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Our approach to Sustainability

Nearly the world has promised to improve the planet and the lives of its citizens by 2030. Our sustainability framework is established around solid foundations which led to being developed organically and created an impact on our environment. Sustainability is incorporated into our model, applying our expertise and influencing our stakeholders to create a positive impact and drive shared value to be among the role models in the industry. We ensure long-term sustainability by bearing in mind the social, environmental, and economic factors in the conduct of our operations. Furthermore, our commitment to responsible and ethical behaviors practices extends to the Board of Directors, stakeholders, partners, suppliers and volunteers.

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Our sustainability roadmap is principally based on the 17 life-changing Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), innovative thinking, improvement through cooperation, capacity and proficiency initiating partnerships that convey long term impact in our value chain and embed sustainability into our structures and approaches. Through our detailed research and determined campaigning, to empower a community where human resilience is enjoyed by all. Our sustainability framework is designed around the 3Ps of sustainability establishing three main pillars; which are the People (Human & Social), the Planet (Environment) and Physical Evidence (Economic Development); focusing on active collaboration with our social partners that implement impact-focused projects.

We examine and evaluate facts to find solutions for challenges by creating social entrepreneurial projects and leveraging on our resources to support the most socially disabled communities in Lebanon (mainly through women and youth empowerment and socio-professional reintegration). The latter can be achieved through Agricultural, Environmental, Micro Industrial, Touristic, Health Care initiatives and programs.

We tell the powerful stories of the people we work with, we mobilize partners around the world to drive the development of marginalized individuals and communities. We also empower people to elevate and overcome their vulnerabilities through development, guidance, education and training.

PEOPLE : HUMAN AND SOCIAL PILLAR.

We strive to elevate social capital by investing and creating initiatives constituting a harmonious society - more supportive, more united, and more empathetic – to design a proper model of how our lives and communities can be. We focus on preserving and improving the social quality of life, assessing areas such as health, education, and work-life balance to Lebanese individuals of all ages and nationalities living in Lebanon who do not otherwise have access to basic food and clothing necessities within the country due to a lack of jobs or low income.

FOOD SECURITY & LIVELIHOODS .

Our food security and livelihoods programs tackle the root causes of hunger by addressing problems of availability of diverse and nutritious foods, physical, economic and social access to nutritious foods and adequate utilization of food items consumed to maintain a healthy nutritional wellbeing. Encompassing a wide array of activities customized to meet individuals and community’s specific needs, our programs are designed to bolster agricultural production, jumpstart local market activity, support micro-enterprise initiatives, and otherwise enhance a socially disabled community’s access to sustainable sources of food. The Christmas 365 program matches donors with families in need in order to make Christmas shine a little brighter all year long. Families are referred and identified they are in need and are socially disabled. With the jolly determination of Santa and his Elves, we will still be bringing hope and joy during holiday season, although it will look a little different with a meal instead of a gift. Christmas 365 is Adopt-A-Family Program.

We work with intent to give back to our society, and believe that we have a unique opportunity to carry out plans that in some way will help our communities advance and our society prosper. We aspire to help create a more harmonious society - more cooperative, more united, and more empathetic – to shape a true model of how our lives and communities can be. Christmas 365 was launched in 2015 asking people to donate to needy individuals what they wish. As a result, they were left with a lifelong memory of how happy and grateful they made a person. In 2020, we improved access to food for 1000 people in Lebanon. We helped 350 families to prepare for and reduce the risk of disaster. Helping those families all year round goes beyond offering them basic food, to provide them with medications to clothing, etc.

EQUALITY & RIGHTS.

Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination , in particular, without discrimination based on background, race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability. We aim to sustain and develop open, rights-based, democratic, equal and inclusive societies based on the rule of law. That includes a vibrant and empowered civil society, encouraging people's democratic, civic and social participation and cultivating the rich diversity of Lebanese society, based on our common values, history and memory

indimag.

Our Indimaj program promotes and upholds equality and human rights ideals and laws across Lebanon. The purpose of this program is to promote social inclusion, reconciliation and to counter disadvantage through integrated local social, environmental and economic development

Indimaj was Funded by the European Union in 2016, and in partnership with Oum el Nour, a Lebanese NGO rehabilitating, integrating and preventing people from drugs addiction. It has been working on upskilling pathways projects to increase the employment opportunities for former substance abusers and former prisoners and integrating them back into society through sustainable and socio-professional habits by strengthening their personal skills and abilities.

We organize training sessions, workshops and seminars on personal development and vocational skills. Some of them are, Communication Skills, Responsibility, Problem Solving, Health Issues and Gender Equality in Society, Stress Management, Information Technology, Music, Sports, Dance, Theater, Environmental Awareness and Handcrafts.
In 2016 Indimaj was Funded by the European Union, and in partnership with Oum el Nour, a Lebanese NGO rehabilitating, integrating and preventing people from drugs addiction.
Beside this, many former prisoners and drug addicted work for 193 volunteerly for the benefit of society. These kind of cooperation events will be continue according to the needs of society and former prisoners.
As a derivative for Indimaj we ran, a strategically-placed hub providing economic stimulus to communities by supporting local entrepreneurs. We developed this ability through implementing “Empowering Lebanese Entrepreneurs – ELE”, an entrepreneurial initiative in partnership with other NGOs and 4 universities. The project worked on building the capacities of the 50 participants. As a result, we had 38 submitted business plans, thus exceeding our indicator.

emergency response.

Our emergency response plan is the phase of the disaster-management cycle that often attracts the most attention and resources. During this phase, environmental, social or economic health services may have a great impact on the well-being of affected communities. However, the impact achieved in the early days of the response is largely a test of previously-planned local and national preparedness and mitigation measures. Moreover, the way the emergency response has been planned and the way the emergency is managed will have a significant influence on post-disaster recovery and future development possibilities. The emergency response phase should therefore be seen as a critical part of the disaster management cycle. Emergency response is sometimes a cyclical process, involving repeated assessment, planning, action and review, to respond appropriately to needs and capacities as they evolve. It starts with an initial assessment and may be triggered spontaneously by the disaster event, or officials may authorize the mobilization of people and resources. Rapid and effective mobilization is facilitated by proper disaster readiness.
In acute crisis conditions, our responses focus on meeting immediate needs for nutritious foods while supporting improved coping. Our assistance includes quality food care, safe shelter to stay at and medication, wherever possible, to quickly meet urgent needs while keeping markets going, and partnering with government health and education programs to support community management of acute malnutrition and nutrition behavior change. This ensures households can preserve assets. We operate a warehouse facility where we store donated or rescued food and medication for distribution. The program actively solicits food from local food growers, retailers, wholesalers, and processors.
After Beirut’s blast on August 4, 2020, the explosion left at least 206 dead, 5,000 injured and 300,000 citizens homeless. We were one of the few NGO’s to be recommended by the Lebanese army to receive aid. Our logistic control experience and our good will to all, proved very beneficial, we were able to coordinate assistance for those seeking shelter, for those needing home repairs, daily medical and psychosocial assistance, as well as storing provisions for the civil defense body. Our warehouses were the first to receive aid for the victims of the port explosion.
We responded quickly by assessing the damages of the blast in the areas closest to the sea port, setting up an emergency rehabilitation program in four of the most severely affected neighborhoods: Karantina, Mar Mikhael, Gemayze, and Ashrafieh.
Rehabilitation works took place in more than 214 houses and apartments, and glass repairs of 638 windows, 228 doors aiming to assist more than 200 families to return to their normal lives in dignity and safety before winter
For the time being CHREEK is catering to around 10,000 families in total ( 12,668 hot meals and2,808 food parcels) serving around 30,000 individuals and aiming to increase the number of beneficiaries to 15,000 families in total (45,000 induvial). It is estimated that the number of families who need services from CHREEK will increase during the next five years. Lebanon is under a severe economic crisis and a number of new families are entering the area of needy families. A number of NGOs exist to help also other needy families. Chreek is a source of relief to these families because we can respond quickly with the one of the most important resources these families need. CHREEK is the ability of families to care for children and achieve goals of self-sufficiency. Its services, now, are a small investment in comparison to cost of ignoring the problem of hunger in the county and the influence it has on a number of health and crime issues.

PLANET : ENVIRONMENT PILLAR.

We strongly believe that implementing the codes of environmental sustainability emanates across the board. From introducing various initiatives that protect the precious and unique environment of Lebanon, to partnering with players who believe in innovation to reduce environmental impact and reducing packaging waste, water usage and their overall effect on the environment. We believe that these practices have a beneficial impact on the planet which can also have a positive financial impact. We preserve Lebanese welfare through the protection of natural capital including land, air, water, minerals. We grant the Planet pillar the most attention, initiatives and programs are defined as environmentally sustainable when they ensure that the needs of the population are met without the risk of compromising the needs of a future generation in Lebanon and their overall effect on the planet.

PACKAGING WASTE MANAGEMENT.

Packaging waste covers both packaging design and packaging waste management. They aim to deal with the increasing quantities of packaging waste, which cause environmental problems. They also aim to remove barriers in the internal market adopting different rules on packaging design. Although the implementation of these rules has been considered a success, the amount of packaging waste in Lebanon is still increasing, and too many of our finite resources are being wasted without being recirculated into the economy. We aim to harmonize national measures on packaging and the management of packaging waste. To provide a high level of environmental protection and to ensure the good functioning of the internal market We strive to update measures preventing the production of packaging waste, and promoting the reuse, recycling and other forms of recovering of packaging waste, instead of its final disposal In partnership with the municipality of Byblos we developed a waste sorting process encouraging people to sort their waste into categories, according to material or recyclability.

As a result, Byblos became the first Lebanese town to separate waste. Building upon the Byblos municipality success, we expand our consultancy to other towns such as Jdeideh, Baouchrieh and El-Sed municipalities.
The plan was tested through a pilot project in a selected area in Baouchrieh, it achieved the preset objective and met the Key performance indicator.
We at CHREEK leverage on the Environmental, Social and Economic benefits of the Upcycling thus we launch initiative therefore to highlight the negative effects of plastic on the environment, in collaboration with the Lebanese American University, a number of concerned NGO’s, several municipalities, schools and local communities; we grouped 50,000 bottles and used them to build first of its kind Phoenician ship built entirely from plastic bottles. The ship sailed from the port of Byblos to Saint George bay in Beirut.
This activation aimed to build awareness regarding the benefits of recycling and the harmful effects of plastic on the environment.
For the fact of celebrating artisanal work and innovative craftmanship behind every upcycled product, there is a maker who strongly believes in a level of craftsmanship that we just don’t see very much anymore. CHREEK implemented their first social- environmental project where junk and non-recyclable materials were converted to eco-friendly furniture and decorative items with creative designs for home, garden, balcony and offices.
Those items are produced by former prisoners, former drug users and marginalized communities; having an unbeatable quality and higher environmental value. This project won the USAID fund for 15,000 US Dollars in 2014.

PHYSICAL EVIDENCE : ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PILLAR.

We strive with economic sustainability to develop the capital intact and focus on improving social equality. Physical Evidence aims to mend the standard of living with concepts such as cohesion, reciprocity, honesty, and the importance of relationships amongst people. In our context, we are convinced that maintaining high and stable levels of economic growth is one of our key objectives of sustainable development. Abandoning economic growth is not always an option. However sustainable progression is more than just economic growth. The quality of growth matters as well as the quantity, the reason why we are focusing on project creation and advancement of social entrepreneurial skills in our local communities. All our projects within this pillar emphasize on encouraging entrepreneurial opportunities through partnering with local stakeholders and creating synergies with local communities. Our aim is to design a model of a self-sustainable and economic development approach for each community. We look at the environment and economic health of each city or area.

EASE OF DOING BUSINESS.

Empowering Entrepreneurship Initiative focuses on endowing high-potential entrepreneurs living in under-resourced neighborhoods to grow their business and transform their communities. The program provides innovative businesses with a curated combination of mentoring, workshops, network building and direct financial support. Based on that believes and in order to sow the seeds of progressive ideas, and drive momentum towards a more sustainable future, we founded Foresto Bar – Nassmaya the first of its kind in Lebanon. This initiative is a social enterprise that aims to share progressive ideas with everyone. We champion sustainable living, reuse waste creatively and we love collaborative production. By using creative solution, sustainability mindset and framework, we aim to inspire our surroundings with fresh and fun approaches to sustainable living. Our ForrestoBar-Nasmaya is a cause-related diner aiming to engage with the community.

All meals are named after all species of trees, with every order we plant a tree in the reforestation season (November or March) for the fourth year in a row! Throughout the 4 last years, we have been involved in reforesting different areas such as Jaj, Baskinta, Hammana, Mayrouba where more than 20 000 Lebanese native trees were planted. It is located in the heart of a forest, welcomes visitors with a seasonal menu for all budgets. It has stunning features which have been uncovered to show the history of nature; expect original pins, exposed artistic furniture, and a traditional fireplace! For the fact of celebrating artisanal work and innovative craftsmanship behind every upcycled product, there is a maker who strongly believes in a level of craftsmanship that we just don’t see very much anymore. CHREEK integrated their first social- environmental project where junk and non-recyclable materials were converted to eco-friendly furniture and decorative items with creative designs for their Foresto Bar Nasmaya. Those items are produced by former prisoners, former drug users and marginalized communities; having an unbeatable quality and higher environmental value. At night, the lights go down, the music goes up and our a la carte menu comes into its own, there is always something for everyone on the menu. Our menu includes freshly cooked homely meals and twisted cocktails using as many local ingredients and recipes as possible.

As a social enterprise, we aim to involve as many people as we can in our project. We work with people from all over the country, whom all come with different stories, skills and backgrounds. This revolving door of ideas and talents allow for a limitless dynamic of ideas and has given us the opportunity to truly scale our impact nationally. Our troop of volunteers and interns leave a lasting impact on CHREEK and vice versa and we are so much the better for their enthusiasm and involvement. Many of them credit us as the place of their sustainable awakening and some have changed paths; ignited by the infectious CHREEK fire to make the world a better place.

CONNECTIVITY (FROM LEB WITH LOVE)

The main way in which e commerce affects the economy, in general, is its impact on productivity and inflation. The continued expansion of electronic commerce also lead to downward pressure on inflation through increased competition, cost savings and changes in sellers' pricing behavior According to the several benefits that e commerce has to society and to an overall increase in prosperity, we decided to introduce “From Leb With Love”, an online Business to customer trade portal for export business. This remarkable platform was founded with the purpose of empowering the talented Lebanese producers to easily extend their high quality products to the worldwide Lebanese expats, and reboot the link between them. Such project boosts the Lebanese economy, thus it employs all the necessary tools and features to take producers closer to the international market. From Leb with Love assists those and cater for the needs of Lebanese all over the world wishing to have something to remind them of back home whilst helping both women and men wishing to secure a more stable average income for themselves and their families. Lebanese entrepreneurs and small businesses will have a chance of selling their products and services to a huge diaspora which will have a positive direct impact on the Lebanese economy circle. “From Leb with Love” is no longer a choice but a need. Globally connect, enable cost savings and increase delivery speed. It influences the overall process of globalization, the transfer of knowledge and the development of information technologies and innovations. In addition, it plays an important role in the progress job creation. The advantages of “From leb with love” are numerous, and users can make transactions 24 hours, 7 days a week with ongoing online support. In this way, we continuously monitor their satisfaction and loyalty. Our platform is not limited to transactions between businesses and consumers, but also helps producers to make contacts and cooperation each other all over the world. Advanced logistics support and transport opportunities, enables significantly revenue increases. From day to day, the number of new customers and new markets increases without significant investments. Reduced costs represent a good basis for greater competitive advantage and better positioning on the market. In addition to the economic and social benefits that “From Leb with Love” presents it also offer an environmental edge by reducing pollution as there’s less wastage than at a physical store. In addition to entrepreneurial role that we play in “ From Leb With Love” program, we also focus on the development of our stakeholders (microbusiness merchants) .The project works on building the stakeholder’s capacities through training, mentoring, coaching as well as empowering them with knowledge about scalability, social entrepreneurship, leadership, marketing, quality control, business planning and many additional training topics which serve the participants in elevating their businesses.

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