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Second edition of the Maersk Business Summit 2023 focuses on sustainability, talent, digitalisation and macroeconomics
Renowned supply chain and logistics leaders gather to discuss the transformative impact on the UAE business landscape
Renowned supply chain and logistics executives and professionals from a variety of sectors gathered at the second edition of Maersk's Business Summit 2023 to discuss opportunities and challenges and to brainstorm on the topical issues that face businesses in the UAE today.
Over 170 attendees took part in the high-profile Summit and benefited from industry insights and key themes that were focused on sustainability, talent, digitalisation and the macroeconomy.
Christopher Simon Cook, Area Managing Director for UAE, Oman and Qatar at Maersk, delivered the welcome note at the opening of the Maersk Business Summit 2023 which focused on the theme 'Empowering Growth and Collaboration.'
"Sustainability is a topic every industry is in a race to get behind and achieve targets to mitigate our environmental impact, and with COP28 taking place in the UAE, it made sense to kick off the Summit by talking about it. The second theme focused on the transformative power of talent and how to attract and retain the best and most diverse talent for growing businesses. We then moved on to talk about the macroeconomy and local developments that are impacting businesses in the UAE. Finally, we covered digitalisation and how to optimise tools to create a more memorable customer experience and operational efficiency." said Cook.
"We spent a lot of time thinking about suitable themes for the event. Our aim was to bring relevant topics that would generate strong discussion and exchange of insights that all attendees could take back to their organisations," Cook said during the opening note at the Summit.
This was the second edition of the Summit in Dubai and Maersk aims to make it an annual event where industry executives from a variety of sectors gather every year to share insights on topical issues and give a peek into what the future holds for their industry.
Maersk aims to reach net zero by 2040 and the transition away from fossil fuels to renewable fuels has been a major focus for the company. In 2023, the company launched its first green-methanol-enabled ship, becoming the first in the industry to achieve this milestone. It also secured a deal with a company in China to provide 500,000 tonnes of green methanol for new ships.
To meet its 2040 net zero targets, Maersk has set a number of targets for 2030 including land infrastructure such as warehouses and trucks that will be 90 per cent net zero while 70 per cent of ports will be net zero. Going forward, the company has also committed to having all new vessels run on renewable fuels.
"In just 2 days, we will see 70,000 people including global leaders and companies descend on Dubai. This COP is important because it is the first time that a COP will be about taking stock of the global effort to reduce emissions. The logistics industry is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, accounting for 3 per cent of global emissions. We have a very important role to play in meeting this challenge," he told the industry executives and professionals in his remarks.
Concepción Boo Arias, Director of Global Partnerships and ESG, Public and Regulatory Affairs, Maersk, delivered the keynote address, highlighting the decarbonization journey of the company, which operates more than 700 vessels across the world and offers end-to-end integrated logistics services.
"Three per cent of the global greenhouse gas emissions come from the shipping industry. We are part of the problem, and we are part of the solution. We are fully committed to achieving our targets to reach net zero by 2040," she said during her presentation at the summit.
AP Moller-Maersk has also signed memorandums of understanding (MoUs) and partnerships with various entities to supply green fuel to meet its net-zero targets.
During the day-long summit, executives from different industries shed light on the four themes.
In the first panel discussion on accelerating the UAE's action towards a green, inclusive and resilient economy, panellists acknowledged that the UAE is moving at a fast pace in terms of regulations, but the region is lagging behind. They stressed that it’s time for action now, not time for pledges.
In the second panel discussion on the future of talent and employee engagement in the emerging organisational macro trends in the UAE, panellists pointed out that there is a lot of competition in the market, so it is critical to connect with employees and identify what company is doing for their career growth. They emphasized that upskilling is not optional but mandatory and that employees need to not only learn but unlearn many outdated things.
The third panel discussed the impact of global macroeconomic trends and developments on businesses in the UAE and what they need to consider in 2024 for their growth strategies. The final session highlighted the relevance of digital tools in personalising both B2B and B2C customer experience, concluding that the digitalization journey must focus on changing the mindset of our people and optimizing tools not only for the digital purchasing experience of the customers but also for building the operational efficiency to support this seamless convenience.