National Commercial Bank, National Petrochemical Industrial Company and Marafiq lead the way as Saudi businesses continue to find new ways to compete more responsibly
The National Commercial Bank, National Petrochemical Industrial Company and Marafiq were named as the three winners of the 2010 King Khalid Responsible Competitiveness Awards at the Global Competitiveness Forum in Riyadh today (24th January 2010).
The Awards recognize outstanding achievement in integrating social and environmental goals into business performance. Award winners are shortlisted from the Saudi Responsible Competitiveness Index, a detailed annual benchmark by the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA), the King Khalid Foundation and the global research institute AccountAbility.
80 companies, with an estimated combined turnover of over US$73bn, participated in the 2010 Saudi Responsible Competitiveness Index, making it the premier responsible business initiative in the Kingdom and indeed in the Arab World. “It shows we are creating a critical mass of responsible and successful companies in the Kingdom” explained Amr Al-Dabbagh, Governor of SAGIA. “This will underpin the productivity of local firms and establish a strong and competitive society.”
Despite economic downturn, participating companies are making good progress at creating a culture of responsible business practices. For example, firms are working with suppliers to enhance environmental efficiency, ensuring that philanthropic donations are impactful, and ensuring high standards are met in health and safety or customer service.
National Commercial Bank, National Petrochemical Industrial Company and Marafiq stand out among this year’s entrants for bold leadership, effective management systems and creative teamwork. These firms are outstanding in their ability to build social and environmental concerns into all their operations.
The Index highlights many success stories from the Saudi business community. Noteworthy examples include: ACWA Power International, Al Rahji Bank, Dr Soliman Faqeeh Hospital, KPMG Al-Fozan and Al-Sadhan, Jamjoon Pharmaceuticals, Mathaher El-Tatweer Construction and the Middle Eastern Paper Company – all recognised for their contributions to sustainable competitiveness in the Kingdom.
“Companies in all sectors across the Kingdom now see the competitive benefits of responsible business. This is a pivotal moment for Saudi businesses of all sizes and ownership types.” says AccountAbility’s Managing Director, Alex MacGillivray. “Scaling up innovative social and green programmes – at the heart of the business model – creates huge opportunities, local jobs and national prosperity for all to share”.
Other key findings from the 2010 Saudi Responsible Competitiveness Index are:
Saudi brands emerging on the domestic and international stage are recognising that they need to comply with international expectations for responsible business practices;
Saudi offices of international brands are often more entrepreneurial than the headquarters. There are several examples, from sectors like engineering and finance, of local offices creating new policies and procedures that are adopted by international headquarters;
The ‘war on talent’ means that companies are expanding the scope of attracting local talent, with many companies offering scholarships, sponsoring students and setting up academies of excellence;
A welter of energetic small businesses in areas like healthcare, transportation and electronics, are expanding and helping to diversify the Saudi economy.
To find our more about the Saudi Responsible Competitiveness Index, visit www.rci.org.sa