Middle East IT leaders face looming demand for sustainability projects

Middle East enterprises, under pressure to diversify economically and optimise energy usage, could be world sustainability leaders but more needs to be done to take advantage of the region's assets.

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As enterprises globally commit to sustainability policies that include use of renewable energy in data centres and other facilities, the Middle East is under pressure to diversify from the oil and gas market.  Even businesses that are directly involved in oil and gas are moving to deploy smart energy technology as part of their overall, sustainable business continuity strategies.

The Middle East still has work to do, though. For example, not a single Middle East or North African (MENA) company is listed on the Corporate Knight's 2019 Global 100 report, which ranks the most sustainable corporations in the world.

The MENA countries do not do well in other, similar surveys either. Only Israel features in the top 50 of the 180 countries ranked in the Global Sustainable Competitiveness Index (GSCI), coming in at 43. Oman is 30 places below it at 73, followed by the UAE at 80, Iran at 97, Saudi Arabia at 110, and Qatar at 112. More than 30 places below them sit Egypt, Jordan and Bahrain.

Yet the region has some notable resources, both natural and human, that mean it could be a leader in sustainability.

Sustainability sparks business opportunities

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