ESG Summit | 11th - 12th October 2022 | Le Méridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre, Dubai

OVERVIEW

ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) has become a game changer for many companies as the world of business pivots towards sustainability. The focus has heavily shifted towards the more sustainable, more long-term-oriented version of value creation. The stock markets and investors have proven this by the fact that $649 billion was invested in ESG-focused funds globally through the end of November 2021, already up from the $542 billion invested in 2020 and $285 billion in 2019; ESG funds currently make up 10% of all global funds, the latest Refinitiv Lipper data shows. Bloomberg notes further that the MSCI World ESG Leaders’ index has risen 22%, compared with the MSCI World Index’s gain of 15%.

In alignment with global ESG megatrends, momentum is building around ESG agenda of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, with three Middle Eastern countries pledging to reach net-zero carbon emissions: the United Arab Emirates (UAE) by 2050, and both Saudi Arabia and Bahrain by 2060. Companies failing to meet corporate governance expectations may find it increasingly difficult to access capital as the fifth Edelman Trust Barometer Special Report showed that 89 percent of Middle East investors expect companies to face increasing levels of litigation as a result of not delivering on ESG promises. According to a 2021 PwC survey, 46 percent of CEOs in the Middle East aim to increase their investments in ESG and sustainability initiatives over the next three years; a clear indication that profit and ESG are no longer mutually exclusive pursuits.