Source: Business Intelligence Middle East, 15th December 2008
Dubai Chamber’s Centre For Responsible Business (CRB) Released CSR Al Youm, The Sixth Edition Of The Newsletter, Showcasing Various Researches Conducted By CRB During The Year.
As the year comes to an end, Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry’s Centre for Responsible Business (CRB) takes a look at the year-long activities of Corporate Social Responsibility in the UAE and its growth in the Middle East via research carried out by the Centre which served as a barometer to judge the development of CSR activities in the country and the Middle East as a whole.
The CRB has partaken in many activities, provided training and launched exciting new initiatives throughout the year including ENGAGE Dubai which is supported by ENGAGE Secretariat of Business in the Community (BITC) in the UK. The concept of Corporate Social Responsibility has also become a mainstream one with companies and organizations readily recognizing the importance of conducting business responsibly.
The highlighted research reports focused on CSR in the Construction and Hospitality Sectors, the Role of Government in promoting CSR practices, the Consumer’s View of CSR in the UAE and CSR as a Marketing Tool. These reports are original and the first such to be conducted in the UAE to focus on various sectors.
The Construction report found that only 4% of construction firms in Dubai comply with any international CSR standards and only 2% of the construction companies reported CSR activities in their annual reports or website while only three out of ten construction companies (32%) have a mission statement or a guideline concerning CSR practices.
The report from the Hospitality Sector is encouraging as the majority of companies in Dubai in the Tourism Sector are committed to and supportive of CSR practices, with nearly 70% of companies being aware of what CSR comprises of and pay more attention to energy conservation than emission reduction or water and waste management motivated by company’s reputation (74%) and cost-cutting (59%) rather than regulations (26%). Half the companies surveyed (46%) encouraged employee volunteering by organising related activities (23%) allowing staff time off for volunteer work (41%).
A 2008 annual survey on the Government’s Role in promoting CSR practices revealed that business leaders in Dubai said that the local Government should set a good example by implementing CSR (79%), recognise ‘socially responsible’ companies (74%), develop a CSR charter (70%), provide incentives to companies (71%), accord companies preferential treatment (65%) and promote CSR to all companies (57%).
The survey also revealed that consumers in the UAE expect business to be engaged in their community (77%), to protect the environment (58%) and to offer quality products or services (54%).
A study conducted by Dr Anis Ben Brik, Senior Executive CSR Research, assessed whether or not and how CSR strengthens the magnitude of the interface between market orientation and performance in a fast developing economy like Dubai. Said Dr Anis, “The findings suggest that there are latent interests, enthusiasm and commitment from businesses to engage in many types of CSR practices and to incorporate ethical considerations into core business operations and decisions. The CSR awareness is growing and more and more companies are realising the importance of incorporating CSR in the operating activities and its long-term benefit for their businesses.”
This special research issue of CSR Al Youm also includes news about the launch of a Global Water Tool,a short questionnaire on recycling in workplace and an event’s calendar of the upcoming CRB activities for 2008 and 2009.