• Among surveyed companies, employee volunteers gave more than 65,000 hours of their time in 2016
• Participation rates are high in the UAE at 37% compared to other parts of the world
Dubai, UAE: UAE-based businesses and their employees are making a meaningful contribution to societal change across the country, according to the results of the first-ever research into corporate volunteering. Conducted by IMPACT2030, a collaboration initiative between the United Nations and the business sector to help achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the research collected data from 48 UAE-based companies during a 60-day period in 2017 and found that corporate volunteering has become an integral part of the sustainability strategies of those surveyed. Over 65,000 hours of volunteering hours was recorded in 2016 by participating companies.
Conducted over a period of three months in 2018, the research found that employee volunteering wide-spread in the UAE - 37% of employees from the companies surveyed participated in employee volunteering in the UAE which is significantly higher than the USA’s 31% employee participation rate. Volunteering is becoming increasingly important to both corporates and employees – 60% of surveyed companies stated that volunteerism was on the rise within their companies.
Importantly, companies are aligning their corporate volunteering with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – 90% of those surveyed responded that their activities were part of initiatives to support one or more SDGs. The most popular SDGs supported in the UAE through corporate volunteering were #4 (Quality Education), #3 (Good Health and Well-Being), and #9 (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure).
Speaking at the launch of the research, Malik Al Madani, chief innovation officer and director of strategy at the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority – the federal government entity which has responsibility for the SDGs in the UAE – explained why corporate volunteering matters to achieving some of the world’s most ambitious sustainability goals.
“Partnerships are at the heart of progress, and corporate volunteering matters when it comes to achieving both economic and social goals,” explained Al Madani. “It underlines that every single individual can make a difference, both at their workplace and within their local communities. By partnering with charities and causes through their volunteering efforts, corporates are giving a clearer, more meaningful definition to what corporate social responsibility means, and we are fully supportive of more partnerships between business and charity as the UAE leads efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.”
The research’s conclusion is the first step in a wider effort by IMPACT2030 to promote corporate volunteering in the UAE. An Impact Council, made up of both national and international organizations
representing the private sector, public sector, academia and civil society will look to promote volunteering best practices as well as address issues affecting the ability of those wanting to contribute.
“Given the global interest in, and the relatively nascent nature of employee volunteering, there is considerable space for growth and improvement in both practice and knowledge when it comes to promoting corporate volunteering as a means for social impact,” said Chris Jarvis, Founding Board member at IMPACT2030. “We expect this research will provide new insights towards the rapid and positive evolution of the practice. Practically, this report confirms the potential across the UAE to invest the voluntary efforts of thousands of professionals, with support from their employers, to create sustainable solutions to challenges as outlined in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.”
We were founded in response to UN Resolution A/RES/66/67, which called on the United Nations to further engage with the private sector "through the expansion of corporate volunteering and employee volunteer activities." IMPACT2030 is facilitating avenues for cross-sector and cross-industry collaboration; initiating joint commitments on human capital investments for the SDGs at a local level, national and country level; and developing a frameworks and methodology to measure the outcomes and impact of human capital investments on the SDGs. IMPACT2030 is 52 Partner companies strong - and growing - with millions of employees collectively acting as multipliers of impact around the world.
© Press Release 2019