The case for CSR/ Sustainability Reporting Done Responsibly


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Case study: How Emirates NBD promotes employee development

Formed on 19 June 1963, Emirates NBD is the leading banking group in the MENAT (Middle East, North Africa, Turkey) region, with operations in the UAE, Egypt, India, Turkey, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Singapore, the United Kingdom, Austria, Germany, Russia and Bahrain and representative offices in China and Indonesia, with a total of 979 branches. Emirates NBD invests in attracting, developing and retaining the right talent  Tweet This!, as having a team of skilled, dedicated and innovative employees is key to its continuous growth.

This case study is based on the 2019 Sustainability Report by Emirates NBD published on the Global Reporting Initiative Sustainability Disclosure Database that can be found at this link. Through all case studies we aim to demonstrate what CSR/ ESG/ sustainability reporting done responsibly means. Essentially, it means: a) identifying a company’s most important impacts on the environment, economy and society, and b) measuring, managing and changing.

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Learning and development programmes are created and constantly evaluated by Emirates NBD’s Human Resources Unit so as to meet the development needs of all employees, in line with the requirements of their jobs. In order to promote employee development Emirates NBD took action to:

  • blend classroom and digital learning
  • implement a Leadership & Management Development model

What are the material issues the company has identified?  

In its 2019 Sustainability Report Emirates NBD identified a range of material issues, such as governance, compliance and ethics, human rights and labour conditions, privacy and security, responsible finance, product and service responsibility. Among these, promoting employee development stands out as a key material issue for Emirates NBD.

Stakeholder engagement in accordance with the GRI Standards              

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) defines the Principle of Stakeholder Inclusiveness when identifying material issues (or a company’s most important impacts) as follows:

“The reporting organization shall identify its stakeholders, and explain how it has responded to their reasonable expectations and interests.”

Stakeholders must be consulted in the process of identifying a company’s most important impacts and their reasonable expectations and interests must be taken into account. This is an important cornerstone for CSR / sustainability reporting done responsibly.

Key stakeholder groups Emirates NBD engages with:

To identify and prioritise material topics Emirates NBD engaged with its stakeholders through the following channels:

Stakeholder Group                Method of engagement


·      Bank’s intranet

·      Employee’s engagement

Board of Directors ·      Board of Directors meetings (around 6 times a year)
Investors ·      Investors Relations Team and website section
Customers ·      Voice of Customer satisfaction surveys
Suppliers ·      Tenders & RFPs
Local Community ·      Partnerships with community organisations


·      Compliance with, among other things, the UAE Central Bank directives and the Dubai Financial Services Authority directive


·      Partnerships with environmental organisations, both locally and globally
Media ·      Radio/TV interviews

·      Daily market commentary

·      Weekly and monthly newsletters

What actions were taken by Emirates NBD to promote employee development?

In its 2019 Sustainability Report Emirates NBD reports that it took the following actions for promoting employee development:

  • Blending classroom and digital learning
  • The year 2019 witnessed, for Emirates NBD, a shift towards investing in digital content, which has increased to represent 45% of Emirates NBD’s learning material versus 29% in 2018. This strategic focus resulted in an increased number of learners (10,300 in 2019, compared to 8,820 in 2018), courses and reach in 2019. Emirates NBD’s learning platforms include:
    • MYQUEST Mobile App by Emirates Islamic: A gamified learning platform which enables employees to embark on a learning journey broken into four progression levels and eleven learning ‘missions’.
    • Virtual Reality Academy by Emirates NBD Bank: A Virtual Reality (VR) Academy that enables the Bank to provide a more intuitive and engaging learning experience for all employees.
  • Implementing a Leadership & Management Development model
  • Emirates NBD’s Leadership & Management Development (L&MD) training courses offer world-class competency-based learning programmes that are targeted at building Emirates NBD Group specific competencies of associates, officers and managers. They include three methods to build knowledge:
    • In-person workshops: A fully immersive learning experience where participants interact with the instructor and engage in team collaboration activities
    • Case studies: Participants acquire negotiation skills, learn to consider different aspects of business cases and take a deep dive into strategic thinking
    • Role playing: Participants consider different points of views by participating in simulations of real-life situations
  • Emirates NBD’s L&MD model ensures the integration of Community Development as a key learning outcome in each of the programmes offered, with an introduction to sustainability and community development as a vital component to each course.

Which GRI Standards and corresponding Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been addressed?

The GRI Standards addressed in this case are:

1) Disclosure 404-1 Average hours of training per year per employee

2) Disclosure 404-2 Programs for upgrading employee skills and transition assistance programs


Disclosure 404-1 Average hours of training per year per employee corresponds to:

Disclosure 404-2 Programs for upgrading employee skills and transition assistance programs corresponds to:


80% of the world’s 250 largest companies report in accordance with the GRI Standards

SustainCase was primarily created to demonstrate, through case studies, the importance of dealing with a company’s most important impacts in a structured way, with use of the GRI Standards. To show how today’s best-run companies are achieving economic, social and environmental success – and how you can too.

Research by well-recognised institutions is clearly proving that responsible companies can look to the future with optimism.

FBRH GRI Standards Certified, IEMA & CIM recognised Sustainability Course | Venue: London LSE

By registering for the next 2-day FBRH GRI Standards Certified, IEMA & CIM recognised course you will be taking the first step in gaining the many benefits of sustainability reporting.

Most importantly, you will gain the knowledge to use the GRI Standards, project manage your own first-class sustainability report and:

  • Identify your most important impacts on the Environment, Economy and Society
  • Begin taking solid, focused, all-round sustainability action ASAP



1) This case study is based on published information by Emirates NBD, located at the link below. For the sake of readability, we did not use brackets or ellipses. However, we made sure that the extra or missing words did not change the report’s meaning. If you would like to quote these written sources from the original, please revert to the original on the Global Reporting Initiative’s Sustainability Disclosure Database at the link:


Note to Emirates NBD: With each case study we send out an email requesting a comment on this case study. If you have not received such an email please contact us.