• Caterina Sullivan

First session on Annual Announcement of Corporate Social Responsibility Index launched

Updated: Nov 4, 2018

H.E. Engr. Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansoori, Minister of Economy, opened the first session on the Annual Announcement of the Corporate Social Responsibility Index which advances the path to social responsibility initiatives. The Index forms part of the Ministry's efforts to complement the national strategy for establishing good economic indicators.

The event was held on Monday, June 12, 2017 at the Intercontinental Festival City Hotel in Dubai and was highlighted by the launching of the Corporate Social Responsibility Index, the results of which will be announced during the next sessions of the annual announcement of social responsibility results. Ten other initiatives aimed at supporting community responsibility among companies operating in the UAE were rolled out as well.

Also attending the launches were Ministry officials H.E. Engr. Mohammed Ahmed bin Abdul Aziz Al Shehhi, Undersecretary for Economic Affairs; H.E. Abdullah Al Saleh, Undersecretary for Foreign Trade and Industry; H.E. Humaid Bin Butti, Assistant Undersecretary for the Corporate Sector and Consumer Protection; H.E. Abdullah Sultan Alfan Al Shamsi, Assistant Undersecretary for Industry; H.E. Dr. Ali Ibrahim Al Husani, Assistant Undersecretary for the Intellectual Property Sector; H.E. Yousuf Al Rifai, Assistant Undersecretary for the Support Services Sector; and other senior members.

H.E. Khalifa Bin Salem Al Mansouri, Acting Undersecretary of the Department of Economic Development in Abu Dhabi; H.E. Humaid Mohammed bin Salim, Secretary-General of the Federation of UAE Chambers of Commerce and Industry; and representatives of local and federal government agencies as well as private sector entities concerned with community responsibility attended as well.

H.E. Engr. Al Mansoori said: "The Annual Announcement of the Corporate Social Responsibility Index represents an important development within the Year of Giving and forms part of leading initiatives that are being integrated into the UAE community."

H.E. Al Mansoori added that since the declaration of 2017 as the Year of Giving by H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, nationwide efforts have begun for the creation of an integrated framework for outstanding contribution towards social development programs.

The Minister noted as well that these efforts have resulted in the development of a National Strategy for the Year of Giving which is based on six major pillars which include the path of social responsibility of companies.

The National Strategy for the Year of Giving includes 11 initiatives within the framework of social responsibility aimed at supporting the private sector's engagement with economic, social, environmental and developmental issues and challenges. H.E. pointed out that there is an ambitious goal of collecting around AED 500 million in cash contributions to enhance the commitment of companies to social responsibility in 2017.

The Minister noted that these initiatives aim to provide policies, incentives and indices on the contributions of companies to social development while helping accomplish the interests of the private sector.

For his part, H.E. Eng. Al Shehhi gave a presentation on the details of the 11 social responsibility initiatives. He discussed the planned provision of a smart electronic platform for corporate social responsibility that will cover the areas of contribution according to the priorities of society and the state and provide guides, tools and educational sections as well as models on how to implement socially responsible practices.

The National CSR Agenda includes the preparation of an annual index that will rate companies on the percentage of their contributions to CSR projects and initiatives and other standards. H.E. Al Shehhi added that the registration of companies on the national index will commence in July 2017, while the evaluation procedures and the issuance of the first annual report of the National CSR will be done by June 2018. He said that the index will be announced during the annual CSR event which will be held in conjunction with Zayed Humanitarian Day, during which the results of the National CSR will be revealed. The event will honor top-performing companies as well as feature workshops on the importance of social responsibility for relevant entities.

The Undersecretary added that the 'CSR Label' will be used to promote corporations and the responsibilities according to the relevant regulations and requirements. He said that the outstanding contributions of companies in charitable and community works will be recognized and honored annually.

H.E. Al-Shehhi also explained the mechanics of the 'CSR Passport' initiative which will be granted to five (5) companies excelling in CSR. The criteria include the company's vision, CSR strategies, and the extent of innovation in its community programs. The passport will grant special privileges to those companies which will be offered by local and federal government agencies.

The Undersecretary further reviewed the 'Financial Privileges to CSR-excelling companies' initiative which will provide partial exemption from labor bank guarantees commensurate to the value of contributions to the community.

As for the 'CSR Mandatory Disclosure' initiative, H.E. Al-Shehhi explained that this will be implemented in cooperation with the economic departments of the various emirates and will meet the need for disclosing information on community contributions.

The 'Responsible Procurement' initiative, on the other hand, will be implemented in cooperation with the financial departments of the various emirates and aims to allocate a percentage of government contracts to companies excelling in CSR.

H.E. also talked about 'CSR Forums,' an initiative which will organize coordination forums for regular communication and strengthen partnerships among leaders of the private and humanitarian sectors.

This media release was originally posted on the UAE Ministry of Economy website.


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