Insight: Sustainability Goals Mean a New Era of Winners & Losers

Insight: Sustainability Goals Mean a New Era of Winners & Losers

With COP28 on the horizon, the Middle East logistics sector is being challenged to level up like never before

Sustainability has become the single most important issue of our time, and with COP28 in Dubai on the horizon in late 2023, the Middle East has the potential to show leadership in a field where if you get left behind, huge ramifications are in store.

Because of the international, shared nature of sustainable change, massive opportunities are there for the taking for switched on Middle Eastern logistics firms.

However, there are also many risks if a given company gets it wrong.

This piece explores the major sustainability issues of the day and explores how they will impact firms in the Middle East transport and logistics market, charting a path of growth through it all.

Conscious Business Practices

The days of simply thinking we must make singular changes to our businesses - such as recycling or streamlining procesess - are gone.

If a modern business is to be sustainable and successful, it must weave a comprehensive sustainability strategy into the fabric of its daily operations and future planning.

This is what is meant by 'conscious business practices' - we remain aware and alive to every operation in a given business and maintain a green philosophy throughout.

Those who fail to make such changes at the boardroom and ground level, run the risk of falling way behind on sustainable targets, which has huge ramifications for the health of a brand and its standing in the marketplace.

Further, conscious business practice is a more holistic approach as not every technique works for every business.

What the modern world demands isn't so much uniform change, but a maximizing of green change within the framework of your unique business that includes recycling, renewable energies, and replanting efforts.

Incidentally, it was actions such as this that led DHL Global Forwarding to win the Most Inspiring Sustainable Logistics Pioneer Award at the recent TLME Inspiration Awards.

Evolution in Transport & Infrastructure

Here in the Middle East, we're lucky to have one of the most ambitious and modern infrastructure systems in the world.

This system means we can modernize our region in a sustainable way, as well as to look to the future of transportation today.

Given this is a major goal of Middle Eastern governments, we must be quick to join the drive towards low carbon transport, both public and private, and embrace the move towards electric cars and automated vehicles.

This is of huge importance, as of 2020, passenger vehicles accounted for 41% of all the worlds CO2 transport emissions, which is more than any other mode of transport.

Henceforth, we are likely to see increasing pressure on businesses and individuals alike to move towards more environmentally-friendly transportation, with fines cropping up around the world for those that pollute areas with a high-concentration of people.

(REAL) Brand Awareness

As aforementioned, the days of businesses having a sustainability arm are gone, they now need a holistic strategy, yet further to this, it needs to be replicated in their branding.

For the unaware, branding is not so much what your business is, it is how it is perceived - which is why Pepsi spend millions each year on the latest pop-star marketing their drink. Pepsi has precious little to do with pop music, yet via association, the brand takes on the social capital of a given celebrity.

The above is brand marketing 101, yet it should be emphasized that we are living in a more mature market these days, people are wary of so-called 'brand-washing', also known as 'green-washing', in sustainability's case.

This is when a brand simply pays lip service to sustainable change rather than genuinely adopting it as a company-wide policy.

While companies may have been able to get away with this 10 years ago, they are much more scrutinized today and have to 'bring receipts' to evidence their commitment to sustainable change.

Global (& Regional) Collaboration

A key part of sustainable change is regions, governments and businesses around the world showing they are capable of overcoming disagreements in order to collaborate on enviromental change that benefits all of us.

This is obviously true in the practical sense, no one business is going to solve the riddle itself, so we need to share insights, technological evolutions and data, yet it is also in the spirit of green change.

Underlying the green philosophy is an ethos of collaboration, something that makes us address what is truly important in life.

It is in that spirit that the Conference of the Parties (COP) 28 soon to be held in Dubai will be conducted, and its a model to follow for us all.

Sustainability is ultimately about creating a better tomorrow, and while healthy competition is a part of that, it is also about joining together in a shared fight for climate change.

Read more: Dubai Expo City to Host COP28 Climate Summit, Announces UAE President

Related Stories

No stories found.
Transport and Logistics ME