The Arabia CSR Network (ACSRN) believes that companies that honestly and passionately practice CSR and sustainability can provide many services that can catalyze long-term and meaningful societal change and environmental preservation. Therefore, it encourages the organizations in the Middle East, North Africa and Levant region to go beyond the bottom-line approach and embed social, environmental and governance principles into their core operations to create shared value, both for business and society.
The Arabia CSR Network has grown reasonably fast into a regional forum for exchange of values and ideas, sharing of knowledge and best practice. ACSRN works hard to keep companies cognizant about their power to make significant contributions in solving social and environmental problems while they internally generate profits and create economic value.
Currently, the Arabia CSR Network offers the following services:
Training – Building corporate capacity for a better society and environment
Through workshops, seminars and networking opportunities, members of the Arabia CSR Network and other corporate organizations are exposed to a unique platform where they can share CSR experiences and seek sustainable solutions in a rapidly changing world. In this regard, the ACSRN conducts a number of trainings with the objective to build the capacity of organizations to enhance and improve their impact on society and the environment.
The Arabia CSR Network is also certified by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) headquarters in Netherlands to provide trainings to organizations that wish to use the GRI framework for their sustainability reporting requirements. With this certification, the Arabia CSR Network is the first body that is able to offer GRI training services to organizations and individuals in all Arabic speaking countries of the Middle East.
Arabia CSR Awards – Recognizing CSR and sustainability leaders
The Arabia CSR Awards, the most prestigious CSR and sustainability related accolade in the region, honors and showcases those companies that demonstrate a clear vision, strategy and implementation of CSR. Every year, the Arabia CSR Awards screens hundreds of applying companies, their sustainability report and their applications to be a part of the sustainability journey in the Arab region. Those companies that best exhibit strong values and commitment towards sustainability, corporate responsibility, social accountability, stakeholder inclusiveness and other such aspects of responsible business are awarded and recognized on a regional platform and showcased at the global level.
In the past five Awards cycles, the Arabia CSR Network has been able to receive close to 400 applications from organizations from 12 countries in the Arab world. This is indicative of the value that the Arabia CSR Awards provides to businesses in the region; after all it is not just the award or the accolade, but also the process of self evaluation and assessment that helps companies understand how they can improve their performance to become more sustainable and have a positive impact on society and the environment.
Research – Sharing ideas and best practices for CSR
One of the most exciting outcomes of the Arabia CSR Awards has been the wealth of information that has been collected regarding CSR in the Arab region. The Arabia CSR Network has put this information to good use and has developed case studies that will help others understand what has been the strategy and process behind some innovative and exception CSR work being done by companies in the region.
The Arabia CSR Network, in assistance with the Asian Institute of Management (AIM), has published 2 books featuring best practices and case studies of 24 organizations that were winners of the Arabia CSR Awards between 2008 and 2011. The case studies play a definitive role in setting the benchmark for the Middle East, a region that is not prominently known for its sustainability practices. The companies represent key industries in the region such as the Oil & Gas sector, the Finance industry, the Telecom sector, the Construction sector and many more. Similar case studies of CSR best practices will be published every year by the Arabia CSR Network.
External Assurance – Enhancing organizational credibility for sustainability
Based on its experience in evaluating CSR projects and sustainability reports and also conducting GRI trainings for organizations based across the MENA region, ACSRN offers independent third party quality assurance and verification services for organizations compiling their annual sustainability & CSR reports in line with the GRI guidelines.
Membership – A collective movement for CSR and sustainability
The Arabia CSR Network actively seeks the participation of businesses and government institutions in its various events and activities. Over the years, ACSRN is proud to have welcomed organizations that have a long track record of sustainability best practice, leading the field both internationally and in the Arab region. These companies have also assisted the ACSRN through generous sponsorship and active involvement in the planning and delivery of CSR events. Member organizations are also encouraged to take an active role in shaping the future of the network and are regularly consulted. Each Member is offered the opportunity to present its own case study at workshops and share its experiences with delegates.