18 JAN 2021

Reimagined Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week goes live today in virtual setting to set agenda for green recovery

  • High-level virtual events include ADSW Summit, IRENA Assembly, Abu Dhabi Sustainable Finance Forum, Atlantic Council Global Energy Forum, Youth 4 Sustainability Virtual Forums and World Future Energy Summit Webinars
  • Agenda will explore the social, economic and innovation opportunities for delivering a green recovery, bringing together global leaders from policy, industry and technology
  • First day starts with program dedicated to energy, youth and closes with 11th session of IRENA Assembly
  • Flagship ADSW Summit will feature over 70 high-level speakers from around the world

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; January 18, 2021: Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW), the global platform for accelerating sustainable development, hosted by Masdar, goes live today until 21 January 2021 in a reimagined virtual setting. Over the course of four days, global leaders from policy, industry and technology will explore social, economic and technological opportunities for delivering a green recovery in a post-pandemic world.

ADSW 2021 will feature a series of high-level virtual events, including the ADSW Summit, IRENA Assembly, Abu Dhabi Sustainable Finance Forum (ADSFF), Atlantic Council Global Energy Forum, Youth 4 Sustainability (Y4S) Virtual Forums and the World Future Energy Summit (WFES) Webinars.

The first day of ADSW kicks off with the WFES Webinars, Y4S Forum, followed by the 11th session of the IRENA Assembly that brings together heads of state, government, ministers and energy decision-makers, as well as global stakeholders and private actors to discuss the energy transition as an investment in our collective future.

The flagship ADSW Summit on January 19th will feature more than 70 high-level speakers from around the world and will broadcast online across different time zones to engage audiences across various geographies and markets. The agenda runs over three two-hour sessions that focus on the pillars of “Live & Move,” “Care & Engage,” and “Work & Invest,” with each pillar exploring social, economic and technological opportunities to set and support a sustainable recovery.

The speakers at the one-day virtual ADSW Summit include: H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco, Head of State, Principality of Monaco, who will give a keynote speech on national resilience in the context of Coivid-19; H.E. Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE's Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and Special Envoy for Climate Change and Chairman of Masdar; H.R.H Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal Al Saud, Founder and CEO, KBW Ventures; H.E. Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, Managing Director and Group CEO Mubadala Investment Company; The Rt Hon. Alok Sharma MP, COP 26 President and UK Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy; H.E. Grace Fu, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment of the Republic of Singapore; H.E. Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Founder & CEO, Kalimat Publishing Group; H.E. Eng. Awaidha Murshed Al Marar, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Department of Energy; Francesco La Camera, Director General, IRENA; Maimunah Mohd Sharif, Executive Director UN-Habitat; Noel Quinn, Group Chief Executive Officer, HSBC Holdings; Laurence Fink, Chairman and CEO BlackRock; and Dr. Lucas Joppa, Chief Environmental Officer, Microsoft, in addition to many other high-level speakers.

The third edition of ADSFF hosted by Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) will be held under the theme ‘Financing Sustainable Recovery and Future Resilience’ on January 20th. It will highlight the importance of a sustainable and equitable approach to rebuild the global economy. ADSW 2021 will conclude on January 21st with the last sessions of Y4S, Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Forum and WFES.

Through initiatives and events, ADSW is committed to the sharing of knowledge, implementation of strategies and the delivery of real-world solutions to address the challenges related to sustainability and climate change. As the first global event in the UAE’s Golden Jubilee year, ADSW 2021 will help galvanize further collaboration among government, business and community stakeholders to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

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.

The 2020 edition of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week hosted around 45,000 attendees from 170 countries, with more than 500 high-level speakers from around the world.

To ensure the safety of all participants, ADSW 2021 and all related high-level events will take place virtually. The physical program of ADSW will return in 2022.

Register now for the ADSW Summit at www.adsw.ae

27 APR 2021

Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week releases “Work & Invest", the last in the series of white papers capturing the key takeaways of the 2021 ADSW Summit

Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week has released the final white paper in a series, which capture the key takeaways from the 2021 ADSW Summit.

Each white paper features insights and quotes from global leaders across government, business and industry. To watch sessions from the ADSW Summit, please visit the ADSW YouTube channel.

The "Work & Invest" white paper examines how Covid-19 pandemic has greatly impacted and redirecting the way we conduct business, with companies increasingly focusing on sustainable investments. Sustainability has emerged at the top of business agenda, as research has revealed that Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) investments outperformed non-ESG investments in almost every month from January to September 2020.


Download the white paper from here.

27 APR 2021

Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week releases “Care & Engage", the second in the series of three white papers capturing the key takeaways of the 2021 ADSW Summit

Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week has released the second in the series of three white papers, which capture the key takeaways from the 2021 ADSW Summit.

Each white paper will feature insights and quotes from global leaders across government, business and industry. To watch sessions from the ADSW Summit, please visit the ADSW YouTube channel.

The "Care & Engage" white paper examines how the measures put in place around the world to tackle the spread of Covid-19 have resulted in short-term benefits to the environment. Care & Engage goes on to highlight the technological solutions and political frameworks that will need to be adopted over the next decade to mitigate the challenges relating to climate change.


Download the white paper from here.

28 APR 2021

New Research Indicates Pandemic as Tipping Point for Investment in ESG and Sustainability

  • 85 percent of respondents saw the COVID-19 pandemic as a ‘wake-up call’ on sustainability
  • 65 percent expect to realize financial benefits of ESG investment within the next two years
  • Half of all respondents say they are prioritizing ESG because it is important to investors
  • Balancing profit with sustainability is easier for some sectors than for others, with technology leading and transport lagging

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; April 28, 2021: Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW), the global platform for accelerating sustainable development and its host Masdar, have today released the results of a global survey, which explores how businesses around the world are responding to Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) in the wake of COVID-19.

ESG Beyond Tipping Point surveyed 525 executives from global businesses that deliver annual revenues of $250 million USD or more, suggests that the COVID-19 pandemic is having a profound impact on businesses’ perceptions of ESG issues.

The research found that 87 percent of respondents indicated that ESG performance is now one of their organization’s core strategic objective, while 85 percent saw the COVID-19 pandemic as a wake-up call on sustainability.

Many businesses anticipate that the pay-offs from strengthening ESG activities in their organization, or in the case of financial services companies incorporating ESG data into their decision-making, will accrue quickly. The research found that, 65 percent of respondents expect to realize the financial benefit of ESG investment within the next two years, including 35 percent who expect it within the next 12 months.

Yousef Ahmed Baselaib, Executive Director, Strategy & Corporate Development at Masdar, said, “ESG has always been part of the Masdar’s DNA and continues to be as the company delivers on its mandate of seeking quality investments in renewable energy and sustainable technologies. Fifteen years on since Masdar was formed, ESG has reached enough of a critical mass across all sectors that it is unlikely that we will see a return to the old profits-above-all models of the past. As we explored during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week earlier this year, the opportunities presented by the Green Recovery will further fuel investor appetite for backing smart, sustainable companies. Those companies that ignore ESG will lose their relevance in the post-COVID era.”

Shareholders are a driving force for ESG investment across sectors and regions. Nearly half of all respondents (49 percent) say they are prioritizing ESG because it is important to investors.

The research also provided deep insights on how different geographical regions and industry sectors are responding to the demand for greater ESG commitments. The research found that 70 percent of respondents from Asia-Pacific agreed that their company is committed to achieving net-zone emission, while only 33 percent of respondents from the Middle East agreed when asked the same question.

At a sector level, the research found that balancing profit with sustainability is easier for some sectors than for others, with 68 percent of respondents from the technology sector agreeing they were able to balance customer demands for sustainability with shareholder expectations for profits. However, responses from the transport sector were much lower, with only 38 percent agreeing that the sector was able to balance customer demand and shareholder expectations.

The ESG research was supported by a series of high-level interviews with industry leaders, including Dietmar Siersdorfer, Managing Director of Middle East and UAE at Siemens Energy, who said, “It is extremely gratifying to see the topics around ESG and sustainability draw more mainstream recognition,” said Dietmar Siersdorfer. “These issues need to recognized not just as a showpiece of corporate strategy but as a fundamental necessity of doing business. As a company founded to drive the energy transition and promote ESG and sustainability values, Siemens Energy has set an ambitious target of net zero emissions by 2030. We are dedicated to energizing society in line with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, to ensure the highest impact on societal development.”

At an employee level, businesses cannot overlook the growing role of sustainability in the battle to recruit and retain high quality talent at all levels of the company. The extent to which a company embraces ESG is becoming a crucial factor in whether people want to work for them – even more than remuneration policies for some. Strikingly, 52 percent of respondents say they would be prepared to take a pay cut to move to a company with a better ESG performance.

More than half of the respondents (51 percent) intend to create new ESG-focused management positions in the next 12 months, with organizations based in Asia-Pacific and the Middle East & Africa leading the way in this area.

Even before the pandemic, sustainability was rising up the corporate agenda, but this trend has accelerated dramatically during the crisis: improved ESG performance is now a core strategic objective for most organizations.

Crucially, the determination to embrace ESG principles is shared by all stakeholder groups, including investors, employees, customers and suppliers. And those organizations that are rising to the challenge are already beginning to see returns.

With business leaders now recognizing that we have moved past the tipping point: ESG is now a key battleground in the competition for investment and talent – and, ultimately, to attract and retain customers.