Artistic Milliners director Murtaza Ahmed was recognized last month by the United Nations Global Compact for his efforts to promote gender equality and advance sustainability in Pakistan’s garment industry.
The UN Global Compact named Ahmed one of 10 2019 Sustainable Development Goals Pioneers, a distinction for young business leaders aged 35 and under who are helping to advance its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The SDG Pioneers were selected by a 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.
Artistic Milliners is the first company from Pakistan to have a leader receive this global recognition.
This year, Ahmed worked to create a factory carrying the Platinum certification issued by the Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). He also promoted gender equality by filling half of the company’s board of directors with women and launched the “Diversity and Inclusion Strategy,” Artistic Milliner’s effort to help marginalized groups in Pakistani society.
In addition, Ahmed helped create Artistic Lab, a denim research and innovation center located in Dubai, to develop sustainable innovative solutions.
Artistic Milliners has been a participant of the UN Global Compact since April 2018 and is an active member of Global Compact Network Pakistan. Through Network Pakistan, the denim fabric and garment manufacturing company has become a signatory to the Women’s Empowerment Principles and participated in several forums.
The company is also a signatory of the CEO Water Mandate, a Compact initiative, and is part of the Alliance for Water Stewardship.
The 2019 UN Global Compact SDG Pioneers are from Bangladesh, Canada, Indonesia, Kenya, Myanmar, Netherlands, Pakistan, Singapore, the U.K. and the U.S.