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6th Cycle of the Annual Arabia CSR Awards Launched

The 6th Cycle of the Annual Arabia CSR Awards 2013 was officially launched to the media at a Press Conference held at the Amwaj Rotana Hotel – Jumeirah Beach Residence, Dubai. Under the patronage of HH Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President Dubai Civil Aviation Authority; Chairman and CEO - Emirates Group; & Chairman - Dubai Airports, and supported by the United Nations Global Compact and the Global Compact Network for GCC states. The Arabia CSR Awards is the most prestigious and highly coveted CSR Award in the Arab world. Established in 2008 by the Arabia CSR Network (ACSRN), a multi-stakeholder platform which has been actively advancing Corporate Social Responsibility in the UAE and Gulf Region since 2004, the Annual Arabia CSR Awards is widely seen as a true knowledge and capacity building tool.

In the past five cycles of the Arabia CSR Awards, the ACSRN has reached out to more than 400 government, NGO and private organizations from 13 countries in the Arab world.

Amongst the winners of last year are: Kuwait National Petroleum Company (Public Sector); Al Futtaim Carillion (UAE); Gulf Petrochemical Industries Company (Bahrain) & DLA Piper Middle East LLP (UAE); Bank Sarasin-Alpen-ME Ltd (UAE); ABB LLC Oman (Oman) and Boeing International (UAE) & BLC Bank SAL (Lebanon).

This year’s Awards, which will carry the theme ‘Driving Sustainability through Corporate Citizenship’, will have a total of six categories: Small Enterprises (1-99 employees); Medium-sized Enterprises (100 to 499 employees); Large enterprises (500 and above employees); Government/ Public Sector Institutions (government departments and public sector bodies of any size that provide non-commercial services); Corporate-NGO Collaboration Award (for the best collaborative CSR project between a Corporation and an NGO); and New Business (establishments which have been existing for less than three years, of any size).

 “Today’s launch also marks the moment that participants can access our website and fill out the registration form, guidelines, and all other relevant materials. Of course, participants can email and call our office for guidance and assistance during the entire submission period” said Habiba Al Marashi, President and CEO of Arabia CSR Network. The deadline for application submissions for the 2013 cycle of the Annual Arabia CSR Awards is the 30th of June, 2013 – 5pm (UAE).

The criteria and structure are based on international sustainability standards and CSR best practices with a team of international experts comprising the panel of judges. "Companies can apply for one of the first three categories (Large, Medium or Small) depending on their size AND they can also apply for the Corporate-NGO collaboration award for which they will have to fill out a separate questionnaire”, explains Habiba Al Marashi.

Habiba Al Marashi continues, “This year, we developed a new questionnaire to fit the differing criteria required from the Corporate-NGO Collaboration Category. The questionnaire consists of 17 statements. All eligible applicants will be considered for the New business award if they were established less than three years ago. We also introduced a separate questionnaire for small enterprises (a downsized version of the Questionnaire for Medium and Large Enterprises), which takes into consideration their more limited scope of operations. They are therefore required to respond to a smaller number of statements".

A Forum and Awarding Ceremony will be held on 24 October 2012 (Thursday) in Dubai. It will be a full day event wherein there will be two Plenary Sessions consisting of distinguished individuals who will speak about sustainability issues in the Arab world. There will also be a presentation of case studies from companies that have showed exemplary performance towards sustainability and corporate responsibility.

The Awarding Ceremony itself will be held in conjunction with a high-level dinner meeting to bring together dignitaries from the government and private sector as well as regional CSR leaders.

The Arabia CSR Award is a non-monetary award but winners will be presented with crystal trophies, which will serve as an enduring symbol demonstrating their outstanding leadership and commitment to corporate sustainability in the Arab world.  "The symbolism of the trophy is reflected by desert sand enclosed in the actual crystal, reflecting this unique region. This rationale, along with its design ensures that the crystals serve as an enduring reminder of the importance of CSR for its winners”, Habiba Al Marashi explains.

Winners of the 2013 Cycle also attended the Press Conference as part of the Panel Speakers and shared their experiences on how the Award process has helped their organizations to develop as well as boost their CSR implementation.

Since the inception, the Arabia CSR Awards have been and continue to be supported by the UN Global Compact, giving winners international recognition for their CSR best practices. This year the whole program is also being supported by the Global Compact’s Network for the GCC States.

As was the case last year, the 6th Cycle of the Arabia CSR Awards is paperless as well; submissions are virtual and in soft copy. Judges score submissions through online platforms with zero paperwork.

It was also announced that the Arabia CSR Network would organize a free, informal Awards Clinic on the 30th of April 2013, in which a member of the judging panel will guide participants through the application process of the Awards. Participants are encouraged to attend this workshop and will be notified of further details upon registration. 

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