Making a difference

FM companies and CSR

Jamal Lootah
Jamal Lootah

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) defines an organisation’s relationship with, and relevance to, the community it operates in. It essentially adds value to a company’s corporate mission, underpins what the company stands for and also upholds it to both its consumers and stakeholders. Ideally, CSR is a form of corporate self-regulation integrated into a business model in order to ensure contributions to public interest.

This concept of CSR has evolved over time and has gained tremendous significance globally in recent times. There has also been greater awareness about it in the Middle East in recent years, with big businesses in particular having taken it as part of their duty to contribute significantly towards the welfare of the community in which they operate, as part of their organisation’s social responsibility.

In fact, more and more corporate organizations are integrating the CSR concept into their business models and strategies, in an effort to move towards more sustainable development. As CSR initiatives continue to gain momentum in the UAE and across the GCC region, various facilities management (FM) companies have come forward to promote it by devising their own CSR programs and activities.

Such efforts offer these companies an opportunity to go beyond their economic performance and also consider their broader responsibility towards their community, society and environment.
Besides contributing towards sustainable development of the society, CSR activities help build a positive image for the company, act as a motivational factor for employees and bolster overall organizational growth.

Helping the community is a core value for Imdaad, a leading provider of integrated FM solutions in the GCC. By integrating CSR into our business model, we have committed ourselves to contributing positively to community growth and development.

Through this deliberate step, Imdaad ensures that its relationship with colleagues, customers and stakeholders is conducted with high standards of honesty, integrity, transparency and professionalism.

Imdaad sees CSR activities as the business contribution to our sustainable development goals. We have identified five key aspects to develop or consolidate our corporate initiatives: economic, legal, social, environmental and sustainable.

Essentially, it is about how business takes into account its economic, social and environmental impact in its operations to maximize benefits and minimize downsides.
These activities help Imdaad to create a balance between its corporate goal of pursuing development opportunities, and its responsibility of supporting the local community by operating in a sustainable environment.

In 2009, Imdaad introduced its flagship CSR program, Be’ati, which means ‘my environment,’ to reaffirm our commitment towards the community we live and work in. Through this program, we aim to spread awareness among school children about environmental concerns and the importance of recycling of waste.

Be’ati is committed to making children active partners in campaigns held to protect the environment. As part of the initiative, quizzes, short films and competitions are currently being organized in schools across the country.

Moreover, Imdaad is going full circle with its reduce, recycle and reuse efforts. To meet this objective, we are presently assessing the scope for construction of a recycling plant to achieve this goal.

In addition, we introduced the Baader Initiative (Employee Suggestion Scheme), and also organized a two-day blood donation campaign as part of the company’s CSR program last year.
FM companies play a vital part in promoting CSR in the society. A CSR program is successful only when a company’s strategic initiative goes hand-in-hand with its business’ core competencies.

Before launching an initiative, FM companies should define clear objectives and dedicate a team that fully understands the program. A committed approach and effective management enable them to support the sustainable development strategies of government and help build a better society.

About the author
Jamal Lootah is the chief executive officer of Imdaad

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