Over the past decade, the term sustainability and Corporate Responsibility has caught on in the boardroom, courtroom and living room. While the concept has reached the mainstream, opportunities abound for implementation. Ten trends to watch for and prepare in 2018 in Gulf Countries
- Sustainable Cities – Now that the insurance sector acknowledges the risks of climate change, increasingly local governments will prepare themselves. NEOM will be a similar size to Belgium and have more robots than humans. The recently proposed $500 billion sustainable city in NW Saudi Arabia will be fully powered by renewable energy, and become the country’s hub for industry, technology and entertainment. NEOM is part of Saudi Arabia’s 2030 vision to diversify its economy and transform its energy generation. The first phase of NEOM is due to be finished by 2025, with the city expected to use the latest technology (“passenger drones”, free online education and robots to do repetitive and arduous tasks) and have the highest possible environmental standards (carbon-free homes).
- More Sustainability Reporting for companies that did not considered it in the past and more transparency. GRI standards are the dominant standard for Reporting so far in all Gulf countries
- Cultural divide – Besides the haves and have nots, expect a divide between those who do and those who don’t: do recycle, don’t eat meat; don’t stave off vampire electrics, do use plastic bags; don’t drive big cars, do carpool. Reduce/reuse from the Thrift Store or shop new at the Box Store? Fortunately, retailers will offer more sustainable products to attract both.
- Corporate breakdown of silos – Corporations will increasingly value integrating sustainability across departments, product lines, R&D, manufacturing, infrastructure, everything! Up and down the supply chain, as imperative for international trade or a method of risk abatement – assimilating sustainability will become essential to ameliorate corporate woes and increase profitability.
- Fake news driving real news – With so little trust in media, companies, NGOs and governments will increasingly depend on externally assured self-reporting of their sustainability successes and challenges. As stakeholders become disillusioned and distrustful, sustainability reporting must prove itself – real metrics, no green or blue washing, quantifiable goals. And, all of it must be verified by an outside source.
- More organizations private and public Will Align with UN SDGs: The Sustainable Development Goals call for action by all UN member states to promote prosperity while protecting the planet. By aligning around the 17 Goals, and their smaller targets, corporations can choose among major initiatives they want to take on. The SDGs are also going to change and enhance future CSR/Sustainability reports.
- More Sustainable Events will create awareness to public. Abu Dhabi’s Sustainability Week, one of the largest sustainability gatherings, will focus on “Driving the Global Energy Transformation”. It will address key global trends that are impacting the shift to sustainable energy: Climate Change, Urbanization and Digitization. One of the focus areas will be youth, while emerging entrepreneurs and innovators will have the opportunity to forge partnerships with leading global investors.
- More Sustainability related jobs will be created including Social and Green startups You can take a look to sustainability-academy.org for getting advanced knowledge in this field and get qualified
- Role of technology – Between smart grids, smart supply chains and smart transport, i.e., electric trucks, trains and cars, reliance on AI will increase
- More need for education in the Sustainability Field. Millenial’s attention to Corporate Responsibility will increase and the need for more professional and academic education in this field will become a permanent trend
The Centre for Sustainability and Excellence (CSE) specializes in global sustainability consulting, training and research. CSE has trained over 2,000 professionals in Gulf Countries since 2005. CSE’s Sustainability Academy offers affordable, online education in corporate responsibility. Accredited by CMI (Chartered Management Institute), CSE is a GRI-certified training provider. Upcoming in-person Certified Sustainability (CSR) Practitioner Programs (2018 Advanced Edition) LONDON, 1-2 March, 2018