Business and Economy

Merck Foundation partners with African Leaders in Sustainable Art and Interiors as part of its Sustainability Initiative

Merck Foundation Sustainability Initiative dubbed “Sustainability is a Shared Responsibility” is as a critical part of The Merck Foundation Program to address sustainability challenges in the countries of the global south and to empower youth and support their development to make the Sustainability Leaders of tomorrow.

Merck Foundation ( meets today the African Leaders in circular art and sustainable interiors to discuss future solutions to raise awareness about sustainable art to explore creative ways of upcycling & recycling and encourage youth to lead a sustainable lifestyle. During the meeting opportunities of collaboration will be discussed to advance this concept in Africa and Middle East as part of “The Merck Foundation sustainability Initiative” efforts to empower youth and support their development to enable them to come up with creative ideas that can reduce carbon footprint, mitigate the impact of climate change and save the environment. This Initiative will naturally progress to the establishment of The Merck Global Sustainability Center which will be launched during Dubai Expo 2020.

Dr. Stefan Oschmann, Chairman of Executive Board and CEO of Merck emphasized “I am very happy to start the Sustainability Centre in Dubai, it underlines our commitment to broadening our relationships with other innovators, scientists, and entrepreneurs. We at Merck are curious minds dedicated to human progress. What attracted us to Dubai is its cross-roads location and its readiness to welcome ideas from all over the world, embrace new technologies and face up to the future.”

Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation explained, “We strongly believe that young people have numerous untapped capabilities. We wish to unleash such capabilities which would empower and enable them to lead the sustainable development and Green Environmental Agenda of their countries and to encourage others to lead a cool sustainable lifestyle in order to adapt to the impact of climate change. For this reason, we have developed The Merck Foundation Sustainability Initiative dubbed “Sustainability is a Shared Responsibility” (SSR). The aim of this Initiative is to educate, engage and empower youth and young   through access to information and change of mindset in order to enrich their understanding of sustainability as well as support their new innovative and creative ideas in the sustainability space.”

The Merck Foundation sustainability initiative plans to focus on capacity building and raising awareness in order to accelerate sustainable solutions to urban sustainability challenges through five pillar programs:

1. The Sustainability Ambassadors (SA): Esteemed profiles of The Sustainability Ambassadors will enable them to build advocacy and raise awareness amongst young people via media, social media and at different global and regional platforms in order to encourage youth to lead a sustainable life style with the aim of protecting the environment from further climate change.

2. Sustainability Education and Training Programs: Sustainability Education and Training Programs for students, community members, media, young professionals and entrepreneurs to improve access to information and change of mindset in order to strengthen their knowledge as Sustainability future leaders in their societies. These programs will encourage them to sensitize their communities and to work together to find their own solutions to mitigate impact of climate change in their small but significant ways.

3. Start-up Incubator: Start-up Incubator focused on nurturing the growth of new innovative businesses in the sustainability space including; sustainable innovation, sustainable interiors and exteriors, circular fashion, circular art and others.  It will also facilitate unique access to the broad expertise and infrastructure of Merck as a leading Science and Technology Company Through two different programs:

a) Merck Accelerator

b) SHAMS: Power of Ideas

4. Networking and Partnership Opportunities: With the aim to accelerate transition to a more sustainable world, Merck Foundation will collaborate with local and global stakeholders, including academia, research institutions, multi-sectoral businesses, governmental and non-governmental entities, as well as community organizations, media and artists.

5. Provision of Collaborative Research and Development Spaces: Provision of Collaborative Research and Development Spaces with the aim to support a new generation of innovators to accelerate the transition towards a more sustainable world.

“We will be taking the initiative further through the above listed 5 Pillars. Few important aspects include educating the youth to start utilizing the waste in a meaningful way. It’s time for everyone to be sensitive to the environment and understand the concept of creating ‘Treasure from Trash’ that has been introduced by many African artists and interior designers. Beautiful art pieces can be made by sorting and upcycling different kinds of waste; plastic, electronic, mechanics, woods, tyres and so on. We have discussed this creative concept during our meeting with African Leaders Sustainability Art And circular economy. And we agreed on certain program to raise awareness and advance sustainability products in the region. We should all work together to save our planet, in our own little way”, added Dr. Kelej.

Link to the Merck Foundation Sustainibility Initiative overview:

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