Picture used for illustrative purpose.
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 retrofitting 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 attended public webinars on business resilience during Covid-19. The Dubai Dialogue 2020 was attended by 113 participants from 56 organisations. The Dubai Chamber Sustainability Week campaign on employee health and wellbeing attracted 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 shift 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 attract 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.