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16 February 2023

FAB Launches ‘Frontiers in Sustainability’ Executive Education Programme In Support of UAE Knowledge-based Economy and Net-Zero Ambitions

Abu Dhabi, 16 February 2023: First Abu Dhabi Bank, the UAE's largest bank and one of the world's largest and safest financial institutions, has partnered with Emirates Foundation and the International Institute for Management Development (IMD), to promote deeper understanding of sustainability issues among the UAE’s senior corporate leaders.

The new Frontiers in Sustainability initiative is a unique executive education programme commissioned by FAB to support corporate leaders in understanding sustainability as part of overall business transformation towards supporting the UAE 2050 net-zero ambition. It will equip senior leaders across a range of organisations and sectors with a well-rounded understanding of the sustainability agenda, to drive tangible actions and gain momentum for change.

Tailored specifically to C-suite executives at major UAE private and governmental entities, participants will learn from leading experts and practitioners from world-renowned institutions, gaining new knowledge and an applied understanding of sustainability best practice.

The programme’s timely launch in 2023, coincides with UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan announcing 2023 as the ‘Year of Sustainability’ across the nation. Sustainability will serve as a constant touch point in the UAE throughout the year, as the country prepares to host the 28th United Nations climate change summit, Conference of Parties COP28.

FAB’s commitment to achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions, and its comprehensive portfolio of sustainability linked products ranging from credit cards to corporate finance, are consistently setting benchmarks for the UAE banking sector. Frontiers in Sustainability expands on FAB’s ambition, offering strategic guidance for UAE corporates in achieving their own transition to more sustainable business practices. Through this partnership with Emirates Foundation and the renowned IMD, FAB is supporting the UAE’s ambition of creating a knowledge-based economy while driving the country’s aspiration to achieve net-zero by 2050.

Hana Al Rostamani, Group CEO at FAB, said: “Achieving progress towards a net-zero economy will demand clear understanding and decisive leadership from the private sector, in partnership with the public sector. As the pacesetter for sustainability in the UAE banking sector, FAB is working with our partners to create deeper understanding of the issues surrounding sustainability, with a purpose to support effective action among UAE C-suites. Environmental impacts are already emerging as a vital part of the guidance the financial sector is expected to offer businesses, so bringing a platform to the UAE where we can exchange this knowledge at the highest levels of our corporate community is an important and practical step forward in bringing the UAE’s sustainability ambitions to reality.”

His Excellency Ahmed Al Shamsi, CEO of Emirates Foundation, said, “In our capacity as the national foundation of the UAE building community resilience across multiple tiers in the community, we join efforts with FAB and IMD to build on the legacy of our founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, in promoting sustainable development practices. This collaboration aims to build capacity among senior executives to ensure and accelerate the transition to a green economy.

We are excited to be supporting the government’s efforts towards COP28 by partnering with FAB and IMD to build capacities amongst senior executives to ensure sustainability is embedded into their core strategy and business operations.”

In bringing Frontiers in Sustainability to the UAE, FAB has partnered with Swiss-based IMD, which is consistently ranked among the world’s leading business schools for its MBA and executive education programmes.

Designed and led by IMD faculty to meet UAE requirements, Frontiers in Sustainability will offer 14 days of executive learning spread across 12 weeks, including company visits. Learning is divided into four modules: understanding the global context, the strategic implications in the region, understanding industry and company implications, and personal leadership implications.

Jean-François Manzoni, President of IMD and Nestlé Chaired Professor of Leadership and Organizational Development said, “IMD was happy and honoured to be selected to co-create the Frontiers in Sustainability program with FAB. This “Frontiers in Sustainability” programme is designed to help the UAE public and private sectors to align on and capture opportunities related to the world’s pursuit of a more environmentally and socially sustainable model, and ultimately to put sustainability at the core of their organizations’ respective strategies. This program fits perfectly with our ambition to provide lifelong, real-impact and practical learning solutions to meet the growing demands of the global sustainability agenda. At IMD we believe that a sense of shared responsibility is essential for the prosperity of individuals, businesses, communities and nations. It is vital for both the public and private sectors to work together to address these issues and drive positive change towards a more prosperous, sustainable and inclusive world”.

A first intake of around 30 corporate leaders will be enrolled in the programme from March to June 2023, with a second cohort planned later in the year.