ESG Revolution Sweeps Middle East: Green Future Project unveils the driving forces behind this transformation
A recent PwC survey has revealed a significant surge in the adoption of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) strategies among organizations across the Middle East. Green Future Project (GFP), a B-Corp specializing in corporate sustainability solutions, shared insights into this environmental transformation.
In 2022, a mere 18 percent of Middle Eastern companies had established an ESG strategy. Fast forward to 2023, and the landscape has changed dramatically, with 64 percent of organizations in the region now implementing formal ESG policies. This shift signifies a growing commitment to sustainable practices among businesses in the Middle East.
The survey also uncovered that 73 percent of companies surveyed have either committed to becoming carbon-neutral or are actively working towards achieving that goal. Additionally, 40 percent of respondents are hopeful that the upcoming COP28 will lead to government initiatives aimed at improving ESG infrastructure and incentivizing green growth.
Zain Tarawneh, Co-founder and Chief Growth Officer at Green Future Project (GFP), shed light on the driving forces behind this transition, stating, "There's both a bottom-up and top-down movement happening, the former being pushed by mindful changes in consumer behaviour, and the latter by companies implementing reformative frameworks such as ESG and environmental policy. As a result, businesses are demonstrating an increased sense of responsibility as they strive to make a meaningful impact while remaining both profitable and competitive."
With COP28 set to commence in the UAE at the end of November 2023, the country is poised to play a pivotal role in advancing its green agenda and fostering dialogue among key industry stakeholders and government entities. However, challenges persist, including a green skills gap and limited access to sustainable finance.
Tarawneh pointed out that nearly half of the organizations across the Middle East, 46 percent to be exact, are self-funding their ESG activities. While this is a welcome sign for a greener future, more innovative green financing opportunities should be explored to unlock the region's full potential and enable the realization of its climate ambitions. COP28 will serve as an ideal platform for discussing such topics and ultimately provide global benefits.
GFP is collaborating with UAE-based organisations across various sectors, including digital banking, hospitality, real estate, and finance, to pioneer sustainable action in the region, actively contributing to the UAE's green objectives and aligning with governmental mandates, such as UAE Net Zero 2050.