The Pearl Initiative launched the Business Pledge to call upon senior business leaders in the Gulf Region to make a public commitment to adhere to principles of ethical and responsible conduct when carrying out business and interacting with society. The Business Pledge allows business leaders to showcase their best practices while uniting students and business leaders to discuss the four pillars of Pearl Initiative’s Business Pledge programme.


The Pearl Initiative team would like to thank the following organisations and individuals for their valuable input, time and engagement with our programme:

  • Emirates NBD
  • Elena Cruz, Head of Brand & Corporate Responsibility, Emirates NBD
  • Murdoch University Dubai and Dr Keary Shandler
  • Murdoch University Dubai Students

The Pearl Initiative team would also like to extend a special thanks to PepsiCo as funders of the programme, and supporters of this initiative.

Event Summary  

Event Location: Murdoch University, Dubai, UAE

The Pearl Initiative held a collaborative event between Emirates NBD and Murdoch University in Dubai on October 23rd, 2018 in Dubai.

The event was a Business Pledge session held as part of the Pearl Initiative’s student engagement initiative, designed to provide students with the opportunity to engage with business leaders to learn more about the practical aspects pertaining to the implementation of sustainable best practices in business.

The session was delivered by Ms Elena Cruz, Executive VP, Head of Brand & Corporate Responsibility at Emirates NBD. Ms Cruz discussed one of the four pillars of the Business Pledge titled ‘Setting Targets for sustainable and responsible growth’, sharing insights on how Emirates NBD defines sustainability, and what it means to the organization as a whole. Additional information was shared around their Philanthropic endeavours and the journey taken by Emirates NBD towards Creating Shared Value (CSV).

Ms Cruz shed light on the elements of the CSV initiatives being implemented by Emirates NBD at great length describing the positive impact such initiatives had to both its shareholders, as well as the growth and development of the organisation itself.   

Ms Cruz also spoke about the importance of aligning the company’s best practices with pre-existing and well-established frameworks such as the UN Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs) which helps ease the process of measuring impact, saving valuable time that would otherwise be lost to establishing new processes.

Ms Cruz concluded the session by shedding light on the positive impact of the implementation of such practices in relation to the organisation’s growth and reputation, both within Emirates NBD and across the broader community.