Al-Nashar: COVID-19 Pandemic is a health, economic and social crisis that threatens the life and livelihoods in an unprecedented way and erases what has been achieved in sustainable development.
Al-Nashar: “Awareness Series” invites companies under FRA’s supervision to discover their path and set strategies for achieving sustainable development
Judge Khaled Al-Nashar – FRA’s Deputy Chairman says that since the beginning of returning to normal economic activity, the Authority has been keen to promote the process of integrating sustainability, stressing on the importance of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) practices disclosure within all companies operating in the non-banking financial sector in line with Egypt’s Vision 2030. Such Vision which aims at building a flexible sustainable economy in tandem with the global economy and providing real opportunities for growth and employment based on diversity and innovation.
FRA’s Deputy Chairman adds that coinciding with the return of economic activity, FRA launches “awareness series” on the professional communication network ” LinkedIn ” targeting companies operating in the non-banking financial sector. FRA’s awareness series calls for the importance of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) practices disclosure, and calls on companies subject to its supervision to discover their path and set their strategy in a way that shows flexibility with the global variables.
Al-Nashar explains that the awareness series presents some practices that can be applied, adding that following environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) standards has become a strategic priority for companies to reduce costs, improve productivity, reduce business risks, enhance and increase growth opportunities for the company’s projects and businesses, encourage innovation and build a competitive advantage.
Disclosing companies ’performance in dealing with the environment and society will increase the companies’ ability to comply with new global and local legislations and regulations related to the environment and this can open new investment horizons for companies. That is besides attracting new segments of investors and individuals interested in providing innovative solutions to climate and environmental challenges.
The awareness messages stress on corporate social responsibility. The messages provide companies’ staff with some examples that can be applied in this regard , such as improving the conditions of employees and pursuing justice and equality policies, integrating people of determination and providing them with an appropriate environment in the workplace . Also, supporting athletes and people of determination , promoting fundraising campaigns for specific entities (hospitals – care homes – ….). In addition to integrating the company’s employees in voluntary programs and initiatives to serve the community surrounding the workplace, providing the basic needs of the poorest villages and delivering safe drinking water.
On the other hand, awareness series emphasizes the importance of Corporate Environmental Responsibility (CER). It provides companies’ staff with some examples that can be applied in their company such as diversifying energy sources in the company , installing solar panels to generate electricity and using LED-based lighting systems to save consumption as well as using a system that reduces water consumption. Besides , reducing and eliminating paper consumption through using technology instead (e-mail) as well as improving access to green spaces.
The Authority ends its awareness messages by stressing on the importance of following principles of good governance in accordance with the Egyptian Guide to Corporate Governance principles issued by the Egyptian Institute of Directors.
FRA’s Deputy Chairman notes that the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development launched in 2015 to end poverty, put the world on the path to peace and prosperity and provide opportunities for all on a healthy planet. The seventeen sustainable development goals require only a transformation in the financial, economic and political systems that govern our societies today to ensure human rights for all.
He adds that the matter requires enormous political will and ambitious measures by all stakeholders. He points out that member states at the SDG Summit held last September- declare that global efforts have not yet been sufficient to bring about the change we need, thus exposing the capabilities of current and future generations to many risks.
According to Al-Nashar , the Sustainable Development Goals Report 2020 reveals the latest performance data before the COVID-19 pandemic, which shows that progress remained uneven and we are not on the right track to achieving the goals by 2030. Meanwhile, there are some obvious gains such as : reduction in the number of out-of-school children worldwide , the incidence of infectious diseases has declined, improved access to safely managed drinking water and the representation of women in leadership roles has increased. At the same time, there was an increase in the number of food insecure people, the natural environment continued to deteriorate at an alarming rate and massive levels of inequality continued in all regions.
The desired change – still – does not happen at the speed or scale required now because of COVID-19, as a health, economic and social crisis threatens the life and livelihoods and makes sustainable development goals more difficult to achieve . As of the beginning of June, the death toll exceeded 400,000 and continued to climb, pushing health systems in countries to the brink of collapse. The livelihoods of half of the global workforce were severely affected, more than 1.6 billion students outside of school and tens of millions of people being pushed back to extreme poverty and hunger erasing the modest progress made in recent years.