The annual conference examined opportunities and challenges of investing in the circular economy, projected to create US$4.5 trillion in economic benefits over the coming decade…reports Asian Lite News
More than 150 participants, including sustainability and CSR experts, business leaders and academics, came together for the Dubai Dialogue 2021 conference, organised by Dubai Chamber’s Centre for Responsible Business at Expo 2020 Dubai.
The annual conference, held under the theme “Accelerating the Transition to a Circular Economy”, examined opportunities and challenges of investing in the circular economy, projected to create US$4.5 trillion in economic benefits over the coming decade.
Among the speakers and panellists were Hamad Buamim, President and CEO, Dubai Chamber; Professor Dr. Dima Rachid Jamali, Dean, College of Business Administration, University of Sharjah; Dr. Kamel Mellahi, Senior Manager, Dubai Chamber’s Centre for Responsible Business; Samira Al Rais, Senior Director, Policy and Strategy, Sustainable Development, The General Secretariat of The Executive Council, Government of Dubai; Omar Channawi, CEO, Middle East, Sub-Sahara Africa and Global Entrepreneurial Markets, Procter and Gamble, and Dr. Udo Huenger, Vice President Middle East, BASF.
In his welcome remarks, Buamim said that the circular economy is necessary to protect the environment, improve the integrity of the distribution and supply network of raw materials, enhance competitiveness, foster innovation and stimulate sustainable economic growth.
He highlighted the importance of adopting smart and sustainable ways to manage the operational processes of enterprises, considering that they improve economic efficiency and reduce negative impacts on the environment.
“Sustainability is a key pillar of Dubai’s vision and Dubai Chamber is committed to supporting this vision by encouraging companies to adopt responsible and sustainable business practices. The Centre for Responsible Business, established by the Chamber 17 years ago, plays a vital role in fostering a culture of sustainability within business communities,” Buamim added.
During the panel discussion, business leaders and industry experts shared their strategic plans for capitalising on growth opportunities created by the circular economy and recommendations for implementing best practices and solutions in this area.
Dr. Huenger said, “By 2030, we, at BASF, want to double our sales of solutions for the circular economy to €17 billion and already by 2025, we aim to process 250,000 metric tonnes of recycled and waste-based raw materials in our production plants annually, replacing fossil raw materials. We are actively looking into partnerships with our Middle Eastern customers to bring innovative technologies that better use and reuse existing materials to the region.”
“P&G’s Ambition 2030 goals aim to reduce our footprint and strive for circular solutions, and so we are constantly innovating, collaborating and taking action to contribute to the circular economy across our portfolio of brands,” Channawi said.
“Events such as Expo 2020 and Dubai Dialogue 2021 will play an instrumental role in exploring new business models and multi-stakeholder partnerships to drive circularity on climate, water and waste now and for the long term. There is no doubt a circular economy is a key building block to an economy that grows while protecting the planet,” he added.
“We cannot privatise profits and publicise losses. Today’s business equation is quite simple: Let us disrupt the old ways of doing business and move beyond incremental progress through new circular economy models, innovative technologies and collective effort” Dr. Jamali said.
Al Rais said, “Circular Economy is aligned with Dubai’s future plans as it plays an essential role in building a stable and sustainable future for our city. As policymakers, we have a duty to not just constantly review and revise existing systems but also ease the way for impactful change to take place. Through Dubai Dialogue, we are looking at how building a circular economy can help businesses grow sustainably, find synergies that work and help our cities flourish while having the best interests of our people and planet at heart.”