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UAE and the steps to a green future: Working ahead towards COP28

Author: Zayd Maniar

Published: 12 Apr 2022

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The UAE and in particular, Dubai has come a long way from the Oil dependent economy that spurred trade in the 1960’s. There is an increased focus on climate change and government entities and corporate companies in the Emirate are upping the game by considering environmental, social and governance (ESG) benchmarks while making business and investment decisions.

“E” for Excellent Environment

Post Covid there has been a huge drive-in sustainability as companies re-evaluate how they wish to run their operations. The expo 2020 has a sustainability pavilion called Terra, that focuses on how we can change our everyday choices to reduce our carbon footprint and environmental impact. The pavilion that is powered by 4,912 solar panels can charge close to a million mobile phones in a year.

“Dubai can” an initiative that has set up over 30 water public stations have been set up across Dubai has encouraged residents and visitors to ditch single-use plastic water bottles and, instead, shift to refillable ones. Over 1,000 companies take part in drive to ditch plastic bottles and offer free water.

Dubai is also home to the sustainable city that is a housing complex that has achieved net zero status. The road is set, and Dubai is moving towards a net zero state.

“S” for Super Social

Creating and maintaining a sustainable environment and infrastructure is a pillar of the National Agenda in line with Vision 2021. The UAE Government wants to ensure sustainable development while preserving the environment, and to achieve a perfect balance between economic and social development.

CSR initiatives are a plenty in UAE. Dubai has achieved more than 90% vaccination against Covid, administered free of charge. There are numerous initiatives catering to the elderly, the differently abled and those in need.

The emirate along with the UAE has made the corporate environment more employee friendly by offering flexible work contracts, mandatory insurance along with a revised schedule of leaves that bring it in line with Global standards. Extended weekends and a dedicated fitness month have boosted the morale of residents.

“G” for Good Governance

The Emirate of Dubai has taken great leaps in addressing the gaps in governance that envelopes Dubai’s corporate world. It has strived to achieve a green listing in various areas that pertain to creating a fair global playground especially when it comes to attracting Foreign direct investments. AML policies, copyright infringement laws and appropriate taxation and audits have reduced levels of corruption greatly.

The 8 pillars of corporate governance have further summarised the principles for governing to ensure the well-being of their people, the sustained progress of the nation, and the welfare of its future generations. The framework has called upon those in a position of responsibility in the Emirate of Dubai to abide by its principles, and directed them to devise mechanisms to ensure its implementation

The UAE has released various mandates governing the ESG practices that must be adopted by certain categories of companies. These primally comprise of Listed companies associated with the Dubai Financial Market and the Abu Dhabi’s Securities commission. Majority of the government entities also have been publishing their sustainability reports on an annual basis.

At Crowe, we understand that sustainable practices are the need of the hour of our Global Clients. Our Aim is to help them make Smart Decisions that bring Lasting Value by conserving, protecting, and enhancing.

We look forward to the support of all member firms in helping their respective countries as we inch closer to the prestigious COP 28 summit. Crowe will wholeheartedly support E-S-G in the U-A-E!