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Why We’re Committed to Sustainability

Omnicom Media Group MENA recently started reporting on its sustainability practices in accordance with the GRI G4 Guidelines and the accuracy of our GRI G4 Content Index has been confirmed by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). We sat down with our CSR Manager, Alanna Turpin, to talk about what this means and the Group’s commitment to sustainability.

What exactly is the GRI and what does it mean to follow their guidelines?

The GRI or Global Reporting Initiative is a non-profit organization that promotes economic sustainability. It produces one of the world’s most prevalent standards for sustainability reporting — also known as ecological footprint reporting, environmental social governance (ESG) reporting, triple bottom line (TBL) reporting, and corporate social responsibility (CSR) reporting.

Omnicom Media Group MENA have been producing sustainability reports for the last four years, however producing the 2014 report ‘in accordance’ with the GRI G4 Guidelines ensures that we are aligned with global best practice when it comes to all things relating to Corporate Social Responsibility.

What does corporate sustainability mean?

There is a misconception that surrounds CSR. A lot of people, including organizations, think that corporate sustainability is about recycling, or donation to a local charity. There is actually a lot more to it. CSR involves looking at how you conduct every part of your business to ensure that you are trading fairly and ethically, creating equal opportunities and adding value to your stakeholders, community and environment around you.

It also includes abiding by human and labor rights, governance and compliance policies, being aware of your business environmental footprint, as well as using your expertise and resources to give back to the community. Each company will have a unique strategy for their own business, depending on their industry and their individual objectives.

Why is it significant to follow these guidelines? Which other big companies currently use this reporting system?

More than 4,000 organizations from 60 countries use the guidelines to produce their sustainability reports including Nestle, PepsiCo, Apple, Nissan, J&J and Microsoft to name a few. We are the only media company in the MENA region whose sustainability practices are in accordance with the GRI G4 Guidelines and the second media agency worldwide.

For Omnicom Media Group MENA, sustainability has been high on our strategic agenda for the last five years and aligning ourselves to GRI principles ensures that we are applying the highest standards when it comes to everything related to economic sustainability. This agenda is lead from the top and filters through to every one of our stakeholders from employees to suppliers, clients and shareholders.

Our CEO, Elie Khouri, elaborated on our decision to follow the GRI principles, “Our most recent sustainability report was submitted using the GRI G4 guidelines which is the latest expression of our pioneering spirit. With it, we demonstrate our unwavering commitment and full dedication to not only elevating the sustainability discussion in the region but also to best practice and ethics. As such, we endeavor to continue leading from the front, pushing ourselves as well as others to reach the highest levels of integrity and sustainable practices.”

How does being recognized by the GRI fit with Omnicom Media Group MENA’s values and culture?

We have three strategic commitments and preparing our latest sustainability report in accordance with GRI G4 guidelines allowed us to underpin our vision of sustainability:

“We are a pioneering, responsible marketing services group that fosters innovation and thought leadership, promotes shared values and upholds the highest standards of governance and ethics”

This mission statement encompasses everything we stand for. Such initiatives include continuing to develop thought leadership through industry whitepapers, yearly client events with internationally acclaimed speakers, executive roundtables and more. We are committed to nurturing our employees’ minds and developing talent through a comprehensive training academy, maintaining and building on our health and wellness program and ensuring a culture of performance based progression. We are in tune with the community around us and actively build sustainable relationships with those that need it the most, focusing on the youth, arts and health.

This is all done while ensuring that Omnicom Media Group MENA is operating to the highest standards of corporate governance with full transparency, being committed to continually investing in preventing bribery and corruption.

This latest report reinforces our commitment to further enhance, continually develop, refine and action our long term sustainability vision.