People around the world are demanding more progress on sustainability and social efforts and are looking to businesses to step up. A study by Oracle found that people are unhappy with the lack of progress society is making towards sustainability and social initiatives, and believe technology can help businesses succeed where people have failed.
In the UAE, people want businesses to step up sustainability and social efforts. Interestingly, around 96 per cent of UAE respondents believe businesses would make more progress towards sustainability and social goals with the help of AI, and 74 per cent even believe bots will succeed where humans have failed.
The study of more than 11,000 consumers and business leaders across 15 countries including the UAE found:
- 99 per cent of people in the UAE believe sustainability and social factors are more important than ever and 94 per cent said the events over the past two years have caused them to change their actions.
- 97 per cent believe society has not made enough progress. Around 43 per cent believe it is the result of more emphasis on short-term profits over long-term benefits, and 42 per cent respondents in the UAE believe people are too lazy or selfish to help save the planet.
- 51 per cent in the UAE believe businesses can make more meaningful changes on sustainability and social factors than individuals or governments alone.
- 86 per cent are fed up with the lack of progress by businesses, and 94 per cent believe it’s not enough for businesses to say they’re prioritising ESG.
Business leaders know sustainability efforts are critical to corporate success and even trust bots over humans alone to drive sustainability and social efforts:
- 95 percent believe sustainability and Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) programs are critical to the success of their organisations.
- Almost all business leaders are facing major obstacles when implementing sustainability and ESG initiatives. The biggest challenges include obtaining ESG metrics from partners and third parties (46 per cent); a lack of data (38 per cent); and time-consuming manual reporting processes (40 per cent).
Almost all (98 per cent) 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.
Businesses need to prioritise sustainability and social issues and rethink how they use technology to make an impact – or risk facing major consequences.
- 99 per cent of people in the UAE want to make progress on sustainability and social factors to establish healthier ways of living (56 per cent); save the planet for future generations (54 per cent); and help create more equality around the world (52 per cent).
- 80 per cent of people in the UAE would be willing to cancel their relationship with a brand that does not take sustainability and social initiatives seriously, and 81 per cent would even leave their current company to work for a brand that places a greater focus on these efforts.
- If organisations can clearly demonstrate the progress they are making on environmental and social issues, people would be more willing to pay a premium for their products and services (97 per cent); invest in their companies (92 per cent); and work for them (95 per cent).
- Business leaders understand the importance and urgency – 97 per cent believe sustainability and societal metrics should be used to inform traditional business metrics, and 94 per cent want to increase their investment in sustainability.
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