5 Strategies to Help Businesses Foster a Culture Supporting Sustainability Goals
Reem Asaad, VP Middle East and Africa at Cisco details some strategies to help businesses in the region become sustainability pioneers; while aligning on a shared goal: creating a sustainable future for generations to come.
The Middle East has long been associated with its abundant natural resources, particularly oil, and gas. However, in recent years, the region has been making significant strides towards adopting sustainable practices and embracing new technologies that support a greener and more sustainable future.
The drive towards ESG goals (Environmental, social, and corporate governance) in the Middle East has been backed by several factors, including a growing awareness of the impact of climate change and the need to preserve the region’s natural resources for future generations. Additionally, governments in the region are implementing policies and initiatives to promote initiatives required to achieve sustainable development goals.
Additionally, with the region hosting two consecutive COP summits – COP27 in Egypt last year and COP28 in the UAE later in the year – this has created a unique opportunity for our region to play a key role in driving forward sustainability conversations and efforts.
Today, sustainability is no longer an optional concept for businesses, but a crucial necessity, driven by demands from various stakeholders; and technology plays a key role in enabling ESG strategies, providing means for efficiency, innovation, and competitiveness. Businesses are now investing in AI, analytics, and automation to support their goals. However, many organisations in the region are still unsure about which objectives to establish and the best way to achieve them using technology, as the industry has grown rapidly in recent years.
In addition to diversity and inclusion, as well as local and cultural norms, another important factor for businesses to consider is the importance of organisational culture and their knowledge on creating a sustainable and successful business. Technology companies have a unique responsibility to consider the potential ethical implications of their products and services. By incorporating sustainability and social responsibility into their organisational culture and values, businesses can demonstrate their commitment to the well-being of society and the environment, which is becoming increasingly important to consumers and stakeholders.
According to a study conducted by IDC InfoBrief, sponsored by Cisco, titled “Enabling Sustainability Through Investments in Technology Is Critical to Driving Business Value,” 63% of global respondents consider sustainability a very important or extremely important priority. Yet only 37% have operationalised those goals. The study surveyed 1,244 IT professionals in 12 countries and conducted in-depth interviews with IT pros in various industries.
To achieve ESG goals, companies need to shift their culture towards sustainability by implementing the following strategies:
- Involve IT in driving sustainability as a critical player, integrating sustainability into all business operations, and driving investments in critical technologies.
- Shift focus from compliance to business outcomes by prioritising operational efficiency, competitive differentiation, innovation, and revenue growth.
- Develop a comprehensive data management strategy to manage and track sustainability performance.
- Establish clear KPIs to quantify progress towards sustainability goals and implement dashboards to measure and track KPIs.
- Select trusted technology vendors that align closely with their sustainability goals.
We believe these key insights will help businesses in the region become sustainability pioneers; while aligning on a shared goal: creating a sustainable future for generations to come.