UAE: 80% of residents willing to cancel ties with brands not taking sustainability seriously

81 per cent of people in country ready to leave their company to work for a brand that places greater focus on social initiatives


Waheed Abbas

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Published: Wed 20 Apr 2022, 6:23 PM

People in the UAE are demanding more progress on sustainability and social efforts with 80 per cent of them willing to cancel their relationship with a brand that does not take sustainability and social initiatives seriously, according to a new survey released on Wednesday.

According to a new study by Oracle and Pamela Rucker, CIO Advisor and Instructor for Harvard Professional Development, around 81 per cent of UAE respondents said they would even leave their current company to work for a brand that places a greater focus on these efforts.

The survey found that local businesses need to prioritise sustainability and social issues and rethink how they use technology to make an impact – or risk facing major consequences.

As many as 99 per cent of people in the Emirates want to make progress on sustainability and social factors to establish healthier ways of living.

Around 97 per cent of people said if firms can clearly demonstrate the progress they are making on environmental and social issues, they would be more willing to pay a premium for their products and services while 92 per cent would invest in those companies and 95 per cent would work for them.

“The events of the past two years have put sustainability and social initiatives under the microscope and people are demanding material change. While there are challenges to tackling these issues, businesses have an immense opportunity to change the world for the better,” said Rucker.

“The results show that people are more likely to do business with and work for organisations that act responsibly toward our society and the environment. This is an opportune moment. While thinking has evolved, technology has as well, and it can play a key role in overcoming many of the obstacles that have held progress back,” he said.

“It's never been more critical for businesses to invest in sustainability and ESG initiatives, as people don’t just want to hear about it – they’re looking for decisive action and are demanding more transparency and tangible results,” said Juergen Lindner, senior vice president and CMO, Global Marketing SaaS, Oracle.

Bots better than humans?

The survey found that 74 per cent of UAE residents believe bots will succeed where humans have failed with corporate sustainability.

Around 99 per cent of business leaders in the UAE admit human bias and emotion often distract from the end goal, and 97 per cent believe organisations that use technology to help drive sustainable business practices will be the ones that succeed in the long run.

Nearly all – 98 per cent – of business leaders in the UAE would trust a bot over a human to make sustainability and social decisions. They believe bots are better at collecting different types of data without error; making rational, unbiased decisions; and predicting future outcomes based on metrics/past performance.


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