- Islamic Reporting initative (IRI) for CSR
- The first mainstream reporting framework for Corporate Sustainability and Social Responsibility (CSR) based on Islamic principles
- Culturally relevant and impact-oriented
- Utilizing the strengths of both philanthropy and CSR for achieving sustainable ‘good’
- Unique to, and embracing of, Islamic culture
- Sharia-compliant finance
Why is cultural inclusion important for CSR and CSR Reporting standards?
The Islamic Reporting Initative (IRI) champions the need for CSR reporting to be culturally relevant in order to maximise the nuances that lend themselves to the overall ambition of CSR. The importance of cultural inclusion is made ever more relevant in the creation and use of a CSR report. Such reports tend to be created primarily for use by stakeholders, which may include consumers and employees, the government and the general public. As such, it is imperative that the motivations for CSR are framed within the local context, and that the language used is familiar, meaningful and therefore relatable. Only this will yield a report that is informative to stakeholders, and ensure that they understand and therefore support the organization in its CSR journey. This understanding of cultural importance can be applied to every culture, and recognition of this serves to underline the need for localization within a CSR reporting framework. This will ensure that the organization can communicate the core strategy effectively so that it can be used as a springboard for desired progress.
Most CSR reporting standards focus on the report itself as the endgoal. The IRI is unique in its purpose in creating a report to be a platform for further action.
This impact-oriented approach is considered crucial if the CSR strategy is to remain a living concept, whereby it accurately reflects the needs of the organization and its stakeholders, including the wider society and environment, at any one time. This understanding sees the report itself as a catalyst, whereby data is fed into the report, which then becomes a stimulant for further innovation and progress. The need for such a tool is in response to problems encountered by many organizations relating to data management, whereby data is collected without the end goal, i.e. impact, in mind. The consequence of this is a report which goes stale and may not facilitate any further action.
Why are CSR reporting standards needed?
The concept of sustainable development has influenced society for almost half a century, and recognition of natural resource limits. Responsible use has been permeating literature and shaping perspectives for hundreds of years. CSR is the overall contribution of business to sustainable development. It is not surprising that it is becoming established practice for many organizations around the world. What is of particular interest is that an increasing number of organizations are demonstrating that incorporating CSR measures into practice does not limit business growth but rather presents a strong business opportunity for innovation and sustainable value creation. As such, CSR and CSR reporting can be seen as an imperative for a number of reasons.