Sharjah Chamber Of Commerce & Industry Establishes Local Arm Of World Business Council For Sustainable Development
BCSD-UAE to promote sustainable development through green projects, renewable energy & eco-friendly business practices
The Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) has announced that it today (Thursday, January 22, 2009) hosted the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) in a special meeting that led to the formal establishment of the Business Council for Sustainable Development United Arab Emirates (BCSD-UAE), under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed bin Sultan Al Qassimi, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Sharjah. The event also witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the newly-formed BCSD-UAE and the WBCSD, under the presence of H.E. Sheikh Issam bin Saqr Al Qassimi, President of the Sharjah Ruler’s Office, to establish a working relationship between the two entities and to increase the number of members from UAE in the WBCSD.
Among the officials present at the meeting were Ahmad Mohammad Al Midfaa, Chairman, SCCI; Hussein Mohammad Al Mahmoudi, Director General, SCCI; and Bjorn Stigson, President of WBCSD.
BCSD-UAE will advance sustainable development across the Emirates by promoting green projects, renewable energy, and environmentally-friendly business practices. SCCI is collaborating on the creation of a full range of real estate development "green solutions" that optimize both energy performance and costs without compromising operations and services.
"Today, development is insignificant if it is not sustainable. While striving for growth and rapid development, we need to ensure that resources are judiciously used so that the ability of future generations to meet their needs is not compromised," said Ahmad Mohammad Al Midfaa, Chairman, SCCI.
Al Midfaa also pointed out that an increasing number of companies from the private and public sector in the UAE are realizing the importance of adopting sustainable development principles and environmental friendly practices. "More and more organisations are recognising the economic benefits of adopting green standards. For instance, people have realised that the lifetime costs of green buildings are lower owing to the energy efficient and water conserving strategies adopted. Further, it is also a fact that if developers adopt green building strategies they can not only construct sustainable communities with indoor environmental quality, but can also support the preservation of energy and water resources," he said.
"As the Gulf’s most dynamic economy, the UAE’s potential in motivating the entire Arab World towards sustainable development is enormous. We are thus very pleased that we are able to establish our presence in the Emirates, and we look forward to see Sharjah in particular transition to more sustainable approaches to growth,â€ added Bjorn Stigson, President, WBCSD.
Membership benefits include free access to general meetings, workshops, seminars, and other special events; inclusion in the Annual House of Commons business/political dinner; and electronic newsletters including updates from the WBCSD. Members can also avail of speaking opportunities in local and foreign events; discounts on services and events; a Members Only information section on the Council website; publication of articles on the website library; best practice location visits; and promotional opportunities.
"The UAE’s economy remains vibrant due to its vision of sustainable development based on human capital, culture and infrastructure. H.H. Sheikh Dr. Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qassimi, Ruler of Sharjah and Member of the Supreme Council of the UAE, rightly believes that more attention should be directed towards inflation and the challenges posed by energy demands in order to attain this end. BCSD-UAE will be an important agent in the broader quest to attain balanced and sustainable development for the emirate," concluded Al Midfaa.
According to recent reports from the GCC’s energy sector, GCC countries will be investing USD 160 billion-USD 200 billion to boost energy output over the next 10-12 years to meet the increase in Gulf energy consumption.
The Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry was formed via an Amiri Decree issued in 1970 by His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah. SCCI assists in the organization of commercial, industrial and professional initiatives, provides consultation on economic projects and policies, and conducts data gathering and statistical research related to economic development. The Chamber protects and promotes the interests of its members and introduces them to regional and international corporate, government and special-interest groups. It also encourages greater participation of UAE Nationals in economic and commercial development.