Murtaza Ahmed UN award

The United Nations Global Compact announced ten new SDG Pioneers – young business leaders who are doing an exceptional job to advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The 2019 search for SDG Pioneers focused on professionals aged 35 and under, working at any level in a company participating in the UN Global Compact.

The SDG Pioneers were judged by an expert 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. The 2019 UN Global Compact SDG Pioneers are from Pakistan, Bangladesh, UK, Netherlands, Indonesia, Singapore, Kenya, Canada, USA, and Myanmar.

Artistic Milliners’ Director, Murtaza Ahmed, is selected amongst ten 2019 UN Global Compact SDG Pioneers for promoting the gender equality and decent work and elevating Pakistan’s garment industry onto the leading edge of corporate sustainability. With such achievement, Artistic Milliners has become the first entity from Pakistan to receive this global recognition.

Artistic Milliners has been a participant of the United Nations Global Compact since April 2018 and is an active member of Global Compact Network Pakistan. Through Network Pakistan, the company has become a signatory to the Women’s Empowerment Principles and participated in Network Pakistan forums, such as “Linking SDGs with Sustainable Business Growth”, in 2018.

This year, Murtaza Ahmed worked to create a factory carrying the Platinum certification issued by the Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, known around the world as LEED.

These certification credentials would dovetail with seven Sustainable Development Goals: Goal 3 (Good Health and Well-Being); Goal 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation); Goal 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy); Goal 9 (Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure); Goal 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production); Goal 13 (Climate Action); and Goal 17 (Partnership for the Goals).

In addition to creating a clean and safe workplace, Murtaza Ahmed worked tirelessly on gender quality issues: helping women live more satisfying lives; improving the company’s bottom line; and advancing Goal 5 (Gender Equality) while filling 50 per cent of the company’s board of directors with women.

With the launch of “Diversity and Inclusion Strategy”, Artistic Milliners aims to help the most marginalized groups in Pakistani society, including women, transgender people, differently-abled people and acid burn victims.

This strategy is just one Artistic Milliners uses to integrate the Ten Principles into its business strategy. The company has a zero-tolerance policy on forced and child labor. In sync with environmental Principles 7, 8 and 9, Murtaza helped create Artistic Lab, a Denim Research & Innovation Center located in Dubai, to develop sustainable innovative solutions. The denim manufacturing industry is a major user of water and the company is a signatory of the CEO Water Mandate, a Compact initiative, and part of the Alliance for Water Stewardship.

For more information on Murtaza Ahmed’s work, please visit:

The 2019 SDG Pioneers attended the UN Global Compact Leaders Week organized on the sidelines of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly from 23 to 26 September 2019 at the UN Headquarters in New York.

About the United Nations Global Compact:
As a special initiative of the UN Secretary-General, the United Nations Global Compact works with companies everywhere to align their operations and strategies with ten universal principles in the areas of human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption. Launched in 2000, the UN Global Compact guides and supports the global business community in advancing UN goals and values through responsible corporate practices. With more than 9,500 companies and 3,000 non-business signatories based in over 160 countries, and more than 60 Local Networks, it is the largest corporate sustainability initiative in the world.

About SDG Pioneers:
As part of its Making Global Goals Local Business campaign, each year the UN Global Compact recognizes a class of SDG Pioneers — business leaders, who are using business as a force for good to advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Earlier this year, Global Compact Local Networks in several countries hosted national-level SDG Pioneers programs. These winners automatically took part in the global round along with other candidates. The 2019 SDG Pioneers program is supported by the Tuborg Foundation.


About Artistic Milliners:
Established in 1949, Artistic Milliners is a denim fabric and garment manufacturing company based in Pakistan with a strong focus on technology, innovation, and sustainability. Artistic Milliners is the first denim mill in the world to develop Cradle-to-Cradle Gold Certified Denim Fabric in partnership with G-Star RAW and developer of “Crystal Clear” clean indigo technology together with DyStar® and G-Star RAW. Artistic Milliners today employs about 16,000 people with representative offices across the globe with a showroom in Soho, New York. Artistic Lab Dubai is a Design and R&D Center equipped with innovative technology machines and utilizes Eco-friendly processes and serves as an incubation center for designers and developers to experiment new washing techniques with latest technological advancements in sustainable garment washing. Company’s Eco-Tech Garment Unit is Pakistan’s first LEED platinum-certified factory. Artistic Milliners became the official signatories of UN Women Empowerment Principles as participants of UN Sustainable Development Goals and ranked among the 2018 FT&HERoes Champions of Women in business list. Artistic Milliners is Pakistan’s first FAIRTRADE certified factory which represents safe and healthy working conditions, sustainable livelihood for the people behind it, environmental protections and additional funds to empower worker communities.

Artistic Milliners; the Denim Company of Future.
Instagram: @ArtisticMilliners


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