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ANNUAL REPORT 2013

Management Discussion And Analysis

9.0. Corporate Social Responsibility

At Bank Audi, integrating social responsibility within our core business has been a growing step through engaging multiple stakeholders in the economic, social and environmental areas. In this respect, Management further developed the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) function and set a committee with varied membership of internal stakeholders dedicated to implicate more opinions and to drive a sustainability strategy.

In efforts to move forward, Bank Audi’s CSR has adopted the Global Reporting Initiatives (GRI) and opted for a four-pillar strategy during 2013. This achievement is based on the accountability and commitment to the “International Organisation for Standardisation” (ISO) and their local representative “Libnor” (the Lebanese Standards Institution attached to the Ministry of Industry) partnering with Bank Audi as the first pilot organisation within the banking sector to implement the ISO 26000 Social Responsibility guidelines.

2013 was marked by major achievements related to Corporate Governance, in addition to human, economic and community developmental projects. These helped in sustaining the Bank’s position as a non-discriminatory/equal opportunity employer of choice in the Lebanese private sector.

Within the same scope, the Bank reinforced its ability to attract and retain employees while maintaining their morale, commitment and productivity efficiency through the establishment of diversified clubs that meet employees’ various interests. They include:
  • The first Lebanese Corporate Toastmasters Club that was initiated to provide communication skills training to employees;
  • The Travel Club that undertook various trips abroad to encourage social networking among employees;
  • The Music and Acting Clubs whose participants took part in “La fête de la musique” and organised the Bank’s end-of-year concert to celebrate a year of hard training;
  • The Sports Club that achieved high rankings in the “Beirut Corporate Games” while holding several internal tournaments;
  • The Community Club who carried on with chess classes and outings in support of Lebanese arts, movies and several NGOs;
  • The Green Club which expanded its reach through organising several related awareness sessions and activities during 2013.

Moreover, employees’ community engagement was institutionalised by the “Volunteering” Program and several internal initiatives taken to ensure the safety and well-being of all employees; this included the appointment of Safety Marshals at the Bank’s premises.

On a different level, Bank Audi signed a five-year collaboration agreement with “BADER Young Entrepreneurs Program” to support growing businesses and empower future entrepreneurs while influencing the business community as a whole. In addition, the Bank launched the third annual “Grow My Business” competition and partnered with “Sanad” to financially empower SMEs. These projects preserve our belief in the value of human capital and the attempt to boost entrepreneurship and innovation within our core business.

Bank Audi continued to take carbon footprint measurements to improve the environment through providing paper recycling tools within branches, 3 collection hubs for plastic, tin, paper and batteries within the head office, and creating internal awareness on safe-keeping the environment. Within the same scope, the Bank partnered with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), thus confirming its dedication for ensuring environmental preservation throughout Lebanon.

2013 was also characterised by the efforts made on ongoing CSR activities, such as:
  • Maintaining social equity and good organisational governance within our sphere of influence and supply chain;
  • Launching the “Capacity Building” program to enhance the capacities of employees in Lebanese institutions;
  • Hosting several activities and trainings for students at different schools to familiarise them with the banking sector and Bank Audi’s values;
  • Fulfilling various fund-raising requests for public, private, medical, welfare and humanitarian purposes;
  • Conducting surveys on different topics to seek continuous improvement and taking internal and external recommendations into consideration.

The various activities and different measures taken by Bank Audi are available in a separate CSR Report published and released on the Bank’s website, including further details on CSR-related projects and their effect on the Bank’s stakeholders and on society at large.