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EEG Presents Arabia Corporate Social Responsibility Awards 2009

Launch of the 2nd Cycle of Arabia CSR Awards

Dubai, UAE - Jul 6, 2009 (PRN): Under the patronage of H. H. Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, EEG is proud to launch the second cycle of the Arabia CSR Awards.

Will the financial crisis kill the CSR initiative in the region or will it underline the importance for a business to integrate CSR into its core strategy for it to be sustainable?

These are some of the questions that will be addressed by the 2nd cycle of the Arabia CSR Awards.

On May 18th, the second cycle of the Arabia CSR Awards was formally launched during a press conference conducted by EEG and its partners. The second cycle of the Arabia CSR awards targets organizations in the UAE and the wider Arab region to showcase their companies’ CSR policies. What singles out this initiative is its inclusive nature. Supported by the United Nations Global Compact, and ably supported by a range of business leaders, think tanks and academics, the Arabia CSR Awards have the potential to become an icon of sustainability in the region.

The second cycle of the Arabia CSR Awards will be taking the awards a step forward with a more detailed set of questions that analyse the companies’ initiatives in reducing their environmental impact. It will also compel organizations to enumerate their social and stakeholder value and take an indepth look at processes, products and performance.

The criteria and guidelines have been improved to reflect the valuable inputs given by the advisory and judging panels and the technical committee. The learning and pointers gained by the successful completion of the first cycle of the awards is also reflected in the new set of questionnaire and guidelines.

EEG held a seminar in June that provided information and guidelines for organizations that are interested to participate in the awards.

The need for a CSR Award is felt most acutely now that companies in the Region are engaging more actively with communities, opting for eco-friendly practices, improving quality and performance, transparency, corporate governance, treating human resource as an asset and supporting social and cultural issues and causes. Those that are driving this movement deserve due recognition as leaders and pioneers. The Arabia CSR Awards provide a platform to recognize and reward companies that have demonstrated true commitment, delivered outstanding results and impacts, and shown innovation and leadership.

The Arabia CSR awards originated through a unique, multi-stakeholder forum known as the EEG CSR Network. From this Network many innovative programs and undertakings have developed, including seminars, workshops, trainings, best practice compilation and case studies, and the creation of a GCC network for the largest global voluntary CSR initiative better known as the United Nations Global Compact. The latest offering from the Network is the “Arabia Corporate Social Responsibility Awards”, which successfully concluded its first cycle in October 2008.

In an economic downturn, companies look for the essentials and cut back on the rest. In the current financial crisis, one place where executives are bound to take a closer look is their corporate social responsibility (CSR) projects. Over the last several years, corporate scandals and public concern about environmental issues like climate change have prompted many of the world's largest companies to integrate "sustainability" and "social responsibility" into their business strategies.

The UAE and the GCC region are aware of the increasing need for business to be termed sustainable and socially, ethically and environmentally responsible.

The first cycle of the Arabia CSR Awards showcased companies from the GCC region, and the awards have been successful in their objectives to recognize and honour organizations in the UAE and the GCC that demonstrate outstanding leadership, sincerity and an on-going commitment in incorporating ethical values, compliance with legal requirements, respect for individuals, involvement in communities and protection of the environment into the way they do business.

The first cycle also highlighted the leadership capabilities of organizations based in the United Arab Emirates and the GCC countries, with winners such as ABB Group, Oman LNG, GPIC Bahrain, DAFZA, Jumeirah Group, ECAT (Environment centre for Arab Towns) and MBS among others.

Mrs. Habiba Al Marashi said, "In an economic downturn, sustainability becomes even more critical, and there is a greater need for business to identify areas where they can improve. The downturn will help weed out companies that look at the more superficial aspects of corporate social responsibility. The second cycle of the Arabia CSR awards will target organizations that have imbibed the values of CSR within their corporate strategy in the GCC region. I am glad that the Arabia CSR Awards has once again been supported by the United Nations Global Compact and been recognized on the global platform as an emerging initiative from the GCC region.”

She also thanked the host, Movenpick Hotel for their support in hosting the press conference.

About the EEG
The Emirates Environmental Group (EEG) is a voluntary, non-government organisation (NGO) 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 with accredited status to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). In 2005 EEG was awarded accredited status to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)’s Governing Council. It is also a member of the Board of the United Nations Global Compact and is a focal point for the Global Compact in the GCC States. 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: eeg@emirates.net.ae ; Website: http://www.eeg-uae.org

About the Global Compact
Begun as an Initiative by the United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, in January 1999, it was launched on 26 July 2000, when several dozen business leaders came together at UN Headquarters to join an international initiative that would bring companies together with UN agencies, labour, Academics and civil society to advance universal social and environmental principles. With thousands of participants from more than 120 countries (including 149 organisations ranked in FT 500), the Global Compact has become the world’s largest voluntary corporate citizenship initiative. Through the power of collective action, the Global Compact seeks to advance responsible corporate citizenship so that business can be part of the solution to the challenges of globalization and help realize the UN’s vision of a more sustainable inclusive global economy. More details on the initiative may be found on http://www.unglobalcompact.org and through the GCC States Local Network Secretariat in the Emirates Environmental Group.


For further information, visit:

Website: http://www.arabiacsrawards.com


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