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Emirates NBD Bank’s Corporate Sustainability Report (Assessment)


Introduction

Emirates NBD proudly describes itself as the leading banking group in its geographical region (Emirates NBD, 2017). This organization was officially created and registered on the financial market of Dubai in 2007. However, the banking activity of the establishments of which Emirates NBD is comprised has been in place for 50 years. The Group appeared out of a merger of two large banks – the National Bank of Dubai and Emirates Bank International.

Using merging, the two banks increased their productivity and were able to become a powerful banking champion in the area. In that way, Emirates NBD was selected for this assessment due to its high level of corporate excellence and the adherence to quality and sustainability standards. The activities of the organization are thoroughly outlined in its recent report thus enabling the assessment and analysis of its current performance in terms of corporate sustainability.

Selected Report Criteria

Vision, Company Structure, and Strategy

The vision that is presented on the official website of Emirates NBD includes one major goal that is making the clients’ lives simpler. According to its vision, the bank’s focus is on the provision of excellent customer experience. This vision makes it obvious that the leaders and personnel of Emirates NBD are fully aware of the most common issues that occur in the customer service of the banking industry.

Most of such issues are related to the lengthy operations and the need for the clients to wait in lines for a long time. In that way, in many banks all around the world, the customers have to face bureaucratic organizational structures that complicate all of the banking operations thus making them exhausting, confusing, and time-consuming. Due to the awareness of the importance of the customers’ time and the tight connection between the length of wait and the level of customer satisfaction, Emirates NBD can secure and maintain its position as the leading banking group in the area.

As for the corporate structure of the organization, it should be noted that the bank is organized by a clear vertical structure that assumes top-down leadership and management utilizing the benefits of this type of structure such as orderliness and clear goal-setting and, at the same time, avoiding its disadvantages such as the bureaucratic approach to operations and reduced cost-efficiency. The organization’s strategy is focused on the elimination and prevention of risks. This strategy is aligned with the corporate structure as both of these aspects are the responsibilities of the single authority – the Board. The strategy of Emirates NBD is directed at the improvement of its services in terms of customer experience, as well as the provision of excellent care to the other stakeholders involved.

Stakeholder Inclusiveness

When it comes to the inclusiveness of the stakeholders, it is mentioned in several different parts of the report under review. In particular, stakeholder inclusiveness and the organization’s attitude toward it are described in the section presenting the message from the Chairman of Emirates NBD – H.H. Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum. In the message, His Highness specified that all the stakeholders are invited to participate in the organization’s attempts to better its corporate sustainability credentials (“Sustainability report 2015-2016,” 2016).

Moreover, in the report under review, there is a separate section that is dedicated to the bank’s focus on the opinions and needs of its stakeholders. At the very beginning of this section, it is stated that the stakeholder engagement is a necessary element needed for the development of a business strategy based on trusting relationships (“Sustainability report 2015-2016,” 2016). In that way, it is obvious that the leaders of Emirates NBD understand that the organization’s constant adaptation to the changing needs of its stakeholders is the key to flexible business practices.

The contents of this section are outlaid very clearly and divided into categories. All the stakeholder groups participating in the business operations of the bank are listed one after another and include employees, the board of directors, customers, investors, local community, suppliers, government, environment, and the media. For each of these groups, the report presents individual engagement methods and also explains what kind of benefits can be achieved via the feedback from these groups of stakeholders alongside the value of this feedback for the organization.

Main Stakeholder Engagement Methodologies

The clarity with which the report under review is written allows researching and analyzing the methods used by Emirates NBD for stakeholder engagement. As it was mentioned in the previous section, there are nine stakeholder groups listed in the report. The organization has specific engagement methods for each of these groups.

Employees

For the engagement of employees, Emirates NBD reports using several different methods. For instance, the bank’s intranet and face-to-face meetings are some of the first engagement methods listed for the employees. Alongside with these methods, the organization leaders use training programs, e-learning courses, social events, group and team projects, and workshops. Also, the employees of Emirates NBD are engaged with the help of recognition and appraisal events that are held twice every year. Finally, the bank also organizes surveys aimed at the collection of data about employee engagement biannually.

Board of Directors

The members of the Board of Directors are engaged using various types of meetings. To be more precise, the Board of Directors meetings are reported to take place six times per year; also, there are EXCO meetings that happen regularly. Additionally, internal department meetings also include the Board of Directors. Moreover, the communication between the members is maintained using software for instant messaging, as well as phone calls and e-mails.

Investors

The engagement of investors is accomplished using such methods as general meetings that take place every year. Also, on the official website of Emirates ND, there exists a specialized section dedicated to the communication with investors that are maintained by the Investors Relations Team. Also, investors are kept informed about the performance and success of the bank with the help of press releases, presentations, and reports.

Customers

Social media channels and customer satisfaction surveys are the primary methods of helping the bank to maintain customer engagement. Also, communication with customers is accomplished using call centers and e-mails. Customers are informed about the news of the bank using promotional information and advertisement. Finally, the organization invests in account relationship management operations that respond to the needs and questions of the bank’s customers.

Suppliers

Tenders and RFPs are the reported methods of the engagement of suppliers. Besides, the Stakeholder Engagement Study of 2015 is mentioned as another way to accomplish this objective.

Local Community

Cultural and social events alongside fieldwork and research studies are reported as the methods used by the bank to engage the local community. Moreover, Emirates NBD uses sponsorships and donations for this purpose. Finally, an additional method of community engagement is the establishment of partnerships with community organizations.

Government

The engagement of the government is mainly maintained using compliance with various standards and directives issued for the regulation of banking activities and businesses. Meetings of the respective nature are reported to be held as needed.

Environment

To maintain environmental sustainability and comply with the needs of the environment as an important stakeholder, Emirates NBD uses several different methods. Firstly, the bank is focused on forming partnerships with both local and global environmental organizations. Secondly, the consumption of resources is monitored and reported using press releases and reports.

Media

To keep the media engaged, the bank issue releases and reports quarterly and annually. Also, the authorities of the organization often participate in interviews for TV and radio. The information about the new and activities of Emirates NBD is published on social media; moreover, the bank professionals provide daily market commentary.

Materiality

The present report also provides detailed information concerning its materiality analysis. For a better visibility, a matrix based on two axes (importance to stakeholders, and importance to business) was used. To evaluate the materiality of the bank, research was conducted aimed at the assessment of the bank’s programs, strategies, and initiatives related to the issues of sustainability.

The activities of the organization were compared to the global standards and requirements published by SASB and GRI. Additionally, a stakeholder survey was organized that targeted the evaluation of 60 potential sustainability issues. All in all, the analysis was able to identify 29 materiality issues that received a score of 3.75 on the scale from 1 to 5. These issues also match 16 GRI topics related to corporate sustainability.

Goals, Targets, and Performance for Each of the 4 Pillars

To the environment, Emirates NBD reports being aiming at the minimization of the used resources. In particular, one of the major goals of the organization is to monitor how much energy is consumed by its activities and operations. For this purpose, regular reviews are carried out so that the leadership of the bank could be aware of its environmental performance. In that way, it can be said that the major target for the bank is to minimize its environmental footprint using saving energy which can be achieved in several ways. Specifically, the current environmental sustainability performance of Emirates NBD is visible in its partnerships with several environmental organizations and adherence to environmental sustainability norms and requirements.

To society, that is the second pillar, Emirates NBD bank is very careful about its performance regarding the local community. The leaders of the organization are dedicated to the creation of a strong image and reputation for the bank. This goal is accomplished using the engagement of the service consumers, and local community organizations. In particular, Emirates NBD targets customer satisfaction as a significant indicator of its success and attitude. In terms of performance, the organization is engaged in various local community partnerships and carries out regular satisfaction surveys.

The third pillar that needs to be discussed is the marketplace. It involves the entire industry, as well as the government since all the banks in the market, need to follow the governmental directives and norms. As a result, the major goal of Emirates NBD is to maintain flawless adherence to the directives and stay a high-quality respectable organization in the marketplace. For the achievement of this goal, the bank targets excellence standards that include corporate sustainability and environmental consciousness. Regarding performance, the bank has been demonstrating successful growth in the marketplace and is the leading banking institution in the region.

Finally, the fourth pillar stands for the workplace. In this area, the organization invests in various projects for the improvement of employee satisfaction. The performance is monitored using communication with the workers. The main targets include talent management, the provision of learning and development opportunities, and the support for inclusion.

How Easy It Was to Read the Report

The report has a very convenient outlay that makes it very easy to navigate and read. Specifically, the contents are presented in a creative way marking the issues included in each chapter and showing page numbers. Additionally, the information in the report is presented in a clear graphic manner using schemes and diagrams that increase the comprehensiveness of the presented data. The information is well-organized and systematized. The presentation is excellent.

Conclusion

No. Report Criteria 1 2 3 4
1 Vision, Company Structure, and Strategy X
2 Stakeholder Inclusiveness X
3 Main Stakeholder Engagement Methodologies X
4 Materiality X
5 Goals, Targets, and Performance for each of the 4 pillars X
6 How easy was to read the report X

The Criteria and Scored Low on the Report

The first criterion that scored 2 out of 4 points on the report was the first one – vision, company structure, and strategy. It was difficult to decide on an accurate score for this criterion because the vision of the company was clearly outlined and easy to find. However, the company structure was a more challenging element because its discussion is not included in the report as a specific item and was not as easy to assess and evaluate.

The report included the list of the bank’s leaders; however, its corporate structure was not explained clearly. A similar comment could be added to the last element of the criterion – the bank’s strategy. It was possible to find various statements related to the strategy of Emirates NBD, but the report did not include a clear explanation of the strategy as a separate item. In that way, it was unfair that rate this criterion with just one point as it would mean that the information was absent from the report, so the decision was made to assign two points to this criterion.

The second criterion that scored 2 out of 4 points on the report was number 5 – “Goals, Targets, and Performance for each of the 4 pillars”. The low score of this criterion can be explained by the lack of clearly outlined descriptions of the elements.

To be more precise, the contents of the report included information on each of the pillars, but it had to be carefully sought out because no separate sections were mentioning the pillars or the goals, targets, and performance. However, it cannot be said that the information is missing completely. Having read the report, one would become aware of the general performance of Emirates NBD regarding the 4 pillars; but to assess the specific goals and targets, one would need to search for the relevant statements and critically analyze them to make respective conclusions.

Report Criteria That Were Presented Clearly

The first criterion that was presented with perfect clarity and thus received an excellent score of 4 out of 4 points on the report was stakeholder engagement methodology. The information regarding the methodologies was outlaid in the specific chart dedicated to the stakeholder engagement. The chart presented nine individual categories each of which covered the engagement of one stakeholder group and contained a list of methods used for the engagement.

The lists usually contained multiple methods that were fully described. This criterion was given 4 points for the provision of extended information because apart from the stakeholder groups and the lists of methods used for their engagement the chart contained feedback and value represented by the stakeholder groups. In that way, the readers could be informed about the roles of each group for the organization and why its engagement was important.

Another report criterion that was rated highly on the report evaluation was the one dedicated to the issues of materiality. Just like the criterion described previously, materiality had its section in the Emirates NBD report. Moreover, similarly to the stakeholder engagement methodology description, the issues of materiality were presented using a scheme. Two axes were used to show where each of the issues was placed regarding the importance of stakeholders and importance to the business.

In addition to the clarity of the presentation of the materiality issues, the report also contained information concerning how the aforementioned issues were assessed and identified. As a result, based on this aspect, the decision was made to assign 4 out of 4 points for this criterion because the extended information was provided on the topic.

General Evaluation of the Report

The sustainability report that was chosen for the review for this paper was the one published by Emirates NBD – the leading banking establishment in the United Arab Emirates. This organization is highly conscious of its sustainability regarding all the most important aspects of its corporate culture and business performance. The organization appeared as a result of the merger of two influential banks in the region that had been practicing for many decades. Consequently, the combined professionalism, knowledge, and experience of the two groups of experts served as an excellent basis for the new achievement and even stronger performance.

Over the years of its existence, the organization accumulated a substantial body of experience in the practices of sustainability. As a result, the report that is presently under review can be characterized as highly professional and very well-made. A feature that needs to be mentioned as one of the noticeable positive qualities of this report is its clarity and the increased informativity that was achieved with the help of schemes and diagrams used for better visibility of the presented data. However, some of the critical aspects needed for the evaluation (such as the organizational structure and strategy) were not presented. Overall, the research is easy to read and pleasant to assess.

References

Emirates NBD. (2017). . Web.

. (2016). Web.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "Emirates NBD Bank's Corporate Sustainability." November 10, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/emirates-nbd-banks-corporate-sustainability/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'Emirates NBD Bank's Corporate Sustainability'. 10 November.

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