More than a decade ago, sustainable practices of companies were merely buzzwords that hardly a few were keen to commit. Today, trends show that more companies are paying attention to their overall operations, exploring ways to reduce the negative impacts of their businesses by integrating Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors in their strategies as they map their long-term growth.
Market research has shown that during the 11 months of 2021, investors allocated about USD 649 billion of funds to ESG, which now account to 10 per cent of fund assets worldwide.
Companies in the UAE are catching up on the trend and are awakening to the reality that sustainable actions must be adopted with ESG being considered as essential to long-term success of companies. These interests are further boosted by the country’s announcement to commit to net-zero emissions by 2050.
The UAE has broad ambitions to become a global centre for green economy initiatives and have invested widely to develop the world’s largest solar parks in line with the UAE National Energy Plan 2050.
Marwan Abdulaziz Janahi, Managing Director of Dubai Science Park (DSP), commented in an article in The National that companies in the UAE are awakening to the call of time, spearheading efforts to achieve net-zero emissions and contribute to the global efforts addressing the impact of climate change.
“At Dubai Science Park, a science-focused business district, home to more than 400 companies covering sciences, energy and environmental sectors, we are already seeing a number of our business partners adopting environmentally friendly practices and integrating sustainability into their core strategy,” he said.
Janahi cited businesses setting up at DSP are engaging in various ways to provide sustainability solutions to the country in areas such as urban development, waste management, and upcycling of used products, among others.
Some of these companies include Handasiyah, an engineering company providing solutions that help reduce electricity and water consumption; Ehfaaz, a tech start-up which converts food and FMCG waste into organic fertilisers and cleaning products; and Avani, a company which makes plant-sourced resources into biodegradable and compostable items.
Janahi noted that business districts and free zones can play an important role in providing a platform for companies to engage in environmentally sustainable businesses. “Our vision is to continue helping businesses grow and achieve real, actionable change by investing in best infrastructure, delivering enabling policies and organising opportunities for our business partners to converge,” he concluded.