Abu Dhabi: The Abu Dhabi Sustainability Group (ADSG) today held a meeting in the presence of more than 3 0 of its member organisations. These include members from government entities, private companies and non-profit organisations in Abu Dhabi and other professionals concerned with sustainability. During the meeting, the ADSG focused on its flagship programme on Sustainable Procurement.
The programme targets the group’s members and all other non-member organisations that are interested to increase expertise and implement sustainable procurement. It focuses on changing institutional behavior and encourages them to adopt sustainable procurement policy in a way that achieves value for money on a whole life basis in terms of generating benefits not only to the organisation, but also to society and the economy whilst minimising damage to the environment.
So far, the programme attracted 30 government institutions, private companies and non-profit organisations of ADSG members who have contributed to the development of the programme agenda and framework.
Since the programme was launched in April 2012, three workshops have been held to increase awareness on sustainable procurement and provide members with opportunities to share experience network and increase their expertise on sustainable procurement and its economic, environmental and social benefits in order to create domestic market for sustainable goods, services and infrastructure.
Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak, Secretary General of EAD, said in her opening speech: “Abu Dhabi Government has adopted sustainable development principles to achieve its vision and policy agenda which consider as a framework encompassing the driving economic, environmental and social agendas that together will steer the Emirate towards sustainable development”.
As part of this vision towards sustainability for building a sustainable future, EAD established Abu Dhabi Sustainability Group with the support of the Executive Council of Abu Dhabi Emirate to contribute to the achievement of the Emirate’s vision to achieve a balanced development by embracing sustainability.
Al Mubarak noted that this flagship programme is one the pioneering initiatives that will support EAD in its efforts to encourage co-responsibility in Abu Dhabi and ensure that government entities, business and non-profit organisations are all partners in working towards achieving the goal of economic, environmental and social sustainability, as well as, to contribute to the strengthening of intercultural dialogue about global and local sustainability trends.
“It will also contribute to the implementation of the Environment Vision 2030 which encompasses goals to protect the environment by improving resource efficiency and promoting sustainable lifestyles. There are distinct opportunities for the Procurement Flagship Programme to feed into the cross-sectoral implementation of this vision by focusing on sustainable procurement in transport, waste management, buildings and infrastructure,” she added.
Huda Al Houqani, Director of the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Group, said: “through this programme, ASDG is seeking to raise awareness among procurement staff, suppliers and producers on the importance of sustainable procurement, whereby economic development, social development and environmental protection are balanced against business needs. We will also encourage more entities to join and support this programme. Paperless Day, which was launched by EAD in 2008, is one of the environmental initiatives facing over-consumption and securing a high level of sustainability towards a better life for all” .
During the quarterly meeting, international experiences in the implementation of sustainable procurement were highlighted including presentations from the Chartered Institute of Purchasing Supply (CIPS), the International Institute for Sustainable Development and the New Zealand Government Sustainability Programme.
The meeting also included a review of some of the local experiences in the field of green procurement including Masdar “buys green” programme and the Collaborative Capacity Building Initiative of the Emirates Nuclear Energy Company (ENEC).
The meeting concluded with participating members identifying programme priorities and proposed actions necessary to be implemented.
Since it was established in 2008, the ADSG has gathered 39 members and has launched many initiatives including training programmes, workshops and Hiwar sessions to promote sustainability management in Abu Dhabi. These initiatives aim to provide learning and knowledge sharing opportunities in a spirit of cooperation and open dialogue to embody Abu Dhabi Government’s vision to work towards a sustainable environment for a sustainable future.