The Department of Community Development – Abu Dhabi (DCD), as the regulator of Abu Dhabi’s social sector, today launched its Corporate Social Responsibility Guide (CSR Guide).
The guide aims to encourage and develop responsible social and environmental behaviours among companies, raise awareness about the importance of their participation in social work and highlight the value of community service. This initiative is in line with DCD’s ambitions to develop policies required to increase participation, community contributions, investments and innovations within the social sector, with an overarching goal of achieving the emirate's social priorities.
The guide, which is optional for entities wishing to engage in social responsibility, provides a framework for standardising corporate methodologies in Abu Dhabi. Moreover, it sheds light on various areas of work within the social sector through channels like the Authority for Social Contributions – Ma’an platform and addresses other accredited agencies to determine ways of receiving and distributing contributions. This guide also aims to complement existing standards and frameworks related to the non-financial performance of organisations, which includes social performance and environmental impact.
H.E. Eng. Hamad Ali Al Dhaheri, Undersecretary of the Department of Community Development, said: “The department was keen to put in place key steps that would activate the CSR system, aimed at strengthening the social fabric of the emirate and making a significant impact on a wide segment of the Abu Dhabi community. At DCD, we are committed to providing a decent quality of life for all members of society by creating, protecting and supporting a sustainable society and economy through effective collaboration with various groups and local authorities, where transparency is paramount.”
H.E Excellency Salama Al Ameemi, Director General of the Authority of Social Contribution – Ma’an, explained that the organisation is tasked with receiving contributions from the public and private sectors, social institutions and community members, and is responsible for directing those contributions to social priorities identified in the emirate in cooperation with partners. Those partners could be within the spheres of health, education, environment, social sector, and infrastructure.
Ma'an has made a remarkable social impact with its partners through the execution of CSR initiatives by providing entities with greater flexibility and an increased ability to interact with Abu Dhabi society.
The authority cooperates with partners in government and third sector agencies to strategically identify and highlight social projects, direct contributions to them and follow up on their implementation. This greatly reduces the burden on companies by removing the need for them to identify, implement and follow up on those social projects.
She added: “The methodology for dealing with the contributions is very transparent, as Ma’an provides reports on the impact of the contributions and how the targeted segment benefited from them. At Ma’an, we are committed to developing incentives and tools to streamline CSR contributions - this includes the launch the Abu Dhabi Social Responsibility Label.”
H.E Mohamed Helal Al Balooshi, Executive Director of the Community Engagement and Sports Sector at DCD, said: “Social responsibility is one of the key pillars that the growth of the community depends on, and it must be taken seriously. We must draw upon our successful experiences and motivate others to support different sectors of society, which will encourage solidarity, create a more positive outlook about the business sector as a true partner to society, and support the government sector in providing services to society.”
Al Balooshi continued: “This guide will not constitute a management system, nor it is intended to replace any existing practices or strategies related to corporate social responsibility. It is intended as a voluntary guide that companies in Abu Dhabi can rely on if they wish to perform in line with global best practices related to corporate social responsibility.”
Corporate social responsibility acts as a cornerstone for generating radical solutions to address societal issues, adopting successful practices, supporting youth in achieving a brighter future, advancing the economy, and fostering partnerships between the business and government sectors for the benefit of all.
The guide seeks to raise awareness of responsible social and environmental behaviours, encourage incentives and benefits related to community contributions, advocate business participation in community actions, and support the adoption of social responsibility actions and measures.
Adoption of social responsibility creates a sustainable impact on the development of society, the economy and the environment, promotes innovation and creativity in society, contributes to the adoption of inspiring ideas, and the creation of role models. The guide aims to contribute to promoting a culture of social responsibility, whether as a concept or in real-life application through programmes and events – with the ultimate goal of driving national development.