Abu Dhabi Sustainability Group members highlight the importance of integrating sustainability into organisational governance

May 5, 2014 12:50 pm

Members of the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Group (ADSG) recently came together to share best practices, raise awareness about sustainability and promote the adoption of sustainability management practices in their organisations.

During the gathering, H.E. Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak, Secretary General of the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) and Chair of the ADSG Advisory Board, said, “Sustainability cannot be compartmentalised and should not be a separate ad-hoc activity that is added onto organisations as an afterthought. Ever since we set up ADSG in 2008, its members have voluntarily promoted sustainability within their organisations and are helping to define how their organisation can lead and build a more sustainable future.”

“Reducing carbon emissions, protecting natural resources, working with our local communities and promoting healthy lifestyles are critical as we plan for the future, and ADSG has led the way for this,” H.E Al Mubarak added.

Huda Al Houqani, ADSG Director, speaking at the gathering, said, “Excellent work is already being done across Abu Dhabi, and we have clear examples which show how the integration of sustainability in organisations is effective and can have a direct impact on organisational efficiency and performance. We want to continue to build on that.”

Through the ADSG’s recently revised strategy, members are being encouraged to integrate sustainability into the ethos of their organisations, to evaluate their progress and to measure their success with regular reporting, and as well as collaborate with other members. The ADSG’s strategy plans are twofold with organisations urged to change behaviour and attitude by encouraging sustainable habits by staff personally, and by adopting sustainability governance within their core business and decision making processes.

During the gathering, Fadi Ghandour, Founder and Vice Chairman of Aramex, shared Aramex’s unique experience in integrating sustainability into its organisation. Fadi Ghandour, Founder and Vice Chairman of Aramex, said, “At Aramex, we were one of the first in the region to adopt sustainability management and reporting, before these concepts became as widely accepted as they are now.” “Now is the right time for organisations to start adopting ‘Sustainability Governance.’ This approach will help reinforce sustainability management and reporting, help minimise any negative impacts on the environment and assist them in committing to transparency and accountability principles,” Ghandour added.

Stephen John, Head of Sustainable Development at the Abu Dhabi National Energy Company PJSC (TAQA), also shared his company’s experience and said it requires multi-disciplinary oversight and added that any sustainable development director should be active at work, adaptable, flexible, and supportive to business priorities.

Whereas, Prisha Bhoola, Head of Internal Audit at Abu Dhabi Airports Company, explained that the success of their company is due to its adoption of a sustainable programme that was institutionalised by a formal governance structure. “Sustainability is something we live and breathe,” Bhoola said.

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