Understanding ESG as a Value Driver – KPMG Awareness Seminar
Abeer Al Saad, Executive Director at the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB)
Understanding ESG as a Value Driver – KPMG Awareness Seminar

KPMG in Bahrain recently organized a breakfast seminar to raise awareness within the business community to help better understand ESG as a significant value driver. The seminar hosted on September 11, 2023, at the Crowne Plaza in Manama witnessed a full house with over 100 industry professionals, representing a range of industries including Banking and Financial Services, Industrial, Oil & Gas/ Energy sector, Retail & FMCG, and even the education sector. The event highlighted critical trends and developments within the global marketplace in terms of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors and the potential impact it could have on future growth strategies for businesses in Bahrain and the wider region.

Led by global and regional experts and thought leaders in the field of ESG, decarbonization, net-zero, and renewable energy the event showcased ESG leaders including – Michael Hayes, Partner, KPMG Climate Change and Decarbonization Leader, Global Head of Renewable Energy, KPMG International; Benedikt Herles, EMA Head of ESG Insights & Innovation, Head of Country Practice Africa; Chrystelle Veeckmans, Partner, KPMG EMA Head of Asset Management; Kevin Naumann,  Partner, Head of Asset Management Consulting, KPMG in Germany; Kaisie Rayner, Sustainable Finance Leader, Global Decarbonization Hub; and Sarah O’Neill, KPMG Global ESG Hub, Sustainable Assurance. The seminar was moderated by curated by Kalyan Subramanian, Head of Markets and Director ESG Advisory Services, KPMG in Bahrain. The event provided a platform for the participants to engage, discuss and understand key issues directly linked to ESG related risks and opportunities in the Kingdom of Bahrain and how it may impact the region directly or indirectly.

With the COP28 scheduled to take place in Dubai later in the year, ESG related issues including climate action, net-zero, carbon transition, decarbonization, and the associated governance including shifts within the regulatory landscape are potentially going to impact the traditional ‘business as usual’ mindset across the region.

The event was graced and opened by Abeer Al Saad, Executive Director at the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB), who in her welcome note stated “Companies in Bahrain should take note of the significance of COP28 and its implications for their operations. It presents a multitude of opportunities for Bahrain and the region, including valuable investment and partnerships opportunities. The financial sector has a crucial role to play in creating and driving ESG opportunities and supporting the achievement of the Kingdom’s ambitions in line with net-zero, decarbonization and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. By embracing sustainable practices, businesses can position themselves for success in the evolving landscape of environmental responsibility and contribute towards a greener and more prosperous future.”

Jeyapriya Partiban, Partner Risk Consulting, ESG services and Head of Advisory Services, KPMG in Bahrain, also commented “I believe that ESG risks and opportunities provide business leaders with a unique platform to re-think and re-strategize their operations and future growth plans. ESG factors are significantly interconnected to traditional risks within conventional risk radars, and issues like of climate action, decarbonization, carbon transition and net-zero require businesses to embrace and invest in innovations including technological/ digital interventions to optimize their business processes. We at KPMG remain committed to supporting organizations in their ESG journeys and looks forward to providing valuable insights and guidance to the business community. Our esteemed speakers from the panels will represent KPMG International at the COP28 in Dubai later in the year and will focus on an approach as to how business leaders can break down barriers towards the progress, we need to make towards achieving our ambitions on climate action.”

The interactive session allowed participants to engage and network with the experts, to promote knowledge sharing and exploration of areas that could potentially impact their organizations. Attendees had the opportunity to better understand the latest ESG trends and developments within the global marketplace, global regulatory changes that could potentially impact their businesses and operations in the Kingdom of Bahrain.

Along with the rest of the world, the Kingdom of Bahrain has set ambitious goals, aiming to achieve Net-Zero by 2060 and a 30% reduction through decarbonization and energy efficiency initiatives by 2035. Additionally, the country is also a signatory to the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and the latest IVR report issued by the Ministry of Sustainable Development highlights a promising future for the Kingdom and the communities in Bahrain.