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Year of sustainability countdown: A call to arms for the private sector

Al Masaood’s Marwa Kaabour has been busy tracking progress as 2023 draws to an end

As the UAE’s Year of Sustainability passes its third quarter, it is time for reflection and intensive action. The UAE has taken a bold step forward by dedicating an entire year to sustainability.

Ten months on: Tracking progress and turning vision into action.

The Year of Sustainability has seen significant strides with the government and private sector coming together to develop and implement policies and initiatives aimed at reducing the nation’s carbon footprint, conserving resources, and promoting sustainable practices.

Key milestones include advancements in renewable energy adoption, the introduction of sustainable transportation solutions, and the reduction of single-use plastics.

In line with the government’s vision and through adopting a concentrated ESG approach, Al Masaood launched its first Sustainability Report. As a national brand, our efforts are focused on the development of clean energy sources, as well as the reduction of waste and carbon footprints.

Private sector’s time to shine and create a lasting impact

The private sector businesses have the agility, resources, and innovation necessary to lead transformative change, beyond what governments can achieve alone.

This presents an opportune moment for local business of all sizes to embrace sustainable practices, align their strategies with global environmental goals, and invest in technologies that mitigate environmental impacts.

The private sector in the UAE is well positioned to make a profound impact through technological innovation as well as research and development.

By supporting R&D in areas like renewable energy, circular economy, and carbon capture, and by investing in green technologies, businesses can drive meaningful change beyond their immediate operations.

UAE government leading by example

The UAE government has demonstrated its commitment to sustainability by investing in renewable energy, promoting sustainable infrastructure, and establishing sustainability-driven regulations that have sent a clear signal to the private sector and international community.

The government partnered with key stakeholders to implement water conservation programmes, sustainable waste management, and biodiversity preservation. These actions underscore the UAE’s dedication to becoming a regional and global leader in sustainability.

Collective responsibility: Public-Private-People Partnership is key

Achieving the ambitious sustainability goals set by the UAE requires a collaborative effort. The Public-Private-People Partnership model can be a powerful mechanism to unite the efforts of the government, private sector, and civil society in addressing complex challenges.

By encouraging open dialogue and inclusivity, this approach can drive sustainable practices while ensuring that no one is left behind in the journey towards a greener and more equitable future.

Beyond 2023: COP28, Abu Dhabi Environment Vision 2030, UAE Net Zero by 2050

The Year of Sustainability is just the beginning of the UAE’s commitment to environmental stewardship.

Hosting COP28, the United Nations Climate Change Conference, is another testament to the UAE’s determination to foster international cooperation in combating climate change.

Over the past five decades, Al Masaood has been a part of this nation’s remarkable journey, and we are now committed to contributing to its greener future.

We are dedicated to supporting ongoing initiatives like the Abu Dhabi Environment Vision 2030 and UAE Net Zero by 2050 through allocating resources to further our shared pursuit of a sustainable tomorrow.

It is crucial for businesses to proactively integrate ESG principles into their strategic plans, especially if they aim to stay ahead of future regulatory requirements.

At Al Masaood, we are re-assessing our operational methods to embrace more sustainable practices.

Driven by our inaugural sustainability report, this evaluation encompasses essential aspects such as accountability, feasibility, and collaboration.

Such efforts not only resonate with consumers but also demonstrate a strong ethical commitment to all stakeholders.

As the countdown to the end of the year continues, the private sector must continue to step up and innovate to create a lasting impact.

Together, we can turn the Year of Sustainability into a decade of transformative change, and help make the UAE a shining beacon of environmental responsibility.

By Marwa Kaabour, Group Head of Marketing and Corporate Communication, Al Masaood