Dubai, UAE: The Arabia CSR Network, the Arab world’s leading corporate social responsibility and sustainability think tank, recently hosted a virtual workshop to equip organisations in the region with the necessary support and resources required for submitting a strong, award-winning application for the upcoming 16th cycle of its annual CSR Awards.
The Arabia CSR Awards clinic targeted potential awards applicants from across 15 categories and led them through the award’s stringent criteria, methodology and rigorous review process. In preparation for the deadline of submissions that fall on Friday, June 30, at 5pm UAE time, the virtual clinic offered strategic guidance to current and potential applicants as well as winners and participants from previous cycles who are keen on revalidating their awards.
An integral part of the Arabia CSR Awards journey, the virtual clinic is especially helpful to ensure that new participants fully understand every step of the application process. For previous winners and participants, the clinic is an ideal platform to gain insights into the modifications and additions to the award which undergoes a thorough review each year to cement its reputation in setting a benchmark for sustainability practices across the region.
Under the network’s goal of promoting CSR as a vital component of successful business models in the Arab region, the Arabia CSR Awards aim to recognise and honour organisations that demonstrate outstanding leadership and commitment to corporate sustainability.
The annual awards cover 12 key areas under the broad spectrum of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) principles and practices. The Awards criteria are also based on international frameworks and standards adopted by UN Global Compact Principles, GRI Standards, the European EFQM Excellence Model, Global Investors for Sustainable Development Alliance, and the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals.
The clinic also offered an overview of the self-assessment methodology that enables participants to compare self-assigned scores with that of the scores marked by jury members. The self-assessment is crucial to help participants understand gaps, strengths, and weaknesses, and identify areas of improvement or consolidation.
Opening the virtual clinic, Arabia CSR Network Founder, President and CEO, Mrs. Habiba Al Marashi, said: “Having awarded 268 organisations from 14 Arab countries in 43 industry sectors through a paperless process from registration to evaluation, the Arabia CSR Awards has been rightly hailed as the ‘Green Oscars of the Middle East’. Mandating the push for greater transparency and CSR reporting among organisations in the region, the Awards have grown in size and stature over the years, earning a reputation as the ‘Sustainability Benchmark of the Arab Region’. Applying for the prestigious award is a learning curve that enables participants to demonstrate their sustainability awareness, assess the impact of their CSR initiatives and, close the gaps in achieving their ambitious goals. The Awards framework further helps participating entities to streamline their operations in line with international benchmarks and standards.”
Small, medium and large-scale enterprises, public sector organisations, and social entrepreneurs across a host of key industrial sectors are invited to apply for the 16th cycle of the awards and build up their CSR and sustainability credentials through the stringent evaluation by an independent jury panel. Applicants are judged based on the strength of their application and supporting materials submitted. The shortlisted organisations will be announced in the first week of September and the Arabia CSR Awards Gala Event will be organised on October 4.
Launched in 2008 with just three categories, the Arabia CSR Awards is the first of its kind in the Arab region, and continues to educate, inspire and celebrate sustainable practices amongst the public and private sector leaders across the Arab world. Prominent winners in its 15th cycle held last year included, amongst others, Aster DM Healthcare, Accenture Middle East, and Dubai Electricity & Water Authority from the UAE; Petroleum Development Oman (PDO); SALAM Social Enterprise, Sudan; Gulf Petrochemical Industries Company (GPIC), Bahrain; Riyad Bank, Saudi Arabia; and Bank of Africa BMCE Group, Morocco.
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 the latest in the CSR & sustainability arena known as the Arabia CSR Forum.