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GE brings together global industry experts at Expo 2020 Dubai to discuss a more sustainable future

In line with its sustainability commitment to tackling the world’s biggest challenges, GE held a high-level forum titled ‘Spotlight Tomorrow’ at Expo 2020 Dubai. Expo 2020 Dubai, which recently recorded nearly 3 million visitors since its opening, is enabling global and local changemakers to interact and exchange ideas for a better tomorrow.


The forum, focusing on embracing the future in energy, flight, and health, brought together influential experts from across the industry who contributed to insightful discussions and highlighted key actions to address the global challenge of sustainability. In addition to showcasing how businesses are putting sustainability at the heart of their strategy to build a more resilient future, they reiterated the need to act now offering solutions across industries.


The sustainability thought leaders from global and local entities who participated in the panel sessions included: Nabil Habayeb, Senior Vice President, GE and President & CEO, GE International Markets; Roger Martella, Vice President & Chief Sustainability Officer, GE; Ivano Iannelli, Head of Sustainability, Emirates Global Aluminium; Joseph Anis, President & CEO – EMEA, GE Gas Power; Ahmed Safa, Divisional SVP, Emirates Engineering; Mohammad Al Bulooki, Chief Operating Officer, Etihad; Mohamed Ali, Vice President & General Manager – Engineering, GE Aviation; Mohie Elrafey, Head of Strategic Marketing, GE Healthcare EMEA; Andre Daoud, CEO, Medcare Hospitals and Medical Centre; and Robert E. Mortiz, Chairman, PwC International Limited.


Delivering the opening remarks, Nabil Habayeb, Senior Vice President at GE, and President & CEO of GE International Markets, said: “Today, the world is rallying around the goal of sustainability – a global priority that requires strong action on the ground. In addition, we need to focus equally on resilience. From driving decarbonization of the energy sector, to utilizing disruptive technologies in the aviation sector, and developing precision healthcare, we at GE, are invested in solving the world’s biggest challenges. And this cannot be achieved without partnerships from clients and the government.”


Roger Martella, Vice President & Chief Sustainability Officer at GE presented a keynote speech regarding the critical milestones that the world will see across energy, aviation, and healthcare, especially in the decade leading up to 2030. He said, “The time to act is now. The current decade will set the trajectory for the future, and 2030 is a critical milepost in our sustainability journey. A decade from now and beyond, the world will look very different. Today, we have the opportunity to make systems more sustainable in the sectors in which we operate to support the global community in meeting its goals.”


In the first session exploring the specific, practical actions that the energy industry needs to take to decarbonize the sector, panelists called for collaboration to realize the energy transition. Emphasizing the need to deliver actual emission reductions instead of shifting CO2 from one balance sheet to another, it is evident that a holistic, sector-wide approach, involving governments and policymakers, as well as the entire energy value chain, needs to be carefully considered to reach global emission reduction targets.


The second panel discussion focused on how the aviation industry can achieve its C02 reduction goals. The panelists discussed progress on research and development of new, disruptive technologies and stressed the need to further these technologies to reach emissions goals. In addition to reviewing where we are today, panelists discussed the roadmap to economic viability, and the challenges and opportunities along the way.


The third moderated discussion focused on making healthcare systems more sustainable for the future, facilitating wider access to deliver better outcomes to more people. Exploring how businesses can meet the ultimate goal of precision health, participants discussed some of the challenges that need to be solved, and the solutions that the healthcare industry is working on now.


In the closing note, Robert E. Moritz, Global Chairman at PwC reiterated the concept of the ecosystem and the need to work together to get to the world we want tomorrow. He highlighted challenges that need to be addressed for sustainable impact including the importance of raising capital, reskilling and upskilling to meet the skills gap for technologies, and data reporting to help stakeholders make the right choices.


Last year, GE announced its plans to achieve carbon neutrality across its own operations by 2030, which is aligned to the sustainability and decarbonization targets outlined by governments in the region. Its commitment to sustainability across energy, aviation, and healthcare will complement the region’s focus on a resilient future of the next generation.