Masdar News

Masdar’s Fourth Annual Blogging Contest Aspires to a Higher Purpose

13 Jan 2016
  • Around 100 entries received from 33 nations in 2016
  • Winning submission from Toronto-based writer calls for companies to be socially as well as profit driven

Abu Dhabi, UAE – 14 January, 2016: Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company, has announced the winner of its fourth annual ‘Engage’ Blogging Contest. This year’s theme, which focused on how governments and the business community can collaborate to help mitigate climate change, inspired nearly 100 entries from 33 countries.

This year’s winning post, Benefit Corporations for a Sustainable Economy, was submitted by Melissa Schweyer, a writer based in Toronto, Canada. Schweyer’s blog argued that more companies should be allowed to register as ‘purpose-driven’ legal entities, as opposed to companies that are only ‘profit driven’.

Often called ‘benefit corporations’ in North America, such organisations are formally recognised as businesses with an overriding social or environmental purpose. Directors of such firms have greater freedom to make decisions based on priorities other than those of the typical quarterly financial reporting cycle.

Schweyer’s thinking was inspired by five years working in the non-profit sector, for NGOs including Habitat for Humanity.

As the winner of this year’s blogging competition, Schweyer will be Masdar’s VIP blogger at the 2016 Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW), which runs from January 16-23.

During ADSW, the Middle East’s largest gathering on sustainability, she will have the opportunity to cover the event’s official Opening Ceremony and Abu Dhabi Global Action Day. The blogger will also get a chance to report on the ninth World Future Energy Summit, the eighth Zayed Future Energy Prize Awards Ceremony, the fourth International Water Summit, the third annual EcoWaste Summit, the first full-day Women in Sustainability, Environment and Renewable Energy (WiSER) conference, and the first ever Student Exclusive event, along with other ADSW activities.

“This year’s competition theme reflects a wider debate on the importance of public-private partnerships in the adoption of sustainable development and renewable energy, and the obligations of the business community to demonstrate leadership on sustainability issues,” said Dr Nawal Al-Hosany, Director of Sustainability at Masdar.

“It’s pleasing that the contest again stimulated considerable online discussion and insight, and ideas that may ultimately lead to practical action and further innovation.”

Along with the winning post by Melissa Schweyer, the remaining six finalists’ posts are available online at

This year’s Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week will gather more than 33,000 participants from 170 countries, including global decision makers in research, policy, industry and finance, to address the interconnected challenges and opportunities of sustainable development, renewable energy and water security.


About Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week

“Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) is the largest gathering on sustainability in the Middle East -- a ground-breaking global forum that unites thought leaders, policy makers and investors to address the challenges and opportunities of renewable energy and sustainable development through dialogue and action. With a new mandate to confront climate change achieved at the Paris Climate Conference (COP 21), ADSW 2016 is promoting multilateral cooperation and bold decision making to accelerate the adoption of the sustainable solutions needed to realise the economic aspirations of future generations and to accommodate rapid global population growth.”

About Masdar

Masdar is Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company which works to advance the development, commercialization and deployment of clean energy technologies and solutions. The company serves as a link between today’s fossil fuel economy and the energy economy of the future. Wholly owned by the Mubadala Development Company PJSC, the strategic investment company of the Government of Abu Dhabi, Masdar is dedicated to the Emirates’ long-term vision for the future of energy and water.


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