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Sustainability reporting enables organisations to evaluate, improve and report their sustainability performance, risks and opprtunities. The increased transparency leads to better decision making and helps build and maintain trust amongst the organisation's various stakeholders.

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We aim to provide that much-needed platform to share CSR and sustainability related updates and information amongst private and public organizations in the Arab region and elsewhere.

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AIMING FOR A SUSTAINABLE 2021

With the COVID-19 vaccines being rolled out last month, the end of 2020 seems like the end of a very stressful chapter. Our problems, however, may be far from over. Larger existential threats, such as climate change, pollution, social injustice and inequality, habitat destruction and other global emergencies continue to grow ever more acute.

This is the opportune time to reflect on our strengths and our successes, and take stock of our shortcomings and to rethink our strategies in the coming year.

The year 2021 marks the beginning of the 10 years left to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. These goals aim to end hunger & poverty, achieve gender equality, combat climate change, and protect the climate by the year 2030 amongst other important issues. Considering how COVID-19 has negatively impacted economies around the world, there is a lot of catching up to do this year to meet Agenda 2030.

The pandemic had a direct impact on our ability to address long-term targets for our carbon emissions. While there may have been a short-term improvement due to restricted travel and business operations, this is negligible in the long run as the world recovers from the economic downturn.

COVID-19 has painted a very stark image of how the climate crisis may affect us in the years to come and there is a strong link between the pandemic and climate change. Climate change is also responsible for the proliferation of zoonotic diseases (such as COVID-19). This is because drought, flooding and extreme weather will force our food production to destroy and encroach on habitats populated by virus-carrying wild animals.

Governments, businesses and industries will, therefore, have to learn from the pandemic to put more emphasis on environmental stewardship and responsibility.

I believe 2021 will continue to be an important year for corporates as they strengthen their branding and marketing strategies to demonstrate how they care for trending social issues. We are all aware how corporate social responsibility can enhance an organisation’s public image.

However, with the rise of transparency in the digital world, there will be more emphasis on genuine social impact rather than the green washing we have been observing over the past decade. What’s important is that companies should be able to measure their impact and effectively communicate it to their customers, clients and the wider network of other stakeholders.

In short, 2021 will be critical for all of us, as a human race, to be able to prove to ourselves that we are resilient, that we can act collectively, and that we are able to think beyond short-term profits to long-term impacts.

I wish you all our readers and followers a successful and sustainable 2021.

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