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COP28: Climate action not threat, but opportunity for businesses – experts

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — “Sustainability is good business.”

Such was among the key messages of leaders from global tech giants Acer, Intel and Microsoft at the panel discussion “The Future PC: Designed with Our Planet in Mind!” held in Expo City, Dubai yesterday.

Jerry Kao, Acer Chief Operating Officer, said that he learned from his around 20 years of experience with the company that there is no use of growing the company to become very big if the planet would be hurt just as much.

He believes that even just five to 10 years of unified actions can impact many, many years and generations to come. As such, the company has setup sustainable programs that always make the Earth a part of the company’s mission. They make sure to extend their mission from their employees to their suppliers and customers.

At Acer, their sustainability programs touch on six areas: energy consumption, product design including packaging, production, logistics and recycling.

He admitted, however, that budget is always an issue in the road to sustainability. 

“For these actually, we spend a lot of effort for energy saving, energy efficiency, for example, all of our office requirements, all our suppliers and partners, we manage their energy efficiency with close monitoring…”

He acknowledged the challenge that in order to keep prices affordable, businesses should employ mass production – and many businesses and people are already used to this business model that they share for generations.

Despite the high cost of sustainability and sustainable supplies, Acer chose to still position themselves as affordable so they can reach more end-users with their sustainability advocacy as well and to inspire people to invest in sustainability, Kao said.

But to be sustainable, a company should find its or leverage and stick to its core values from Day 1 and share these sustainable core values to its suppliers and to reach as much customers as possible, businesses should give options to end-users with different sustainable goals – companies should, for example, have services to offer for those who want to repair or recycle their products, noted Kao.

The company’s efforts are starting to gain traction: