"Out of all those millions and millions of planets floating around there in space, this is our planet, this is our little one, so we just got to be aware of it and take care of it," wrote Paul McCartney. Changing the world.

By Freeda D'souza

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Published: Sat 17 Apr 2004, 1:44 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 12:32 AM

Making it a better place. That's precisely the talk among corporate chieftains these days.

The buzzword is Corporate Social Responsibility. It's vast, dealing with anything from human rights to conserving endangered species, forests, environment, healthcare, or maybe even relief to war-torn regions.

In fact, corporate social responsibility (CSR) is quite a rage. And quite rightly so. Consider the complexity of today's social and environmental problems. There is evidence that business has in some way contributed to it. So, it is business alone that can provide a solution. So how compassionate are corporates about their social responsibilities? Dead serious is the answer. Some are known to even contribute a percentage of their profits to touch the lives of millions.

Corporates in the Middle East are no exception. The region will host its first international corporate social responsibility summit on April 25 and 26th in Dubai. Organised by Dutch multinational Shell and backed by the Dubai Development and Investment Authority (DDIA), the forum has obtained its biggest support from the United Nations.

Top corporates who believe in putting their cash to care for the disadvantaged are expected to converge at the summit. To begin with, the summit will tackle the issue of defining CSR. Aside from that, it will cover responsibilities of corporate citizenship, promote understanding of market opportunities created by CSR and show how effective CSR can contribute to building a more positive brand image.

"Corporate responsibility is a part of doing business. It affects your stakeholder, your business and protects and nurtures your reputation," Hussain Al-Mahmoudi, External Affairs Manager, Shell Markets Middle East told City Times.

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