Climate risks are emerging to the top of business agendas and boardroom conversations.
Over 100 business leaders within Bahrain’s business community recently attended a seminar hosted and facilitated by KPMG in Bahrain as a part of the workshops organized to support the ‘1st Sustainability Forum Middle East’ held in the Kingdom of Bahrain. The seminar focused on the role of the private sector in driving a positive impact towards achieving the Kingdom’s sustainable energy goals. The Kingdom of Bahrain has committed to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2060, and a 30% reduction through decarbonization and energy efficiency initiatives by 2035. During the event, held under the theme “Demystifying the Decarbonization Journey’, the delegates gained insights on leading practices across the globe, and what business leaders within the marketplace need to consider while planning, designing, and implementing their respective decarbonization strategies.
Jeyapriya Partiban, Partner and Head of Advisory at KPMG in Bahrain, welcomed the honorable delegates and guest speakers at the beginning of her speech, while explaining how topics related to Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) are increasingly becoming a recurring theme within boardrooms over the last decade, and highlighting that it is now critical for leaders across the marketplace to give these topics due focus. She also reinforced that this is now also on the radar of regulators, and very soon can be a compliance requirement for specific sectors.
Dr. Charbel Moussa, Partner leading Decarbonization Advisory Services at KPMG in the Netherlands and the keynote speaker, explained “just like how the pandemic had originated from one part of the world, but has had a significant impact on the global value-chains, resulting to economic slowdown in marketplaces worldwide; similarly, any climate risks at a global level would eventually impact businesses across the world as our economies are significantly interconnected. Businesses globally, are taking big strides to adapt and evolve their business processes to be able to better mitigate climate and social related risks (natural disasters, human rights, inclusion & diversity, infrastructure development, etc.), while also better preparing themselves to be able to leverage critical opportunities that arise through responsible business practices. At KPMG, we work with business leaders across industries to assess their decarbonization potential, set targets and develop the relevant pathways and transition plans to achieve their decarbonization ambitions in a process that is aligned to their core businesses.”
The attendees also had the opportunity to learn about some of the fundamental processes on decarbonization strategies from Kal Subramanian, ESG Subject Matter Expert and Head of Markets at KPMG in Bahrain. During his presentation, he emphasized the importance of focusing on the necessary behavioral change across the organization, which will help business leaders to sustain the impact from their initiatives while also acquiring the ‘buy-in’ from their stakeholders. ‘Organizations that starts working on their decarbonization strategy now will gain a competitive advantage by putting in the work before ESG reporting becomes a mandatory regulatory requirement. This includes monitoring, measuring, and managing the current carbon emission across the lifecycle of the business’ operations; and putting in a comprehensive framework that can guide the business towards its net-zero ambitions in line with the Kingdom’s ambitions.’
Dr. Moussa also encouraged companies to start investing in technology and digital interventions to support them in their ESG efforts. “No correct evaluations of carbon emissions can be done if data and information is not available. Decision makers need to analyze and have real-time visibility on the impact of their decisions before they can make significant decisions. This is where technology is essential for successful assessment, implementation, and the monitoring of impacts.’ Dr. Moussa commented.
The event took place on Wednesday, 11 January 2023 under the theme “Demystifying the Decarbonization Journey’. at the Downtown Rotana Hotel.