Queen Rania meets with newly formed ASLG to discuss plans

May 08, 2008

(Office of Her Majesty, Press Department – Amsterdam) After forming and launching the Arab Sustainability Leadership Group (ASLG), Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah convened the network’s first meeting, Wednesday, while in Amsterdam.

 “We have to use this window of opportunity to do the right thing,” said the Queen. The group will encourage businesses to balance profit with environmental protection, and equal opportunity.

 “Sustainability is about meeting the needs of today’s generation without compromising the ability of tomorrow’s generations to meet theirs,” she noted as she commended the leaders for being pioneers in this field and for their commitment to produce responsible and transparent reports for their respective entities.

 The network committed to meeting quarterly to discuss ways to change mindsets about sustainability and reporting, to increase public awareness of the benefits of reporting to companies and the public, and to discuss innovative ways of how to promote these issues.

 The ASLG includes 16 representatives of companies and NGOs spanning five countries in the Middle East. From Jordan Aramex, Jordan Aircraft Maintenance, and the Jordan River Foundation; from Saudi Arabia the National Commercial Bank (NCB); from the United Arab Emirates Environmental Agency Abu Dhabi, VTEL Holdings, Sama Dubai, and Abraaj Capital; from Egypt the Sekem Group and PalTel Group from Palestine. The group hopes to expand to include all 21 countries in the region within the coming year.

 Aramex has produced the first GRI checked report in the region. The Jordan River Foundation, which Her Majesty founded and chairs, is the first NGO in the region to produce a GRI checked report, and soon, Abraaj will be the first private equity firm to release one in Dubai, and the NCB will be the largest bank in the region to produce one.