Murtaza Ahmed selected amongst ten SDG Pioneers

15 Nov '19
3 min read
(L-R) Artistic Milliners
(L-R) Artistic Milliners' Murtaza Ahmed with Lise Kingo, CEO/Executive Director, United Nations Global Compact, Pic: Artistic Milliners

The United Nations Global Compact has announced ten new SDG Pioneers-young business leaders doing an exceptional job to advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Artistic Milliners’ Director, Murtaza Ahmed is selected amongst them for promoting gender equality and elevating Pakistan’s garment industry onto leading edge of corporate sustainability.

With such achievement, Artistic Milliners has become the first entity from Pakistan to receive this global recognition.

The 2019 search for SDG Pioneers focused on professionals aged 35 and under, working at any level in a company participating in the UN Global Compact. The SDG Pioneers were judged by an expert panel comprised of representatives of business, academia and civil society. The selection criteria included the individuals' commitment to embedding the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact into their companies' core strategies, their efforts to advance the SDGs, as well as their engagement with the UN Global Compact and its Local Networks.  The 2019 UN Global Compact SDG Pioneers are from Pakistan, Bangladesh, UK, Netherlands, Indonesia, Singapore, Kenya, Canada, USA and Myanmar.

The selection criteria included the individuals' commitment to embedding the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact into their companies' core strategies, their efforts to advance the SDGs, as well as their engagement with the UN Global Compact and its Local Networks.  The 2019 UN Global Compact SDG Pioneers are from Pakistan, Bangladesh, UK, Netherlands, Indonesia, Singapore, Kenya, Canada, USA and Myanmar.

Artistic Milliners has been a participant of the United Nations Global Compact since April 2018 and is an active member of Global Compact Network Pakistan. Through Network Pakistan, the company has become a signatory to the Women’s Empowerment Principles and participated in Network Pakistan forums, such as “Linking SDGs with Sustainable Business Growth”, in 2018.

This year, Murtaza Ahmed worked to create a factory carrying the Platinum certification issued by the Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, known around the world as LEED. These certification credentials would dovetail with seven Sustainable Development Goals: Goal 3 (Good Health and Well-Being); Goal 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation); Goal 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy); Goal 9 (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure); Goal 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production); Goal 13 (Climate Action); and Goal 17 (Partnership for the Goals). 

In addition to creating a clean and safe workplace, Murtaza Ahmed worked tirelessly on gender quality issues: helping women live more satisfying lives; improving the company’s bottom line; and advancing Goal 5 (Gender Equality) while filling 50 per cent of the company’s board of directors with women.

With the launch of “Diversity and Inclusion Strategy”, Artistic Milliners aims to help the most marginalised groups in Pakistani society, including women, transgender people, differently-abled people and acid burn victims.

This strategy is just one Artistic Milliners uses to integrate the Ten Principles into its business strategy. The company has a zero-tolerance policy on forced and child labour. In synch with environmental Principles 7, 8 and 9, Murtaza helped create Artistic Lab, a Denim Research & Innovation Center located in Dubai, to develop sustainable innovative solutions. The denim manufacturing industry is a major user of water and the company is a signatory of the CEO Water Mandate, a Compact initiative, and part of the Alliance for Water Stewardship.

The 2019 SDG Pioneers attended the UN Global Compact Leaders Week organised on the sidelines of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly from 23 to 26 September 2019 at the UN Headquarters in New York.

(Except for the headline and the first para, this story has not been edited by Fibre2Fashion staff.)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (PA)

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