The Arabia CSR Network, the region’s foremost Corporate Sustainability think tank, organised a web-based workshop on the 7th of April, 2022. The ‘Awards Clinic’, as it is called, provides a walk-through to the applying organisations, where every element of the participation process is explained in detail. The clinic is a great value added activity that is meant to guide participants and interested entities from the whole Arab region and helps them build their skills in order to tackle the demanding criteria and the rigorous requirements of the awards.
For returning participants the clinic is especially helpful to understand any modification or addition that has occurred in the present cycle, since the annually conducted awards undergo a thorough review and reality check every year. Care is taken to ensure new participants likewise fully understand every part of the process. The 12 aspects of the questionnaire that participants are required to handle represent the spectrum of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues that the concept of Corporate Sustainability covers, and is aligned to international bench marks and standards. The main ones being the UN Global Compact and its 10 Principles, the EFQM business excellence model, the GRI Standards for Sustainability Reporting, the Global Investors for Sustainable Development (GISD) and the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Apart from the aspects, the self-assessment methodology was also described for the benefit of the participants. This is an important element of the awards, since participants are able to compare self-assigned scores with scores and comments from the jury members. This helps them to understand gaps, strengths and weaknesses, thereby identify areas of improvement or consolidation.
Opening the clinic, Arabia CSR Network Founder, President and CEO Mrs. Habiba Al Marashi said, “The Arabia CSR Awards is the Awards of Choice. It is Internationally & Regionally Acclaimed, Externally Assured, a learning tool and a mechanism that can be used to develop a sustainable value framework of the highest standard and has world-class Independent bi-lingual Jury Panel of CSR and Sustainability Experts. Moreover, the Awards are considered as a benchmarking amongst industry peers.”
The Arabia CSR Network launched the awards in 2008, with 3 categories only and in this 15th cycle it has rolled out 15 categories. The awards was the first of its kind in the Arab region, and received high level endorsement from local and international institutions including the office of the Crown Prince of Dubai and the UN Global Compact. The trend of high level patronage and collaboration continued through the years, receiving support from the United Nations Environment Programme and the League of Arab States, a first for both entities.
A host of government, private, transnational and civil society organisations found merit in associating with the prestigious Arabia CSR Awards as it crossed many milestones in its 15 year journey. It stands tall as the “Green Oscars” of the Arab world and as the Arab Region’s home grown Sustainability Benchmark.
Compelling analytics further back the unparalleled stature of the awards. So far, 1,236 organisations have participated in the awards, representing 43 sectors from business and industry operating across 14 countries.
About the Arabia CSR Network
The Arabia CSR Network is a professional multi stakeholder organisation established in the UAE in 2004. It is devoted to advancing the principles and practices of Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability in the Arab Region. It facilitates networking, learning and sharing experiences and knowledge in matters of CSR and Sustainability. The Arabia CSR Network was the first GRI certified training partner for the Arabic speaking Middle East countries. The Arabia CSR Network promotes, encourages and recognises responsible business practices through a bunch of services and offerings, including trainings, research and best practice, advisory services, third party assurance and a Pan-Arab acclaimed award initiative known as the Arabia CSR Awards as well as a biennial intellectual platform to discuss on the latest in the sustainability arena known as the Arabia CSR Forum.