Despite the repercussions of the novel coronavirus pandemic, which has cast its shadow over all activities, Ahli United Bank (AUB) has been able to continue its efforts to support the community under these circumstances through its unique Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program.
At the forefront of environmental activities
Given that environmental activities are at the forefront of the bank’s CSR program, 2020 saw many initiatives to protect the environment and raise awareness of the importance of preserving it. AUB placed an advanced model for collecting and recycling plastic at Al-Yarmouk, which is considered a pilot eco-friendly area. The container was designed in the form of an ATM machine, manufactured from recycled materials with the contribution of creative designers of young Kuwaiti environmentalists. This initiative is also considered a support for those young people and an encouragement to their skills. At the end of 2020, AUB’s recycling initiatives resulted in collecting more than 32,685 kilograms of plastic wastes, which is more than double the amount collected in the same period last year. This initiative managed to save 326.85 cubic square metres from landfills through a successful partnership with Omnia Plastic Recycling Factory.
This initiative serves as an awareness message from the bank on the danger of waste disposal carried out in an inappropriate way. It is worth mentioning that AUB has previously placed a number of recycling containers for collecting plastic wastes next to the bank’s branches in some areas in Kuwait, such as Salwa, Rumaithiya, Bayan, and Jarhead Al-Mubarakiya.
The charity “Fun Run” event, organised by AUB under the theme “Plant Palm Trees with Your Steps” keeps on making success and achieving positive results. All the proceeds of this event have been allocated for planting palm trees, and the harvested dates have been dedicated for supporting and subsidising needy families on an ongoing basis. AUB celebrated the delivery of the palm trees planted for this purpose in Gamal Abdel Nasser Park to be under the supervision of the Public Authority for Agriculture Affairs and Fish Resources (PAAFR).
In continuation of its efforts in the field of environmental protection, AUB launched its annual initiative for the year 2020 to remove and clean up residues from the seabed of Kuwaiti islands, with the participation of a number of volunteer amateur divers from the bank’s staff who enjoy diving. They set out to spend the whole day cleaning seabed from pollutants, with a view to disseminating community environmental awareness as well as implanting and enhancing environmental culture in all segments of society, and raising awareness of health risks caused by the spread of debris and waste, whether to community members or marine life.
AUB also announced its cooperation with Refood Company. Through this cooperation, AUB has contributed to reducing waste and focusing on environmental, social and economic sustainability by sponsoring 266 baskets of foods and consumables in surplus to the need of suppliers, which are distributed by Refood to needy families.
This initiative by AUB helped save more than 6.5 tons of foods and consumables. AUB has a strong belief that this project is important in supporting social solidarity in a sustainable manner ensures that these foods and consumables reach those who need them and enhance the role of the private sector in participating in social responsibility. In addition, attention to environmental issues and reducing waste is at the top of the bank’s CSR program.
Committed to support women
In recognition of the role of women and their vital position in all fields, AUB CSR program focused on supporting women. AUB celebrated the International Women’s Day by offering its female employees letters of gratitude and a collection of beautiful token gifts from Lush Company under the theme “You Can”, which was a pleasant surprise for all the female employees for honoring and thanking them for their dedication and loyalty, which in turn has contributed positively to supporting the bank’s success.
AUB has also sponsored a workshop to train members of Women Tech Makers (WTM) in Google Developer Group (GDG) Kuwait. The workshop was recently held online as part of AUB’s keen interest to enhance digital awareness. The workshop’s focus is to train and educate participants on essentials in software development and programming with a special focus on a number of tools such as artificial intelligence and data analytics. This initiative is part of AUB’s concern to participate in the events that support the development of women and qualify them to keep abreast with everything new to help them achieve professional excellence.
Special attention on the people of determination
In continuation of its partnership with Al-Manabr Al-Quraniyah Society, AUB announced the launch of the second step of the bank’s sponsorship of “Kairokoum” simplified interpretation application for the hearing-challenged by the development of “Juz Al Ahqaf” of the Holy Quran. This step comes after the remarkable success achieved by “Juz Amma” application sponsored by AUB as a first step of “Kairokoum” application, which is the first of its kind that includes the Holy Quran with interpretation of its verses in emoji sign language.
AUB has been the first supporter for integrating people of determination in the private sector and employed nine people with minor and medium disabilities at some of the bank’s branches and different departments. This initiative added a distinct flavor to the work environment, which was highly appreciated by employees and customers
Youth and children support activities
In the context of its attention on young people belonging to needy families and to provide them with the opportunity to complete their education, AUB donated tuition fees for five low-income students in different majors at the Arab Open University (AOU). This initiative is an extension of the ongoing cooperation between AUB and Kuwait Red Crescent Society (KRCS).
In line with its humanitarian and community role, AUB places education at the top of its priorities and concerns, and contributes to supporting an informed and educated generation capable of dealing with challenges and achieving a better life. AUB also donated to Kuwait Red Crescent Society the costs of performing a critical surgery for a child from a needy family, who has managed to continue her normal life after the surgery and recovered from her illness.
AUB announced that it will sponsor a series of basic professional skills workshops launched by LOYAC Foundation. The workshops will be launched online via the Zoom platform for students between an age demographic of 18 and 30 years. This sponsorship is part of the community partnership between AUB and LOYAC with an aim to provide students with core skills and knowledge necessary for their success in future careers.
Best CSR Services Award 2020 in Kuwait
AUB won the “Best CSR Services Award 2020” in Kuwait by International Finance, a global financial magazine. AUB won this award in recognition of its distinguished initiatives and strategy aimed at making a positive contribution to society. This recognition is a result of the bank’s successful CSR program for the second year in a row.
AUB: A role model in coping with the pandemic
AUB managed to provide a role model in dealing with the repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic. Since the onset of the pandemic, AUB began to take all precautionary measures and health guidelines requested by the Ministry of Health and the competent authorities, with the aim to make compliance with health requirements, while protecting employees and customers on one hand in line with propelling development and playing its role in meeting the needs of its customers on the other hand.
The bank managed to play its community-based role during the coronavirus pandemic. AUB presented several awareness messages that urge maintaining the public health through the bank’s social media platforms. AUB is committed to full transparency in announcing the cases that are tested positive for Covid-19 among branch employees. The efforts made by the CSR volunteers team at AUB, who continued to perform their functions under these exceptional circumstances and served the bank’s customers during the coronavirus pandemic, were appraised by the bank’s management, especially for their tangible efforts to ensure that health safety measures are best followed to protect the bank’s customers and employees.
The bank also responded to the Kuwaiti Blood bank’s initiative, which required all those recovering from Covid-19 to donate blood to meet the increasing demand for immune plasma, as the bank educated its employees about the importance of donating plasma after recovering if it happened to be infected with the virus.
AUB volunteers have participated in the production of face shields in cooperation with Hope volunteering Team, a national non-profit team aims to help national staff by providing solutions for health crises, where the volunteer team participated in the manufacture of about 1500 face shields per day to be distributed to the front lines at hospitals, due to their urgent need to confront the pandemic.
AUB also participated in sponsoring the “Their Life is Valuable” campaign that was launched by the Public Authority of the Disabled with the aim to support the psychological health of people of determination in the face of the negative impacts arising from the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.