The announcement builds on the progress made at COP’s first-ever Trade Day held in Dubai last month. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The UAE, on Wednesday, announced plans to develop the first-ever sustainability accreditation framework exclusively for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).

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The EcoMark Global Accreditation has been designed to boost the competitiveness of MSMEs in the global green economy by streamlining and standardising the regulatory processes surrounding sustainability benchmarking worldwide, the UAE Media Office has said.

UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade, Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, launched and announced details about the initiative at the ongoing World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

The EcoMark certification is based on ISO standards and is digitally enabled. It will include a full suite of resources to help MSMEs attain the EcoMark status. It covers document requirement guidelines and a roadmap to progress from basic to advanced levels of sustainability. It also includes a standardised application process and complete eligibility criteria for accreditors in the participating countries. The framework will be overseen by a central body headquartered in the UAE.

Al Zeyoudi said, “The development of the EcoMark Global Accreditation as an accessible and universally recognised platform will help MSMEs find and compete in new markets around the world and meet the growing demand for sustainable products and services.”

Al Zeyoudi said MSMEs are pivotal in transitioning toward a lower-carbon economy. However, the contribution of MSMEs, such as those run and operated by underrepresented groups, including women and youth, can only be unlocked through targeted and customised support that reduces time, cost and resource constraints associated with environmental regulatory compliance.

He explained, “Accounting for almost 90 per cent of global businesses, MSMEs must have full access to the global trading system if our vision of a more sustainable and equitable global economy is to be realised. These enterprises are also important agents of change, with the flexibility and singularity of focus required to drive sustainability across value chains.”

The announcement builds on the progress made at COP’s first-ever Trade Day held in Dubai last month, where the UAE hosted a series of critical conversations on the contribution of trade to the climate change challenge.