Emirates Foundation, Shell and ADNOC Unite to Discuss Maximising Social Value

WAM Abu Dhabi, June 17th, 2013 (WAM) — The Emirates Foundation, in partnership with Shell and the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) have organized a one-day workshop to talk about maximizing social impact within their respective CSR (corporate social responsibility) and social investment portfolios.

The workshop participants included representatives from Siemens and the National Bank of Abu Dhabi. The purpose of the initiative was to provide a platform for sharing international, regional and local “best practice” in CSR and Social Investment and to discuss how companies and philanthropists can create maximum social value.

The workshop was facilitated by FSG – an international non-profit firm specialising in strategy and evaluation in the social sector that has systematically called for greater impact in this area. FSG’s representative, Kyle Peterson, said that, “Despite spending vast amounts of money, philanthropists and corporations that invest in social issues have often fallen short of solving the world’s most pressing problems. Companies spend millions of dollars a year on societal needs through corporate social responsibility programs and yet often have little progress to show for it. Innovative foundations such as Emirates Foundation and companies such as Shell have recognized this and we are delighted to see they are taking very significant steps to becoming more effective.” The workshop focused on the many ways in which philanthropy and CSR can play a very positive and permanent role in society discussing various fundamental principles.

Clare Woodcraft-Scott, CEO of Emirates Foundation, noted, “In a world of scarce resources, growing pressures on our natural ecosystems, and tremendous social needs, it is increasingly important that every dollar spent on societal issues is invested effectively,” she said. “Adopting our new business model and a much more focused approach, on just one core theme – youth development – will help do that.” Participants spent the day exploring how they had gone about developing their core programs, how they had developed specific monitoring and evaluation tools and how then sharing ideas about the methodology to further improve measuring capabilities. They also shared various ideas about the importance of program design and having clear end goals to ensuring that maximum social value is delivered.

“This was a very exciting and innovative opportunity,” for us said Paloma Berenguer, Shell’s Social Performance Manager for the Middle East and North Africa. “We are currently in the process of refining our regional approach to measuring and delivering maximum value on our regional social investment portfolio across MENA. Being able to share challenges and opportunities with our partners and our peers is a great way to build institutional knowledge and capability and stronger working relationships. Social value can only be delivered in collaboration and we believe that this underpins today’s initiative.” All participating entities agreed to establish a Social Investment Working Group that can continue to share progress on an ongoing basis and also act as a sounding board for addressing any respective challenges that arise in the group’s work.


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