2014 CSE Research on Sustainability Reporting in Middle East Region

August 28, 2014

Mapping the current situation in Middle East regarding the use of GRI, External Assurance and Strategies.

The Centre for Sustainability and Excellence (CSE) recently conducted a research to observe the emerging trends for the publication of sustainability reports and external assurance in the Middle East region.

To examine the statistical results, CSE processed data retrieved from the international database of GRI (Global Reporting Initiative) and conducted a survey of the websites of 67 organizations in Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and Egypt that have published unique Sustainability reports for the period 2012-2014.

The results showed that companies in the energy sector have the lead with a rate of 28% among companies that produce a sustainability report. The country that published most sustainability reports in the period 2012-2014 was United Arab Emirates with 34% followed by Qatar where 22% of the reports were issued.

Figure: The breakdown of CSR-Sustainability reports in Middle East per business sector.

The main conclusion of this research was that almost 81% of companies in Middle East that published a CSR report, followed the internationally recognized standards of GRI, while the remaining 19% was based either on ten basic principles of United Nations Global Compact or did not comply with any particular or recognized reporting standard. Despite that the majority of the companies follow the instructions GRI G3.1 to their sustainability reports, only a small percentage of the reports fully comply with the GRI requirements. Furthermore, only 19% of the sustainability reports sample contained external assurance. Additionally, less than 10% of the companies studied have established future goals or launched strategy on sustainability and CSR issues.

According to those conclusions it seems that while Sustainability Reporting is booming in particular countries in Middle East (e.g UAE, Qatar) there is still lack of maturity for the importance of strategy and external assurance according to global best practices.

CSE encourages every company who would like to better understand the significance of those strategies and earn all the practical tools to implement effective sustainability initiatives, to join our
Advanced Certified Sustainability Trainings:
Abu Dhabi, UAE on October 12-13,
Dubai, UAE on December 7-8
GRI (G4) Certified Training on Reporting
Qatar on October 15-16
Dubai, UAE, on December 9-10

About the Centre for Sustainability and Excellence

CSE is a global Sustainability (CSR) strategic consulting and training organization providing in-house and open trainings that meet the needs and requirements of every industry and the business activities of every organization, as an Approved Course and Training Organization under the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA). In this way, since CSE establishment in 2004, it has trained more than 5000 high profile professionals from 28 countries and 5 continents and leading companies, including NASA, Walmart, Unilever, ABM, Lockheed Martin, Thomson Reuters, Baker Hughes, Noble Energy, United Airlines, Coca Cola, LBG, BP, University of Wisconsin, and Heineken Group.

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