Emirates Environmental Group conducted its 2nd Panel Discussion of 2023 on 23rd June in association with Arabia CSR Network and supported by EmiratesGBC, Clean Energy Business Council and the Swiss Business Council. The panel discussion was hosted by Holiday Inn, Al Barsha, between 10:00 am and 12:30 pm. The discussion aimed to branch out to key industry players who hold direct influence over advancing sustainability and achieving net zero goals.
Mrs. Habiba Al Mar’ashi, Co-founder and Chairperson of EEG commenced the discussion by reflecting on EEG’s journey in the first six months of 2023 and introduced the heated topic for the session. She stated: “We have constantly strived to steer the planet towards a balanced and sustainable path. However, post analysis of the aftermath of anthropogenic activities; it is now time to dissect the root cause of the downfall of sustainability – the Interlink between poverty, health & hunger! To foster a more equitable and resilient society, we need to bring pharmaceuticals, leading F&B industries and the healthcare industry and sectors into the equation to determine their impact on climate change and halt the further possible environmental degradation”.
She further added. “We have invested much of our time in learning of solar energy and fossil fuels for far too long, when actually we have on one hand the Pharma as one of the highest carbon-emitting industries in the market! According to a recent report, “The pharmaceuticals and life sciences industry accounts for approximately 4.5% of worldwide greenhouse gases (GHG), putting it amongst some of the most carbon-intensive service sectors in the industrialised world.”
This asserts that pharmaceuticals, the healthcare sector and F&B industries require an immediate overhaul as sustainability nowadays is beyond just the reusing and recycling of products, rather considering how emission-intensive the sectors are, it requires an approach which positively impacts human welfare by encouraging the revamping of existing strategies that focus on decarbonisation and provide equal health care for all humans on the planet by improving living conditions.
To discuss the socioeconomic impact on sustainability, the discussion brought to the stage key subject matter experts.
The distinguished panel of speakers were:
- Dr. Markos Tibbo, Officer-in-charge at FAO Sub regional Office for GCC States and Yemen & FAO representative in the UAE
- Mrs. Latha Ekambaram, Chemical Industry Expert in Business Growth Transformation and Strategy.
- Mrs. Caroline Kiunga, Community Relations Officer at ISMEA UPS Foundation
- Mr. Mohammad Raheem, Quality Compliance Team Lead at Julphar Gulf Pharmaceutical Industries.
The session addressed several important points such as:
- To identify the link between poverty, hunger and heath and its implication on sustainability.
- To accelerate the achievement of SDGs related to health, poverty and hunger.
- To promote the efficient use of resources and equitable distribution of food and medical treatments locally and globally.
- To identify the correlation of socioeconomic status of an entity in poverty filled areas to produce sustainable medical treatments and its impact on the environment.
- To bring to light the carbon footprint of the pharmaceutical industry to global platforms and work towards the achievement of sustainability.
- To bring together different stakeholders to identify and address the progress of the relevant industries.
As is customary, EEG designed, developed and executed the panel discussion to address several of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, including SDG #1 No Poverty, SDG #2 Zero Hunger, SDG #3 Good Health and Well-Being, SDG #8 Decent Work & Economic Growth, SDG #9 Industry Innovation & Infrastructure, SDG# 10 Reduced Inequalities, SDG #12 Responsible Consumption & Production, SDG #13 Climate Action, SDG #16 Peace, Justice & Strong Institutions & SDG #17 Partnership for the Goals.
The speakers shared valuable knowledge during their discourse, the session concluded with a lively interactive session where the expert speakers and audience, including industry business leaders, UN entities, Diplomatic Corps, government officials, students from high schools & universities, and the media, shared their views, discussed doubts, verbalised their concerns, and addressed challenges, including identifying existing weaknesses in frameworks which directly impact the socioeconomic status of the country and positions the UAE to be one of the pioneering countries to pave the path to establishing a circular and sustainable economy not just as a vision but a reality.