisation is a member of the European Alliance for Apprenticeships since May 2017 and, in March 2018, CORE Platform became a member of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) Mediterranean and SDSN Youth.

“As an enabler, CORE Platform believes in CSR as we know how beneficial it is to the business and the community as a whole, however, we also believe that CSR is only real and effective if it is a holistic part of the organisation or business. This briefing will serve to explain what is the real CSR and how it can be employed for the benefit of the organisation,” said Privitelli, who is in charge of CORE’s administration and has been key in the management of the successful projects undertaken by CORE Platform.

The Malta BNI Business Briefings initiative is a series of free-of-charge brief online meetings organised by Malta BNI, a body which forms part of the global Business Networking International (www.bni.com). Operating on the principle of Givers’ Gain and promoting innovative concepts of business referrals, today BNI has 9,829 chapters with more than 270,000 members. In 2020, notwithstanding the pandemic, through its innovative systems and core values, BNI members generated more than €14 billion in business transactions.

One can participate free of charge by registering here.

For more information about this event, which is free of charge, e-mail Carmel Bonello carmelbonello2020@outlook.com, Viviana Premazzi at viviana@gmdmalta.com or David Bullock at david.malta.bni@ gmail.com.

Independent journalism costs money. Support Times of Malta for the price of a coffee.

Support Us