CSR Guidelines for the Financial Sector - page 11

. About theseGuidelines
CSR is about themanagement of an institution’s impact on its stakeholders, the environment and the community in
which it operates. It ismore than just the amount of money donated to charitable causes. It is about the integrity with
which a company governs itself, how it fulfils itsmission, the values it has andwhat it wants to stand for, how it
engages with its stakeholders, and how it measures its impacts and publicly reports its activities. All of this has a
direct impact on howmanagement makes decisions. It means that managersmust take into account an increasing
range and complexity of factors relating to the financial, environmental and social implications of business
operations. In order to achieve this, CSR becomes concernedwith the competenciesmanagers need to operate in
this changing business environment.
To help the situation, theUnion of Arab Banks (UAB) and Schema have developed the first ever
for the Financial Sector
tailored for theMENA region, designed to help integrateCSR into decision-making and
operations, and achieve a deeper understanding and increased implementation culture. Responsible business is
progressively becoming theway business is done. TheseCSRGuidelines will help decision-makers, managers, and
practitioners’ in financial institutions withCSR and the implementation thereof, enabling your institution to be at the
forefront of these changes – not left behind.
It is hoped that financial institutions interested in implementing a corporate social responsibility approachwill use this
guide as a starting point. TheCSRGuidelines review basic information and practices, key issues to consider, offers
options for addressing them, and provides a set of tools that will likely be of assistance.
As well, financial institutions that choose to implement a corporate social responsibility approach should note that
this would involve a dynamic learning process, for which this guide ismerely one source of information and
assistance. Corporate social responsibility is amoving target that cannot be fully “achieved” by one-time activities
and decisions. Thus, financial institutions should approach corporate social responsibility with a view to continual
improvement, being alert to new issues and considerations. It is very possible that a financial institution could adopt
the approaches described in this guide today and find itself facing new corporate social responsibility challenges and
opportunities tomorrow.
TheseCSRGuidelines contain information on how to develop and implement a corporate social responsibility
strategy and commitments, andmeasure, evaluate and report on performance and engagewith stakeholders.
At the centre of theCSRGuidelines is a set of coreCSR characteristics, designed to focus CSR implementation
activity. CSR is not just for the communications ormarketing department. TheseCSRGuidelines aim tomakeCSR an
integral part of financial institutions. Although aimed at financial institutions, it is hoped that organizations of all
types will find value in theseCSRGuidelines.
Formany organizations CSR has traditionally been something of an add-on. General managersmay have had some
experience inCSR, but may not have been exposed to thewider demands or opportunities that it places on an
organization. By addressing concrete steps, and action, theseCSRGuidelines will stimulate and provide new thinking
that will permeate thewhole organization.
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