Responsible business practices awarded in Albania
The Multistakeholder Forum on Corporate Social Responsibility was convened in Tirana. The Forum serves as a consultative platform for promoting CSR in Albania.During today's session three companies were awarded CSR Awards in three categories:
1) CSR Innovation Award - awarded to "MEGATEK"
2) CSR Best practice for SMEs - awarded to "Energy Ashta"
3) CSR Best Practices for Large Companies-awarded to ProCredit Bank.
Company performance was evaluated on the basis of CSR practices integrated into the company’s operations and the level of impact on its employees, environment and community. Beyond compliancy with the applicable legislation, the CSR approach includes: care towards the employees; minimization of environmental impact, and contribution to social and economic development in the community.
“We cannot build a qualified work force, if enterprises do not provide opportunities for apprenticeship. We cannot alone support the employment of vulnerable groups such as youth, women and persons with disabilities, without businesses being open to social inclusion. Social support schemes and pensions are not sustainable if we do not have formalized, responsible and transparent businesses," said Ms. Gentjana Sula, Deputy Minister of Social Welfare and Youth in her opening remarks.
Corporate Social Responsibility is a new concept among Albanian businesses. International experience, both in developed and developing countries, has shown that companies (small, medium and large) that have integrated these principles have competitive advantages in the market due to increased reliability by clients and employees, higher productivity, better reputation and risk management.
"We all know that Corporate Social Responsibility cannot be imposed. In Albania, it is necessary to build up this subject based on solid economic and social arguments, and not imposing. Nobody can promote better CSR than the business itself," said Ms. Touimi-Zineb Benjelloun, UN Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative.
During the event, representatives of the Ministry of Economic Development, Trade and Entrepreneurship presented the main findings of the National CSR Report for 2013. The report is based on twenty nine CSR indicators that measure how enabling the Albanian economy is towards such practices.
The analysis of CSR implementation in the country is based on the information collected from three different groups of interest; government, private sector and civil society.
Analysis carried out indicate that Albania has made significant progress compared to 2008 baseline.