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Dubai Chamber forum discusses energy trends and key strategies

CEO Forum is the first event of the Sustainability Week forming part of the Chamber’s 50th anniversary celebrations

The Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Centre for Responsible Business (CRB) opened the Sustainability Week with the CEO Forum on Sustainable Energy at the Chamber premises on Sunday, October 18.

The week-long activities, which comes as part of the Chamber’s 50th anniversary celebrations, concludes on October 23.

The forum attended by H.E. Majid Al Shamsi, 1st Vice Chairman, Dubai Chamber and several representatives from the government focused on discussing current energy trends and key strategies for the UAE to move towards a sustainable energy future.

The discussion looked at highlighting some of the key initiatives being undertaken to address future energy challenges and opportunities. The panelist also discussed the role of technology, policy development, innovation and collaboration to secure the energy future for UAE.

The forum has two panel sessions moderated by Nick Carter, Associate Director, Baringa Partners LLP. The first panel discussion on Sustainable Energy – Challenges and Opportunities in UAE, included Waddah Ghanem, Executive Director, EHSSQ & Corporate Affairs, ENOC, Paola Ferreira, Conservation & Climate Director, EWS-WWF, Nathan Weatherstone, Head of Renewable Energy, National Bank of Abu Dhabi, and Khaled Bushnaq, CEO, Energy Management Services, Emirates.

The second panel discussion on Future Outlook for Energy, Role of Technology, Innovation and Collaborative Action, was attended by Alex Mussallam, CEO, Enova, Moosa Al-Moosa, President UAE & Finance Director, IMEA, Dow Chemicals, Sami Khoreibi, CEO, Enviromena, Yousuf Lootah, Executive Director, Dubai Tourism, and Sandrine Le Biavant, Director Consultancy, Farnek.

In his welcome address, H.E. Al Shamsi stated that Dubai aims to become one of the top ten sustainable cities in the world by 2020 under the vision of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice-President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai.

He further stated that the Dubai Government is focusing on energy efficiency and conservation and is emphasizing on incorporating renewable energy as businesses and governments around the world are incorporating sustainability into their energy policies and long-term development plans and UAE is playing a lead role in this region.

“On its part, Dubai Chamber, which has been focusing on energy saving methods for the last 15 years for its retrofitted green building and we are committed to pursuing this in the long run. We are also integrating sustainability across all our operations and are closely looking at our practices affecting the workplace, the market place, the environment and the community while setting an example for the business community to follow suit,” said H.E. Al Shamsi.

The forum highlighted some of the key initiatives being undertaken to address future energy challenges and opportunities as the panellists discussed the role of technology, policy development, innovation and collaboration to secure the energy future for the UAE in the wake of the rise in demand for energy which is expected to double by the year 2050.

The “Sustainability Week” organised under the theme ‘Ma’an معاً– (Together) Our World, Our Responsibility’, is a collaborative effort by the Dubai Chamber Centre for Responsible Business and its members to bring together people from all parts of the society to engage in sustainability. The week is marked with a series of events and seminars exchanging information and experiences on best business practices in the application of corporate social responsibility and sustainability in the business community.

The week-long initiative looks at covering various topics like Innovation for SMEs, Sustainable Energy, Road Safety, and Workplace inclusion for People with Disabilities, Through the Sustainability Week the Centre is also launching several campaigns and initiatives such as the financial literacy for workers, waste management campaign and the Sustainability Fair to name a few.

The Centre for Responsible Business, which was formed in 2004 and celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2014, plays an important role in instilling a culture of responsible business in the UAE. The Centre assists Dubai Chamber members to apply responsible business practices that enhance their performance and competitiveness. It also provides research, training and events related to the concept of corporate social responsibility while raising the profile of Dubai as a sustainable business destination.