Firms set to boost sustainability investment, says report

A sizable majority of global companies surveyed are planning increase investments in support of their sustainability targets, despite economic uncertainty, according to a report.


The 3Q 2023 Environmental Sustainability Index, released by Honeywell in partnership with The Futurum Group, says 20% of organisations in the Middle East and Africa plan to boost their investment in energy evolution and efficiency and at least 50% it will come in the coming 12 months.


The fourth edition of the quarterly index indicates that sustainability investment is growing and will continue to grow, thanks in part to the political and regulatory environment.


Highlights of the report include: 

• 86% of the 751 global companies surveyed indicated that they plan to increase their sustainability budgets

• 7 in 10 surveyed companies said the political and regulatory environment has had a positive impact on their sustainability initiatives in the past 12 months 

• 74% of respondents said they were optimistic about attaining sustainability goals, particularly with respect to 2030 energy goals – a strong number but 3 percentage points lower than the last index

• Budget increases are slated across four sustainability categories: energy evolution and efficiency, emissions reduction, pollution prevention, and circularity/recycling 

• Improving energy evolution and efficiency is the top sustainability commitment across all geographies, with 87% of respondents citing it as a priority


“The latest Environmental Sustainability Index confirms that large global companies are continuing to stay on pace and invest in technology and staff to achieve their environmental sustainability goals,” said Evan van Hook, Chief Sustainability Officer at Honeywell. 


“Sustainability is top of mind for leadership, and they are activating top-level staff to increase involvement and traction toward goals. At Honeywell, we are well on our way to delivering on our commitment to reaching our 2035 goals, and we are helping our customers to do the same with our ready-now solutions.”


For Manufacturing and Energy companies, sustainability has become their top priority, with roughly 8 in 10 organisations in both sectors citing sustainability goals as their most important initiative for the coming six months. These companies indicate that sustainability is far outpacing their other corporate priorities, including financial performance, market growth and workforce development. 


“Middle East nations have been leading the way in the adoption and localization of technologies to meet their climate targets, and in doing so are successfully transforming the ways that critical sectors of their economies operate,” said Mohammed Mohaisen, President and CEO, Honeywell Middle East and North Africa.


“Honeywell is the technology partner of choice for nations embarking on ambitious sustainability strategies. Whether it be to drive forward a sustainable energy transition, or to reduce the energy intensity and emissions of hard-to-decarbonize industries, we are seeing considerable demand growth for available technologies that can deliver near-term, measurable performance and sustainability improvements across the entire spectrum of industrial operations.” 


This latest edition of the survey also found that reporting on sustainability is strong, with 93% of survey companies having a reporting process in place. 82% of these organisations are optimistic that their reporting methods will meet disclosure requirements that may emerge in the next year. Managing the reporting process is a bit trickier, however, as only 38% say they have a centralized person on staff to track sustainability efforts. 


“The fourth release of Honeywell’s Environmental Sustainability Index provides new insight into how organizations are reporting and tracking their previously set commitments toward sustainability,” said Daniel Newman, principal analyst and founding partner of The Futurum Group. “This quarter, we are seeing increases in investment and transparency of efforts along with a balanced approach to technology versus process when it comes to reaching goals. As we move into 2024, we look forward to sharing data about our year-over-year comparison.” – TradeArabia New Service'





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