Who can apply for the Sustainability Award?
All forms of for-profit organizations can apply for the Award,
regardless of size, industry and geography. The only prerequisite is that the
organization has a corporate office in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which can
either be the company headquarters or a branch office.
Non-profit organizations are not eligible to apply for the King Khalid Sustainability
Award, but can apply for the King Khalid Non-Profit Excellence Award. However,
if a non-profit organization is interested in applying to the Sustainability
Award, then a decision about eligibility will be made on a case-by-case basis.
What are the benefits of participating in or winning the Sustainability Award?
The benefits for all Award-nominated participants (candidates or winners) are as follows:
- Obtain a certificate of appreciation for the companies excelling in the approved standards.
- Obtain a clear analysis report of the corporate performance as opposed to a framework and methodology of local and international standards.
- Obtain a performance measurement record that shows the score record and suggestions on performance improvement methods.
- Provide opportunities to build the capabilities and knowledge by attending a workshop on performance development in the core areas of sustainability that will benefit the organizations directly through global sustainability experts
- Facilitate the direct communication channels with other leading companies through a network through which best practices are shared, challenges discussed, and relationships and databases built.
- All participants will be invited to the awards distribution Gala held under the patronage of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques.
Benefits for Award-winning organizations:
The winners will be honored at the Award Gala that will be held under the Patronage of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, and they will receive appreciation trophies as follows:
- First Place: Golden Trophy
- Second Place: Silver Trophy
- Third Place: Bronze Trophy
In addition to a media coverage of all winning organizations through:
- Awards Gala
- King Khalid Foundation website
- The Foundation's social media sites
Printed and visual media
When is the deadline to enter the application?
The application is open from mid-February. Participants can find out more about specific application deadlines by following King Khalid Foundation (KKF) on Social media: LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram.
How is the Award judged?
AccountAbility, a global management consulting firm, will conduct the scoring of all applications and monitor the evaluation process. To ensure the credibility and transparency of the Sustainability Award, a robust and comprehensive quality control process is in place for both KKF and project partner AccountAbility. For more information on the evaluation process and phases, please refer to the Applicant Handbook available in the Resource Center.
Are all applicants evaluated based on the same criteria and methodology?
The same questionnaire is applicable to all participants. Specific sector-weighting has been developed by the Award team in alignment with the Sustainable Accounting Standards Board (SASB), which provides sector-specific standards for material ESGE issues. For example, environmental impacts are more material for a Food and Beverage organization than a Financial Services organization. This approach allows applicants to be rewarded or penalized in alignment with what is considered material in their sector and eliminates any unfair scoring by ensuring applicants are compared to their sector peers. In other words, a bank's performance is scored and compared to other financial services applicants, not to an oil drilling company.
What is the difference between Level 1 and Level 2 of the Application?
Level 1 is open to all applicants. The structure consists of a questionnaire with foundational questions that aim to assess essential practices across all areas of ESGE and help applicants build a baseline of their sustainability performance. The questionnaire involves limited evidence submission.
Level 2 is open to advanced applicants depending on their performance in Level 1. The structure consists of customized, follow-up questions to Level 1 that aim to dive deeper into the organization's practices and assess the outcomes and impacts of the organization's programs, strategies, future goals, and targets. For example, whereas a Level 1 question may ask if the organization engages in actions to build the capacity and skills of suppliers, a Level 2 question may ask the organization to describe these specific actions and their benefits.
Who is eligible to apply for Level 2 of the Award?
Organizations that score 65% or more in Level 1 of the Application will be eligible to participate in Level 2 After submitting Level 1 of the Application, applicants will be notified regarding their eligibility for Level 2.
What happens if my organization does not proceed to Level 2 of the application?
If your organization scores below 50% in Level 1 of the application, you will receive a Level 1 Scorecard with detailed feedback on your organization's sustainability practices and recommendations for future improvement. Level 1 applicants will be invited to specific skills building workshops later in the year to deep-dive into some of the topics covered in the Sustainability Award.
How does the updated Application structure and new Core Areas differ from the previous Award?
In 2020 the King Khalid Award team made significant investments to improve the Sustainability Award for applicants with updates including alignment to leading international and national Sustainability Standards, streamlined and tiered application structure, application and scorecards customized to industry and company maturity, and greater focus on sustainability governance, strategy and reporting. As such, the existing Core Areas were update and re-organized to follow the leading internationally recognized framework: ESGE. This framework takes a holistic approach to sustainability and enables the Award to evaluate organizations' practices within Environmental, Social, Governance, and Economic contexts.
Furthermore, this new framework maintains the integrity of the earlier application by building off of existing subcategories and adding new questions where relevant.
What national and international frameworks does the Award align to?
The King Khalid Award team and AccountAbility have conducted a comprehensive benchmarking assessment to evaluate and strengthen the alignment of the Award to the world's leading sustainability standards, as well as the Kingdom's own standards including: The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), The Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB), The UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs), KSA Vision 2030, and The KSA National Standards for Sustainability Reporting. Aligning the Award to these frameworks brings several benefits, including transforming the Award's global relevance, and advancing the reporting & disclosure preparedness for participating companies.
How long does the award process last?
The Award has an annual cycle which commences with the online application opening early in Q1, and concluding with The Sustainability Leading Practices Workshop at the end of Q4. The Award Gala normally takes place around November time. For further information on the annual process, please refer to the Applicant Handbook available in the Resource Center.
Who is the right person within our organization to complete the application form?
It is advised to form a team composed of members of the executive management to complete the application form since it will require data from different divisions of the organization.
Where can I find information with regards to how to complete the application?
Instructions on how to fill out the application are provided on the General Information page of the application. Detailed handbooks and guides are available in the Resource Center of the KKA website. The Award team will also be hosting an Application Support Webinar following the launch of the application. For more details about Webinar dates, follow the KKF Social Media accounts: LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram.
In which languages can our organization complete the application?
The application form and supporting documents can be provided in either English or Arabic.
Which formats are accepted as part of the supporting references?
Uploaded documents should be in .pdf format. However, Microsoft Word documents and JPEG files will also be supported. Weblinks can be also submitted.
Applicants are kindly requested to detail the applicable pages for all supporting references.
Can I upload multiple supporting documents for one question?
Yes, the portal allows applicants to submit more than one document for each question.
If our organization participated in the Sustainability Award last year, can we participate again this year?
Applicants from previous years are welcome to participate in this year's Award, as an organization's incentives to participate reach far beyond just winning, and include benefits such as capacity development, knowledge building, and performance measurement over time. Returning applicants can submit their unique ID to have future applications pre-populated with information submitted in previous applications.
Can Award winners apply to the Sustainability Award next year?
First (1st) place Award winners are excluded from participating in the Award for the next two cycles, to ensure diversity in the top scoring positions. Second and third place winners can participate in the following year with no restrictions.
Can I nominate my own organization for the Sustainability Award?
Yes, the Award is a self-nomination scheme and applicants complete an online application form.
Is there a fee associated with participation in the Sustainability Award scheme?
No, there is no fee for participating in the Award, or for using the supplementary services throughout the Award's annual cycle.
Will the data and supporting documents provided by our organization through the application form be kept private and confidential?
Yes, all data and supporting documents provided by an organization through the application process will be kept private and confidential. Furthermore, the results, industry benchmarking, and performance improvement recommendations provided to each participating organization are kept confidential.
A Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) is available to organizations that have concerns about the confidentiality of their data on the application form. For organizations who want to inquire for an NDA, please contact the Sustainability Award representative at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What should we do if we don’t have answers to all the questions?
If your organization does not have an answer to a particular question, you should select "We do not have a process in place yet", "Not applicable", "We do not measure this yet" or another similar option to indicate that your organization is unable to answer the question at this time.
Even if your organization's corporate responsibility efforts are strong in one category but are lacking in another, we strongly encourage you to participate. For example, while an organization may not yet have a formal environmental program in place, they may already have a strong supply chain management structure.
The Award is designed to recognize different types of performance and takes into account the sectoral context. Furthermore, the Award is a great opportunity for organizations to identify improvement areas to help them advance in their sustainability journey.
Where can I find further explanations regarding the terms used in the questionnaire?
For further definitions and explanations, please refer to the Award Glossary, which is available on the Award's online Resource Center accessed through the application page. The Glossary link is also provided within the application questionnaire.
Additionally, an information button is provided next to the questions, with explanations on the concepts pertaining to the question and may include examples on how to answer.
I want to provide additional information or clarify some points. Where can I do that?
A dedicated text box is provided for optional Additional Comments and can be used to provide any additional information or clarification.
Do we need to complete the application in one sitting?
The application does not have to be completed all at once. Any progress can be saved and the applicant can return to it during the next log-in.
I want to share the application with my colleagues/other departments. Is that possible?
Yes, the blank application can be downloaded through the "Download Application for Reference" button on the General Information page.
When are the Sustainability Award winners announced?
The Award follows a rigorous scoring and quality review process. Please refer to the Conditions and Criteria for further information on the Evaluation. Additionally, a detailed timeline is available on the Award's online Resource Center.
Who is invited to the Award Gala?
All applicants of the Sustainability Award will be invited to attend the Award Gala.
How can I access my scores?
After the evaluation is completed and results are announced, all participants will receive a customized Scorecard Report via email, which provides an overview of the organization's performance.
What information is included in the scorecards?
All applicants will receive a customized scorecard as a result of participating in the Award. The scorecards contain detailed performance highlights and recommendations for improvement, based on leading practices within the applicant's industry. Level 1 scorecards are designed to help organizations that are beginning their sustainability journey to build capacity and adopt foundational practices, while Level 2 scorecards are designed to guide the more mature organizations to further innovate.
What can I do if I experience any difficulties during the Award process?
Should you have any questions on the application or overall process please contact a Sustainability Award representative (Email: email@example.com), or an AccountAbility representative (Email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
All applicants are also welcome to attend informational webinars that will include an introduction to the new Award structure and guidance for completing the questionnaire. Dates for the webinars will be updated on the Award website and on Social Media.