Living Business 2021 

Would you like

your business to be healthier and stronger

your team to be performing at an even higher level


your buyers to approach your company because of its reputation for sustainability


then register to join Living Business 2021 now.

There are 50 places available. Participants receive:

  • One-on-one strategic guidance.

  • Help to identify opportunities for positive action.

  • Access to a panel of industry experts who will work with you to get projects done.

  • Participation in a graduation event to be held at the British pavilion at Expo 2020 to Participation in a graduation event to be held at Expo 2020 at the UK pavilion

Last October, HSBC set out an ambitious plan to prioritise financing and investment that supports the transition to a net-zero global economy – and helps to build a thriving, resilient future for society and businesses.

At the heart of the plan is a pledge to reduce financed emissions from HSBC's portfolio of customers to net-zero by 2050 or sooner, in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement.

To do this, HSBC is intensifying its support for customers to switch to more sustainable ways of doing business. HSBC wants to play a leading role in advising companies on their journey towards net-zero and has the ambition to provide between USD750 billion and USD1 trillion of finance and investment by 2030 to help companies achieve this goal.

With the support of HSBC, Living Business is supporting companies to develop and implement business plans for the planet.

Sand Dunes

Why is this competition so important?

Our current economic model is unsustainable and is threatening our continued existence as a species. Without the support of enlightened businesses restoring natural systems may be impossible. Time is running out. We need socially and environmentally responsible companies to be Trojan horses within the business community, leading the transformation to sustainability. 


Companies stand to gain as they realize significant cost savings through operational efficiencies. High-quality, diverse workplaces lead to greater employee satisfaction, retention and productivity. A reputation for sustainable leadership is increasingly leading to higher sales. And investors are now able to track high ESG performers and correlate better financial performance with better ESG performance.


Case studies from the 2020 programme

Example one

A major manufacturer of aluminium profiles diverted 500MT of waste from landfill to the cement industry to be used as a raw material. Living Business helped obtain regulatory approvals.

Example two

A manufacturer of transformers for the power industry implemented changes in their manufacturing process which resulted in a reduction of 120MT of steel waste. The simplest but most impactful changes were to slow the speed of the cutting machines.

Example three

A leading professional service has made substantial and permanent cuts in local and international travel, leading to a 60% reduction in their carbon footprint. They have partnered with a local business which captures methane from a Dubai Municipality landfill to buy carbon offsets for the balance of their emission, so they are now carbon neutral.

Tropical Leaves

The programme

The programme runs in four phases


Dates for your diary

Feb 2021

Launch event

  • On-line.

  • Explain the programme.

  • Introduce implementation partners.

  • Invite registrations.

Apr-Jun 2021
Support phase 
  • One-on-one strategic coaching and opportunity identification.

  • Connectivity to implementation partners and innovators.

Oct 2021
Showcasing phase
  • Data collection on project outcomes.

  • Shortlisting best projects.

Feb-Apr 2021
Registration phase
  • Companies register.

  • Qualify registrations

  • Registration closes 30Apr.

May-Sep 2021
Implementation phase
  • Companies implement the agreed project.

November 2021
Showcasing phase
  • Public Voting.

  • Programme Graduation Ceremony during Expo 2020 at the UK pavilion.


1. Registration

Sign up for the launch event and/or to participate in the programme.


To qualify you must have an active business in UAE and implement, during 2021, a project which will have a significant:


  • Environmental Impact

  • Social Impact

  • Governance Implementation


Not sure what to do? No worries. Register today and we will work alongside you to find the right project for you.

2. Coaching

We arrange a one-on-one coaching call with one of our experts who will take time to understand your business, ambitions and opportunities. Once we have an overall understanding of where you are and where you’d like to get to during 2021, we can assist by, for example:

  • Working with you on a sustainability strategy

  • Measuring aspects of your environmental impact

  • Putting in place a reporting framework

  • Introducing you to third parties with technical expertise in, for example, energy-saving, renewable energy generation or waste recycling.

3. Implementation 

You implement the agreed project(s). We are available if you need further support or if you need introductions to other third-party experts.

4. Showcasing

We ask you to tell us what you’ve achieved. And then we use social media, video, public voting and a graduation event to help you tell the world. 

We will be inviting the companies which show the most promise in each category to pitch at a final event at Expo 2020 at the UK pavilion.


Showcasing the leaders

We are looking for projects which are having or will have a significant:

Best environmental impact

Best social impact

Best governance implementation 

We will be inviting the companies which show the most promise in each category to pitch at the Get In the Ring final event at Expo 2020 at the UK pavilion.

Each winner will receive a place on a course at the Institute for Sustainability Leadership at the University of Cambridge which they can nominate one of their staff to attend.


Evaluation criteria

The business must, during 2021, implement or commence implementation of a change which:

Reduces the business’s or industry’s environmental footprint (e.g., saving of water, energy or waste or the introduction of a transformation innovation) and/or

Enhances the social capital of the business including the health, safety, wellbeing or skills of its staff or improves the wellbeing of its customers.

Creates a sustainable governance framework, including engagement, reporting and transparency.

Register here for the Living Business broadcast

If you have questions about the programme or would like more information please contact:

Keith Bradley

Keith Bradley

Melvin Visser

Melvin Visser

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