Complex Made Simple

Bold moves: 166 GCC businesses aim for sustainable growth

166 Gulf businesses sign up for The Business Pledge on the first day of its launch

* The Business Pledge serves as a commitment and a guide towards sustainable growth

* A recently conducted survey found that 92 per cent of respondents believe working towards sustainable goals would positively impact their businesses

The Gulf business sector seems to be taking solid steps to prioritise sustainable development as they march into the future: no less than 166 GCC firms have signed up for the “Business Pledge” on the first day of its launch.

The Business Pledge, launched last Thursday at the Pearl Initiative and UN Global Compact’s regional forum, serves as a commitment and a guide to the private sector’s journey towards responsible, sustainable growth.

The forum’s theme this year was “Sustainability in Action: Business and the Sustainable Development Goals” and it explored topics under “Sustainability in Business”, serving as a call to action for creating diversity in the workplace, as well as enhancing inclusiveness and achieving competitive economies.

“What is uniquely different about the SDGs’ inclusive and holistic approach is just how clearly the role of business has been articulated in this new agenda,” said Badr Jafar, CEO of Crescent Enterprises and founder of The Pearl Initiative.

“We are an essential component of humanity’s vision for a more sustainable world. Business also has a unique role to play in embracing technological change and globalisation to promote equitable prosperity and thereby build resilience within our societies and economies. Our region’s vision for sustainable development utterly depends on the private sector’s ability to integrate our economy, society and our environment,” Jafar added.

The Business Pledge stands on four main pillars: Setting Targets for Sustainable and Responsible Growth, Ensuring a More Inclusive Workplace, Promoting Integrity, and Collaborations and Partnerships.

Earlier this month, The Pearl Initiative conducted a survey engaging business leaders from the region, which revealed that 92 per cent of respondents believed working towards SDGs would positively impact their business sustainability.

Meanwhile, 80 per cent believed that multi-stakeholder collaborations were essential to move the SDG agenda forward and 64 per cent claimed their companies have made a commitment towards SDG.

Despite this, only 20 per cent believed the majority of regional companies will be effectively implementing initiatives to progress SDGs in the coming five years.