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Looking at community investment

Article - August 29, 2011
Local and multinational companies can contribute to impactful programs in a local area, region or nation
The oil and gas industry’s primary responsibility is to deliver affordable, reliable supplies of energy while protecting people, local communities and the environment. Energy companies also support local jobs and businesses; educate and train the local workforce and suppliers; transfer knowledge and skills; purchase local goods and services; and make strategic community investments.

The area of Qatar is similar in size to the state of Connecticut. The country has very large offshore natural gas reserves in its North Field. Qatar’s leadership goes to great lengths to protect both the natural environment and encourage job creation for Qataris in the development of its extensive energy resources.

The Government of Qatar is planning a corporate social responsibility (CSR) index for listed companies on the Qatar Exchange. Mohamed Hassan al-Saadi, Assistant Undersecretary at the Ministry of Business and Trade, announced the index last year at Qatar’s Second Conference on CSR. He also asked the private sector to commit to CSR initiatives as the country strives to achieve the goals of the National Vision 2030, adding, “The private sector should seriously commit itself as a full partner to the standards of corporate social responsibility.” Many companies in Qatar are now considering publishing sustainability reports, including their CSR initiatives, in conjunction with their annual reports.

Jaidah Group, a homegrown multifaceted conglomerate, has joined forces with Reach Out To Asia to provide literacy programs for Jaidah Group's employees. The literacy initiative aims to equip employees with knowledge and skills and encourages further support of their children's educations. At Jaidah Automotive, 0.5% of proceeds from every Chevrolet automobile sold contributes toward the program.

Mohamed Jaidah, CEO of the family-owned Jaidah Group, said, “Some employees have been with us for more than 25 years. We know our employees by name. Even though Jaidah has grown to more than 700 employees, we still have a family connection with them. It creates a stronger internal link, which is reflected externally with our suppliers and clients.”

Consistent with the objective of being a good corporate citizen, ExxonMobil Qatar plays a key role in local community programs and activities. The company supports various sectors of community development, such as education, environment, community action and sports. In education, ExxonMobil Qatar is the gold sponsor of the World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) held in Doha. An initiative of the Qatar Foundation, WISE is based on the recognition that educational challenges are international.

ExxonMobil Qatar also supports academic programs at the Qatar University and Qatar Foundation. The company is one of the main founding supporters of the Qatar Foundation Annual Research Forum. ExxonMobil Research Qatar is contributing to the advancement of local environmental science and research management in areas of common interest, including marine environment, liquefied natural gas (LNG) safety, water reuse and modern coastal carbonates. In 2010, the company announced an extension through 2014 of its commitment to the Qatar Science and Technology Park with a total investment of more than 218 million Qatari riyals ($60 million).

ExxonMobil Qatar is also a major supporter of the Social Development Center (SDC). The company has contributed to the center’s Career Counseling Unit, which provides skills training for young Qataris entering the job market. The unit is a development of the First Step Program, which provides young Qataris with career and professional development resources.

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