Posted on September 30, 2014

Yesterday the Ras Laffan Community Outreach programme, a committee of the energy companies based in Ras Laffan Industrial City dedicated to community development, has announced a partnership with the Social and Economic Survey Research Institute (SESRI) of Qatar University (QU) to conduct a community survey targeted at highlighting community needs in the north area of Qatar. This initiative, the first of its kind from the private sector in Qatar, aims to identify and potentially cater to the developmental needs and concerns of the communities of Qatar and provide guidance on how Ras Laffan Industrial City companies’ resources could be exploited to support the local community, advance their welfare, and establish a closer connection with the industry.

The various conceptualisations of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), acknowledge corporations being social institutions. In this perspective corporations are not apart from the communities they live and work in, but are actively interrelated to the economic, environmental, and socio-cultural dimensions.  In addition to the direct interaction and initiatives performed by RLIC-COP and its individual companies, the mandate of the committee requests COP action to be tailored at actual community needs. One of the most important features of CSR is the recognition of a large and integrated set of stakeholders. Within CSR best practices, organisation shall understand and anticipate the values, sensitivity, and concerns of their communities in order to promote a positive and sustainable impact.

Abdulaziz Al Muftah, Ras Laffan Director and Chairperson of the RLIC-COP, addressed the audience :”Our industry undeniably played a fundamental role in shaping our country. This initiative is a step toward a new approach for the future. As companies, we believe in our responsibility to positively contribute to our communities. However, our support must come in a more structured way, and respond to specific needs”. He added “the Community Outreach Programme is a pioneering platform to ensure a consistent and concerted social responsibility action by the LNG industry” 

A community survey to advance social 2[].jpgSESRI director Dr Darwish Al-Emadi added: “Over the last six years, SESRI has been attempting big changes, and at the same time, we have been putting every effort into taking up initiatives that bring added value. To this end, we are pleased to be working closely with our constituents and to be hosting this important event today”. 

RLIC-COP is a joint industry initiative of the seven energy companies based in Ras Laffan Industrial City (Qatar Petroleum, Qatargas, RasGas, Qatar Shell, Dolphin Energy Limited, Oryx GTL, and Al Khaleej Gas) voted to advance the welfare of the Qatar communities through a joint CSR programme. Working together to support the local community is the best contribution that the business world can give to create a more sustainable society, and RLIC-COP demonstrates that the energy industry and Qatar are at the forefront of social responsibility practices

The Northern Community Needs Assessment project aims to identify and potentially cater the needs and concerns of the community, understanding their expectations toward the industry in a comprehensive and sustainable way, establishing a two-way communication. This pioneering initiative demonstrates the industry adhesion to highest standards in the CSR field worldwide. The project aligns with Qatar National Vision (QNV) 2030 and the Qatar National Development Strategy (QNDS) 2011-16’s goal of “extending social responsibility to the business community”.

The key element to a successful CSR strategy is a true and consistent engagement with a variety of stakeholders. This engagement must be proactive and requires a mindset that treats stakeholder issues and concerns as topics that merit dialogue. Corporate social responsibility (CSR) differs from place to place, industry to industry and over time, in particular CSR programmes shall be tailored at local community needs and concerns. It is therefore vital to understand the priorities of local stakeholders and take them into account.