CSR UAE Fund’s Board of Trustees has approved several new policies to develop the Fund’s mechanisms, ensure rapid implementation of initiatives, and thereby widen its impact and reach. During the first meeting since it was established in accordance with Resolution no. 18 of 2020, the Fund’s Board approved a set of guidelines and systems to measure and monitor community work and also announced the formation of four specialized committees that work under the board’s umbrella.
The committees are tasked with following up on policies, projects, financing, and risk management, in addition to enhancing performance across all areas.
The Board also approved the launch of the CSR UAE Index and constituted a team to oversee its effectiveness. The index will document the performance of institutions and companies in the CSR space, according to leading local and international standards. In addition, the Board approved the CSR Label program, that in cooperation with the UAE Chambers of Commerce, categorizes companies according to a set of criteria and indicators.
His Excellency Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy and Chairman of the CSR UAE Fund’s Board of Trustees, said: “Since the establishment of the UAE federation by the founding father, late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the country's leadership has endeavored to engrain the idea of giving back to the community in the social fabric, and aimed to instill responsible social behavior with regard to developmental, social and environmental issues among diverse social groups, including individuals and the public and private sectors. Today, this mindful behavior is clearly reflected in the integration of the government’s efforts and the private sector’s initiatives to support development goals, upgrade society's capabilities to face various challenges, and ultimately, enhance the UAE’s competitiveness.
His Excellency added that the CSR UAE Fund has an ambitious vision to enhance the country's global leadership in CSR through building an integrated regulatory framework to manage, strengthen, and measure companies’ social contributions and initiatives. In doing so, it aims to serve as a model for best practices at a regional and global level.
The Minister of Economy emphasized that strategic partnerships and coordination between the public and private sectors is the only way forward to ensure sustainable development. The CSR UAE Fund is keen to develop initiatives that enhance the social responsibility expertise of UAE businesses through incentivizing them and providing indicators to make CSR institutional and systemic, thereby ensuring wide-ranging social benefits and addressing the needs of the private sector. He added that the companies' adoption of CSR activities and their contribution to improving their social environment reflects positively on their competitiveness and ability to build the sustainability of their business.
Board Meeting Attendees
In addition to His Excellency Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri, the CSR UAE Fund Board meeting drew the participation of His Excellency Abdulla Al Saleh, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Economy, His Excellency Mubarak Al-Nakhi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Culture and Youth, Her Excellency Mouza Al Akraf Al Suwaidi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Community Development, His Excellency Ahmed Abdul Karim Julfar, Director General of the Dubai Community Development Authority, Her Excellency Dr Maryam Buti Al Suwaidi, Deputy CEO of the Securities and Commodities Authority, Her Excellency Hanan Ahli, Executive Director at the Federal Competitiveness & Statistics Authority, His Excellency Abdulaziz Al Jaziri, Deputy CEO of the Dubai Future Foundation, Dr Alyazia Al Kuwaiti, Executive Director of Upstream and Integrated Investments of Petroleum and Petrochemicals at Mubadala Investment Company, Her Excellency Budoor Al-Raqbani, a social entrepreneur, Ayman Farouq Heikal, Legal Advisor at the Securities and Commodities Authority and Advisor to the Minister of Economy and Secretary of the Board, as well as Maryam Al-Qassab, Representative of the youth.
The Board approved the establishment of four specialized committees, including the Advisory Committee, Auditing and Risk Committee, Policy and Strategy Committee, and Projects and Funding Committee. The committees’ are set to work collectively to establish CSR practices across the country and facilitate the registration of companies in the CSR UAE Index as well as in the CSR Label program.
His Excellency Abdulla Al Saleh heads the Advisory Committee that serves as a channel to activate public-private sector partnerships through social responsibility committees in each emirate. Her Excellency Mouza Al Akraf Al Suwaidi leads the Auditing and Risk Committee, that aims to ensure the effectiveness of internal and external auditing and internal monitoring systems, as well as oversee the governance of the committees and risk management.
The Policy and Strategy Committee, headed by His Excellency Mubarak Al Nakhi, is also tasked with shaping the Fund’s governance system and ensuring the implementation of best practices in drafting legislations focused on social responsibility and sustainability. Meanwhile, the Projects and Funding Committee, headed by Her Excellency Hanan Ahli, will approve funding projects aligned with the UAE’s national priorities and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
CSR UAE Index Team
The Board of Trustees meeting also witnessed the formation of the CSR UAE Index taskforce that includes members boasting diverse skillsets and expertise. Working together, the taskforce will present recommendations on indices and their alignment with national goals, verified usable data sources, and the Index’s overall methodology.
Drawing on global standards used to evaluate CSR, the CSR UAE Index is a measurement tool to evaluate CSR and sustainability practices in the country. It benchmarks local practices and their impact on the UAE's global competitiveness
The UAE CSR Fund also launched the CSR Label program to classify public and private sector entities, based on three categories - platinum, gold, and silver. The label is awarded in cooperation with the UAE’s Chambers of Commerce.
The evaluation process for awarding the CSR Label factors in seven main criteria: contribution to national priorities, local added value, strategic planning and implementation, societal and environmental impact, stakeholder engagement, risk and opportunity management, and creativity and innovation.
Half a Million Beneficiaries
Lately, the CSR UAE Fund has achieved multiple positive milestones. The Fund succeeded in raising financial and in-kind donations from the nation’s business sector, that were allocated to help some half a million beneficiaries through initiatives launched to address the adverse impacts of COVID-19. The Fund continues to receive financial and in-kind contributions from the private sector to serve the UAE’s community.