Sign In

News Details



 Catalog-Item Reuse ‭[1]‬

 Catalog-Item Reuse ‭[2]‬

News Details

Sustainable Practices can Give Abu Dhabi Exporters a Competitive Advantage

Monday, September 17, 2012
The seminar was co-sponsored by UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ (MoFA) Directorate of Energy Climate Change and the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Group (ADSG). In her opening remarks, Ms. Ms. Huda Al Houqani, ADSG Director and member of the ADSG’s General Secretariat, commented “The Abu Dhabi Sustainability Group works with companies to increase sustainable practices that work here in Abu Dhabi. This seminar aligns with our mission to make companies more competitive and profitable through sustainable practices.”. Mr. Majid Al Suwaidi of the MoFA observed during his opening remarks, “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs wants to see companies increase their competitiveness through sustainability. Each company that does increase its sustainability contributes to the nation’s sustainability.”Mr. Jack Whiteside Vice President, Middle East of Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), introduced Mr. Michael Mondshine, Vice President and Senior Policy Analyst at SAIC, who led the seminar. SAIC is a “FORTUNE 500” scientific, engineering, and technology applications company. In early 2012, the company opened its Abu Dhabi office, but has operated in the CGG market for more than 30 years.Mr. Mondshine is responsible for integrating delivery of strategic risk management services associated with water, waste, energy and climate change. Between 1993 and 2009, he led SAIC’s Climate Change Services Practice. Internally, he serves on SAIC’s Sustainability Working Group, something of a Chief Sustainability Officer by committee.  Mr. Mondshine serves on the board of the Association of Climate Change Officers (ACCO). He is on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Roster of Experts on greenhouse gas emissions inventory preparation and baseline methods for JI and CDM projects. Notably, his contribution to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 2007 Nobel Peace Prize was recognized. Mr. Mondshine holds a Masters in Public Policy from Georgetown University.  Mr. Mondshine began the seminar by saying, “I am not here to tell you to practice sustainability because it is good for the environment, because it will make you feel good. I am here to show you that sustainability can make your company more competitive in your supply chain and with your customers, it can make your company more profitable.”Building a sustainability economy is a core component to the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030. Mr. Mondshine commented that sustainability for companies is about growing and being profitable, a benefit of this is sustainable use of resources. Between 2002 and 2012, the United Arab Emirates has moved higher on international country rankings of environmental sustainability, from #142 to #77.According to the speaker, some of the benefits of sustainable practices are fewer sick days and injuries of employees, higher employee retention rates, increase productivity, and lower expenses. Mr. Mondshine provide an example at SAIC. The company requested bids for energy supply and required 10% of the energy come from renewable sources. The company saved over US$300,000, the payback was 109%. The savings were allocated to other sustainability projects.The attendees participated in a series of activities to measure their companies’ level of sustainability. The first of these activities was to rate their company’s level of sustainability at the very beginning of the seminar. The last activity, after learning about the Sustainability Maturity Model and its components, was to rate their company again.  Some of the seminar’s take-a-ways for attendees included: that sustainability is about environment, social and business components and considerations. If one of these is missing, then it is not sustainability.  Also, if a good or service does not work, it is not sustainable.The seminar’s attendees complemented the event. One attendee from the manufacturing sector commented, “We already incorporate sustainability in our operations; however, we are learning more that will allow us to get better.” This was opinion was endorsed by another attendee, “What I am learning today we can use back at our company.” A third attendee, spoke about the knowledge of the speaker, “I know something about sustainability, but today has increased my knowledge more.”  A final attendee from the aviation sector commented, “We have implemented sustainability into our company a couple of months ago. This event gives us greater direction and the knowledge that we are going in right direction.
Follow us