As we embark on a new year, we all need to join forces and really get the ball rolling when it comes to embedding sustainability objectives. It is our role as the CSR team to support your department’s objectives from an advisory and research perspective. However, we need your support to also help spark ideas and to engage with the team on a regular basis, so that we can keep our CSR torch burning and sustainability initiatives alive.
It is a great idea to identify a CSR champion in your department who can help innovate and drive these initiatives. We encourage all employees to follow the footsteps of our colleague, Sara Babar, who independently took time out of her busy schedule to mark ‘World Diabetes Day’ in November by organising a healthy breakfast for employees, free from refined sugars and gluten. Everyone can contribute to fuelling our CSR. All you need is the right mindset and willingness to take the initiative to make such ideas a reality.
In order to truly embed our Sustainability Policy, Nourishing Life and integrate CSR into our corporate policies and practices, we kicked off this year with some Corporate priorities. This included a revision of our Corporate Sponsorship policy and the re-establishment of the ‘Alosra Scholarship Fund’, which will be primarily dedicated to support the education of economically marginalised local students with the right aptitude to pursue higher education. We are also very proud of our longstanding ‘Think Local’ initiative, in collaboration with Alosra, and continued support of our Bahraini farmer, Sadeq Mirza, and expansion of the current ‘Think Local’ offering. These are only a few examples of how we are leveraging our resources to simultaneously advance the economic and social conditions of the communities in which we operate whilst driving our triple bottom line.
As a responsible corporate citizen, we will always strive to be ahead of the curve when it comes to positively influencing our communities in ethical, social and environmental contexts. Times are increasingly changing and leaders from around the globe are addressing the challenges we face in maintaining the future for generations to come. In order to make this happen, it will indefinitely require the collaboration of both the public and private sectors.
While CSR was previously an ethical issue, it is now no longer just the right thing to do, but a long-term profit-related issue allowing the management of both internal and external risks in various social and economic aspects.
You are all well aware of how much we value our diversity and strive to leverage our human capital by adding value to our employees. Consequently, CSR is also an essential aspect of our talent management as we aim to endorse the principles of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), through measuring our impact using diversity and inclusion indicators. Harnessing our differences is helping us to retain and maintain a healthy and happy workforce as we strive to become an ‘Employer of Choice’. Be prepared to go through our revised Code of Business Conduct very soon! At the end of the day, it will not be what we advocate about ourselves that matters, but instead what society, clients, suppliers and you have to say about the company.
Simply saying CSR is good for business is great, but if it’s not truly being considered in any of our decisions and day-to-day operations then we seriously need to reconsider the way we’ve been going about doing things, because that’s just not enough. Incremental change and a continuous process will reap progress towards a holistic approach of incorporating sustainable development. So don’t hesitate in coming to us and sharing your ideas, no matter how small or big they may be!
And always remember, ‘it takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.’