During the last few years, the UAE has implemented various measures to ensure that sustainability is at the forefront of companies’ goals. Some of the key initiatives driving this process include:

  1. The UAE has deployed extensive efforts towards driving sustainability forward in the country under the framework of the UAE Vision 2021, Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan, and in alignment with the UAE Green Agenda 2015-2030, the Paris Agreement and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (“SDGs”). The UAE government regards climate change as a significant concern and have enhanced their global participation and internal policies, placing themselves among regional leaders in climate action over the past decade.
  2. Abu Dhabi Vision 2030 which intends on building a sustainable and diversified economy that is well-integrated into the global economy.
  3. The Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA) requirement to issue sustainability reports for publicly listed companies. The aim is to provide all relevant and material information related to sustainability and show how companies are performing on relevant metrics, and how these factors are affecting the company’s strategy and performance.
  4. The Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) also unveiled its Sustainable Finance Agenda Declaration at the Abu Dhabi Sustainable Finance Forum (ADSFF). The declaration acknowledges the UAE’s and Abu Dhabi’s commitment to addressing climate change and to fostering and integrating green and sustainable finance in Abu Dhabi and the region.

Accordingly, many companies within the UAE have already established or are in the process of establishing either a separate ESG board committee or including the mandate of ESG in one of the existing board committee’s terms of reference to adequately oversee their ESG related activities. Drawing on insight from our interactions with directors and business leaders, we highlight seven topics for ESG or related board committees to bear in mind as they consider and carry out their 2022 agendas.

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