It is necessary to note that both countries do not have a particular set of laws and codes that focus on corporate social responsibility (CSR). Thus, the UK Corporate Governance Code regulates various processes, but it does not directly refer to CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility – the UK Corporate Governance Code par. 1). At the same time, the code’s provisions include various regulations that are consistent with CSR.
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For instance, the Turnbull Guidance (which is a part of the UK Corporate Governance Code) holds it that companies should strive for the reduction of risks associated with “health, safety and environmental, reputation, and business probity issues” (qt. in Corporate Social Responsibility – the UK Corporate Governance Code par. 3). Another regulation concerned with SCR is the Companies Act 2006 where it is stated that companies should address environmental issues.
When it comes to the UAE, CSR regulations are mainly inserted in various acts. It is important to note that Emirati companies follow the Sharia law alongside with particular governmental regulations (Hawa 25). The Sharia law is deeply rooted in the Islamic religious culture. The Shariah principles involve the facilitation of moral practices consistent with societal values, the focus on socially responsible activities in the financial sphere, the development, and compliance with “responsible values based management practices and products” (Hawa 25). One of the examples of practices inspired by the religion and accepted in the business world is the commitment to Zakat. Zakat is a practice of donating 2.5% of the income to those in need. This practice is widely used by Emirati companies.
When it comes to particular regulations, one of the ways to maintain corporate social responsibility in the business world as seen by the governments of many countries is reporting. The UK and the UAE have a similar position in this respect. Thus, under the Company Act 2006, UK organizations are required to provide relevant information concerning financial performances as well as practices related to CSR (Grayson 433). Reporting in the Emirati business law is not one of the highest priorities. However, companies use the provisions of such initiatives and guidelines as ISO14001, UN Global Compact, and the Global Reporting Initiative (Mahajan 426). It is necessary to add that the UAE still has quite a low rate (22%) of CSR reporting (The KPMG Survey of Corporate Responsibility Reporting 12).
One of the spheres that have considerable attention in both countries is environmental protection. As far as the UK is concerned, the Climate Change Act 2008 is one of the regulations related to the environment. This Act imposes the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions by 80% compared to the 1990 baseline (Grayson 433). The Company Act 2006 also has provisions related to environmental protection. According to the Act, organizations should make sure they pursue their organizational goals that are consistent with major regulations and values associated with the environmental responsibility (Corporate Social Responsibility – the UK Corporate Governance Code par. 4). Thus, organizations are encouraged to act responsibly and strive for environmental protection and sustainability.
The UAE business law also implies a significant focus on environmental protection. Thus, the Ministry of Environment and Water has introduced several regulations concerning the impact on the environment. One of the examples of similar regulations is the Green Building Code that implies strict compliance with building plans developed by the authorities (Mahajan 426). Emirati companies are also rated following the US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design that was modified to fit the peculiarities of the country’s environment. It is also necessary to add that Sharia also involves quite significant attention to environmental issues and organizations are encouraged to act responsibly and sustainably (Hawa 24).
Finally, ethical conduct is seen as an important background for the development of the business sphere as well as the entire nation. As has been mentioned above, Sharia is the central legal background for Emirati companies. Organizations in the UAE follow major principles of ethical conduct as outlined in Sharia law. These principles include transparency, fairness, accountability, respect for others, commitment, and so on (Hawa 24).
Apart from these provisions, it is possible to note that the Emirati government, as well as non-governmental entities, encourage organizations to comply with the values of SCR through various awards. For instance, in Dubai, authorities provide the Corporate Social responsibility or Sustainability Award (SajadiFar 117). The Business Ethics Excellence Award is another meaningful distinction valued among Emirati organizations.
As for the UK, the Turnbull Guidance includes numerous provisions concerning ethical conduct. Thus, organizations are encouraged to focus on the health and safety of people as well as the organizational reputation (Corporate Social Responsibility – the UK Corporate Governance Code par. 3). Such situations as the scandal concerning Enron is also a reminder for companies and authorities as well as the background for the development of particular regulations (Grayson 432). UK companies try to adhere to the principles of sustainability, commitment, and accountability.
Grayson, David. “United Kingdom.” The World Guide to CSR: A Country-By-Country Analysis of Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility. Ed. Wayne Visser and Nick Tolhurst. Sheffield: Greenleaf Publishing, 2010. 430-437. Print.
Hawa, Nadine. Factors Shaping the Definition and Practice of Corporate Social Responsibility at Local Banks in the United Arab Emirates. 2012. Web.
Mahajan, Aparna. “United Arab Emirates.” The World Guide to CSR: A Country-By-Country Analysis of Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility. Ed. Wayne Visser and Nick Tolhurst. Sheffield: Greenleaf Publishing, 2010. 423-430. Print.
SajadiFar, Vajiheh. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in the United Arab Emirates. 2013.
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The KPMG Survey of Corporate Responsibility Reporting. 2013. Web.