The World Sustainable Business Forum (WSBF) in Dubai brings together business and government leaders who are committed to innovating and creating positive change in the region and beyond.
This exclusive closed-door event – a joint initiative by Gulf News, the leading English-language news source in the UAE, and IFIICC, a global organisation committed to empowering trusted sustainable strategic partnerships – will discuss issues and topics that are shaping the national, regional and global sustainability landscape.
Government officials, dignitaries, senior business leaders of multinational companies and leading family businesses in the region will share their insights, experiences and perspectives during the discussions as they help various sectors navigate the way forward.
Top on the agenda are future-proofing the health sector and enabling sustainable healthcare for all; the UAE’s circular economy and sustainability in the global energy sector; how buildings of the future are taking shape; best practices, sustainability and innovation in Nordic countries, and where the travel industry is headed beyond the pandemic.
WSBF is powered by Siemens Healthineers and supported by Abu Dhabi-based G42, flydubai, Jotun Middle East, GE, Dulsco and DNV.
Follow the events as they unfolded:
Safe and sustainable air travel
Airlines around the world are re-thinking about their post-pandemic recovery strategies. What are the signs of recovery? Where is the travel industry headed? Ghaith Al Ghaith, CEO of flydubai, talks about these issues.
“We are very proud of what we’ve done in the UAE – we’ve opened up our market as early as possible. The UAE, being of the first countries in the world to open up for air travel, has helped the airline companies in the country," notes Al Ghaith.
By the end of the year, we will reach 12 per cent renewable energy mix, and we're heading towards our target of reaching 25 per cent by 2030 and 75 per cent by 2050, says Faisal Ali Rashid, Senior Director - Demand Side Management, Dubai Supreme Council of Energy.
Denmark's role in promoting sustainability
Franz-Michael Skjold Mellbin, Ambassador of Denmark to the UAE, talks about Denmark’s efforts to promote sustainability
Hydrogen has a vital role in decarbonising the global economy, says Bernard Dagher, President & CEO, Grid Solutions at GE Renewable Energy (Middle East, Turkey & Africa). Hydrogen burns like natural gas without the carbon dioxide emissions and can be produced by separating water molecules using electricity.
The imperative for combating climate change is to curb emissions rapidly and if one cannot avoid the use of carbon-emitting energy, the next important steps are to reduce and capture carbon emission.
Delegates at panel discussion on Sustainability and Innovation in Nordic Countries
How to drive decarbonisation?
How can we drive decarbonisation? Bernard Dagher, President & CEO, Grid Solutions at GE Renewable Energy (Middle East, Turkey & Africa), will talk about sustainability in the energy sector next.
There is clearly something about Nordic companies when it comes to sustainability. According to the Global 100 Index in 2020 by Corporate Knights, the world’s most sustainable businesses are usually Nordic.
At WSBF, best practices, sustainability and innovation in Nordic countries are being discussed by Franz-Michael Skjold Mellbin, Ambassador of Denmark to UAE; Sten Arne Rosnes, Ambassador of Norway to UAE; Marjaana Ettala, Chargé d’Affaires, Embassy of Finland to the UAE, and an Thesleff, Commissioner General - Swedish, Committee for Participation at Expo 2020 Dubai.
The Nordic region or Norden, is consisting of the five sovereign states Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, plus the three autonomous territories connected to these states, including the Faroe Islands and Greenland (Denmark) and Åland (Finland).
Delegates at the forum
Dr. Fatih Mehmet Gul on digital healthcare
Israeli Consul-General shares views
"Main challenge in health care is to bring together the technology provider, operator, user and regulator and other stakeholders together. This is what our recent initiative, the Siemens Says Innovation Think Tank has been doing. With this we can have an accelerated momentum in sustainability and better care and optimization of resources!” Niyaz Mohammad, head of sales, lower Gulf region, Siemens Healthineers.
Degenerative linear economy
Technology has helped us integrate a lot of solutions to provide connected care services.
“People adapted technology easily the first time during the COVID -19 pandemic. People were able to avail of the benefits of Digital healthcare by harnessing the power of tele medicine consultation, diagnostics and treatment,” said Dr Khawla Al Hajjah, Director of Zabeel Health Centre.
Healthcare for all
Discussions on how innovation will enable sustainable healthcare for all is next. Niyaz Mohamad, Head of Sales, Lower Gulf, Siemens Healthineers, one of the principal sponsors of WSBF, earlier commented: “The world around is changing rapidly, the population is growing, and ageing, we therefore have a pressing need to deploy efficient and effective solutions. These solutions need to increase availability, improve accessibility, and should be affordable to ensure the large populous truly benefits from it.”
Mohamad is joined on the panel by Dr. Khawla Al Hajjaj, director at Dubai Health Authority (DHA) - Zabeel Health Centre. Dr. Khawla will discuss how digital health has become the UAE’s best weapon in fighting the pandemic. She will also discuss how the UAE is handling COVID-19 and the country’s vaccination programme. Discussion will also focus how innovation in health care will in ensure world-class patient care.
Do more with less
In a nutshell, circular economy is “doing more and better with less,” says Madhumohan S., chief innovation officer for environment solutions at Dulsco.
The transition to a circular economy will result in multiple economic, environmental, and social benefits, such as increased disposable income through lower cost of products and services and higher productivity. It will also result in reduced demand for raw materials and lower CO2 emissions.
Direct effects to people is more employment and better quality of life through easier access to goods and services, and improved health through reduced pollution and better availability of healthier and more nutritious food.
Benefits of circular economy
Next on the agenda at WSBF is the discussion on UAE’s circular economy and the path ahead for sustainable growth. Madhumohan S., chief innovation officer for environment solutions at Dulsco, will share his insights on how the transition to a circular economy will enable the UAE to unlock new sustainable economic opportunities.
Circular economy is an economic development approach aimed at designing products to be reusable. Products and raw materials are also reused as much as possible. By optimising the use of resources and reducing waste, the transition to a circular economy will enable countries to create more economic opportunities that will help them become more resilient and prosperous.
“Partnerships and collaborations with health regulators, scientists, researchers, public abd private health care important. As the whole new ecosystem is important to introduce innovation and sustainability in health care,” Dr Fahed Al Marzouqi, CEO, G42 Health Care.
Raise the bar, challenge our beliefs
“We need to raise the bar and challenge our beliefs , understand the whys and only then we can change the health care system,’ said Dr Asma Mannei, Director of HealthCare Quakuty, Department of Health Abu Dhabi.
Future Proofing Health of Nations
Future Proofing Health of Nations through innovation and sustainable solutions, session kicks off.
Being highlighted now at WSBF is future-proofing the health of nations through innovation and sustainable solutions. Speakers talk about healthcare is put in the spotlight as nations look to develop new or improved health systems, products and technologies, and services and deliver methods that improve people’s health
Dr. Tariq Bin Hendi
Sustainability is the only way forward
Sustainability is not a perceived threat or a new way of doing business in the future – it is the future, underlines Merzi Sodawaterwala, founder and chairman of International Federation of Indo-Israel Chambers of Commerce (IFIICC).
Sustainability will influence the way governments act, industries function, businesses perform, people behave and will govern future investments. It is perhaps the greatest investment opportunity in modern history.
Committed to sustainable development
Merzi Sodawaterwala, founder and chairman of IFIICC, a global organisation committed to empowering trusted sustainable strategic partnerships, reiterates: “The World Sustainable Business Forum is committed to empowering the sustainable development of the world by mobilising the collaborative and collective action of all global stakeholders.”
David George, Gulf News Publisher, welcomes the participants at World Sustainable Business Forum (WSBF) taking place at Atlantis, The Palm.
He says: “The foundations of our world have been shaken to the core by COVID-19. The pandemic has pushed us towards the worst recession int decades, with terrible consequences for the most vulnerable. Societies and citizens are reeling from widespread disruptions. Fiscal resources are plunging; biodiversity is disappearing and greenhouse gases at record levels.”
To overcome the challenges, George, underlines: “We need a path that brings health to all, revives economies, brings people in from the margins of society and builds long-term resilience, sustainability and opportunity for all.”