Businesses in the UAE are aware of their responsibility towards the environment and say they will do their bit to support the country in its efforts to promote sustainable development by joining the 'Heroes of the UAE Private Sector' campaign.
The Emirates Wildlife Society, in association with the World Wildlife Fund (EWS-WWF), has launched the first phase of the 'Heroes of the UAE Private Sector' campaign, asking companies to sign up on the campaign's website www.heroesoftheuae.ae.
The programme calls on businesses to play their part in tackling climate change by adopting more sustainable business practices and offers them the chance to win an environmental makeover.
This campaign is being launched in partnership with the Environment Agency- Abu Dhabi and Masdar, and follows the earlier two Heroes of the UAE campaigns for residents and for schools.
Ida Tillisch, Director of Business Development and Marketing at EWS-WWF, told Emirates Business: "Our objective is to raise awareness among the private sector in the UAE about the need to conserve the environment at all levels. We will be doing so by encouraging the private sector to join the campaign by putting before them the facts and figures about consumption and waste of energy and water in the private sector, and by making them aware of the fact that being environment-friendly is also good for the bottomline.
"We will put before them case studies of companies that followed the path of sustainable development and benefited from it. Once they become part of the campaign we will guide them towards how they can become more sustainable and hence more prosperous businesses."
Companies in the UAE welcomed the campaign and were upbeat about participating in the initiative.
Ajay Kumar, Senior Manager, Operations, Dulsco Waste Management Services, one of the many companies that this paper spoke to, said: "It seems like a good idea to participate in this 'Heroes of the Private Sector' campaign. We need to understand what they expect from us by participating in this initiative."
Companies participating in the campaign will also have a chance to win a green makeover, sponsored by the Emirates Foundation for Philanthropy and etisalat.
Tillisch said: "Companies participating in this campaign will also be able to take part in an competition where the top five firms that save the most energy and water will get a free green makeover. They will get a free green audit wherein experts will see where the waste is happening in the company and we will retrofit that firm for free. This makeover is worth Dh100,000 for each company and it will also save them money each month."
Peter Cleaves, CEO of Emirates Foundation, said: "The green makeover competition meets the Emirates Foundation's mission of promoting awareness of climate change and actions to confront it. We join EWS-WWF in urging companies in the UAE and their employees to reduce energy and water consumption. The energy and water audits and makeovers will help show the winning companies and others in their sector on how they can become even more sustainable." The Heroes of the UAE Private Sector campaign will also provide the participating companies with a business toolkit to help them in getting started with the initiative.
The business toolkit contains general information on sustainable business practices such as carpooling and carbon offsetting, as well as promotional tools and materials that companies can use to raise awareness among their employees.
As the campaign progresses, the business toolkit will grow to accommodate the needs of different sectors and industries.