Forward Talks is a podcast about moving towards sustainability, brought to you by the people behind Goumbook, the UAE’s first social enterprise. Each episode will feature a sustainability changemaker — leaders & professionals who through their work, entrepreneurship & commitment promote sustainability in the UAE and through the region.
Think Tank - Managing your ESG reporting
ESG – a holistic concept that has roots dating back to the 1960s, has evolved over the decades gaining more traction in recent years within the corporate sustainability context.
Referring to the environmental (‘E’), social (‘S’) and governance (‘G’) pillars within the sustainability framework, they are key to addressing the impacts of corporate activities and investments on people and the planet.
With the current lack of unified reporting standards, definition and many frameworks influencing the ESG space, we gathered a network of experts and an all-star panel from different industries, contexts and trajectories to discuss the challenges and highlight opportunities around ESG reporting – from regulation and standardization to quality data collection and the measurement of impact.
This think tank was run by Goumbook in partnership with Emex and hosted by Jumeirah Group in their flagship hotel Burj Al Arab on 3rd of June, 2022.
It included a presentation by Daniel Gribbin - VP of Sustainability and ESG at Emex, and a panel discussion that was moderated by Tatiana Antonelli Abella, featuring Mohamad El Khalil - Director of Prudential Supervision at DFSA, Mariam Alqubaisi - Head of Sustainability and Business Excellence at Etihad, Adrienne Doolan - CEO of Green Touches and Board Member of UN Global Compact Network UAE, and Ashraf Abdelkhalek - Sustainability, Health and Safety Leader for Gulf Countries at Schneider Electric.
The alliance to end hunger, with Paul Newnham
Tatiana is joined on this episode by Paul Newnham, Chair of the Public Engagement Task Force for the UN Food Systems Summit and Vice Chair of the Food System Champion Network. He is also Director of the SDG2 Advocacy Hub Secretariat and the Chefs’ Manifesto Coordinator. Paul heads up the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2 Advocacy Hub as Director, an initiative bringing together NGOs, advocacy groups, civil society, the private sector and UN agencies to coordinate global campaigning and advocacy to achieve SDG2. To this end, the Hub has worked with a community of 240+ chefs from 38 countries to create a Chefs’ Manifesto–a framework outlining how chefs can contribute to the SDGs. Tatiana met him in Dubai when Paul came to release the Hub’s Chef Manifesto in Arabic alongside some powerhouse local chefs.
SDG2 Advocacy Hub
Good Food For All
SDG12 and Food Waste, how can we make a difference? With Tarek AlKhoury
In this episode, Tatiana is joined by Tarek Al Khoury, Regional Coordinator for Resource Efficiency and Sustainable Consumption and Production at the West Asia Office of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP). They talk about UNEP initiatives to promote the UN Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals, more precisely SDG12, and how we can all work together to reduce food waste. Recently Tarek was also part of a panel discussion moderated by Tatiana at the Food For Future Summit 2022 to discuss policies and legal frameworks to reduce food waste.
Food waste is a topic that needs our urgent attention, and this has come up a few times on the show with previous guests as well:
Rethinking food waste as a resource, with Ryan Ingram
Organic farming in the UAE, with Elena Kinane
Sustainable fine dining, with Luca Gagliardi
Pioneering sustainable solutions to tackle food security, with Abdulaziz AlMulla
The role of insects in the future of food, with Patrick Crowley
'Our world is not an ashtray’, with Monica Barten, Director Communications at Philip Morris Middle East
Philip Morris International's ongoing sustainability efforts include working to lower emissions, use energy more efficiently, and combat deforestation. In addition, PMI is determined to fight the environmental damage caused by plastic and post-consumer waste from their products - particularly cigarette butts. Around the globe, PMI teams have organized litter cleanups, launched awareness campaigns, and partnered with environmental NGOs and academics.
In June 2020, Philip Morris International launched its first Integrated Report in which they announced their global commitment to achieve a 50% reduction of the plastic litter from their products by 2025 (vs. 2021). Accomplishing that goal will require a fundamental development of public education and awareness. Most essentially, adult smokers need to understand that it is unacceptable to dispose of their cigarette butts improperly. Therefore, PMI has launched a global initiative Our World is not an Ashtray with the aim of making cigarette butt littering a thing of the past.
Exemplary performance on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues is important, but it is equally clear that the biggest positive impact PMI can have on society and to be a truly sustainable company is to replace cigarettes with less-harmful alternatives.
The realization of this podcast was supported by Philip Morris Management Service (Middle East) Limited.
The UAE present a sustainable alternative to concrete at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2021
This week, digging into the National Pavilion of the UAE for the Biennale Architettura 2021 Wetland, which is curated by Wael Al Awar and Kenichi Teramoto. The prototype is created from recycled industrial waste brine, handcast into organic shapes to recall the UAE’s traditional coral-built houses and spans 7m by 5m, with a height of 2.7 meters. We’re joined on the episode by Laila Binbrek who has served as the National Pavilion’s coordinating director since 2014, and Wael Al Awar, Founding Partner at WaiWai Design and one of the curators of the current edition of the Pavilion.
The exhibit was also just awarded the Golden Lion award for Best National Participation at the Venice Architecture Biennale.
The 17th International Architecture Exhibition (Biennale Architettura 2021) will run from 22 May to 21 November 2021 with national Anti Covid-19 measures in place. You can find more information including a virtual tour here.
Decluttering: the way to a low impact life, with Shelina Jokhiya
A lot of people think of decluttering as merely cleaning up or getting rid of things but not many understand its link with living a low impact life. When someone else uses something we get rid of, it reduces their consumption and impact just as much as our own. And as we consume less, we need fewer cupboards, shelves, boxes and even smaller living spaces. This week, we're joined by Shelina Jokhiya, Founder of DeCluttr Me, the UAE's first licensed professional decluttering service, and the Host of the DeCluttr Me podcast. We talked about basic decluttering concepts, how to deal with e-waste and the harmful impacts if this is not disposed properly as well as the more emotional downsides of clutter that we should all be aware of.
Within a fast moving and ever evolving world of ESG and Sustainability encompassing nature, society and economy ; Goumbook’s Forward Talks provides great stories and insights within the corporate and sustainability space from sustainability champions across the MENA region