Empowering Enterprises for a Sustainable Future - A Journey of Growth & Innovation


Empowering Enterprises for a Sustainable Future - A Journey of Growth & Innovation

Today companies need a strong digital foundation and capabilities to grow in a sustainable manner, e& enterprise has a played key role by accelerating this transfomation journey leveraging on technology and innovative solutions.

With the world today at the tipping point of climate change: more and more business are striving to transform by embracing sustainable practices and accelerate the transition to net zero. Corporate strategies must adapt to the changes in the business environment, and sustainability is becoming an extraordinarily disruptive requirement for all companies.

As announced by UAE President, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, 2023 was declared as the year of sustainability. In this context, several initiatives and activities have gained significant traction as businesses, governments, and other prominent entities respond to the increasing demand of various stakeholders.

This is further accelerated by the UAE's push to achieve its ambitious sustainability goals in alignment with the United Nations' 17 Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs and the UAE's National Energy Strategy 2050. Considering the task’s urgency, scope, and scale, all stakeholders, from governments to regulators, large companies, enterprises, and technology providers, have an important role to play. Business leaders will need to face a new dimension, the imperative to create a sustainable business environment. They are now confronted with an evolving landscape in which businesses will not be able to afford the cost of not being sustainable. Taking proactive steps to make sustainability a central aspect of their strategic choices is imperative for future-proofing their business models. Embracing sustainability not only ensures compliance but also creates positive environmental and socio-economic impacts, meeting the customer expectations of a responsible and forward-thinking business.

Ecosystem of partners
To tackle these sustainability challenges and realise the competitive advantage and impact that it brings, businesses must work within the right ecosystem of partners to drive value and integrate sustainability into their overall propositions. Today, no business can solve sustainability challenges on its own; collaborations and partnerships are the way forward. “This is our mantra for the journey ahead with our customers and partners. As a global community, we need to embrace digital technology to create solutions that build symbiotic relationships between businesses, helping to remove roadblocks and speed up our sustainability efforts. Our core mission is to be a partner of choice for government and large companies that aim at working together towards a sustainable future, leveraging on technology and innovative solutions,” says Salvador Anglada, CEO of e& enterprise.

In this regard, e& has positioned itself as a vital ecosystem component. By working closely with regional corporations and enterprises, it has reinforced that technology can be a powerful force for positive change. 

The group has consistently showcased its dedication to the ESG agenda, making significant strides in its sustainability strategy and intensifying its contribution to global climate action with some key moves. Its recent announcement as the ‘Principal Technology Partner’ at COP28, reinforces COP27 pledge to attain net zero Scope 1 and 2 emissions for its operations in the UAE by 2030, aligning with the Group’s strategy to approach net zero and champion global climate action for a sustainable future. It has also prioritised initiatives that reduce its carbon footprint, mainly through enhanced energy efficiency and adopting renewable energy sources. 

Specifically catering to enterprise-level sustainability challenges, e& enterprise has embraced this transformation chapter taking a crucial role in supporting companies in shaping a sustainable future through the use of technology. Innovation, transformation, and sustainability are more interconnected than ever, and e& enterprise is addressing the need for sustainable transformation. 

Salvador further explains the relevance and impact of this on e& enterprise’s business and operations, “Sustainability is not an end state but a factor that will have to be embedded in the strategy of every company. To support companies more effectively in their transformation journey, we are intensifying our commitment putting technology at the service of sustainability, working closely with partners like Microsoft and others: by deepening our understanding of business requirements and designing solutions to help organisations deliver on their sustainability agenda.”

An example is the collaboration with Dubai Multi Commodities Centre, DMCC for its Smart District. As part of DMCC’s Smart and Sustainable Strategy, DMCC and e& enterprise partnered to transform Jumeirah Lake Towers into a Smart District by implementing various smart city technologies focused on addressing the challenges related to fulfilling sustainability objectives. The solutions deployed integrated smart buildings, street lighting, waste management, parking, and environmental monitoring, resulting in reduced field operations, lower energy consumption while improving service utilisation, and transforming JLT into the region’s first smart and sustainable district.

ESG as a driver
In order to prepare for the future, companies should consider sustainability beyond a short-term perspective. This involves considering several disruptions that can impact business models such as access to capital and acceleration on regulation and disclosure requirements. 

Although investments remain a concern, there is emerging evidence that good performance on sustainability challenges is correlated with financial rewards. The ESG S&P 500 index grew 17% faster than its non-ESG counterpart over 2020–2022; moreover, ESG-compliant businesses delivered 20% higher returns than non-ESG compliant ones, reflecting faster market gap growth and returns for sustainable businesses. 

There is also evidence that a better ESG score translates to around 10% lower cost of capital primarily driven by lower risks. Solar and wind energies have reported a 37% lower WACC over the last ten years, while green bonds, on average, have a 32% lower yield compared with non-green bonds in Europe.

As customers become more aware of sustainability-related issues, there is an opportunity for sustainable brands to gain an advantage over their competitors, promoting positive change for people and the planet, outpacing other brands by growing 1.25x faster.

Technology as an enabler
Digital technologies hold immense potential in helping businesses achieve their sustainability targets. The World Economic Forum reported that digital technologies could enable a 15% reduction in global carbon emissions by 2030, equivalent to 8.5 gigatons of CO2.

Incorporating emerging technologies such as Industry 4.0, AI, Digital Twins, and blockchain into business operations is not just a matter of staying competitive. It is increasingly becoming a necessity for achieving sustainability and incorporating it into every facet of business operations and enabling business models that are sustainable at their core. 

A survey by McKinsey found that 75% of companies consider digital transformation essential for their environmental sustainability efforts. “Technology will always be a catalyst to empower societies and is a vital enabler of sustainability. We are seeing digital technologies at the forefront of accelerating net zero transitions and building more sustainable value chains. These technologies encompass a wide range of tools and solutions, from Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things, IoT to blockchain and data analytics,” explains Salvador.

For instance, IoT sensors and AI-driven algorithms can monitor energy consumption in real time and identify areas of inefficiency. Smart buildings can automatically adjust lighting and temperature settings to optimise energy use. This not only reduces costs but also minimises the environmental impact  associated with energy generation.

According to PwC, AI could contribute up to $15.7 trillion to the global economy by 2030 through increased productivity and efficiencies in sectors like agriculture and energy, supporting sustainability goals. On the other hand, blockchain technology is being used to create transparent and immutable supply chain records. 

This ensures that products are ethically sourced, produced, and transported. It helps in verifying claims of sustainability and reduces the risk of unethical practices within the supply chain.

“Our commitments and actions on sustainability are far-reaching. Our goal is not just to become more sustainable though, we want to help organisations to do the same. By working together with our customers, we co-create solutions and services to help them transform their operations and supply chains, to facilitate their transition to net zero, and achieve their sustainability goals.”

“No matter where an organisation is in the sustainability journey, our solutions and services can help organisations minimise environmental impact, deliver new value, accelerate business transformation and achieve their goals. Our ambitious commitments and partner ecosystem will make a difference,” concludes Anglada.

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