KPMG in Kuwait conducts first seminar on ESG; places urgency on its implementation and reporting

Considering rising investor concerns and expectations pertaining to environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, KPMG in Kuwait held an exclusive seminar to help organizations understand how they can integrate ESG into their businesses on 29 November 2023. The event also aimed to put more light on the implications of climate change, their impact on businesses’ bottom line, and how potential opportunities within the marketplace can be leveraged.

The seminar came in the light of climate change emerging as a matter of increasing global urgency and a potential marketplace both locally and globally. As a result of this upshot, organizations are finding it challenging to tackle climate-related risks and/or tap into possible growth pools.

Opening the event, Dr. Rasheed Al-Qenae, Managing Partner, KPMG in Kuwait, said, 

The seminar focused on all three components of ESG, i.e., environment, social and governance, and featured three guest speakers: Charbel Moussa, Decarbonization Subject Matter Expert and Partner, KPMG Netherlands, Kal Subramanian, ESG Subject Matter Expert, KPMG in Bahrain, and Naren Pasupalati, ESG Subject Matter Expert, KPMG in Bahrain.

The speakers laid special emphasis on how business leaders can lead sustainable development from the front, contribute to the sustained well-being of communities, promote IDE (inclusion, diversity and equity) and uphold human rights.

Speaking at the session, Charbel Moussa, Decarbonization Subject Matter Expert and Partner, KPMG Netherlands, highlighted the importance of transparency, accountability and ethical leadership across organizations. He said, 

Boursa Kuwait made a formal commitment to drive corporate sustainability in financial markets in 2017, becoming a member of the United Nations Sustainable Stock Exchange (SSE) initiative and introducing its initial Sustainability Disclosure Guide.

In 2021, the exchange updated its metrics to incorporate ESG related initiatives and metrics, launching the first ESG Reporting Guide for listed companies entitled "Unified Direction for a Sustainable Future." The Kuwaiti stock exchange then went on to play a pivotal role in developing the optional GCC ESG metrics with the GCC Stock Exchanges Committee, a noteworthy initiative launched in 2023.

These endeavors are key in highlighting the increasing need of market stakeholders for timely sustainability-related information as well as the implementation, adoption and promotion of sustainable finance in the banking sector. 

The in-person seminar took place at Four Seasons Hotel, Kuwait City, and saw participation from industry leaders across sectors in finance, banking, technology and oil & gas, among others. 

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