Global Executives Say Greenwashing Remains Rife | Kanebridge News
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Global Executives Say Greenwashing Remains Rife

Nearly three-quarters of corporate leaders say most organisations in their industry would be caught greenwashing if they were investigated thoroughly

By ROCHELLE TOPLENSKY
Tue, Apr 25, 2023 8:00amGrey Clock 3 min

Most global executives think greenwashing is widespread in their industry, and despite customers becoming more vocal about preferring sustainable brands, many companies are cutting corners on their environmental, social and corporate governance initiatives.

Nearly three-quarters of executives said most organisations in their industry would be caught greenwashing if they were investigated thoroughly, according to a survey of nearly 1,500 executives across 17 countries and seven industries conducted in January by the Harris Poll on behalf of Google Cloud.

The risk of greenwashing is increasing with crackdowns on overstated green claims on both sides of the Atlantic. Despite that threat, the figures are consistent with last year’s findings: Nearly 60% say their own organisation is overstating its sustainability methods. While for some it may be intentional, most say it is instead often due to setting sustainability goals or pledges without a concrete plan to reach them.

“There are actors that are maybe intentionally overstating what they’re doing, but I honestly think for the most part, companies are sincere—they’ve set their goals, they’re working towards them, but they don’t always have the data to be transparent,” said Kate Brandt, chief sustainability officer at Google.

The survey gives insight into where companies are in their sustainability efforts. A little more than a quarter are developing their sustainability programs, 22% have a plan they are implementing, another 22% are able to measure its impact, and 14% are in the final stage of optimising their plan based on measured outcomes. In contrast, nearly a tenth plan to start developing their sustainability plan in the near future, while the remaining 6% don’t have a plan or any intention to come up with one soon.

Nearly three-quarters of executives said they want to advance sustainability efforts but don’t actually know how to go about doing it. Top tools identified to improve their ability were having a dedicated sustainability leader, support from senior management, advanced measurement tools, and education for employees and executives. And the two main ways they expect advancement is through technology innovation as well as investment in sustainable operations or services.

With nearly a decade of experience as a CSO, Ms. Brandt said the survey findings reinforced her point of view on how a company can set itself up to be successful. Businesses need strong governance powered by good data and metrics and a dedicated sustainability leader to be the center of gravity but one who can also embed sustainability inside business functions.

Most executives surveyed—85%—said customers and clients are becoming more vocal about their preference for engaging with sustainable brands. However, economic uncertainty means that business leaders have increased their focus on customers, revenue and growth, although ESG issues remain one of businesses’ top three priorities.

While an earlier survey by industrial conglomerate Honeywell International Inc. found that sustainability budgets at most companies were relatively insulated from cuts, the more recent Google Cloud survey indicates things may have changed. Two-thirds of executives in the latest survey said they are having to cut corners on sustainability initiatives and 45% said the economy is negatively affecting their organisations’ sustainability efforts.

Essentially when times are getting hard, you get to see who’s serious about this agenda and those who are paying lip service or perhaps accidentally overstating their efforts,” said Justin Keeble, managing director of global sustainability at Google Cloud.



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Preparatory Work for UAE to Oman Hafeet Rail Project Commences at Full Speed
Preparatory Work for UAE to Oman Hafeet Rail Project Commences at Full Speed

Preparations have begun on the transformative UAE to Oman Hafeet Rail network, revealing significant construction details during a site visit.

Thu, May 16, 2024 3 min

The $3bn Hafeet Rail project between the UAE and Oman will feature 60 bridges and a 2.5km tunnel, making it an “architectural and engineering marvel,” according to CEO Ahmed Al Musawa Al Hashemi.

Hafeet Rail has announced that preparatory work is moving full speed ahead for constructing the transformative railway link between the UAE and Oman. This announcement was made during a site visit attended by key officials, members of the Asyad and Hafeet Rail executive management teams, project contractors, and consultants.

Key Highlights

During the visit, attendees were introduced to the main components of the project, including passenger, repair, and shipping stations, as well as major bridges and tunnel sites.

The Hafeet Rail project is set to play a very important role in enhancing local and regional trade, unlocking new opportunities in the infrastructure, transportation, and logistics sectors, and fostering economic diversification. It will also strengthen bilateral relations between the UAE and Oman.

The project will involve constructing 60 bridges, some reaching heights of up to 34 meters, and tunnels extending 2.5 kilometres. The Hafeet Rail team showcased the latest rail technologies and innovative engineering and architectural solutions designed to navigate the challenging geographical terrain and weather conditions while maintaining high standards of efficiency and safety.

The rail network will boost various industrial sectors and economic activities and significantly impact the tourism industry by facilitating easier and faster travel between the two countries.

Ahmed Al Bulushi, Asyad Group Chief Executive Asset, noted that the project’s rapid progress reflects the commitment of the UAE and Oman to developing and realizing the project’s multifaceted benefits.

Investment and Future Impact

Al Bulushi added that investments in developing local capabilities and expertise in rail-related disciplines over recent years have enabled the project to reach the implementation phase successfully under the leadership of highly efficient and professional national talent.

Hafeet Rail’s CEO Ahmed Al Musawa Al Hashemi emphasized, “The commencement of preparatory works for construction is a testament to the robust synergy between all parties involved in both nations, achieving this milestone in record time. We are confidently laying down the right tracks thanks to the shareholders of Hafeet Rail and the expertise of local companies in Oman and the UAE, alongside international partners.”

During the site visit, the visitors explored some of the key preparatory sites, including Wadi Al Jizi, where a 700-meter-long bridge towering 34 meters will be constructed. This ambitious project is envisioned as an architectural and engineering marvel in a complex geographical landscape.

Future phases will require more collaboration, with a continued focus on quality, safety, and environmental considerations in line with the international industry best practices.

The Hafeet Rail project represents the first-of-its-kind railway network linking two Gulf nations, marking a significant shift in regional goods transportation. This efficient and reliable transportation option will reduce dependence on slower and less sustainable road transport.

Hafeet Rail promises a 40% reduction in shipping costs and a 50% in transit times compared to traditional land transportation methods, as it will be connecting five major ports and several industrial and free zones in both countries.

This shift will reduce reliance on road transport by cars and trucks and promote more sustainable shipping practices. The establishment of the railway network will also create significant opportunities for SMEs in construction, engineering, and logistics support, acting as a catalyst for economic growth and innovation within the domestic economy.

By linking major ports, the Hafeet Rail project will enable local SMEs to import, export, and distribute their products more effectively, enhancing their market reach and global competitiveness.

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