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This instructive panel focused on several keys: the definition of sustainability in telecoms and ICT; the difference between sustainability and a green environment; the importance of incorporating sustainability in telcos’ strategies; how 5G impacts sustainability; how green tech leads to sustainability; and green tech’s efficiency for improved network performance.

The panel’s moderator was Samar Ibrahim, associate director, EY, with the panelists: Emaad Ahmed, principal solution consultant and network architecture transformation chief expert, Huawei; Philippe Vogeleer, global head business development, Vodafone; Grace Najjar, managing director, Project Management Institute, and global PMI head of energy; Yasir Ahmed, MENA climate change and sustainability services leader, EY; Stelios Savvides, CTIO, Vodafone Oman; and Dr. Linda Kassem, senior policy and legal advisor - lead trade negotiator.

Kicking off the discussion on sustainability in the ICT sector, Yasir Ahmed commented on the change in this sector: “If I look at what has changed toward sustainability within ICT, I would put priority on capital markets and investors.”

From his side, Vogeleer noted that the sustainability response must be tailored country-by-country to the needs of each country. “Look at the data, look at what it tells you, and then get very specific about tackling each issue,” he added.

Joining the discussion, Stelios Savvides tackled the subject of green environment, while mentioning that Vodafone Oman had an agenda to be super digital from day one: “We have been looking to redeliver and do something much greener.”

Emaad Ahmed assured that Huawei needs to look at materials and “how we manufacture and how we package,” as well as focus on intelligent operations, intelligent networks and a green approach.

In terms of incorporating sustainability, Dr. Kassem said that she would highlight its importance from an international trade perspective. “I would like to mention the importance of the Convention on Climate Change,” she explained.

Grace Najjar noted, “We live in a world where we can visualize data and make it available to stakeholders.” She also mentioned that this connectivity between human and machine never existed before.

In conclusion, Savvides reminded all that one of the great goals is ensuring that quality of life is there.

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