x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Seminar aids applicants for corporate awards

Executives from more than 20 companies gathered in Dubai for a workshop on applying for the Arabia Corporate Social Responsibility Awards.

Executives from more than 20 companies gathered in Dubai yesterday for a workshop on applying for the Arabia Corporate Social Responsibility Awards, set for October 26. The awards, instituted by the non-governmental organisation Emirates Environmental Group, are intended to reward companies that "demonstrate a clear vision, strategy and implementation of corporate social responsibility", according to the EEG website.

The corporate social responsibility (CSR) concept encourages companies to look beyond their bottom lines and consider how their businesses might affect customers, employees, suppliers and the community in general, as well as the environment. "I am very excited about this because these companies are champions venturing into a new area," said Habiba al Marashi, founder and chairman of the Dubai-based EEG. "We had a nice mix of companies with different sizes, activities and status. I was happy to see many UAE-based companies that had grown to become regional players."

Critics argue that voluntary measures by business cannot replace standards enforced by governments and that CSR programmes are often publicity stunts. But Ms al Marashi argued otherwise. "This process helps companies tremendously in running their organisations," she said. "CSR is doing things in the right way, not looking at short-term profit but long-term values." Last year EEG received 56 entries for the first issue of the awards. This year about 20 applications have already been submitted and Ms al Marashi hopes the number will pass 100 by the August 27 deadline.

The preparatory seminar was held at the Movenpick Hotel. @Email:vtodorova@thenational.ae