ESG is more than just a buzzword: Muna Easa Al Gurg

March 20, 2023 | By Rupkatha B

ESG is more than just a buzzword in the industry. It is a sound strategy for sustainable growth and development which is beyond making dirhams but also includes achieving net-zero emissions, taking good care of employees and transparency in the decision-making process, stated Muna Easa Al Gurg, Vice Chairperson & Director of Retail Easa Saleh Al Gurg (ESAG) Group.

“All these elements make up a successful enterprise – one that’s focused on helping its people improve their lives in the long-term. I believe companies that fulfil their ESG goals will be around for much longer than their non-complying counterparts,” she added.

Besides being an influential business leader and a philanthropist, Al Gurg is a strong advocate of empowerment of women and their greater role in business. Within the ESAG Group, she started the Al Gurg Women’s Empowerment Forum, a programme providing a platform for women to voice their opinions to company board members. In 2015 she launched the Muna Al Gurg Scholarship at London Business School supporting female Arab students studying on the school’s MBA and Executive MBA programmes.

Asked about the biggest ESG-centric changes that she has driven within the ESAG Group over the past 12-24 months, she shared, “Realising the importance of the ‘G’ in ESG – governance – we’ve had a robust governance structure set in place at ESAG for many years. Now that third generation family members are actively engaged in the family business, we’ve also created a ‘Next Gen Committee’ that I currently chair. The intention is to make our governance structure even more inclusive. As such, we’ve laid out a set of guidelines most of which are already deeply entrenched in our company culture. These guidelines not only govern succession planning and conflict resolution but also help in catalysing our vision to achieve inclusive leadership, diversity in the boardroom, recognise merit and spearhead innovation.”

In addition, the ESAG Group has recently developed ESAG2025, a roadmap outlining its purpose and core strategic objectives for the next three years. “We involved all members of the leadership team in the process to outline future goals and reinforced the values with which we will conduct business, namely empowerment, integrity and diversity,” Al Gurg explained.

Importantly, Al Gurg stressed how the ‘E’ in ESG – environmental – should be a crucial focus area for organisations too, especially ahead of COP28 that will be hosted in the UAE later this year.



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