The Abu Dhabi Sustainability Group (ADSG) held its first Members' Meeting of 2013 at the Al Mamoura building in Abu Dhabi. The meeting was attended by representatives from the group's 41 member organisations. They reviewed the group's progress to date and focused on the strategic plans going forward.
For 5 years, the ADSG's various events and activities have successfully provided a platform for debating leading edge thinking on sustainability and raising awareness on sustainability practices. This is in line with the group's mission: "To promote sustainability management in Abu Dhabi by providing learning and knowledge sharing opportunities for all government, private companies and NPO's who are, or wish to become ADSG members, in a spirit of cooperation and open dialogue".
The Forum Quarterly Meeting, which forms part of a series of regular meetings that take place to review of the performance of ADSG in achieving its goals, covered a review of ADSG performance and progress during the previous quarter, an update on ADSG organisational review and restructure in line with feedback from members and a review and endorsement of the ADSG strategic objectives' action plan for 2013.
Active member organisations' representatives were recognised at the event for their tireless work in promoting sustainability practices and significant contributions.
Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak, Secretary General, Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD), said: ''Sustainability is a strategic driver of long-term value for Abu Dhabi, essential to its continued success, and it is incorporated in Abu Dhabi Vision 2030, as well as UAE Vision 2021".
Dr Jaber Al Jaberi, Deputy Secretary General, Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD), said during his opening note: "The group's achievements, crowned by this close partnership, are a cause for celebration and a source of pride for all members in Abu Dhabi, the UAE and within the region. Among the key achievements was the extensive capacity building with ADSG members".
He added "As the group's achievements and reputation grow in the future with your support, participation and endorsement, we look forward to celebrating success stories, achieving milestones and proving the power of partnership in supporting the delivery of a sustainable future".
Speaking at the event, Huda Al Houqani, ADSG Director, said: "I am delighted to work with our member organisations to promote sustainability awareness and action. The group's achievements and performance to date is a credit to our member organisations and a true reflection of their commitment towards a sustainable future in the UAE and the region.
This year, as we go from strength to strength, our focus is on reinforcing partnerships, stakeholder engagement and supporting core skills and capabilities development in order to realise the full potential of the group through a true partnership approach." During the course of the meeting, updates from the ADSG's Flagship Programmes were shared, including: an update from Zuha Mousa, Chairperson for the Sustainable Procurement Flagship Programme, where she highlighted: "Becoming sustainable has wide-ranging incentives; being environmentally friendly, improve the image of your brand and create a competitive advantage. Implementing sustainable procurement will always have positive final outcomes for your businesses varies from cost reduction, more resource efficiency or attract more customers.
"Between 60 and 80 percent of a company's spend is on supply chain, therefore, Sustainable Procurement become an important part of purchaser and contractor processes and procedures. And to implement Sustainable Procurement, it is essential to obtain the company's top management commitment and support to being sustainable. Every business has its own objectives and strategies, and every business is capable to identify how and where to apply sustainable procurement. We, the Abu Dhabi Sustainable Procurement committee will be supportive and we are here to provide guidance and directions on the implementation of Sustainable Procurement" She said.
Dr. Jamila Khanji, spoke about the progress of the Sustainable Labour Practices Flagship Programme and said "This program is built on strategic partnerships between stockholders from government, public, private, and not-for-profit organizations, under the umbrella of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Group. The main partner is Tawteen.
"This unique program contributes to achieving a sustainable employment in line with the commitments of Abu Dhabi Government, which aims to: Maximize the employment of Emiratis in the non -state economy, whilst ensuring the development of a globally competitive �knowledge based economy'. The approach of this program is to analyze the current studies, polices and gabs to put recommendations and solutions for the short, medium and long term" she added.