Environment: Corporate Responsibility - Emirates24|7

Environment: Corporate Responsibility

Habiba Al Marashi.

Emirates Environmental Group (EEG) recently launched the Arabia Corporate Social Responsibility Awards 2008.

According to EEG, one of the biggest challenges facing businesses today is creating strategies and operations that ensure a lasting impact on society and safeguard the environment. EEG has already pioneered a unique, multi-stakeholder forum known as the EEG Corporate Social Responsibility Network. Here, Habiba Al Marashi, EEG's Chairperson, explains more about the award.

Why have you set up the award scheme?

The whole idea is to encourage excellence and best practices in our companies. The CSR Arabia Awards are a continuation of our work to enhance the overall environment of the UAE as well as the region. Through it we will attempt to throw light on those champions and endeavours that have contributed greatly in improving the economic, social and physical environment and demonstrated true vision and drive along the way. We hope this initiative will be successful in building up a databank of best practices in corporate citizenship and CSR across the GCC.

How important is CSR and what kind of things can companies achieve through adopting it?

CSR is part and parcel of 21st century business and all companies should be considering it or face being left behind. The award adds international value to a company's market and says to their clients here is an organisation that has achieved an incredible amount, is successful but also responsible.

What companies are you targeting?

We have 400 members in the region and we will be relying on them to get involved. But we also want companies that have shown responsibility and that have adopted CSR to apply.

What support have you had?

Our association with the United Nations Global Compact ensures international visibility for the award.

Apply at www.eeg-uae.org. The deadline is July 15. Winners will be announced in October.