Dubai, UAE: Some private entities view sustainability as a marketing gimmick that may either negatively impact their revenue or may have no affect at all. How can one, then, create interest in private companies to adopt sustainable measures?
Marcos Bish, Managing Director of Summertown, has a simple solution: Create awareness of the rewards of adopting green practices, and how it can affect their bottom line positively. Bish stresses that one must go beyond how sustainability affects economy, and focus on how it can help companies with reducing their operational costs.
Government looking into regulations and incentives is another way of drawing attention for private entities to accept sustainable practices, says Bish. “It’s like with health and safety,” he said. “Do we do it voluntarily? Yes, but at the same time, there should be minimum standards; otherwise, we would have more accidents at construction sites. So, I do believe the government should bring in regulations on minimum green standards. But what the government can also do is offer incentives. If you are a green organisation, why do you pay the full licence fee? Maybe the government could say, ‘If you are a good corporate citizen, you will get rewarded. Maybe we will allow you on our tenders and not allow others. Maybe you don’t have to pay the full licence fee’.”