As part of its efforts to achieve the country’s sustainability agenda and sustainable development goals, the Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA), in collaboration with the Dubai Financial Market (DFM), organized a workshop titled “Public Companies and the Road to Achieving Sustainability Goals”.
Held under the patronage of H.E. Eng. Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansoori, Minister of Economy and Chairman of the SCA Board, the workshop—which took place in SCA’s Dubai office—was attended by H.E. Dr. Obaid Al Zaabi, SCA’s CEO; members of the senior management; investor relations managers; financial managers; and an elite group of experts and specialists in sustainable investing from the Dubai Financial Market (DFM), Aramex, and Standard & Poor’s.
Dr. Al Zaabi delivered the opening speech in which he stressed the importance of SCA’s role in supporting the sustainability agenda, thus ensuring the country’s financial stability and economic growth. He shed light on SCA’s sustainability initiatives, particularly the comprehensive roadmap announced early 2019, which constitutes the general framework through which SCA communicates its vision to its audience and industry actors and works with stakeholders and concerned parties to implement the roadmap.
Dr. Al Zaabi said that the workshop comes as part of the initiatives outlined under the awareness and education pillar of the roadmap. Such initiatives aim to raise awareness across listed companies of sustainability standards and the importance of their implementation and of how to assess compliance with the internationally-recognized standards in this regard. He said that the roadmap focuses on seven pillars, including education and awareness, rating and standard setting, legal and regulatory frameworks, market platforms and investment tools, corporate governance, transparency and disclosure, and awards and incentives.
In this context, Shyrose Osman, Head of Corporate Communications and Chair of the Sustainability Committee at DFM, reviewed DFM’s initiatives and efforts to promote the concept of sustainability and to encourage expansion in the implementation of green projects. Osman highlighted the importance of disclosing such projects and of preparing corporate performance reports in accordance with the recognized principles.
For his part, Raji Hattar, Chief Sustainability Officer at Aramex, reviewed Aramex’s experience in implementing sustainability standards and principles being one of the region’s leading companies that embedded in its operations policies, strategies, and practices that helped to mitigate negative environmental impacts, which effectively improved the environment in which the company operates.
Timucin Engin, Senior Director at Standard and Poor’s, displayed the advantages of sustainable investing and talked about how to assess companies that embed environmental, social, and governance (ESG) principles in their conduction of business. All lecturers indicated that there is an increased interest among investors across the globe in sustainable investing and a rise in the volume and value of assets invested in accordance with the ESG principles.
SCA intends to complete the Sustainable Capital Markets Master Plan by mid-2020. The plan’s completion requires the combined effort of all relevant actors to improve the UAE financial markets.