Jochen Knecht, CEO, IFZA
At IFZA, sustainability is a part of our DNA and is at the heart of everything we do. We believe that success is not just measured by profits, but by the impact we have on society and the environment. We have a dedicated division called IFZA Cares which supports our communities, protects the environment, and fosters a culture of ethical and sustainable business practices. We believe in conducting business with integrity, transparency, and respect for all – and we hold ourselves accountable to the highest ethical standards.
IFZA Cares is creating the first-ever network of mangrove forests, beginning in the UAE with the goal of reaching out in key locations around the world, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals of 2030. We first began with 10,000 mangrove saplings at Jubail Mangrove Park, Abu Dhabi, last year. This year we are on our way to planting an additional 20,000 mangrove saplings in Jebel Ali, Dubai.
In both locations, every sapling is planted in the name of IFZA employees, professional partners and licensees. Collectively, the IFZA Mangrove Forests will sequester about 6 million tonnes of C02 throughout their lifetime. But our vision continues. We look forward to planting 100,000 more trees in the near future, as part of our continuing commitment to leaving behind a green investment on behalf of our free zone community.
I would suggest that all businesses should rigorously evaluate and check their business practices, ensuring that their supply chains, suppliers and partners are as ethical as their own businesses and to put sustainability, respect for the environment and human capital as a priority.
Adeeb Ahamed, Managing Director, LuLu Financial Holdings
We take pride in our commitment to sustainability, actively incorporating it into our business model. Our strategic and well-planned approach is evident in numerous initiatives and practices. We’ve embraced sustainable practices to foster innovation, ensure environmental responsibility, and implement eco-friendly processes. Additionally, we actively engage in community initiatives, positioning our business for long-term viability. As a responsible organisation, we remain steadfast in our dedication to making a positive impact on the environment and society at large, aligning with our values and the global call for sustainable business practices.
As a leading global financial services provider in the UAE, we have incorporated sustainability and environmental responsibility into our core business practices. We have transformed our physical branches into eco-friendly customer engagement centres, optimising real estate usage and minimising carpet area to reduce our carbon footprint. LuLu Exchange has also actively collaborated and embraced many eco-conscious initiatives. One of the recent initiatives executed as part of the UAE’s 52nd Union Day celebrations and in line with COP28 is planting over 100 mangrove trees to support the UAE towards its Net Zero Emission initiative and contribute to a greener future.
With COP28 UAE bringing the world together to deliberate on a global transformative climate action plan, we all have a responsibility to stay committed and adopt a forward-thinking approach for a sustainable future. This involves implementing sustainable growth practices which can play a significant role in effectively tackling climate change.
Eugene Mayne, Founder and CEO, Tristar Group
We are deeply vested in sustainable business practices and, over the last decade, have strategically and systemically increased our contributions. Our commitment starts with the welfare of all the people in our orbit, members of our workforce, local communities where we operate, and various stakeholders. Across our four business units, active measures and innovations are in place to mitigate our emissions, lower our consumption of resources, and reduce our carbon footprint. We are actively working on reducing our Scope 2 emission with the expanded use of biofuels for our fleet and renewable energy generation with the use of solar panels. We will be positioning a brand new battery operated barge for coastal bunkering operations in Fujairah in the first half of 2025. We are also the signatories to the First Movers Coalition, a John Kerry lead initiative, with a commitment to buy only goods and services that are as low to zero carbon as possible.
Ashish Kohli, Founder, Ashish Kohli Design (AKD)
AKD embraces sustainability through various strategies. We prioritise using eco-friendly and locally-sourced materials to minimise our carbon footprint. Energy-efficient practices, such as utilising natural lighting and implementing smart climate control and solar panels, contribute to our efficient designs. We also emphasise on durability, promoting the longevity of a space and consequently reducing waste. Collaboration with sustainable suppliers and fostering a culture of environmental awareness within the team further reinforce our commitment.
Additionally, we incorporate green spaces within our designs, promoting a connection to nature. In various residential projects, we have elevated living spaces through the seamless integration of smart technology. Implementation of cutting-edge smart lighting systems, home automation, and energy-efficient appliances has become a hallmark of our designs. By prioritising these technologies, we not only enhance the overall living experience for residents but also significantly reduce energy consumption. For businesses aiming to prioritise sustainability, my advice is to integrate environmental responsibility into their core strategies.
Abhishek Jajoo Founding Partner & Group CEO, AJMS GLOBAL
Sustainability and ESG-related risks have already approached us in the form of transition risk related to the policies and regulations as well as cross-border trade. The UAE being the leader with 40 per cent Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) goal, we expect this transition to be much faster. As an ESG practitioner, we ensure that AJMS and its clients are well equipped and ahead in terms of dealing with these risks.
We expect that companies will start adopting a sense of internal carbon price and have an anticipation of the carbon policy across businesses. We need more products with the environment product declarations. A transition towards greening the supply chains is also expected.
It’s important that all businesses benchmark themselves for the right sustainability aspirations and the key starting point could be calculating the complete GHG inventory for the business on the operations side and ESG friendly products on the sales side.
Nitesh Gupta and Ankit Gupta, Directors, Metworld
Our business model is centred on an unwavering dedication to sustainability, prioritising it over profits. We consistently invest time and capital to integrate sustainable practices into our operations. This involves the introduction of new machinery, cutting-edge technology, and optimising existing processes to maximise output while minimising environmental impact.
Our widespread footprint in Africa reflects a commitment to sustainable practices integrated in our operations. We champion sustainability across our diverse plants, exemplified by eco-friendly initiatives such as steel manufacturing and automotive oil recycling.
For businesses aiming to prioritise sustainability, our advice is to integrate eco-friendly practices throughout their operations. Embrace renewable energy, reduce carbon footprint, adopt circular economy principles, and engage in transparent reporting. Collaborate with stakeholders, stay abreast of evolving sustainability standards, and leverage innovation to contribute meaningfully to the global environmental agenda.
Dhananjay Datar, Managing Director, Adil Group
We have taken a holistic approach with regard to the integration of sustainability in operations. We have minimised waste generation in our production processes as well as throughout our supply chain and have implemented responsible sourcing practices. In our organisation, we foster a culture of environmental responsibility. We regularly educate employees on sustainability practices and involve them in all our sustainability initiatives.
It is important to comply with local and international environmental regulations. Organisations should engage with all stakeholders on sustainability issues. It is important to set targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as well as invest in carbon offset projects and consider carbon-neutral or carbon-negative initiatives.
Sherif Beshara, Group CEO, American Hospital Dubai
American Hospital Dubai launched its sustainability policy this November to further consolidate its commitment to reducing its carbon footprint, optimising the lifecycle of its resources, and achieving energy resilience.
The hospital reduced its Energy Use Intensity (EUI) from 47.00 in 2020 to 34.00 in 2022, saved 20,384,129 kWh (kilowatt-hours), conserved 2,176 gallons of water daily and 21,900 litres through green solutions. These are just a few examples.
We recycled 3,653 metric tons (MT) of CO2 emissions from waste and 2,145 MT of CO2 from cars annually, planted equivalent of one acre of forest cover on our premises, and grew 261,359 trees over 10 years.
Businesses must join strategy with action implementation and measurability to achieve outcome-led progress. It’s the only way to set sustainability into motion.
Muhammad Ali Saeed Shaikh, CEO, Shaikh Mohd. Saeed Group
Shaikh Mohd. Saeed Group of companies not only aligns with global environmental goals but also sets a benchmark for responsible business practices in the luxury perfume industry. Our brand’s commitment to a greener and more responsible future stands as a testament to both craftsmanship and the planet. Shaikh Mohd. Saeed Perfumes not only crafts exquisite fragrances but also shapes a fragrance industry that values sustainability at its core.
My advice to fellow entrepreneurs is to integrate sustainability into the core of your ventures. Embrace eco-friendly practices, invest in renewable energy initiatives and opt for responsible sourcing. By setting our business objectives in harmony with earth-friendly goals, we can help make the world a more liveable and environmentally friendly place.
Gulam Mustafa, Founder & CEO, Decent Group of Companies
On this auspicious occasion of the UAE’s 52nd Union Day, it’s with great pleasure and pride that I extend my heartfelt congratulations to every one especially the rulers of the UAE. As we join the nation in celebrating this momentous occasion, I would also like to take a moment to commemorate a significant milestone for our company – this is our 15th year in the UAE. In the spirit of the UAE’s commitment to a sustainable future, we, at Decent Group of Companies, continue to integrate sustainable practices into our business operations.
We wish that our company makes a meaningful impact and contributes to the larger goals of our nation and the global community. Organising COP28 is a testament to the UAE’s dedication to addressing global environmental challenges. As a company operating in the UAE, we are looking forward to actively participate in this global movement towards sustainability.
Vivek Sinha, Founder, Vision Catalyst
At Vision Catalyst, sustainability is embedded into our DNA. This helps us foster a culture where every team member champions our vision. Our innovative approach includes energy-efficient retrofits to reduce carbon footprints. For businesses eyeing sustainability amid COP28 and beyond, seize the opportunity for growth and eco-preservation. Decarbonisation is no longer a choice but a vital business imperative. Embrace sustainable construction by retrofitting more, minimising energy use, and adopting low-carbon practices. Let COP28 be the catalyst for change, propelling the construction sector towards a greener, more sustainable future.
Harish Tahiliani, Managing Director, Arab India Spices
Sustainability just like digitalisation can be an accelerator. In fact, it’s pretty much synonymous with optimisation. So as we make the shift from automation to the information economy — defined by the use of data and insights for making smarter, more intelligent decisions — there’s never been a better time to embrace both. Some might see the combination of sustainability and digitalization as double trouble. But they are actually two sides of the same coin—offering the chance for synergy, efficiency savings and double-digit growth.
We have already started working on Environment, Social, Governance (ESG) factors to pursue a sustainability framework. I hope by the next year, we will achieve our set targets. We have already started working on our carbon footprint, plastic-based reduction, sustainability in supply chain management and labour practices.
Business leaders extend greetings on the UAE’s 52nd Union Day
Kamal Vachani, Group Director & Partner, Al Maya Group
As the UAE celebrates its 52nd Union Day, I wish the leadership, government and people of the UAE a pleasant and joyous day. The sophisticated infrastructure, world-class education system, sustainable economic development, cultural diversity, tourism opportunities, and the highest standards of safety and security all stand as a testament to the hard work and dedication of the rulers of the UAE.
The economic diversification initiatives, visionary leadership, education and social policies, and the robust healthcare systems reflect the government’s sustained efforts to improve the well-being of its people. The UAE has continually pushed the boundaries of innovation in all sectors and this is a shining example for the rest of the world.
As part of Al Maya Group, I am proud to be able to contribute to the development of this nation and offer our services to the people of the UAE. We have always strived to go the extra mile and extend outstanding customer service in every sphere of our operations.
Let’s come together on this Union Day and express our admiration for the growth of this country. May we, as a nation, continue to march ahead on the path of progress and prosperity. Happy 52nd Union Day!
Dr Shareef Abdul Khader, MD, ABC Cargo & Courier
The UAE is not just a place; it’s a mosaic of dreams, friendships, and shared moments that makes it uniquely ours. Today, let’s not only celebrate the accomplishments and progress but also cherish the connections we’ve forged, the smiles exchanged, and the support given during both triumphs and challenges. May this Union Day be a reminder of the strength found in unity and the beauty of diversity. Here’s to the shared laughter and the promising chapters yet to be written together.
Wishing you a joyous Union Day filled with pride, reflection, and a sense of belonging.
Promoting the potentials of the UAE
Clint Khan, Director, Y-Axis Middle East
At Y-Axis, we recognise the UAE’s dynamic and thriving environment as an ideal destination for study, work, and business expansion. To promote the UAE, we leverage a multi-faceted approach. We conduct comprehensive campaigns and workshops highlighting the unique opportunities in the UAE for education, career growth, and business ventures. These include seminars and webinars where potential immigrants can learn about the lifestyle, economic prospects, and cultural richness of the UAE. We have established strong partnerships with educational institutions and businesses in the UAE. These collaborations enable us to provide updated information and tailored advice to our clients about the varied opportunities available in the region.
We’ve digitised many of our services and processes, enhancing efficiency and reducing our environmental footprint. This shift to digital platforms has also made our services more accessible to clients worldwide, aligning with our goal of seamless and sustainable operations. At Y-Axis, we’re committed to sustainability. This commitment is reflected in our office operations, where we minimise waste and maximise energy efficiency. We also encourage our clients and partners to adopt eco-friendly practices, promoting a sustainable approach to living and working in the UAE.