Social Talks: Understanding Sustainability in MENA

An unfamiliar territory waiting to be defined.

Advocacy for sustainability is on the rise as more and more people are starting to praise green initiatives and call for sustainable actions online. It’s not merely about more voices raising awareness, rather, the voices that do exist are becoming more emphatic. However, sustainability conversations still revolve around basic concepts. This is not restricted to consumers, as even brands, government entities and influencers approach sustainability via these commonplace themes. Moreover, misalignment exists between consumer interests and official entities, whereby well-defined topics are more engaging as it brings the spotlight on issues that are not top of mind. While consumers are interested in these well-defined topics, brands influencers and governments focus on generic themes instead.

That said, brands have a real chance to shape sustainability conversations since brands have the widest exposure and engage consumers the most, followed by governments. As such, brands have a responsibility to move away from the generic themes and educate consumers so that the conversation can develop more substance. By leading the way, tangible actions and changes can start to manifest to allow society to move towards a more sustainable lifestyle.

In particular, sustainability that highlights broader personal and societal benefits resonate most. People are calling for better public transport to lower carbon emissions, reduce traffic and improve the services in the country. Supporting businesses and projects that focus on green technological advancements are also complimented online. Economic and financial benefits also act as key motivators for consumers to think and act in a more sustainable manner.

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