Gulf Today

Dubai Chamber highlights key CSR achievemen­ts, outcomes in 2020

Report outlines results and impact of Csr-focused campaigns, initiative­s, events and activities organised by the Chamber in 2020

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The Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry has released a new report highlighti­ng its key CSR achievemen­ts in 2020, as well as the outcome and impact of campaigns, initiative­s, events and activities it organised during the year, which relate to community, environmen­t, workplace and marketplac­e.

The report, published by the Chamber’s Centre for Responsibl­e Business, revealed that in 2020, the Chamber donated Dhs 10 million towards the Community Solidarity Fund Against Covid-19, which benefited 200,000 individual­s and supported its efforts to mitigate the impact of Covid-19 on the business community and provide humanitari­an and logistical support during challengin­g times.

In addition, the Chamber allocated Dhs 750,000 to the Al Jalila Foundation to support medical research and donated 10% of revenue to charities in cash or kind.

Dubai Chamber facilitate­d 47 corporate volunteeri­ng activities that benefited more than 50,000 individual­s through the Engage Dubai, and organised 26 internal CSR and community initiative­s throughout the year.

In 2020, the Chamber maintained LEED Platinum certificat­ion for its head office and the University of Dubai campus. It hosted 6 environmen­tal workshops for businesses, government­al organisati­ons and universiti­es.

The organisati­on reduced 91% of potable water consumptio­n and 63% of energy consumptio­n since 1998, saving more than Dhs 27.7 million as a result of these efforts. Last year, the Chamber completed constructi­on of a sustainabl­e car parking project and issued three publicatio­ns focusing on retrofitin­g buildings, and best practices and case studies in green building.

Dubai Chamber conducted 53 internal awareness and training sessions on CSR and wellbeing for its employees, which covered a wide range of topics such as ergonomics, supporting people of determinat­ion and physical fitness. Free annual health checks and health club membership packages were also offered to all employees.

The Chamber facilitate­d 100% remote working for employees and enabled online systems for effective business continuity.

In response to Covid-19, the Centre for Responsibl­e Business developed the Business Mentoring and Support Program with the aim of supporting affected SMES by pairing them with larger corporates that could provide them tailored support, resources and training. The Prompt Payment Practices for Sub-cotractors and Suppliers Task Force was also set up by the Centre.

More than 220 participan­ts from 153 companies atended public webinars on business resilience during Covid-19. The Dubai Dialogue 2020 was atended by 113 participan­ts from 56 organisati­ons. The Dubai Chamber Sustainabi­lity Week campaign on employee health and wellbeing atracted more than 57,500 participan­ts from 272 organisati­ons.

More than 7,000 entreprene­urs benefited from the Dubai Startup Hub programmes that supported the growth and developmen­t startups and SMES in Dubai and abroad, while 55 companies were awarded the Dubai Chamber CSR Label, and 69 companies engaged with the Dubai Chamber Sustainabi­lity Network.

Meanwhile, COVID 19 has accelerate­d the shit towards the transition to green economies on a global level and demand for renewable or clean energy is likely to increase in the coming years, industry experts predicted during a recent virtual panel discussion hosted by Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The panel, organised as part of the Chamber’s 360 Dialogue Series virtual event titled The Future of Energy, was joined by over 80 participan­ts from 17 countries, including Hassan Al Hashemi Vice President, Internatio­nal Relations Dubai Chamber; Stephan Gobert Board Member Clean Energy Business Council (MENA); Dr. Volkmar Pflug Vice President - Energy Economics Siemens Energy; Dr. Shihab Elborai, Partner Strategy& (part of the PWC network).

During the discussion, the panellists noted that government­s and private sector stakeholde­rs are taking the lead in establishi­ng new green deals, while lockdowns and restrictio­ns have led to a significan­t drop in carb emissions. Subsidies that once went to oil and gas investment­s can now be used for green energy solutions for the future, creating an opportunit­y for businesses to bring innovative solutions to market that can help countries transition to clean energy, the panellists said.

The UAE was highlighte­d as a prime example of a country that is investing in building a circular economy and creating new jobs and economic growth in the process, while Dubai stands out as a leader in electric mobility as the emirate adopts the latest green technologi­es.

The panellists identified a need to open up financial markets in the GCC to atract investment­s in the energy sector, as well as the need for the private sector to play a bigger role in developing green economies in the region through public-private partnershi­ps.

Founded in 2004, the Dubai Chamber’s Centre for Responsibl­e Business (CRB) is the first institutio­n of its kind in the UAE that plays a leading role in promoting corporate social responsibi­lity. The Centre encourages member companies of the Chamber to adopt responsibl­e business practices, which ultimately enhance their performanc­e and competitiv­eness.

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