In the contemporary business environment, Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors and impact data intelligence have become indispensable for evaluating a company's long-term sustainability, risk management, and societal impact. For founders, funders, and purpose driven organizations operating in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, understanding and effectively utilizing these factors can significantly enhance their ability to efficiently manage costly resources, attract investment, and build trust with stakeholders.
The Rising Significance of ESG & Impact Data Intelligence
ESG and Impact data intelligence offer a holistic perspective of a company's performance across a spectrum of non-financial factors, encompassing environmental sustainability, social responsibility, and governance practices. These metrics are increasingly being utilized by investors, customers, and regulators to assess a company's long-term viability, ethical conduct, and societal impact. 60% of respondents from the MENA region consider sustainability factors when deciding what to buy, according to the PwC Global Consumer Index Survey 2022 – Middle East, and 53% mentioned they always or very frequently buy eco-friendly or sustainable products when they shop in-store, considerably above the global average of 42%.
In the MENA region, ESG considerations hold particular relevance due to a variety of environmental and social challenges, ranging from water scarcity and climate change to social and cultural inclusion. By focusing on ESG, firms can contribute to resolving these challenges while simultaneously enhancing their own performance, reputation, and investor appeal.
The Value of Proof Platform
At Proof, we are on a relentless mission to empower businesses to transform every decision into a catalyst for sustainable change. Our impact intelligence platform collects, verifies, and analyzes social & environmental data for companies and investors. Here are some of the key services provided by Proof:
- Data Collection and Management: Proof enables companies to collect and manage ESG data from various sources in a centralized and efficient manner. The platform supports a wide range of data types, including quantitative metrics, qualitative assessments, and third-party benchmarks. This grants companies a complete and accurate view of their business performance.
- Analytics and Reporting: Proof provides powerful analytics tools to analyze data and gain insights into the company's performance and trends. The platform also offers robust reporting capabilities, allowing companies to generate ESG & impact reports in compliance with international standards and frameworks, such as the IRIS+ Metric Set, the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB), and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
- Stakeholder Engagement: Proof facilitates effective stakeholder engagement by providing tools to communicate ESG performance and impact in a transparent and digestible manner. The platform enables companies to share their ESG reports with stakeholders, receive feedback, and engage in dialogue on ESG issues.
- Benchmarking and Peer Comparison: Proof allows companies to benchmark their performance against industry peers and best practices. This can help companies identify gaps in their sustainability performance, set targets, and track progress over time.
- Risk Management and Compliance: Proof helps companies manage ESG-related risks and ensure compliance with regulatory requirements. The platform provides tools to identify and assess ESG risks, develop mitigation strategies, and monitor compliance with ESG regulations and standards.
By leveraging Proof.io, firms can streamline their data management workflows, gain insights into their performance, and communicate their impact in a transparent and credible manner. This empowers firms to the growing demand from investors, customers, and other stakeholders for ESG information, and ultimately enhance their competitiveness and sustainability.
Metric Selection in the MENA Region
In the MENA region, certain ESG & impact metrics may be particularly relevant. For instance, water management and energy efficiency are key environmental issues due to the region's arid climate and high energy consumption. In this report from the World Bank, it’s predicted that the amount of water available per capita in the Middle East will dip below 500 cubic meters, the absolute water scarcity threshold, by 2030. And, according to a report from Econoler, as private-sector involvement into the energy sector and decreasing energy subsidies continue, the cost of energy will increase in the region, making energy-efficient instruments increasingly attractive. Social factors such as employment practices, gender equality, and community relations are also important due to the region's social and cultural context. Women are continually underrepresented in the MENA workforce, as proven by a study from the World Economic Forum, which found that women only make up 19% of the working population. While investment in the region and new governmental policy has improved these key issues in recent years, there is still opportunity for improvement.
Engaging with stakeholders in the MENA region requires an understanding of the local culture and business practices. Building strong relationships based on trust and mutual respect is crucial. This includes being transparent about the company's ESG performance, listening to stakeholders' concerns and feedback, and demonstrating a genuine commitment to improving the company's impact on society and the environment.
ESG and impact data intelligence are powerful tools for businesses in the MENA region. The Proof platform provides a comprehensive solution to help startups on this journey, offering a range of features to streamline ESG data management, gain insights, and communicate impact effectively.
By championing ESG & impact, you too can play a crucial role in shaping a more sustainable and responsible business landscape in the MENA region.
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