Saeed Al Abbar Chairman of EmiratesGBC
Emirates Green Building Council (EmiratesGBC), an independent forum aimed at conserving the environment by strengthening and promoting green building practices, has been formally accepted as a participant of the United Nations Global Compact, a strategic policy initiative that aligns the operations of members with ten universally accepted principles including environmental sustainability.
EmiratesGBC is currently one of only two Business Association participants of the UN Global Compact from the UAE. The UN Global Compact participants include UN agencies, labour organisations, civil society, academic, public sector and cities. The UAE has over 50 participants including the city of Dubai.
With nearly 12,000 business and non-business participants in 140 countries, the UN Global Compact is the largest voluntary corporate responsibility initiative in the world. It sets a practical framework for the development, implementation and disclosure of sustainability policies and practices, and offers the participants a wide spectrum of workstreams, management tools and resources — all designed to help advance sustainable business models and markets.
Saeed Al Abbar, Chairman of EmiratesGBC, said the addition of the Council as a participant of the UN Global Compact is a strong testament to the role it plays in promoting environmental sustainability. “Through our participation, we can support our stakeholders in the building industry supply chain to further adapt global best practices to conserve our natural resources and promote environmental sustainability.”
He added: “The induction of EmiratesGBC to the UN Global Compact will further lend momentum to our activities to promote green building practices, as it opens doors to an array of resources including the UN’s knowledge and experience with sustainability, in addition to providing opportunities for information exchange with global experts. It will also enable us to set up an established and globally recognised policy framework for the development, implementation, and disclosure of environmental, social, and governance policies and practices.”
The UN Global Compact works toward a sustainable and inclusive global economy, which delivers lasting benefits to people, communities, and markets, while promoting the spirit of volunteerism. As a Participant, EmiratesGBC will adhere to the principles laid down by the UN Global Compact as well as submit an annual posting of the ‘Communication on Progress’ document, a public disclosure to stakeholders on progress made in implementing the ten principles of the UN Global Compact, and in supporting broader UN development goals.
The ten principles laid out by the UN Global Compact are derived from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Labour Organisation's Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development and the United Nations Convention Against Corruption. They cover four key areas including human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. The environmental principles are that businesses should support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges, undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility and encourage the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies.
EmiratesGBC regularly hosts and participates in multinational events, conferences and forums, and has developed a suite of activities, inclusive of networking events, technical workshops, focus days and facilitated training based around specific issues related to the built-environment that meet the needs of its members, of the UAE community, and the wider Middle East.