Partnership to promote sustainability in region

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DUBAI — Several multinational companies based in the UAE have announced their support for a public-private-engagement model to promote sustainability and spearhead the country’s efforts to deliver its Sustainable Development endeavors. Speaking at the inaugural Multinational Companies Business Group (MCBG) sustainability conference recently held at Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s headquarters, a host of international business executives and government and NGO leaders underscored the need to identify areas of common interest and foster collaboration to deliver the UAE’s ambitious sustainability commitments.

Addressing participants during his opening remarks, Majid Saif Al Ghurair, Chairman of Dubai Chamber, said: “Multinational companies have an important role to play in supporting and implementing the UAE’s sustainability agenda. We are encouraged to see a growing number of organizations here in Dubai incorporating elements of the Sustainable Development Goals into their strategies and practices,” adding that the Multinational Companies Business Group has the potential to make a significant social impact by aligning the efforts of its members, sharing knowledge and best practices and developing innovative solutions to global challenges.

Addressing the audience, MCBG’s chairman Ramy Zaki discussed the role of the private sector in leading positive environmental impact. “As responsible corporations, it is our duty to champion solutions for environmental sustainability, in meaningful, incremental ways. Sustainability is not an attractive marketing concept, nor is it a nice-to-have,” said Zaki.

“Today’s consumers expect brands to do more to protect the right of future generations to enjoy a healthy and wealthy life on our planet. It is crucial they understand how companies are working towards such positive change. But the challenges are big - and nobody has the recipe for complete solutions. Partnerships and alliances with other companies, with governments and NGOs, can accelerate the path to environmental sustainability breakthroughs. Today is perhaps one fine example, with this event being jointly hosted by a group of multinational firms and a government entity.”

As part of the UAE’s wider strategy towards achieving a highly ambitious Sustainable Development agenda, the nation has in 2018 outperformed by 50% its set objectives out of 88 indicators of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) defined by the UN. The government has prioritized the formation of the National Agenda Executive teams which are comprised by both government and private sector players and serve as ideation and piloting forums for joint public-private initiatives to realize the country’s sustainability goals. — SG


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