COP28 INSIGHTS: Businesses Set to Move Toward Innovation and Sustainability

The UAE's hosting of COP28 is an opportune moment to bridge the gap between ambition and action

By Abdallah Massaad/Viewpoint

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There are several global commitments to achieve net zero carbon footprint, which highlights a need for increased cooperation between private and public sector players for ideal results.
There are several global commitments to achieve net zero carbon footprint, which highlights a need for increased cooperation between private and public sector players for ideal results.

Published: Fri 1 Dec 2023, 4:19 PM

As the UAE hosts COP28, the Year of Sustainability in 2023 takes on an even greater significance. COP28 in the UAE presents a prime opportunity for reflection and recalibration of sustainability agendas within various sectors and businesses. The insights gained from COP28 can serve as a compass to align with the nation’s sustainability initiatives that contribute to global goals, fostering a healthy environment and a greener economy.

As an industry-leading company founded in the UAE, we reflect on the profound responsibility that lies with businesses and individuals to shape a sustainable future. Aligned with the ambitious sustainability targets set by the UAE, we recognise the essential role of collaboration, innovation, and business practices to achieve these goals.

Towards Net Zero Emission

There are several global commitments to achieve net zero carbon footprint, which highlights a need for increased cooperation between private and public sector players for ideal results. Through continuous research and development initiatives, businesses must ensure implementation of energy-efficient technologies, investment in renewable energy sources, and collaborative approaches. For example, at RAK Ceramics, we partnered with entities like Etihad Rail to explore greener shipping options.

Investment in Sustainability

According to studies by SAP, about 73.5 per cent of business in the UAE are looking to increase their investments in sustainability strategies over the next three years. Our recent investments in upgrading the sanitaryware production line and the ongoing commitment to carbon capture exemplify our dedication to sustainable business practices.

With that said, sustainability demands investment, not just in monetary terms but in time, resources, processes, and beliefs. Sustainable transformation extends beyond individual initiatives to a holistic integration of environmental, social, and governance factors in every aspect of a business to create a 360-degree positive impact while generating new waves of growth in businesses.

Yet achieving this transformative shift demands an intense and fundamental change. It requires a deep understanding of emerging technologies, strong engagement with stakeholders, and a series of investments tailored to each unique organisation. As a listed company, our commitment to be transparent and timely ESG reporting is demonstrated in our 2022 Sustainability Report.

Connecting Technology and Sustainability

Technology serves as the catalyst for sustainable development, providing an effective tool against environmental challenges. Striking a balance between technological growth and environmental care is crucial. According to experts, IoT can help keep the temperature rise below 1.5 degrees, efficiently using energy and reducing GHG emissions. Therefore, businesses should leverage technological advancements, such as AI-driven supply chains and IoT devices, to effectively reduce environmental impact across various sectors.

Many global companies are actively integrating AI into various aspects of their businesses, while two-thirds of companies have either already or are in the process of applying AI to achieve their sustainability-related objectives. This integration of AI spans supply chain optimisation, waste reduction and recycling, energy efficiency, and smart technology investments. We use AI in our Smart Factory which was launched in Ras Al Khaimah, helping conserve energy and natural resources.

What can be done to manage the overarching environmental challenges

Addressing environmental challenges is integral for long-term sustainability and corporate responsibility. Companies can engage in sustainable practices through partnerships, investments in renewable sources, and upgrading facilities for reduced carbon footprint. To mitigate environmental challenges effectively, integrating technological solutions is crucial. This comprehensive and forward-thinking approach, coupled with transparent annual ESG reporting, fosters a resilient and responsible business ecosystem, aligning with the UAE’s sustainability goals.

In conclusion, as we navigate the urgency of climate change and population pressure, collaboration becomes paramount. The UAE's hosting of COP28 is an opportune moment to bridge the gap between ambition and action. By combining our vision, technology, and collaborative spirit, we can pioneer a transformative shift towards a sustainable and greener tomorrow.

Let's join forces to shape a world where innovation, responsibility, and collaboration converge to create a lasting impact on our planet and future generations.

— Abdallah Massaad is a Group CEO of 
RAK Ceramics. Views expressed are his own and do not reflect the magazine’s policy.


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