Communication on Progress

Participant
Published
  • 2019/07/09
Time period
  • July 2018  –  July 2019
Format
  • Stand alone document – Basic COP Template
Differentiation Level
  • This COP qualifies for the Global Compact Active level
Self-assessment
  • Includes a CEO statement of continued support for the UN Global Compact and its ten principles
  • Description of actions or relevant policies related to Human Rights
  • Description of actions or relevant policies related to Labour
  • Description of actions or relevant policies related to Environment
  • Description of actions or relevant policies related to Anti-Corruption
  • Includes a measurement of outcomes
 
  • Statement of continued support by the Chief Executive Officer
  • Statement of the company's chief executive (CEO or equivalent) expressing continued support for the Global Compact and renewing the company's ongoing commitment to the initiative and its principles.

  • July 8th 2019

    To our stakeholders:

    I am pleased to confirm that I, Alistair Harris, on behalf of ARK Group DMCC and all its affiliates, in my capacity as CEO, reaffirms our support of the Ten Principles of the United Nations Global Compact in the areas of Human Rights, Labour, Environment and Anti-Corruption.

    In this annual Communication on Progress, we describe our actions to continually improve the integration of the Global Compact and its principles into our business strategy, culture and daily operations.

    Sincerely yours,
    Alistair Harris
    CEO

Human Rights
  • Assessment, policy and goals
  • Description of the relevance of human rights for the company (i.e. human rights risk-assessment). Description of policies, public commitments and company goals on Human Rights.

  • • Respect for Human Rights is a core part of ARK’s work and these rights are therefore considered at all levels of the company. Over the period, ARK implemented the following policies:
    - Human Rights policy, notably on Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery
    - Child Safeguarding and Protection Policy, which is signed by all staff and partners upon onboarding
    - Policy on Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, which is signed by all staff and partners upon onboarding
    - Whistleblowing policy, which details that ARK uses a third-party provider, allowing whistleblowing to be done anonymously
    • This set of policies are also annexed to ARK’s subcontracting and partnership agreements, allowing ARK to enforce them down its supply chain.

  • Implementation
  • Description of concrete actions to implement Human Rights policies, address Human Rights risks and respond to Human Rights violations.

  • • ARK has provided rights-based programming to support the recovery of over 800 people who were subject to extremist group control.
    • ARK implemented a further 20 activities providing basic services for around 1.8 million Yemenis (women, men, boys, and girls) to help them better resist the damaging effects of conflict, enhance their quality of life, and increase their sense of security. Across the various activities, ARK contributed to increased trust in local authorities and addressed conflict drivers bringing stability to these areas

  • Measurement of outcomes
  • Description of how the company monitors and evaluates performance.

  • • In Yemen, ARK delivered a capacity-building intervention, working closely with the Ministry of Education (MoE) to train 25 psychosocial support workers, each involved with the school system, on child-care and protection increasing their awareness on illness prevention, psychosocial care services, and detection and referral of vulnerable cases.
    • ARK also implemented an agricultural capacity building programme to directly benefit 100 rural women in the district of al-Mudeirba, providing them with food security and natural resource management skills.
    ARK’S programming in the Palestinian camps in Lebanon was designed and delivered using a rights-based approach and resulted in 5% of those deemed most vulnerable showing reduced propensity towards violence by project end. This was partially done by meeting and addressing the basic needs and rights of these individuals. Additionally, the project reached around 34 000 indirect beneficiaries, and focused on upholding basic human rights.

Labour
  • Assessment, policy and goals
  • Description of the relevance of labour rights for the company (i.e. labour rights-related risks and opportunities). Description of written policies, public commitments and company goals on labour rights.

  • • In accordance with its Code of Conduct, ARK’s HR policies include recruitment standard operating procedure which are in line with all ILO standards, as well as the UK’s Conflict Stabilisation and Security Fund and Department for International Development code of conduct, and US State Department guidelines.
    • ARK complies with not only minimum wage standards where relevant for all its employees, but as part of its usual process, ensures that the wage offered allows for decent living in the corresponding country or city.
    • Employment decisions made within the HR department are confidential and are safeguarded by consultation with the Senior Management Team and the CEO whenever relevant. These decisions are made on objective criteria, to avoid all discriminatory behavior and unconscious bias.

  • Implementation
  • Description of concrete actions taken by the company to implement labour policies, address labour risks and respond to labour violations.

  • The policies are implemented at all stages of the employees’ process within the company, from recruitment to end of contract, and ARK’s HR department liaises regularly with external counsel to ensure compliance with all different local regulations (such as Jordan, Lebanon or UAE labour laws).

  • Measurement of outcomes
  • Description of how the company monitors and evaluates performance.

  • • Due to ARK’s push towards broader diversity in demographics, ARK and its subsidiaries are now composed of staff from 12 different nationalities and its Senior Management Team has gender parity.

Environment
  • Assessment, policy and goals
  • Description of the relevance of environmental protection for the company (i.e. environmental risks and opportunities). Description of policies, public commitments and company goals on environmental protection.

  • • ARK has been a member of the Green Business Bureau since January 2019, which certifies the sustainability of small to medium enterprises.
    • ARK abides by all health and safety regulations for its offices, including fire exits, extinguishers, emergency protocols for evacuation and fire drills twice a year as a minimum for staff.

  • Implementation
  • Description of concrete actions to implement environmental policies, address environmental risks and respond to environmental incidents.

  • ARK is currently in the process of obtaining certification, but has already implemented its Environmental Policy, and produced its first Environmental report, which details the initiatives taken by each office. For example, the Dubai office has recycled 228 kg of paper over the past two years and staff have volunteered time to participate in a beach cleanup initiative.

  • Measurement of outcomes
  • Description of how the company monitors and evaluates environmental performance.

  • • A measurable outcome of ARK’s commitment to sustainability has been to recycle 228 kg of papers, saved 3.8 trees, saved 1596 gallons of water, 87.4 gallons of oil and offset 3.8 tonnes of CO2e.

Anti-Corruption
  • Assessment, policy and goals
  • Description of the relevance of anti-corruption for the company (i.e. anti-corruption risk-assessment). Description of policies, public commitments and company goals on anti-corruption.

  • • ARK has put in place an Anti-Corruption policy which is annexed to its supply chain agreements and contractually binding. It incorporates all reporting obligations from funding clients and enforces strict procedures on conflict of interest and mandatory disclosures, as well as anti-bribery processes.
    • ARK has a policy that outlines the procedures to be followed when staff are offered, or are considering offering, gifts and/or hospitality. A formal register where items are declared is monitored by the Audit & Compliance Manager.

  • Implementation
  • Description of concrete actions to implement anti-corruption policies, address anti-corruption risks and respond to incidents.

  • • Internally, all employees sign a Conflict of Interest statement both at onboarding and on a yearly basis, to ensure that if a new issue arises, all staff are aware of the procedures for reporting.

  • Measurement of outcomes
  • Description of how the company monitors and evaluates anti-corruption performance.

  • In anti-corruption efforts, ARK has implemented the use of an outsourced whistleblowing hotline (Safecall) which allows stakeholders to anonymously report any suspicion of offenses. No reports have been filed so far.