The 2016 edition of the Arab Region’s most sought after annual awards was officially introduced in a press launch in Cairo, Egypt. In a new move, the Arabia CSR Awards 2016 first public launch was held outside the United Arab Emirates, and in a North African country. The objective was to expand the reach of the awards across the Middle East and North Africa, with a particular emphasis on recognizing CSR and sustainability good practice in the North Africa region. The launch was organized by the Arabia CSR Network, in collaboration with Cairo-based Country Partner, Terous. The awards are held, for the third consecutive year, under the auspices of the League of Arab States, supported by the UN Global Compact, and in partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme. During the launch, the Arabia CSR Network and Terous came together to officially sign a memorandum of cooperation.
Among those that took to the dais were Arabia CSR Network President and CEO, Habiba Al Marashi, Hatem Khater, Ahmed Darwish, Chairman of Terous, and Hatem Khater, Founder and Vice-Chair of Terous. Said Mrs. Al Marashi in her opening speech at the press conference, “Proudly the Awards are a homegrown product of the Arab region and aim to elevate organisations in the region to the heights of excellence in CSR implementation and overall sustainability performance.”
The Arabia CSR Awards were instituted in 2008. Through its eight completed cycles the awards have truly evolved as the leading Arabian benchmark in CSR and sustainability. 881 applications from 660 organisations from 26 sectors and in 13 Arab countries have been received so far. Today, the Arabia CSR Awards are renowned for their rigour-based approach and the integration of international standards and frameworks into one of the most comprehensive sets of criteria. Any organisation operating in the MENA Region, irrespective of size, sector and location, can apply to the prestigious awards. The awards are open across nine categories, namely, Public Sector, Large Business, Medium Business, Small Business, Financial Services, Energy, Social Enterprise, New Business, and Partnerships and Collaborations. The applications to the awards can be developed in any of three language options; Arabic, English and French. The award jury comprises of independent experts drawn from within the Arab world and beyond. The wholly on-line awards are an example of sustainability in more ways than one. The results of the awards are verified by an external assurance provider. The concluding awarding ceremony is conducted as a carbon-neutral event.