The end of February and beginning of March was a busy period for the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Group who organised the Abu Dhabi Sustainable Business Leadership Awards ceremony and the third annual Abu Dhabi Sustainable Business Leadership Forum 2017.
This year, the awards and the Abu Dhabi Sustainable Business Leadership Forum were supported by the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD), and The Forum was sponsor by Dolphin Energy, Etihad Airways as the official airline partner, in addition, Alroeya Newspaper acted as the media partner. Over 200 senior executives and sustainability experts from different organisations in the GCC region attended both events.
The events were inspired by the UAE Government’s ‘Year of Giving’. Launched by the President, His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the year’s focus is centred around three main themes – strengthening social responsibility in the private sector, promoting a spirit of volunteering and strengthening the concept of serving the nation in new generations of Emiratis and expatriates. The Abu Dhabi Sustainability Group is actively participating through collaboration with the UAE Food Bank and the UAE Red Crescent.
The award ceremony, held at the Anantara Eastern Mangroves Hotel, Abu Dhabi, brought together businesses from across multiple industries who are at the forefront of sustainability management and leadership in the GCC region. It focused on raising awareness of the benefits of sustainable management and responsible business growth, and gave special recognition to the companies demonstrating sustainability best practice.
Dr Abdullah Zamzam, EAD’s Assistant Secretary General opened the event by stressing that the UAE realizes the need to balance between both economic and sustainable development requirements. He added that in order to achieve this objective we need a strong partnership between the different governmental institutions, which would thus enable both public and private sectors to contribute to protecting the environment and serving the society.
At the event, Dolphin Energy was awarded Best Sustainability Report, for the way they effectively presented their environmental, social and economic performance. The Best Sustainability Initiative was given to “Connect to Learn” initiative in Domiz Refugee Camps Iraq, the initiative which is realised through partnership between Asiacell, Ericsson and International Rescue Committee (IRC); and was aimed at providing education to Syrian refugee children affected by the conflict.
Ibrahim Al-Zu’bi is the Head of Sustainability at Majid Al Futtaim-Holding picked up the award for Sustainability Leader of the Year and Geraldine Seguela, Sustainability Manager at Cleveland Clinic – Abu Dhabi was awarded Sustainability Manager of the Year – for their exceptional commitment in implementing sustainable responses to environmental, social and economic challenges.
The award for Best Sustainability Communication Programme went Bourouge for their Sustainable Campus Initiative, which is being implemented in partnership with the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi and aims to strengthen and build sustainable leadership capacity amongst the youth.
In the spirit of the Year of Giving a new sixth category was launched during the event; this award is noncompetitive and is granted by the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Group in recognition of organisations that make significant achievements in any of the three ‘Year of Giving’ themes.
The new award category went to Takatof for their superb volunteering programme. Their work exemplifies the mission of the UAE ‘Year of Giving’ 2017 that was launched by His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE.
To read more about the Award Ceremony please click here.
The third annual Abu Dhabi Sustainable Business Leadership Forum 2017 brought together excellent line up of keynote speakers, panel discussions and breakout sessions, also bought to Abu Dhabi the introduction of the Natural Capital Protocol, a product of the Natural Capital Coalition. This Protocol helps to correct the fundamental misconception that there is a trade-off between social and environmental responsibility, and profitability.
To illuminate the value that businesses receive from the natural world, the Natural Capital Coalition had collaborated with the Abu Dhabi Sustainable Business Leadership Forum 2017 to help raise awareness, and introduced an Arabic ‘Natural Capital Protocol Primer’ during the event. What is now clear is that, far from damaging, a company’s bottom-line, the correct adoption of sustainable principles can lead to a wide range of benefits for business, as well as to society and the environment.
This Primer is a key introduction to the Natural Capital Protocol, complementary to sector guide. It expands upon why applying the Protocol and including natural capital in business considerations will enhance corporate decision making. By following this globally standardized framework, businesses of all sizes, and from all sectors, can make better informed operational decisions with both the business impact and dependence upon natural capital at the core.
To read more about The Abu Dhabi Sustainable Business Leadership Forum 2017 please click here.