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Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility

By Sustainable Square Subscribe to RSS | July 24th 2012 | Views:

Business and trade sustain the continuity of our civilization. The opportunities and benefits as a direct result of commerce, raise the global standard of living and can make life more enjoyable. The same business however can also cause negative consequences for the very people who build and support it if the business is not holistic and doesn’t take into consideration the well being of the people and environment when making bottom line business decisions.

The concept of a running a sustainable business ensures the vibrancy and profitability of business even while fulfilling the responsibility towards the community and the environment through regulated, systematic and renewable use of our resources.

The idea of Corporate Social Responsibility, or “CSR”, a result of revisiting the meaning of the term Corporate Citizenship, were important steps toward defining a corporation as a caring and responsible member of society. The idea of sustainability broadens this notion and adds to it the element of the environment and living within the means of our plentiful but dwindling natural resources.

The growing label of Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility interests us immensely, We use the same terminology, “CSR” but now we include the concepts mentioned above; a corporate entity has responsibility toward the well being of the community and simultaneously must consider the balance between profiting from and sustaining the future availability of natural resources. This ensures that the business and those it affects can continue to thrive off of and live within our natural constraints.

The field of Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility, in Dubai and Abu Dhabi specifically, has witnessed immense year on growth alongside and even beyond that of the general development of the country.

Abu Dhabi is second in the world in annual expenses for future or sustainable energies via it’s mega project Masdar. The Abu Dhabi government has developed an elaborate and detailed “CSR” agenda including reporting requirements for all government bodies, water reduction techniques (and future technologies not used elsewhere to wean off of reliance on desalination plants), lowering energy consumption from streets to households, and most importantly of all has aligned their 2030 plan with sustainability needs.

Recently there has been an encouraging increase in the awareness regarding “CSR” in the local business community of Dubai. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai clearly laid out Dubai’s revisited sustainability agenda in early 2012. He also required from as early as 2009 all new buildings in Dubai must meet “green” standards.

A major CSR initiative in Dubai of Dubai Dialogue: Responsibility Matters - Driving Sustainability Forward through Smart Business Planning', was organized in early 2012 by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The conference was the largest business-led sustainability conference in the UAE.

Regional businesses of the Middle-East have come to realize the importance of Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility. These concepts are no longer just fancy words to be spoken in social gatherings. The businesses in Dubai, Abu Dhabi are leading the way while Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Oman are growing their “CSR” agendas at a record pace. In short the region has now come to realize that “CSR” is in-fact closely related to the continuing corporate success .

That being said Abu Dhabi and Dubai, as well as the entire GCC, are leaders in the cause for the need for increased “CSR” in the first place. In the region we are among the world’s largest per capita consumers of water, emitters of carbon, and rank among the highest globally in diabetes, heart disease, and certain blood disorders. There is always more ground to make up and the business community needs to continue to invest strategically and proactively to negate damages and gradually make positive advances in these areas. For these reasons CSR activities can be focused to educate businesses, schools, homes, and local communities on the importance to be more prudent and practical in the use of resources like petroleum, water and the environment as a whole active as well. If we lead by example and engage the broader community these issues will become the foundation of an increasing wave of greatness where our local areas become global success stories.

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