Dubai – Striving to be the most sustainable World Expo in history, Expo 2020 Dubai has collaborated with Dutch company Global Sustainable Enterprise System (GSES) under efforts to measure and report the sustainability performance of key stakeholders across the event.

Specifically developed by GSES for Expo 2020, the tailored software platform measures the sustainability impact of the event’s suppliers' and Country Pavilions – resulting in comprehensive rating cards, based on independent audits, that measure sustainability performance.

When organizing an event as big as Expo 2020 Dubai, keeping supply chains transparent is a challenging task. However, with the goal of hosting the most sustainable World Expo to date, it becomes an absolute must. GSES CEO Kelly Ruigrok emphasizes that "Without an all-in-one system to manage sustainability performance, it becomes nearly impossible to ensure that your supply chain and event is sustainable. Expo 2020 realized this challenge and found its solution in the GSES.”

GSES developed the software platform based on the RISE Guidelines already developed Expo 2020, the first of their kind in the region. Expo 2020 tasked GSES with developing the online RISE Guidelines on their Software Platform, which automates and facilitates the data collection of all Expo 2020 suppliers, Country Pavilions and partners’ sustainability performance.

Using the GSES rating cards, Expo 2020 was able to verify its suppliers, International Participants, and exhibitors to meet its high sustainability standards. Joining the RISE Guidelines with the software platform and ensuring everyone involved in Expo 2020 abided by these guidelines was the first step. The platform then facilitated the verification process and sustainability claims of its suppliers and stakeholders.

The collaboration between Expo 2020 and GSES came to fruition from a trade mission on innovation, organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week. The collaboration became official this past year with GSES then becoming a direct supplier for Expo.

H.E. Lody Embrechts, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the UAE, said, “The Netherlands Pavilion’s theme of ‘Uniting Water, Energy, Food’ contributes to more awareness and international cooperation in achieving some of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). At the pavilion, we will be showcasing how working together we can contribute towards achieving some of the SDGs, thereby reducing the pavilion’s ecological footprint to as low as possible. We are delighted that the Dutch company GSES has developed such sophisticated measurement techniques regarding sustainable impact that help contribute to these important goals”.

Dina Storey, Director, Sustainability Operations, Expo 2020 Dubai, said: “We have adopted a wide-ranging approach to achieving our site-wide sustainability goals, underscoring our bold ambitions with grand action to integrate sustainability into all of our experiences and operations. Our collaboration with GSES is emblematic of these efforts, supported by the sustainability commitments of our stakeholders as we work together to host one of the most sustainable World Expos in history and create a meaningful, measurable impact beyond the site and our 182-day run.”

In an interview, Ruigrok radiated a sense of pride that the GSES which she founded is the supplier able to provide Expo 2020 Dubai with the process. She added, "this proves to the world that GSES truly is world leading in the field of verified ESG and sustainability ratings, with top clients that include Univé, ABN Amro Bank, IFS – and now, Expo 2020 Dubai. The most exciting moment for me is when suppliers and International Participants, once they are verified, can share their GSES RISE Rating card to communicate their sustainability achievements. I cannot wait for that moment and I am incredibly proud of my team!”

The GSES rating cards will be transparently accessible through the software platform, with Expo 2020’s RISE Guidelines having the potential to be the new eco-label across the region as other organizations adapt their sustainability-related policies.

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