23 MAY 2018

ADSW to explore role of industry convergence in accelerating sustainable development

Abu Dhabi, May 23, 2018: Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW), one of the world’s largest sustainability gatherings, has announced its theme for its next edition, which takes place from 12-19 January 2019.

ADSW 2019, under the theme titled ‘Industry Convergence: Accelerating Sustainable Development’, will explore how industries are adapting to the digital transformation under way in the global economy, and the new opportunities it is presenting to address global sustainability challenges.

At a suhoor reception for UAE dignitaries, foreign ambassadors and senior business leaders from more than 37 countries, the Zayed Sustainability Prize also introduced its five new award categories in health, food, energy, water and global high schools, while seeking to encourage both local and international support during its 11th annual awards cycle.

ADSW is widening its scope to align more closely with the UAE Vision 2021 and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The pillars of ADSW now address Energy and Climate Change, Water, the Future of Mobility, Space, Biotechnology, Tech for Good, Youth and Digitalisation.

“Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week has grown into one of the world’s most influential sustainability platforms, with each year being more successful than the last,” said Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar, Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company, the host of ADSW. "This growth is a reflection of the increased importance of sustainability internationally, as well as the impact of ADSW in promoting knowledge exchange and action on the most critical issues shaping the sustainability agenda.

“We welcome the expanded pillars of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week as a means to attract an even broader range of stakeholders to join the sustainability discussion and to innovate new approaches to addressing the challenges of climate change, resource scarcity and energy access,” Al Ramahi added.

The theme of digitalisation runs across the 2019 event. The rise of big data, machine learning and the Internet of Things (IoT) is allowing the global community to gain deeper insights into how our electricity grids, transportation systems and climate function, while presenting additional opportunities for knowledge sharing and collaboration. With the world generating more than 2.5 quintillion bytes of data each day, digitisation is leading to more informed decision making and improved approaches to sustainability.

Dr. Lamya Fawwaz, Executive Director for Brand & Strategic Initiatives at Masdar and Director, Zayed Sustainability Prize, said: “The rise of big data is revealing ever deeper insights into how the critical systems of our society and economy, from energy to health and to transport, function and interact. Digital convergence enabled by artificial intelligence offers an unprecedented opportunity to further accelerate sustainable development through the positive impact of technological innovation. Weare excited about the potential of technology to drive human progress as technology used for good can bring us a step closer to achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.”

To ensure the sustainability discussion is maintained all year around, ADSW will host a series of activities throughout the year, in the UAE and internationally. ADSW 2019 will also retain the emphasis of January’s event on youth, with jobs for the future a particularly relevant topic for young people.

Guest speaker at the Masdar-hosted suhoor, His Excellency Frode Mauring, UN’s Resident Co-ordinator and UNDP Resident Representative, welcomed the expanding scope of ADSW 2019 and the evolution of the Zayed Sustainability Prize.

“The UAE has embraced the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development from the beginning, and has shown commitment to leaving no one behind,” he said. “Reaching the Sustainable Development Goals, however, will not be achieved by government efforts alone. The active participation of NGOs, the private sector and even individuals working relentlessly to sustain our planet for the future generations is needed.”

Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2018 hosted a series of youth-related initiatives including the Student Exclusive, the Climate Innovation Exchange (CLIX) and the Youth Circle. All three will be part of the expanded ADSW programme next year.

ADSW 2018 was the most successful event to date, attracting 38,000 attendees from 175 countries and more than 300 high-level speakers.

ADSW 2019 is expected to build on these achievements by bringing together policy makers, industry specialists, technology experts and future sustainability leaders to address the global opportunity of industry convergence.

19 JAN 2021

Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week Summit discusses ways to achieve a sustainable post-COVID-19 recovery

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, January 19, 2021: In the presence of His Highness Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week Summit got underway this morning as part of ADSW 2021, the global platform for accelerating the pace of sustainable development. Hosted by Masdar, the event is being held virtually this year due to restriction in place to manage the COVID-19 pandemic.
His Highness welcomed the leaders, officials and experts participating in the sessions of this year’s summit to discuss how to enact a ‘green recovery’ to help economies rebound from the pandemic and build a more sustainable future for all.

His Highness Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan emphasized that the UAE is continuing its efforts under the leadership of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, and with the support of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, to stimulate sustainable development, and said that ADSW is particularly relevant this year as it represents a global platform for dialogue and setting the sustainable development agenda based on the principles of the green recovery.

His Highness said: "In light of the exceptional circumstances that the world is experiencing, there is an urgent need to take practical steps and initiatives that contribute to accelerating the application of the principles and foundations of sustainable development, with the need to take proactive steps, plan for a more flexible future and strengthen capabilities in order to efficiently face the existing and emerging challenges.
“The Emirati initiatives, present to the world a practical model on the economic feasibility of renewable energy, stressing the importance of cooperation and joint work to achieve tangible progress in the field of reducing the repercussions of climate change”.

His Highness said that Abu Dhabi continues, year after year, to consolidate its position and pivotal role as a platform that brings together the international community to discuss key issues in sustainability. He said that he hoped that this year’s ADSW would be the starting point for constructive global dialogue on building a secure and stable future for current and future generations.

H.S.H. Prince Albert II, Sovereign Prince of Monaco, delivered the Summit’s keynote speech, thanked Abu Dhabi for hosting this event under these circumstances and said: “I believe the crisis we are experiencing is urging us to reinvent the ways we live, produce and travel in a more radical manner. It is urging us to rethink our relationship with nature and to reevaluate our priorities. In this respect, the coming year will be full of opportunities which we need to grasp.”

His Excellency Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, Special Envoy for Climate Change and Chairman of Masdar, delivered a speech in which he welcomed the guests and participants of the Summit, praising the wise leadership's support for sustainable development.

His Excellency said that the COVID-19 pandemic was a wake-up call to humanity as a whole, and that it demonstrated the importance of sustainability in its broadest sense, and revealed the interdependence between health and food and resource security. His Excellency explained how efforts made by the UAE  to face the pandemic, through proactive measures enacted by the wise leadership,  focused on enhancing resource security and supporting vital supply chains.
His Excellency stressed the concept of cooperation and building bridges of dialogue and communication, noting that the country will host the Dubai Expo later this year, with sustainability and the future as the main themes of this event.
His Excellency touched on the Zayed Sustainability Prize and its role in promoting global sustainability efforts, as it has achieved a positive impact on more than 350 million people around the world. He said that the award has a special place among the UAE’s leadership because it embodies the values and principles of the founding father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and especially his commitment to sustainable progress. His Excellency explained that the award will return in its usual form next year, with a focus on aspects of innovation and recovery for the post-COVID period.

The ADSW Summit comprises three sessions of two hours each, and focuses on three topics: restoring the circle of life (Live & Move), enhancing responsibility and interaction (Care & Engage), and doing business and investment (Work & Invest). Each topic addresses the main issues and topics that would open the way for the many social, economic and technological opportunities to achieve a post-pandemic green recovery.
As well as the Summit, ADSW, which runs from January 18-21, hosts a series of high-level virtual activities, including the General Assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the Abu Dhabi Forum for Sustainable Finance, and the Global Energy Forum of the Atlantic Council. the virtual forum for the "Youth for Sustainability" platform, and the World Future Energy Summit forums.

In addition to His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco; speakers at the summit include: His Royal Highness Prince Khalid bin Al-Waleed bin Talal Al Saud, Chairman of the Board of Directors of "KBW" Investment; His Excellency Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Executive Affairs Authority, Group Chief Executive Officer, and Managing Director of Mubadala Investment; Grace Fu, Minister of Sustainability and Environment of the Government of Singapore; Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Chairman of the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), and founder and CEO of Kalimat Group; His Excellency Engineer Aweidah Morshed Al Marar, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Energy; Francisco Lacamera, Director General of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA); Maymouna Mohamed Sharif, Executive Director of UN-Habitat; Noel Quinn, CEO of HSBC Holding Group; Lawrence Fink, Chairman and CEO of BlackRock; And Dr Lucas Juba, CEO of Environmental Practices at Microsoft,.

Through its various initiatives and events, ADSW advances the process of exchanging knowledge, implementing strategies, and developing realistic solutions to face the challenges of sustainability and climate change. As the first major global event in 2021, the year in which the UAE celebrates its 50th anniversary, the week contributes a pioneering role in enhancing cooperation between the public and private sectors in order to achieve the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals.

Since the launch of its activities more than a decade ago, ADSW has grown to become one of the largest gatherings concerned with sustainability in the world. The 2020 edition of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week attracted more than 45,000 participants from more than 170 countries, and saw the participation of 10 heads of state, in addition to 160 ministers and ambassadors.
To view the full program of ADSW 2021, please visit www.abudhabisustainabilityweek.com

17 JAN 2018

Next generation of sustainability leaders join the Student Exclusive at Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; January 17, 2018 – Hundreds of local and international students are congregating in Abu Dhabi this week for the Student Exclusive (16-18 January), the annual youth event which takes place during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) to inspire young people’s engagement and involvement in issues relating to clean energy and sustainable development.

Youth is a core topic throughout this year’s ADSW, and the Student Exclusive is one of a series of high profile events which is working to empower young people and ensure they are equipped with the skills and tools they need to chart new pathways towards a more sustainable future.

The programme for the Student Exclusive was opened with a keynote address by His Excellency Dr Majid Sultan Al Qasimi, Acting Assistant Undersecretary for Food Diversity Sector at the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment. He said: “2018 is the Year of Zayed, and his work was focused on agriculture and greening the desert. It is with this vision and determination that the CLIX event is trying to bring people who believe they can make a difference and those people who want to enable this difference. I aspire to seeing the innovative and creative ideas we see here today become part of our everyday reality.”

For the first time this year, the Student Exclusive is running run for three days instead of one, with an exciting programme which offers talks, breakout sessions and exhibits. Key speakers have included Toby Harward, Abu Dhabi head of the United Nations Refugee Agency UNHCR, and Tim Wilkinson, Senior Advisor for Hyperloop One, who discussed the company’s innovative transportation concept involving pods that could enable people to travel at speeds of over 1,000 kph using low-pressure tubes and magnetic levitation.

The Student Exclusive is located within the Climate Innovation Exchange (CLIX) area – a unique marketplace which is providing emerging entrepreneurs in the areas of sustainable agriculture, clean mobility and air quality with the chance to forge partnerships and secure funding from leading global investors.  CLIX entrepreneurs have been giving regular presentations about their business ideas as part of the Student Exclusive, thereby helping to inspire future generations of innovators and business leaders in the UAE and across the world.

Dr Lamya Fawwaz, Executive Director of Brand and Strategic Initiatives at Masdar, the host of ADSW, said: “Engaging and empowering young people is part of the UAE vision for continuing the legacy of sustainable development and environmental protection which was established by our founding father, Sheikh Zayed. ADSW is supporting this vision, not only in the UAE but across the world. The Student Exclusive is a fantastic platform for inspiring youth and opening their eyes to the potential for new technologies to create a more sustainable future. By empowering young people today, we can help drive the industry forward for decades to come.”

The Student Exclusive event is this year being hosted by 35 Student Exclusive Ambassadors − senior high school students from Abu Dhabi who were chosen after a rigorous selection process in which they had to provide evidence of their strong interest in sustainability, as well as their willingness to learn and share knowledge with others.

The one-year Student Exclusive Ambassador Programme, which is supported by the Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK), is training and supporting the students to help drive the sustainability agenda across their peer group in the UAE and overseas. At the end of the programme, the student judged to have excelled the most will win an internship at a major international technology company. 

Further youth activities during ADSW have included an international Youth Panel during the opening ceremony and a Youth Circle, in which around 150 young people discussed how climate change influences the UAE’s thinking about cities, mobility and resources. As part of the session, they identified ways for UAE youth to accelerate awareness and behavioural changes to address climate change, while encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship.

The final two days of ADSW (19-20 January) will see the return of The Festival at Masdar City, guaranteeing a memorable finale to the week. Dedicated to raising community awareness of sustainability, The Festival will be bringing in the crowds with food trucks, live entertainment, and educational games and activities. There will be different experience zones, including a souk selling local and organic produce as well as an innovation hub filled with high-tech gadgets.  

Entrance is free to The Festival at Masdar City, open on Friday from 10:00-22:00 and on Saturday from 10:00-20:00.

The full list of CLIX semi-finalists is available on the World Future Energy Summit website: https://www.worldfutureenergysummit.com/CLIX.    

For the full ADSW 2018 calendar, visit www.abudhabisustainabilityweek.com.

26 JAN 2021

Reimagined Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week concludes with global commitment to deliver green recovery in 2021

  • ADSW welcomes royal addresses from H.R.H, Charles, The Prince of Wales and H.S.H Prince Albert II of Monaco, Head of State, Principality of Monaco
  • Flagship ADSW Summit took place in the presence of HH Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council
  • ADSW featured more than 500 global leaders from government, business and technology

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; January 24, 2021: Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW), the global platform for accelerating sustainable development, hosted by Masdar, concluded on Thursday with a resounding global commitment to deliver a green recovery in 2021. From January 18 to 21, ADSW took place in a reimagined virtual setting and attracted more than 100,000 views across its online platforms from 175 countries, reiterating its importance as the annual global sustainability event that sets the agenda for the year.

ADSW comprised high-level virtual events: ADSW Summit, which took place in the presence of His Highness Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council; IRENA’s 11th Assembly; Abu Dhabi Sustainable Finance Forum; Atlantic Council Global Energy Forum; Youth 4 Sustainability Virtual Forum; and World Future Energy Summit Back to Business Webinar Series.

The ADSW speaker program featured more than 500 global leaders and decision-makers from policy, industry and technology, including: H.E. Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, and Special Envoy for Climate Change, and Chairman of Masdar; H.R.H, Charles, The Prince of Wales; H.S.H Prince Albert II of Monaco, Head of State, Principality of Monaco; António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations; H.E. Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, Managing Director and Group CEO, Mubadala Investment Company; Rt. Hon. Alok Sharma MP, COP26 President; Laurence Fink, Chairman and CEO, BlackRock; Bernard Looney, CEO, BP; Brian Moynihan, Chairman of the Board and CEO, Bank of America; and Mark Carney, Finance Adviser to the UK Prime Minister for COP 26 and UN Special Envoy for Climate Action and Finance.

These global leaders spoke across ADSW’s high-level event platforms, each designed to focus on different elements of the global sustainability agenda.  

The International Renewable Energy Agency held its 11th IRENA Assembly, which brought together heads of state, government, ministers and energy decision-makers to discuss the global energy transition and the further adoption of renewable technologies.

The flagship ADSW Summit featured more than 90 global leaders from around the world and ran over three sessions focusing on the pillars of “Live & Move,” “Care & Engage,” and “Work & Invest,” with each pillar exploring social, economic and technological opportunities for delivering a green recovery.

The third edition of Abu Dhabi Sustainable Finance Forum hosted by Abu Dhabi Global Market was held under the theme ‘Financing Sustainable Recovery and Future Resilience’ and highlighted the importance of a sustainable and equitable approach to rebuild the global economy.

The Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Forum and World Future Energy Summit Webinars highlighted the opportunities for advancing the energy transition and race to net zero.

Masdar’s Youth 4 Sustainability Virtual Forum was led by members of the global youth community and explored ways for young people to play an active role in the implementation of United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the UAE’s 50-year Development Plan. The forum covered topics across leadership and sustainability, skills and future of work, and innovation challenges including the Ecothon Pitch, which was supported by Abu Dhabi’s Department of Energy, Khalifa Fund and The Catalyst, a venture fund in partnership with Masdar City and BP.

ADSW 2021 also featured The Global Innovation Award, which is organized on behalf of the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, named Cambrian Innovation from the US the overall winner of Award.

The week welcomed several commercial announcements relating to the adoption and development of hydrogen in the UAE.  Mubadala Investment Company, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company and ADQ announced the signing of an MoU to establish the Abu Dhabi Hydrogen Alliance (the Alliance), with the view to establish Abu Dhabi as a trusted leader of low-carbon green and blue hydrogen in emerging international markets.

Building on the Alliance, Masdar, the world’s leading renewable energy companies, announced it would join forces with Abu Dhabi Department of Energy, Etihad Airways, Lufthansa Group, Khalifa University of Science and Technology, Siemens Energy, and Marubeni Corporation, in an initiative designed to support the development of the green hydrogen economy in Abu Dhabi. The initiative aims to establish a demonstrator plant at Masdar City.

Building on the 2020 Abraham Accords, Masdar also signed a strategic agreement with French group EDF Renewables to explore renewable energy opportunities in Israel and support the country’s clean-energy objectives. Israel is targeting 30 percent of its energy coming from renewable sources by 2030, up from a previous target of 17 percent, as it looks to phase out coal use. Achieving the new target will require an additional 15 gigawatts (GW) of solar capacity being developed over the period.

Masdar also released during ADSW its 2020 Annual Sustainability Report, which revealed it had more than doubled its clean energy capacity in the last two years, generating enough electricity to power over four million homes.

For over a decade, Abu Dhabi has provided a sustainable platform for the global community that has grown through its initiatives and events to emerge as a thought leader and catalyst that accelerates sustainable development around the world.

As a manifestation of the UAE’s proactive, forward thinking approach to sustainability and mitigating the impact of climate change, ADSW is committed to the sharing of knowledge, implementation of strategies and the delivery of real-world solutions. As the first global event in the UAE’s Golden Jubilee year, ADSW provides a global platform to set the sustainability agenda for the year and help deliver the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.