The Second International Conference on Sustainability took place in Cairo on Mach 1-March 2nd 2012 and was organized by the German University of Cairo and the American University of Cairo in cooperation with many local sponsors.
The conference was opened by Prof. Dr. Belz, the author of the award-winning textbook “Sustainability Marketing”. He drew attention to the challenges developing countries are currently facing but also explained the impact of mass consumption on our globe.
Over the next two days, different speakers from the MENA region, Germany, the USA and Turkey proposed ways for moving towards a more sustainable world. Intelligent new traffic solutions for Cairo were presented. Companies like Vodafone, P&G, The Arab African International Bank and several NGO’s presented their efforts to reduce illiteracy, school-drop outs or the environment. Dipl. Ing. Angeli Büttner from Berlin explained how she greens the city of Berlin with local inhabitants and works on landscape remodeling projects.
It was evident that the revolution is one of the main drivers for the attitude change towards sustainable consumption. Many speakers referred to pre-and post-revolution Egypt in their presentations and the 25th of January was often mentioned as a breaking point. Dr. Dalia A. Kader even labeled the Egyptian revolution ”as a cry for sustainability” to improve the economic, governance, environmental and social conditions of the Egyptian population.
It was impressive to see the enthusiasm and spirit amongst especially young student presenters and conference participants, who will be the future managers of Egypt.
HIM presentation on Cause-Related Marketing
Dr. Adrienne Steffen presented the case study “Success Factors of Cause-Related Marketing- What Developing Countries can Learn from a German Sweets Campaign”. The case study was written together with Sabine Günther, a recent HIM graduate who wrote her business dissertation on cause-related marketing.
The case examines the differences of corporate social responsibility in developing and developed countries. It evaluated the HARIBO “Ein Herz für Kinder” cause-related marketing campaign from 2010 based on five success factors and proposed what developing countries can learn from the evaluation. Because the addressed stakeholder groups in CSR campaigns and consumer motives differ in developing and developed countries, it was recommended that developing countries should not simply copy CSR strategies from developed countries. Instead they should research the macro-environment, consumer motives for sustainable consumption and the consumers’ basic needs.
It was proposed that using CRM campaigns to target the poor, who are unable to spend money on organic products, might be a better short-run solution. Spending the raised money on local projects and education about sustainable consumption and recycling could change consumer attitudes and consumption patterns in the long-term.
The case is currently under review for publication in The MENA Business Case Journal.