In line with its environmental commitment, and the announcement of the UN secretary General Ban ki-moon on choosing UAE as a member of the High-Level Panel on Global Sustainability, The department of Economic Development in Abu Dhabi issued today its first report on sustainability.DED undersecretary H.E. mohamed Omar Abdullah, received the first copy of the report from the report team accompanied by Ms. Noura Hasan Al Hosani, the acting director of strategic planning and performance management.In his foreword, H.E Nasser Ahmed Al Suwaidi, Chairman of the Department of Economic Development in Abu Dhabi, said: “Governments worldwide are increasingly faced with the sustainable development dilemma especially in response to the recent financial crisis, where it became mandatory to build economies on more robust elements, such as effective governance principles, diversified economic activities, and fair wealth distribution throughout the population, while protecting environmental resources in order to sustain the development process”.H.E. added: “The Department of Economic Development (DED), and since the law no. 2 (2009) was issued to establish DED as a replacement for the Department of Planning and Economy (DPE), has worked hardly to realign all efforts to become the economic policy maker in accordance with Abu Dhabi’s vision 2030. Main functions include economic planning and research, economic agenda policy and regulation, promotion of trade and investment, enterprise and regional development, and market enablement and supervision, where DED is striving to enable sustainable development in Abu Dhabi. Moreover, DED has revised its strategic plan to fulfill the needs and expectations of all stakeholder groups”.He stressed that : “DED strongly believes in its role to meet sustainability requirements as defined by worldwide guidelines and best practices. For financial effects, DED is enhancing the utilization of financial resources through proper planning of strategic initiatives, controlling expenses, and increasing revenues by introducing new value-adding services. Regarding social effects, DED is seeking to increase customer satisfaction though enhancing services, in addition to attracting local employees, empowering local women especially in managerial positions, and effectively participating in divers community activities. And finally, for environmental effects, DED is building an integrated system to manage the environment, health, and safety. Moreover, DED is utilizing electronic archiving and publishing systems in addition to efficient lightening devices in order to reduce paper and electricity consumption”.And he concluded that : “We have showed strong commitment towards sustainability by publishing this report in order to foster transparency against stakeholders, enrich social responsibility culture, and enhance our capabilities to achieve strategic objectives”.Commenting on the report, H.E. Mohamed Omar Abdullah, Undersecretary of DED said: “the report proves the commitment of the department to abide by all the requirements of sustainability, as stated by the Abu Dhabi sustainability group’s charter, which we pride ourselves to be one of the founding entities in 2008”.H.E. added: “this first report represents to us a scientific reference tool, which will enable us to measure the progress we will make towards achieving sustainability in all what we do, and it will become very useful in benchmarking our progress in the future”.He explained that “The first DED’s sustainability report is considered as a valuable document that supports internal and external strategic analysis. Mainly, this report will be used as an input to update the organization’s strategy in addition to benchmark the performance with similar public and private entities.
Noting that: “Sustainability reporting process was a rich and deep journey with so many interesting lessons learned, which will provide a huge momentum in preparing subsequent reports. We look forward to become one of the sustainability pioneers in Abu Dhabi and to collaborate with our partners in this field”.
H.E. thanked the report team which consisted of more than 20 experts and specialists from DED, who worked hard in gathering the required data and present the report in a timely manner.
The 50 pages’ report published on DED website, deals with issues directly related to the five year strategy and key work areas stated at the law of establishing DED, the law number 2 of the year 2009, while giving a special interest to key issue of stakeholders, be it local or federal entities, as well as the local and international private sector and all residents of abu dhabi.The report measures with figures and numbers the financial, environmental and community impact of DED as being a local government entity mandated to develop its business procedures in order to better serve the society in which it operates.Issuing the report is by itself a major step in Ded’s journey to sustainability, and is accompanied by many similar initiatives such as celebrating Earth Day, launching paper awareness campaigns, and the active participation at the initiative of paperless day, in addition to internal campaigns such as replacing the printed version of the internal newsletter by an electronic copy.