Zain report highlights technology role in circular economy

Circuar economyZain Group, a mobile telecom innovator in eight markets across the Middle East and Africa, has released its annual thought leadership report “The Circular Economy: Embedding Sustainable Solutions in a bid to Save the Planet”

The report has captured how the circular economy fits into helping address some of the devastating impacts of climate change. This type of economic model is essentially based on the principles of designing out waste and pollution; keeping products and materials in use; and regenerating natural systems, according to the report. Current linear economic models utilise raw and non-renewable materials to create products and once the product is consumed it becomes waste, which is neither efficient nor sustainable. The negative impact of inefficient economic models is real and growing, it added.

Our planet is clearly at a point where it cannot withstand the waste generated from human activity. Today, people all over the world are producing an astounding 3.6 million tonnes of solid waste per day. It is estimated that by 2025, this amount will reach 6.1 million tonnes per day, the report mentioned.

This latest report explores the definition of the circular economy and its various dynamics; comparing it to the linear economy model. The insight highlights risks of the linear model, while providing views on the critical role technology plays in the circular economy and identifies initiatives undertaken by Zain.

Bader Al-Kharafi, Zain vice-chairman and Group CEO, commented, "Exploring the growth opportunities offered by the circular economy is a progressive step in discovering the numerous opportunities for innovation. Such an evolution could potentially provide societies with mechanisms to successfully address environmental challenges. At Zain, we are partnering with organisations and governmental entities in creating awareness and implementing digital technologies to minimise our negative impact on the environment and increase the sustainability of our activities.”

Uncollected waste and waste directed to open landfills is extremely common across the region, though the current state of digitisation offers compelling solutions to help address the negative impact of excess waste, with the emergence of nascent technologies such as big data, artificial intelligence, robotics and IoT.

Jennifer Suleiman, Zain Group’s chief sustainability officer, said, “The implementation of the circular economy is well suited for the MENA region, and it is therefore particularly relevant to be raising the model’s benefits at this point in time when the twin forces of climate change and the growing populations across the region are in full effect.”

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