Dubai, United Arab Emirates — Bain & Company, the leading global management consulting firm, in partnership with the World Economic Forum launched last year, the Leaders for a Sustainable Middle East and North Africa Forum to accelerate corporate climate action in a part of the world set to be among those most affected by climate change.
The MENA region is estimated to be seeing warming at twice the global rate, with projections suggesting temperatures could be as much as four degrees warmer by 2050, and some cities in the region potentially becoming uninhabitable by the end of the century.
The region’s businesses can play a key role in helping to slow the effects of global warming with a number of quickly actionable measures, including embracing the transition to more climate-friendly practices, adopting global best practices, setting clear objectives, raising consumer awareness, and partnering with the government.
Akram Alami, Partner and ESG lead for the Middle East at Bain and Company said: “Now is the time for business leaders to take action in the fight against climate change. In MENA, the situation is more severe than in many others, evident by almost twice the rate of temperature increase compared to global averages in the last three-four decades. While there are green shoots of corporate climate action across industries, the larger business community in the region needs to adopt consistent and transparent emissions disclosure policies and reduction targets. It’s clear there is room for substantial improvement, highlighting the necessity for initiatives such as Leaders for a Sustainable Middle East and North Africa Forum.”
With a wider and more extensive public discourse needed on action to abate global warming’s impact on the region, the new partnership between the WEF and Bain & Company establishes a region-specific coalition to work alongside peers on tangible best practices, tailored to MENA and the unique set of circumstances it confronts.
Bain & Company is perfectly positioned to partner in this field, having already carried out considerable work on these issues across the region as well as generating extensive insight and data with which to foster discussions on the action needed.
Bain & Company evaluated more than 200 publicly listed and private companies, making up nearly 80% of the market value in their countries’ stock exchanges and private players from hard-to-abate sectors. Included were companies from sectors such as energy, chemicals, steel, and aluminum which a notoriously hard to abate when it comes to controlling climate change.
Raja Atoui, Partner at Bain & Company Middle East, and a member of the firm’s Sustainability & Responsibility practice commented: “Our research findings show some encouragement. But there is still a vast amount of work to do, and that is why we are delighted to partner with the World Economic Forum on the Leaders for a Sustainable Middle East and North Africa Forum. We want to encourage action, and the best starting place for that is through discussions that are authentic to the region, tackling issues and inhibitors unique to MENA. Business can play a huge part in helping governments achieve their overall climate goals, and this is a hugely positive step on the way to doing that.”
Bain’s data shows some encouraging signs of progress, with key players in the market already taking steps to reduce emissions, increase renewables, and scale low-carbon technologies. However, only half of the companies analyzed have started ESG reporting. Approximately 12% have announced net-zero ambitions, and only 6% have defined their roadmap.
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