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Sustainability is a top priority for more than half of CEOs in the Middle East and Africa

Almost a quarter of all CEOs surveyed in the Middle East felt that sustainability targets set by governments aren't achievable.

[Source photo: Anvita Gupta/Fast Company Middle East]

Research suggests that 90% of young consumers are willing to pay more than 10% extra for sustainable products, indicating that going green can be profitable for businesses. No wonder sustainability is a priority for business leaders in the Middle East and Africa (MEA).

An IBM study has revealed that more than half (52%) of the CEOs in the region place sustainability as a top priority for their companies — an increase of 22% from 2021. At the same time, more than half of CEOs globally consider sustainability a challenge since they aren’t clear about return on investment and lack data.

More than 60% of surveyed CEOs in MEA say they are implementing at least some aspects or functions of their sustainability strategies. At the same time, 40% of the CEOs truly believe that investment in such business practices brings more capital and boosts business growth. As for limitations, about half of the respondents from the region consider regulations as barriers, while a significant number cite technological impediments as an issue.

Although governments across the Middle East region have announced sustainability targets, a quarter of the CEOs from the region feel that those aren’t achievable. But more than 80% of business leaders in the survey have expressed hope that investments in sustainable strategies can show positive results in five years.

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