Corporate Social Responsibility: Best Practice Guidelines Handbook

Corporate Social Responsibility: Best Practice Guidelines Handbook

The latest book from the Al-Attiyah Foundation – Best Practice Guidelines for Corporate Social Responsibility – is based on the premise that the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) serve as a good blueprint for framing corporate social responsibility (CSR) of companies and organisations, as well as how progress in approaches to sustainable development is influencing CSR practices.

The Foundation has developed this new publication with the expectation for it to serve as a useful guide for companies wishing to capitalise on their positive benefits to society, while mitigating, in a meaningful way, the adverse impacts of their activities. It builds on the Foundation’s 2017 publication, on Sustainable Development Goals and Energy Nexus.

The book examines key international standards, guidelines and principles, related to CSR, that have emerged through UN or other multilateral processes, or established by industry or business associations. These standards and guidelines represent the expectations of the international society for responsible business conduct. A concise overview of the standards and guidelines are presented and the key elements that are considered essential for best practice are highlighted and discussed. Some case studies illustrating the contributions, through CSR initiatives, by companies based in Qatar to Qatar National Vision 2030, are presented.

The book looks at the different CSR initiatives through the lens of four main characteristics. Characteristics that demonstrate that the CSR Initiative is:

  1. Integral part of the company’s core business;
  2. Is well aligned with government developmental agenda;
  3. Serves as a tool for addressing social needs; and
  4. Serves as a tool for responsible environmental management.

Key aspects that should be considered if a CSR initiative is to effectively achieve its intended purpose are identified under each of the above four clusters.

Key Messages

  • The book is cast within the context of the plethora of CSR initiatives that use the existing different standards and guidelines.
  • The rapidly changing times and business environment move us deeper and deeper into the new era of corporate responsibilities, where companies are expected to be good neighbours.
  • Consequently, CSR has become part of the DNA of many companies, although the effectiveness and impact of such programmes varies.
  • Organisations have recognised that, in addition to legal and regulatory incentives, there are also strategic, operational, reputational and financial reasons to seriously address the social and environmental aspects of their operations.
  • For many companies, especially those that operate internationally, environmental and social challenges – often called ‘non-technical risks’ can have as much potential to harm their bottom line as financial issues.
  • Companies are increasingly using their experiences of local challenges to work with communities to determine how best to align their investments in projects with community needs.

CSR gives companies a competitive advantage – Leading companies committed to best practice, tend to pursue CSR initiatives with multifaceted objectives, meeting more than one of the above characteristics


Download a PDF Copy of the book HERE