Sunday 21 October 2018

More corporate sustainability awareness needed in UAE

DUBAI, February 23, 2016

Despite the progressive measures the UAE government is taking to make the country a successful global model of sustainable development, businesses in the country are still considerably behind their Western counterparts when it comes to implementing sustainable practices, according to Summertown Interiors, a leading fit-out contractor.

A major player in the region, Summertown Interiors is the first fit-out contractor in the UAE to occupy Leed (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design)-Gold certified interiors and it also has first-hand experience of executing green interior projects.   

Commenting on corporate sustainability in the UAE, Marcos Bish, the managing director of Summertown Interiors, said: "Since Dubai pledged to make Expo 2020 the first sustainable expo, the UAE’s sustainable development agenda has been thrust into the global spotlight. The government has made very clear its intention to become a successful model of a sustainable economy and has put in place some ambitious targets to make this vision a reality."

“Most recently His Highness Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, launched the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050. This aims to make Dubai a global centre of clean energy and green economy by providing seven per cent of Dubai’s energy from clean energy sources by 2020, 25 per cent by 2030 and 75 per cent by 2050," explained Bish.

According to him, the UAE through its diverse strategies and investments in clean and renewable energy is leading global efforts in this area, despite having the second-largest oil reserves in the world.

"Much effort is being put into diversifying the UAE’s economy away from oil by 2021 to create a business environment that ensures economic and social stability," observed Bish.

"Although there has been an increased interest in building green in the past few years, the corporate and economic benefits of sustainability are still underestimated in the region," he pointed out.

"Being green is a lifestyle choice and a business strategy, which, if done well, positively impacts the company’s bottom line. People will be more engaged and work better together, costs will be managed more efficiently, and the company will gain credibility in the market," he added.

Bish said as a company that walks the talk, its clients, partners and the business community in general look to them for advice and knowledge when it comes to integrating sustainability into their business operations.

"From our own experience, the most common mistake companies make when they want to embrace sustainability is having too narrow a vision: setting just a few goals and metrics for measurement, and then following those without looking at the big picture," he noted.

"Sustainability has always been at the forefront of Summertown’s operations and we will continue to pioneer the ‘green’ movement here in the UAE," stated Bish.

Established in 1997, Summertown Interiors is among the UAE’s leading fit-out contractors with specialist experience in delivering commercial office, education and retail projects for global Fortune 500 companies, government authorities and local businesses.

"We look to inspire and help other companies to integrate ‘green’ practices into their business strategy to help sustainability become the standard modus operandi, both in the UAE and worldwide," he added.-TradeArabia News Service

Tags: UAE | awareness | Summertown Interiors | corporate sustainability |

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