A German software company, SAP, has called on organisations in Africa to take the lead role in creating and advancing a sustainable global society, stressing that purpose-driven organisations with strong cultures of sustainability have the opportunity to act as both enablers and exemplars.
The SAP’s Global Sustainability Lead for Africa, Sunil Geness, made the call in a statement on Friday to mark the June 5th World Environment Day.
“Enablers provide products and services that meet the sustainability challenges faced by their customers,” Geness said.
He said although not every organisation can be an enabler, every organisation can strive to be an exemplar.
“Exemplars are organisations that lead by example in their own business operations and practices. Being an exemplar is increasingly important in talent attraction and retention,” he explained.
Pioneering organisations have another opportunity to act as exemplars by achieving carbon neutrality targets, Geness said, “In fact, there is scope to take bolder steps.”
According to him, time is running out for the world’s sustainability efforts.
He noted that the United Nations has called on countries, leaders and organisations around the world to do things differently, think differently, and act differently to bring the world closer to a more sustainable future.
“In a recent call-to-action, the UN put forward three priority areas that will enable the world to recover and build more resilient, sustainable and inclusive societies, namely strong leadership, improved knowledge-sharing, and effective partnerships,” he said.
Geness noted that Africa was particularly vulnerable to the consequences of unsustainable and environmentally unsound practices.
“African enterprises that are in a position to be sustainability enablers should invest further in innovation and product development that can assist organisations, governments and citizens in their own sustainability efforts. All organisations have a duty, however, to act as exemplars and embody the spirit of sustainability across all their practices.
“African organisations have a duty to prioritise sustainability to ensure future generations inherit a clean and liveable world where every person has the opportunity to build a bright future for themselves, their families and their communities,” Geness added.
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