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Sustaining ESG Momentum in the MENA Region Post-COP28

by Madaline Dunn

With COP28 wrapping up, companies in the Mena region are now faced with the oh-so-important task of keeping the ball rolling with their ESG initiatives. We all know that the passion for sustainability can easily fizzle out without some serious action. That’s why I have laid out some essential steps which I have advised our clients on and now sharing it here to make sure that ESG and sustainability stay front and center on their agendas.

Build Capacity and Promoting Education: Here at CommUnique, we’ve been blown away by the surge in attendance for our ESG training sessions and the growing demand for customized workshops. It’s clear that boosting understanding and expertise within your organization is absolutely crucial for driving those ESG goals forward. That’s why we strongly recommend investing wholeheartedly in comprehensive training programs for employees at all levels. These programs cover everything from ESG Strategy and Governance to Leadership and Communication, and they’re absolutely vital for empowering your team to supercharge your ESG agenda. As your employees become more proficient and knowledgeable, they’ll truly grasp their pivotal role in this journey, enabling them to take more meaningful and impactful actions across your entire organization.

Engage with Stakeholders and Fostering Collaboration: ESG efforts in the MENA region can’t happen in a bubble. Businesses need to get comfortable with a diverse group of stakeholders, including government bodies, non-profits, local communities, and even competitors. This collaborative approach can spark some seriously innovative solutions, the sharing of best practices, and the creation of a united front in tackling regional sustainability challenges.

Invest in Technology and Innovation: Tech is going to be a game-changer when it comes to crushing those ESG goals. Companies should be investing in research and development of sustainable technologies, like renewable energy, bank transaction CO2 calculators, carbon offsetting through agreement with local farmers and land owners, water conservation systems, and eco-friendly supply chain solutions. Embracing that digital transformation can also lead to more efficient resource management and a smaller environmental footprint.

Advocate Policies and Demonstrating Thought Leadership: Companies have the power to make some serious waves when it comes to shaping the policy environment in the MENA region. By actively engaging in discussions with policymakers and sharing success stories and lessons learned, they can position themselves as thought leaders in sustainability and influence wider industry practices and regulations.

The end of COP28 is not a signal to slow down but a call to action for companies in the MENA region to integrate ESG into their DNA. By implementing these steps, companies can ensure that sustainability is not just a passing trend but a lasting component of their operational ethos, contributing to a more sustainable and resilient future for the region.

By Gihan Hyde, CEO & Founder of CommUnique, a B Corp-certified ESG Strategy and Communications Advisory Firm.

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