Companies rallies to reinforce their commitment towards sustainable development

Sustainable development as the primary responsibility of companies in achieving the 17 goals defined by the United Nations is the focal point of the AfrAsia Sustainability Summit, held the 11 and 12 October at the InterContinental Hotel, Balaclava. The opening of the summit happened this Thursday in the presence of The Honourable Alain Wong, Minister of Social Integration and other senior officials. The summit will serve to design a roadmap to steer companies in the implementation of sustainable strategies in their operations.

« The private sector, as well as other stakeholders, including the government and civil society, must be fully committed to sustainable development.

Contribution may take the form of corporate governance best practices, transparency and reporting, effective use of energy resources and even ensuring that our society thrives, grows and prosper through social projects. The summit aims at bringing together stakeholders and experts in sustainable development to share their experience and expertise. Participants are encouraged to ponder on action plans to reach the 17 Sustainable Goals set by the United Nations while the business world is more and more visibly active in this endeavour”, stated Sanjiv Bhasin, Chief Executive Officer of AfrAsia Bank Limited, during the opening ceremony.

Organised in partnership with the IBL Group and the United Nation Resident Coordinator’s office for Mauritius, the summit is committed to helping companies in achieving the 17 Sustainable Goals (SDGs).

“The participations of companies in this mission is fundamental, as they are major consumers of our planet’s natural resources. Our duty is to provide them with the tools necessary to fit into the scheme of sustainable development. This is one of the reasons why we are supporting the AfrAsia Sustainability Summit”, highlighted Christine N. Umutoni, UNDP Representative and UN Resident Coordinator.

Several international experts in the fields of corporate sustainability, including Professor Michael Hopkins, CEO of MHC International Ltd, is among the participants of this summit, the very first of its kind in Mauritius.

Some of the other speakers are the Dr Jonathan Chenoweth, from Centre for Environment and Sustainability, University of Surrey, Sylvain Guyoton, first Vice President of Research at EcoVadis, Harsha Mukherjee, Founder and Managing Director of International Institute of Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility, David Roger, CEO of BuyYouWay, and Douglas Kativu, Director of GRI Africa.

The AfrAsia Sustainability Summit will be focused on the establishment of an action plan to help companies achieve the SDGs.

“In line with the Sustainable Development Goals, AfrAsia Bank’s commitment can be translated in many ways to fulfil the United Nations’ ambition. This goes along with transparency in our non-financial indicators in terms of reporting to our subsidiaries, namely sustainable financing, climate financing, smart cities and equal access to education. With our target to become the leader of corporate sustainability, we strongly believe that initiatives such as the summit embodies an ideal platform for sharing and learning in partnership of businesses having already developed an expertise in those fields”, pointed out Luvna Arnassalon-Seerungen, Head of Corporate Sustainability & CSR at AfrAsia Bank Ltd.

The summit, ending this Friday 12 October, will hold several workshops where participants will have the opportunity to discuss particular topics relating to sustainable development with the speakers. It will be a real platform for shaping dialogue between corporate leaders and professionals of sustainable developments around issues directly impacting our populations and environment.