Phoenix Contact shows how sustainability is a journey of many steps

Published on April 20, 2022

UAE-based Phoenix Contact Middle East is lowering its carbon emissions in different ways, from logistical changes to the use of energy-saving and sustainable devices across its facilities

Sustainability has become a necessity for companies across the world, and businesses in the Middle East are no exception. As expectations for corporate social responsibility increase and as transparency becomes critical, more organisations are recognising the need for sustainable approaches.

But while 90 per cent of executives find sustainability to be important, only 60 per cent of companies incorporate sustainability into their strategy, according to an MIT study. This creates a gap between knowing and doing.

One company that is addressing this gap is Phoenix Contact, a global market leader and innovator for electrification, networking, and automation. . Phoenix Contact has made appreciable strides over the years to reduce its carbon footprint and improve its sustainability efforts.

Phoenix Contact Middle East reduced its greenhouse gas footprint by 50 per cent in 2021. With support from the Target Climate Initiative by Emirates Nature, a non-profit organization that combats climate change in the UAE, the company conducted a greenhouse inventory from 2018 to 2020. As a result, it took concrete steps to lower its carbon emissions by switching to sea freight, reducing air travel, and using energy-saving and sustainable devices across all its facilities, such as LED lighting and chilled water from district cooling plants at its facilities in the UAE.

Phoenix Contact Middle East was therefore able to cut emissions by 28 per cent in 2020 and 26 per cent in 2021, with a total reduction of almost 50 per cent compared to previous years.

Overall, the Phoenix Contact group aims to realize climate neutrality across its entire value-added chain by 2030.

“The framework for sustainable management and corporate responsibility is formed by the harmonisation of economic, ecological, and social issues,” said Iyad Madanat, General Manager at Phoenix Contact Middle East. “As part of maintaining a sustainable business, we meet the relevant environmental protection standards and regulations and support our employees and the regions where we work. We focus on sustainable value creation – from development through manufacturing to logistics.”

The company wants to extend those gains in line with its vision of Empowering the All Electric Society. The concept depicts a world where renewable energies become the primary source of energy around the world, for both sustainability and economic benefits. Global demand for power is expected to double by 2050, according to projections by consulting firm McKinsey. Yet Madanat is optimistic that green energy could be sufficient to meet future global energy needs.

“Every day, the amount of light energy reaching the earth from the sun is 1,000 times the current global energy demand – and there are also other available sources of renewable energy such as wind and hydro,” he says. “Therefore, it is not a question of whether or not there is sufficient renewable energy, but rather how the renewable energy is harnessed, stored, converted, and directed from one place to another across a completely connected distribution grid.”

Madanat says the company’s technological solutions could help achieve this transformation and create a carbon-neutral and sustainable society – which is key to fighting climate change, a core principle for Phoenix Contact.

Awards and accolades

The company has also expanded sustainability initiatives in other ways.

Since joining the Living Business Middle East programme in 2020, Phoenix Contact has initiated a number of sustainable projects. In collaboration with Bee’ah, a leading waste management company in the UAE, it was able to recycle 3,000 kilograms of cardboard over a single quarter in 2020.

In recognition of its responsible practices and sustainable business, Phoenix Contact was selected runner-up at the Living Business Program in 2021 and was awarded the Dubai Chamber CSR Label Workplace and Dubai Chamber CSR Label – Environment in the same year.

Achieving carbon neutrality is a long journey of many steps – but a clear strategy with actionable steps delivers award-winning results, as Phoenix Contact’s experience shows.