On October 16, at the esteemed HBL Tower in Karachi, a dedicated seminar on sustainability was organized, primarily to raise awareness and support the common suppliers of HBL and AKU. In the backdrop of AKDN’s own net zero goal and targets to reduce supply chain emissions, the purpose of the seminar was to promote understanding about sustainability, specifically urging suppliers to measure and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. Not only is mitigating climate change most urgent in this critical decade, but supporting a wider community to accelerate sustainability action in the LMIC context is a key responsibility for AKDN.The seminar began with Mr. Farrukh Bashir’s introductory words, setting the scene for the day. Mr. Ahmed Saeed expanded on HBL’s journey of Social and Environmental Management Systems (SEMS) to carve a place as Pakistan’s most engaged bank in the green financing space. Representing both a prime health care institution and university, Mr. Syed Sohail spoke about AKU's activities in decarbonising buildings and operations, while also strengthening climate literacy inside and beyond AKU. It became clear that both agencies of AKDN are deeply committed to contributing towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The next two speakers educated the participants on the technical aspects of climate mitigation. Mr. Muhammad Amjad Malik of HBL tackled the crucial topics of climate change and GHG emissions, with a specific focus on building knowledge around net zero and sharing actionable insights from HBL’s experience. Shifting gears to break down technicalities, Ms. Miriam Kugele of AKU imparted knowledge on carbon accounting, aiming to arm the attendees with the tools and frameworks needed to kick-start and recognize opportunities for more sustainable practices.An engaging, interactive activity with vendors followed, fostering a collaborative atmosphere and enabling participants to share insights, challenges, and solutions in real-time. With nearly 80 suppliers from sectors including IT, construction, FMCG and office items, the participants found this to be one of the most useful sessions not only for sharing knowledge and experiences, but to network, connect and support each other.
To hear even more diverse experiences of what all has been achieved by companies in Pakistan, Mr. Saqib Sohail of Artistic Milliners and Mr. Muhammad Muneeb Khan from Agha Steel delved into their organizations' sustainability practices, providing tangible examples of the seminar's core themes in action. Mr. Sohail explained: “We need to reduce our scope 1 and 2 emissions so those to whom we supply can reach their scope 3 emissions reduction targets. It’s a win-win towards the vision that no communities should be adversely affected by our activities.”To conclude and draw the themes together, Ms. Maya Ismail of HBL synthesized the discussions, emphasizing the importance of collective endeavors for a sustainable future. “AKDN’s mission is to improve the quality of life, and that now includes to reduce our impact on the planet. To this end, we have been directing resources for building capacity of our teams and our external stakeholders to collectively reduce our impact on the planet. Our priority remains consistent, to innovate and to provide solutions that support growth and that improve quality of life. I’d like to thank you for being our partners on this journey.”The seminar was an earnest effort to fortify suppliers with knowledge, fostering a more informed and sustainable business environment. The collaboration was also an important testament to the power of AKDN as a network, that together has the goal to ‘lead by example’ in the environment and climate space.