Kyndryl (NYSE: KD), the world’s largest IT infrastructure services provider, in collaboration with Microsoft, released the findings of The Global Sustainability Barometer study. The study, conducted by Ecosystm, finds that while 88% of organizations in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) place a high strategic level of importance on achieving their sustainability goals, only 22% have integrated sustainability into their strategies and data.
As the world faces an increase in climate-related events and challenges, there is an urgency among businesses to act now using technology to drive sustainable solutions. While 63% of organizations surveyed in the UAE see great significance in technology’s role to achieve their goals, only 30% believe they are making full use of it in their organizations.
“Many companies are at different stages of sustainability maturity,” said Faith Taylor, Chief Sustainability and ESG Officer, Kyndryl. “Companies are applying technology to unlock the full potential of sustainability. They are thinking beyond regulatory compliance to pragmatically execute and advance their sustainability goals.”
“Technology has emerged as a key enabler to sustainability success, and its role will only continue to grow with the advent of more sophisticated AI tools,” said Shelly Blackburn, Vice President, Cross Solutions Area, Microsoft. “We are eager to help drive meaningful change and contribute to a more sustainable future in collaboration with Kyndryl.”
Key highlights of the survey include:
- While CEOs and boards have made sustainability and digital transformation a priority, they need help with integration and execution of their programs to meet their goals.
- 73% of organizations in the UAE use AI to monitor energy use, but only 46% use current data to predict future energy consumption.
- Among stakeholders of organizations in the UAE, employees are the most vocal in advocating for sustainability policies and practices, followed by investors, customers and government regulators.
Drivers to Building a More Sustainable Organization in the UAE
Below are sustainability best practices for driving growth and improving business outcomes:
- Make sustainability a CEO and Boardroom priority aligned with finance and technology. Over 52% of organizations in the UAE entrust the CEO and the Board with leadership roles in their sustainability functions.
- Align sustainability with technology modernization. Technology can help to automate, modernize and prioritize sustainability processes and infrastructures. Of the respondents surveyed in the UAE, 64% use automation to improve efficiencies and build sustainable operations, while 51% use technology to reduce the environment footprint of their organization and support data and reporting requirements.Build an integrated data foundation. Streamline data management for informed decision-making and successful execution of strategies. A mere 12% of organizations in the UAE have the capability to provide their employees with real-time sustainability dashboards.
- Unleash AI for predictive sustainability. Expand the use of AI beyond reporting to include predictive analytics that assess Scope 3 risks, forecast energy consumption and anticipate potential risks such as natural disasters.
- Empower employees. The study found that 55% of surveyed organizations in the UAE lack dedicated resources or limited internal expertise, which outlines the need for additional workforce development.
“Faced with record-breaking temperatures and unparalleled climate-related events, this is a moment that calls for collective action from governments, industries, enterprises and individuals alike,” said Ullrich Loeffler, Co-Founder & CEO, Ecosystm. “Together with Kyndryl and Microsoft, we are honored to make this study available to forward-thinking organizations everywhere to outline steps they can take today to drive measurable sustainability impact.”
The Global Sustainability Barometer study, conducted by Ecosystm in collaboration with Kyndryl and Microsoft, was conducted among 1,523 technology and sustainability business leaders across 16 countries in Asia, Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and the Americas. The survey took place between September – October 2023. The survey was conducted across nine industries and included small to medium as well as global companies. Learn more about the study, “From Vision to Impact: The Global Sustainability Barometer.”