UAE - The Future Sustainability Summit
Any business which doesn’t have sustainability intrinsically linked to their future plan is going to be left behind, but if events like Abu Dhabi’s Sustainability Week (ADSW) are anything to go by then it’s a promising move towards a more sustainable future. The sustainability landscape has been gathering momentum, as countries like the U.A.E seek to position themselves as a strong leader in sustainability and multilateralism, with a focus on innovation. Building cities with an infrastructure that supports sustainability and adopting ESG in business not only has a huge societal impact but will also determine the future financial performance of companies.
We attended The Future Sustainability Summit, a two-day event held during the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW), hosted by Masdar (a Mubadala company) with the Department of Energy. Topics covered everything from Multilateralism and partnerships, food security, technology, innovation and storage issues. Here are some of our key learnings from the event:
- Transitioning from a linear economy, to a circular economy is essential in order to support the shift of ‘turning waste into wealth’. To assist this transition, a new generation of business models and systems need to be defined to fit a sustainable approach.
- Currently, 80% of food is wasted worldwide (on the supply side as well as consumption side). There is a new objective to increase global food security, with the U.A.E establishing a National Food Security strategy, and implementing “The Food Tech Challenge” to encourage communities to come up with innovative solutions.
The youth generation
- Everyone has a voice but the younger generation is driving a new level of conversation, where social media is getting people to engage and providing people access to information that they may not have had before.
Education and changing mindsets
- Education is key in order to shift mindset away from consumerism towards better waste organisation and conscious purchasing choices. With outdated business models and consumption processes, the transition to a more conscious and sustainable behaviour will be reinforced through proper training and education.
What does this mean for your communications?
This shift in understanding and the demand for accountability places more pressure on businesses to clearly communicate the issues that are most important to them and how they are managing them. Value creation and impact now sit alongside financial returns as something businesses are assessed on by investors, helping them and their broader stakeholder base to make the link between business strategies and their impact narrative is now front of centre of corporate communications.