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Is 2023 the Year of Conscious Corporates in the MENA Region? Epson Says Yes.

Sustainability, inclusion, innovation and serving the community are the four key steps

Trend analysts at Epson have identified 2023 as the year of conscious corporates, based on a number of factors seen to be evolving in markets across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) markets. For organisations that want to move toward this model in the coming quarters, Epson’s MENA leaders have outlined four steps that will enable both the public and private sector to demonstrate this approach.

Assessing and measuring environmental impact, addressing and increasing diversity and inclusion, innovating to improve quality of life, and engaging with the communities they serve are the four key recommendations that Epson makes to enhance corporate consciousness in the year ahead.

“Fundamentally, a conscious corporate is a company that addresses social and environmental problems through its business model or operations, has a holistic awareness of the impact of its actions, and at its core, has a vital purpose,” said name here, title here, Epson.

Four steps to becoming a conscious corporate

Epson’s Neil Colquhoun, Vice President – CISMETA outlined the four moves that MENA organisations can make to evolve into conscious corporates. The first step is re-assessing their impact on the environment as more consumers demand transparency around ethical or environmental policies. This involves rethinking how each company operates, from decarbonisation initiatives to creating a circular economy that minimises the use of resources and waste, as well as carbon emissions. AS sustainability becomes a greater focus for businesses in the GCC and beyond, they also need to consider changes in the workplace that can reduce reliance on energy and encourage more sustainable habits such printing only what is essential and moving from paper-based systems to digital ones. A recent survey by market research company 4SiGHT, found that the majority (76%) of participants in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE agree that the sustainability efforts of a company are likely to positively impact their choice in buying their products.

Secondly, corporates need to address diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Research shows that the UAE is working to increase participation of female executives, with 18 major local and international private-sector companies voluntarily pledging to the Gender Balance Council to put women in 30 percent of their leadership positions by 2025. While strides have been made regionally to increase gender inclusion, the Middle East region trails behind the global average with only three percent of female leaders as compared to the global average of seven percent, according to a report by Heidrick & Struggles.

The third step to greater corporate consciousness is a focus on industry innovation in order to improve quality of life for employees, customers, and the wider community. Especially in a region which is focusing on digital transformation in the public and private sectors, innovation can deliver measurable changes in the areas of digitalisation, collaboration and automation solutions.

Finally, it’s critical that companies feel connected to the communities that they serve. Supporting charitable initiatives or non-profits as well as partnering with other businesses or groups in the community to serve local programmes highlights the understanding of the markets in which these organisations are operating.

“Research shows that both consumers and other corporates want to work with businesses that are ethical, transparent, and environmentally-friendly. As the corporate world's future will be made by those who champion the ethos of consciousness, advocating sustainable strategies and socially responsible practices, Epson increasingly sees that our customers and partners in the region are taking measurable steps to become more conscious corporates,” concluded Epson’s Neil Colquhoun, Vice President – CISMETA.


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