During the press conference
The fourth cycle of the Arabia CSR Awards was launched with a press conference on the 24th of April 2011 held at the prestigious Capital Club. Media members, delegates and potential participants gathered to listen to a panel of speakers consisting of Mrs. Habiba Al Marashi, President Arabia CSR Network, Mr. Ralph Thurm, Member of Jury and representatives of last years’ Award winners.
Since the inception, the Arabia CSR Awards have been and continue to be supported by the UN Global Compact, giving winners international recognition for their CSR best practices.
Mrs. Al Marashi kick started the Press Conference with the history and evolution of the Awards since 2008. She explained how the questionnaire of the Awards has undergone immense streamlining since the beginning and last year was fantastic with participation from 12 Arab countries! The 2010 Awards cycle had the highest registration of 80 applications, 62 of which made it to the Judging panel.
“This year,” Mrs. Al Marashi explained, “we have streamlined the entire process even more and you will find that the questionnaire is one that calls for self-assessment and not just a host of multiple choice questions. It is definitely a journey which we will be taking together – which is aptly captured in our theme for the year – “Together 4 an Arabian CSR Journey.”
Mr. Ralph Thurm, member of the Jury and Director Sustainability Strategies and Innovation, Deloitte, Netherlands, provided a brief on how the Awards Program this year is different from any other Award of its kind.
“This is a completely new method of doing this as it gives companies the opportunity to benchmark as well as set internal targets for their organizations. As participants will now be able to directly work with the self assessment, they will see that they are also asked to score their level of maturity regarding each of the roundabout 80 statements.”
The audience was then given a brief of the submission process by the Arabia CSR Awards Team member and all technical queries were answered.
Representatives of the winners of the Arabia CSR Awards 2010 were also present at the panel and gave an overview of what went into their award-winning entries and how the process had helped their organizations.
It is also worth mentioning that the submission process for the 4th Cycle of the Awards is completely paperless as every aspect of the process – questionnaire, judging and interaction during the interim period will be conducted online.
The questionnaire has been revised drastically and divided into 11 sections, including the Profile and the final Pitch. The seven remaining sections are based on various sustainability issues such as governance, stakeholder engagement, reporting, environmental performance and the like.
As mentioned before, participants will have to self-assess their applications and score themselves as well as provide appropriate evidence in the form of a sustainability report or a UNGC Communication on Progress. The Jury will then review the application and take into consideration the scores given by the participant and provide their own scores after careful review. This will then be once again sent back to the participant who will see the judges’ scores and comments and try to convince the Jury through their written statements and examples from their sustainability reports. The last step would be the judges taking into account the comments of the participants and giving the final score.
Thus, the procedure this year is remarkably different from the last three years where participants were asked to fill out questionnaires with multiple choices.
It was also announced that a free, informal Awards Clinic will be organized by the Arabia CSR Network on the 26th of June, in which participants can ask questions and will be walked through the application process by a member of the judging panel. All participants are encouraged to attend this workshop and will be notified of further details upon their registration.
The launch marked the opening of the submission period for the Awards, which runs from 24th April until 30th August 2011. Winners will be honored at an awarding ceremony, which will be on the 31st of October 2011.
Organizations interested in participation, may visit www.arabiacsrawards.com for further information and fill in the registration form. Arabia CSR Network staff will be on hand to answer questions and guide participants throughout the application process.