Dubai: In groundbreaking discussion, sustainability-driven women leaders gathered at Century Financial’s third roundtable event, titled “Sustainability & U - Catalysts for Change: Women Leaders Pioneering the Path to Net Zero.”
The atmosphere was electric as these remarkable leaders delved deep into the crucial role they play in propelling a green economy forward through innovation, the use of ESG metrics, and lifecycle assessments, among others.
The discussions echoed with urgency as key topics like the escalating regulatory demands, evolving consumer expectations, and the tantalising financial rewards of early adoption were fervently explored.
Sustainability is not just an aspiration; it’s an intersection where economic growth, environmental protection, equality, and social harmony converge
With unwavering commitment, Century Financial reiterated its dedication to weaving sustainability into the very fabric of businesses towards achieving the audacious Net Zero emissions target.
But it was the quest to strike a harmonious balance between business growth and sustainability that truly ignited the room. Sameera Fernandes, the Director of Corporate Affairs & Sustainability at Century Financial, set the stage with her opening remarks, declaring: “Sustainability is not just an aspiration; it’s an intersection where economic growth, environmental protection, equality, and social harmony converge.”
COP28, the global Conference of the Parties, emerged as a central point of discussion. It was seen not merely as a call to action but as a genesis – a moment where the world returns to the very essence of sustainability. It’s about unraveling the critical investment frontiers that will help combat climate change and hasten the shift to a cleaner, greener economy.
Initiatives driving renewables were highlighted. From the staggering $4.5 billion investment in African states to Iceland’s pioneering research on fossil fuels, the sprawling Solar Parks of Morocco, and the resolute focus on solar alliances and the future fuel potential of Hydrogen at the G20 Summit – all these global endeavours showcased meticulous planning and an unwavering commitment to sustainability.
The grand transition to renewable energy was another seismic revelation. Nearly 68 per cent of the world had embarked on this transformative journey, aligning themselves with the audacious Net Zero 2050 goal. It’s a journey that has already begun yielding measurable impacts.
Adding further Bal Krishen, Chairman and CEO, Century Financial said, “Ever since we embarked on this collaborative journey with business representatives, we were eager to know more about women in leadership as ESG accelerators.
“Honoring the diverse mix of industry leaders that we had at our roundtable, the knowledge shared on the social and economic benefits of a sustainable recovery will help the fraternity take action toward net zero emissions. The actionable insights will accelerate progress, raise ambitions to achieve ESG, and protect people and the planet from climate change impact.”
Speaking of diversity and Net Zero, Stephanie Asgill, Director - Sustainability and Gender Equality at Dubai Holding said: “At Dubai Holding we believe incorporating women into leadership roles is a catalyst for fostering creativity and driving sustainable solutions. According to a Harvard Business Review study, women in executive positions have the transformative ability to reshape a company’s approach to challenges, such as, sustainability.
“By promoting diversity and inclusion in leadership, Dubai Holding seeks to activate a spectrum of perspectives that fuels innovation and collaboration, essential elements for building a sustainable world.”
Role of community
Highlighting, the role the community and industries in the region, play in supporting sustainability goals, Anita Nouri, CEO - Green Energy Solutions & Sustainability LLC said: “Global climate agreements such as the Paris Agreement emphasize the importance of reducing methane emissions as a strategy to limit global warming. The Net Zero goal for 2050 is an initiative put in place that will help us achieve this goal gradually.
The path to combat the ongoing emission crisis is multi-faceted and not just one single solution. We are lucky to have tremendous support from the UAE government to explore how to capture carbon, reduce emissions, make industry take responsibility and identify their emission levels.
"The path to combat the ongoing emission crisis is multi-faceted and not just one single solution. We are lucky to have tremendous support from the UAE government to explore how to capture carbon, reduce emissions, make industry take responsibility and identify their emission levels."
All these initiatives together, and most importantly reducing the amount of waste we generate and supporting recycling and reduction technologies, will help us achieve the lofty targets we are after. Together we can make a significant contribution to mitigating climate change, improving air quality, and promoting sustainable waste management practices for the generations to come.”
A range of critical topics were explored to highlight the necessary transformation in industries to mitigate its impact on the planet and collaborate for a green economy.
Call to action
The roundtable concluded with a call to action, emphasising the importance of continued collaboration and the need for robust policies and frameworks to support ESG.
Aligned with their vision to bring about awareness and suggest guidelines to embrace Sustainability; Century Financial has released its Sustainable Policy announcing a gamut of initiatives undertaken for a greener future.
The leading financial services brand believes in making Sustainability a business imperative and reiterates that companies committed to sustainability are better positioned to succeed in the long run.
By integrating ESG and Sustainability in the overall business strategy, organisations can maximize opportunities for net zero emissions.
Interestingly, Century Financial’s efforts toward a sustainable future were recently recognised by the Gulf Sustainability Awards 2023 where they were honoured with the “Most Innovative ESG Initiative” for the ongoing roundtable series.