Cross-collaboration Key to a Sustainable Future
November 3, 2021, 8:10 am
Patron Sponsor of the United Nations Global Compact SDG Ambition, 3M, in collaboration with The American Business Council in Dubai (AmCham Dubai), today hosted an exclusive conference titled ‘Sustainability: The Business of Saving the World’ in line with its commitment to invest US$1 billion over the next 20 years to accelerate new environmental goals.
The day-long event featured a series of discussions and insight-driven symposium at the USA Pavilion in the Opportunity District of Expo 2020 Dubai, a platform that is currently bringing the world together for sustainable change. The timely conference, focused on scaling public and private sector cross-collaboration towards a more sustainable future, was held alongside the 26th UN Climate Change Conference, COP26.
Lars Hanseid, Senior Vice President of 3M EMEA, opened the session outlining 3M’s sustainability approach of applying science to improve lives, followed by Dr. Gayle Schueller, Senior Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer at 3M. The US Consul General in Dubai, Meghan Gregonis, was also present to deliver a keynote address around the importance of public-private partnerships to avert the current situation. The powerful collection of sustainability leaders sharing their views ranged from international and local entities across two panel sessions moderated by the Managing Director of the American Chambers of Commerce, Cara Nazari:
- Sheikh Dr Majid Al Qassimi, Ex-Advisor to Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, CEO of Soma Mater
- Tatiana Antonelli Abella, Founder and Managing Director, Goumbook
- Amer Afifi, General Manager, Middle East and India, Duracell, and AmCham Board of Directors and Treasurer
- Phil Andrews, Vice President and General Manager, CEMEA Region, Red Hat
- Ahmed Khashan, Cluster President, Gulf Countries, Schneider Electric
- Maxime Bureau, Director of Government Affairs and Sustainability, 3M EMEA
- Thomas Kuruvilla, Managing Partner and Member of Global Board, Arthur D Little
Local and international sustainability thought leaders shared their response to business challenges and how they are embedding sustainability throughout their strategy to improve lives.
Commenting on the importance of cross-collaboration, Laszlo Svinger, Vice President and Managing Director at 3M Middle East & Africa, said: “3M is all about harnessing the power of partnership and collaboration to shape a better tomorrow and meet our UN SDG commitments without leaving anyone behind. Expo 2020 Dubai has provided the perfect platform for companies like ours to come together and strategically map out a future with purpose. To achieve this in Middle East & Africa, we need to join hands with countries, companies, multilateral organizations, educational institutions and, of course, our customers, who are at the centre of everything we do.”
Cara Nazari, Managing Director of the American Chambers of Commerce, added: “What we are doing today is going beyond mere discussion and bringing cross-societal dialogue for change. We have all the necessary elements for mapping out a brighter future represented in our symposium today and the time is ripe to make a difference. The combination of government, business and community is irresistible, we must all define a path that works best for all of us from today, to deliver grassroots impact from tomorrow.”
The general public has experienced first-hand the benefits of collaboration between countries during the past year, through scientific and proven technologies. 91 percent of respondents in the 3M State of Science Index 2021, a third-party, independent research study which was recently expanded to include the UAE, agree that the world should work together on scientific solutions to address pressing issues, including future pandemics and climate change.
3M has led a comprehensive global response to country-specific needs since the pandemic began. Earlier this year, the company’s global innovation leader announced new environmental goals to help mitigate climate change, achieve cleaner air, improve water quality, and reduce waste including:
- Investing approximately US$1 billion over the next 20 years to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, reduce water usage by 25 percent at its facilities, and return higher quality water to the environment after use in manufacturing operations.
- Reducing dependence on virgin fossil-based plastic by 125 million pounds by 2025.
3M has already begun installing technologies at its facilities worldwide including the Middle East to accelerate these environmental goals. The company will continue to collaborate with customers, governments, and global partners to address the challenges associated with climate change—including water use, water quality and waste—and use its science-based approach to innovate new products and solutions.
The overarching message of Expo 2020 Dubai, ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’, and key sub-themes of Opportunity, Mobility, and Sustainability, has provided a unique opportunity for 3M and their partners to showcase collaborative achievements on these key issues, with a special focus on improving lives.