Organizations in MENA Should Seek Digital Solutions That Protect Both Planet and Profitability


“SAP is helping companies to reinvent themselves as intelligent, sustainable, and successful enterprises,” says Sergio Maccotta, Senior VP of Middle East South at SAP.

The concept of sustainability is reflected at the highest levels of decision-making in the wider MENA region, as evidenced by its inclusion as a pillar in the UAE’s Vision 2021 strategy as well as the Abu Dhabi Environmental Centennial – a shared, comprehensive set of environmental goals for the Emirate for the next 50 years.  The Qatar Vision 2030 aims to protect natural resources, while Egypt will host the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27).  How do these laudable government sustainability strategies relate to the wider business landscape in the MENA region?

Sergio Maccotta, Senior VP – ME SAP

While companies in the Middle East increasingly realize sustainability should be at the heart of their business models, aligning them with public policy, putting this into practice can be challenging. Moreover, sustainability is often incorrectly perceived as being at odds with profitability. At SAP, we continuously challenge this view, focusing on making sustainability profitable and profitability sustainable.

We are qualified to help businesses achieve this ideal scenario as we leverage what we have learned on our journey to sustainability. So, before delving into how we help others achieve their sustainability goals, it would be appropriate to share a select few of our green credentials:

  • SAP has committed to accelerate its?timeline to net-zero?from 2050 to 2030 and to reach climate goals, in line with the Paris Agreement, 20 years earlier.
  • SAP is driving a long-term strategy of greening our operations around the world including using 100% renewable energy for SAP’s data centers and buildings worldwide since 2014 and expanding this over time also to external data centers?(co-locations and?hyperscalers).
  • In 2018, SAP announced its intention to plant five million trees by 2025 and has now raised that target to 21 million trees by the end of 2025.

While motivated by these goals, we are even more inspired by working with companies in the Middle East to empower them to succeed in their sustainability initiatives for the collective good. This is because technology is an enabler and accelerator to help companies of all sizes and industries achieve their emissions-reduction goals by reinventing the way they account for and manage carbon emissions across their supply chains and operations. Hitachi, Unilever, and Colgate-Palmolive are just a few successful collaborations that are inspiring other companies to set ambitious goals to tackle climate prevention.

While SAP is well-known for solutions that boost profitability through increasing efficiencies and reducing the total cost of ownership, we also build sustainability measures into all aspects of these solutions. In other words, we help companies by connecting data and business processes to embed sustainability into all business functions.

In addition to building sustainability metrics into solutions, SAP has also developed programs specifically designed to manage sustainability. The SAP Cloud for Sustainable Enterprises offers customers a broad range of sustainability-specific enterprise applications that can be flexibly implemented according to their sustainability requirements.

For climate action, the SAP Product?Footprint Management carbon?accounting solution helps companies understand, analyze, and ultimately minimize the CO2 footprint of their products, and SAP Responsible Design and Production enables them to become more circular.

On top of this, SAP’s role in helping to manage complex supply chains around the world enables us to encourage companies to accelerate their move to the circular economy.

To conclude, let’s consider the impact of successful sustainability initiatives on a brand’s reputation, which also plays a role in making sustainability profitable and profitability sustainable. The mere fact that the solutions outlined here empower businesses to accurately measure and report their sustainability initiatives to customers, consumers, and partners gives these businesses a competitive edge. Moreover, it ensures their longevity in a world where investors and consumers are increasingly focused on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria.

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