A new IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV) study revealed that sustainability is rising higher on corporate agendas across the world as CEOs recognize sustainability as a business imperative and growth driver, with Egypt being no different. Yet, CEOs in Egypt predict technology infrastructure, cash flows, and regulations as concerns that may hinder their progress for the next couple of years.
IBM’s annual CEO study, Own your impact: Practical pathways to transformational sustainability, which surveyed 60 CEOs in Egypt, found that the majority of CEOs surveyed (72%) believe their company’s environmental sustainability strategy is a least partially completed, with 10% stating that the strategy is in fact fully completed for their organizations. However, nearly half (47%) of respondents stated that technology infrastructure is among their greatest challenges, with lack of data insights and unclear Return on Investment (ROI) as major potential hurdles.
“The world economy is facing major challenges this year, foremost of which are supply chain disruptions, inflation, and the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic,” says Marwa Abbas, General Manager, IBM Egypt. “But with every challenge comes an opportunity to do things better, more sustainability and to employ cognitive technologies and innovations in order to stay ahead of the curve, and that’s where we’re directing all our efforts.”
Key study findings include:
CEOs say sustainability is climbing higher on their agendas and believe it can help drive business performance
About 72% of CEOs in Egypt believe that their company’s environmental sustainability strategy is at least partially completed, with 10% stating that the strategy is in fact fully completed for their organizations.
About 77% of surveyed CEOs stated that they have already started implementing their sustainability strategy across several functions; however, only 11% have fully implemented their strategies across their entire organization.
The majority of respondents (67%) agreed that business leaders are directly responsible for their organizations business impact on the environment.
Pressure is mounting from stakeholders, but concerns over regulation, technology infrastructure, and cash flow barriers stand in the way
Almost half (47%) of surveyed CEOs in Egypt cite technology as their greatest challenge in the next two to three years, up from 56% in 2021, coming second only to concerns regarding regulation (53%), and ahead of cyber risk (42%), cash flow (45%), supply chain disruption (42%) and sustainability (45%).
With regards to investing in sustainability, 82% of respondents stated that some workflows in their organizations are digitized, automated and leverage AI-enabled automation.
Only 28% of CEOs in Egypt stated that their digital infrastructure enables new technology investments to efficiently scale and deliver value.
58% of respondents list unclear ROI and economic benefits as a leading challenge to achieving sustainability objectives, followed by regulatory barriers (55%), and lack of insights from data (38%).
CEOs in Egypt are cautiously optimistic, but mostly confident they are leading their organizations in the right path.
A majority of respondents (65%) indicated being confident in achieving their organization’s sustainability goals within the coming 3 years.
About 38% of CEOs in Egypt believe that they have the right people and skills to execute their sustainability strategy.