Corporate Social Engagement:
How Aramex Crosses Boundaries
Author(s): Luk Van Wassenhove, Lea Stadtler
Institution: INSEAD (France), University of Geneva (Switzerland)
Competition year: 2011
Track: Corporate Sustainability
Key words: Corporate social responsibility, Global corporate citizenship, Humanitarian relief, Cross-sector partnerships
Courses: Humanitarian Operations, Corporate Social Responsibility, Supply Chain Management, Risk Management, Leadership, Middle East
Target audience: Masters, MBA, Business Executives
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In line with its integrative sustainability program, the global logistics company Aramex decided to use its core competencies for a humanitarian relief campaign in Gaza in 2008/9 and deliver donated items to people in need. In view of the situation’s urgency, Aramex had to quickly develop a suitable strategy for how to communicate the need for donations across the wider public, select collection points, clear the goods, pack them in Aramex’s warehouses, and, finally, for how to send them to Gaza.
It soon became clear that they needed partners not only to bring the goods across the borders but also to have the latest information with regard to regulations. Thus, representatives of the Jordan Hashemite Charity Organization (JHCO) in Jordan and of the Red Crescent in the United Arab Emirates became an integral part of the campaign’s coordination team. Looking back at the campaign, Raji Hattar, Chief Sustainability Officer, explored major lessons learnt with regard to coordinating business and social activities, managing volunteer work, working with corporate and charity partners, and using social media to leverage the campaign.
Based on these experiences, the case lays the foundation for discussion of corporate humanitarian relief campaigns and their embeddedness in a broader corporate social responsibility strategy. More precisely, the key teaching topics include the drivers for corporate social responsibility, the integration of a social policy into the company, and the concrete planning and implementation of a relief campaign.
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