(Dubai, 26 October 2008) - Several companies from the Gulf Region were presented on Tuesday with the first-ever Arabia Corporate Social Responsibility Awards, created by the Emirates Environmental Group, the focal point for the Global Compact Gulf Network.
In a special video message, HRH Prince El Hassan Bin Talal of the Kingdom of Jordan, a noted CSR advocate, greeted guests and Award participants at the ceremony in Dubai: “We cannot continue talking about globalization and democracy from the top down. There must be an empowerment process. When it comes to the standards such as CSR, this is not a public relations exercise. Civil liberties have to be understood in their complementarity.
The values or standards and best practices of CSR can be applied more broadly, beyond the marketplace”.
Also speaking at the ceremony were Dr. Elizabeth Ness, Head of the Award Advisory Panel; Dr. Michael Hopkins, Head of the Award Jury; and Soren Petersen, Head of Global Compact Local Networks, expressing the support of the Global Compact Office.
The ceremony brought together senior executives and CEOs of participating companies, as well as representatives from government, civil society and media.
EEG Chairperson Habiba Al Marashi applauded both the award-winning and shortlisted businesses, stressing that each brings “to the table their own unique brand of CSR”. According to Mrs. Al-Marashi, the Arabia CSR Award has shown that CSR is climbing to the top of the agenda in the Gulf Region’s business community, as CSR practices are quickly maturing. Aside from giving recognition to good efforts, she said that the Awards process was “designed to enable companies to take a critical look at their CSR practices and find out where they stand. I am confident this year’s participants will agree that going through the Awards submission process has given them a clearer idea of CSR, and of what more needs to be done. We are all in this together. Our drive towards sustainability is only as good as its weakest link. Together, we will help each other and drive CSR to the next level”.
Setting itself apart from other CSR accolades in the Gulf Region, the Arabia CSR Awards targeted the core of CSR practice rather than individual projects. Winners were selected on the basis of their CSR activities, including good governance, addressing key stakeholders, sincerity and ongoing commitment in incorporating ethical values into their business, compliance with legal requirements, involvement in community related activities, and protection of the environment.
40 companies were shortlisted for evaluation by an elite panel of international
experts. Participating businesses represented diverse sectors ranging from construction, retail,
food and beverage, to consultancy and logistics across the entire Gulf Cooperation Council.
# ### #
The Emirates Environmental Group (EEG) is a voluntary organization devoted to
protecting the environment through means of education, action programs and community involvement.
EEG is actively encouraged and supported by concerned local and federal government agencies. It is
the first environmental NGO in the world to be ISO 14001-certified and the only organization of its
kind in the UAE accredited to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). In
2005, the EEG was also accredited to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)’s Governing
Council. The EEG further serves as the focal point for the Global Compact in the GCC States. The
Emirates Environmental Group is open to men and women of all nationalities, as well as to public
and private organizations, academic establishments and international institutions. For more
details,contact: Emirates Environmental Group Tel: 04-3448622 Fax: 04-3448677; email: