Sustainability: Saudi Arabia

August 2021

Saudi Arabia ranks strongest regionally in the Environmental Sustainability Index supported by its high score in the Food and Agriculture and Environmental Resilience pillars, while being dragged down by its poor performance in its pollution and water rankings. Nevertheless, the country’s strong dependence on oil hampers its overall sustainability performance globally. Moreover, the renewables sector remains unexploited and access to improved water sanitation is not ensured.

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The Country Briefings series examine market potential, economic and consumer trends impacting each country and how they are set to change.

Each Country Briefing covers one of these topics:

Economy, Finance and Trade: Understanding the structure, health and potential risks of an economy are important for decision-making within an existing operating environment as well as for expansion strategies. Real GDP growth, inflation and exchange rate fluctuations will directly impact consumer market potential. Import and export trade profiles help gauge how open an economy is to trade and investment, while analysis of government finances can be used to explore macroeconomic stability and susceptibility to economic shocks.

Income and Expenditure: Insights into income, wealth and expenditure of consumers are vital in helping businesses make strategic decisions with regards to which country (or even which region within a country) to enter, which consumer segment to target, which products or services to market, and at which price point. Other factors such as the size and expansion of the middle class and income inequality are also important in helping companies gauge the potential of a country market.

Households: Global shifts in gender, ageing, migration and housing are transforming the size, location,  general make-up as well as income and expenditure of households around the globe, with diverse implications for governments and companies. Households insights can help identify the decision-making processes and consumption tastes of different household groups and types within a country, and assess household appliance and digital readiness that is key for formulating market technology and internet strategies.

Business Dynamics: A stable and competitive business environment is vital to operate efficiently and attract inward investment. Businesses can assess these factors alongside challenges such as corruption, political instability and terrorism, also gain insight into business operating environment and make strategic investment decisions. Transport infrastructure, ICT readiness and labour force dynamics will also identify potential issues with a supply chain and the level of workforce skills.

Sustainability: Insights on key sectors directly related to the environmental sustainability of a country such as energy, water, pollution, environmental resilience, forest and biodiversity and food and agriculture help businesses to make strategic decisions in relation to environmental and sustainability trends, improve brand reputation and ensure long-term operations while ultimately growing the bottom line.

The briefings cover 103 countries and identify topics of crucial interest to planners, marketers and researchers.

Sustainability: Saudi Arabia



A new Saudi wind farm is projected to power up to 70,000 households a year
Saudi Aramco is about to invest in engineering studies
Critics are cautious about controversial afforestation campaigns
Saudi Arabia is aiming to reduce water consumption
COVID-19 exposed food supply chain vulnerabilities
Mean annual temperature is about to increase by 2°C by 2050


Chart 1 Environmental Sustainability Index: Saudi Arabia Chart 2 Global Sustainability Ranking: Saudi Arabia Chart 3 Energy Ranking: Saudi Arabia Chart 4 Energy Availability Landscape: Saudi Arabia Chart 5 Energy Efficiency, Security and Equity Landscape: Saudi Arabia Chart 6 Pollution Ranking: Saudi Arabia Chart 7 Air Pollution: Saudi Arabia Chart 8 Waste and Water Pollution Landscape: Saudi Arabia Chart 9 Forest and Biodiversity Ranking: Saudi Arabia Chart 10 Forest and Biodiversity Landscape: Saudi Arabia Chart 11 Water Ranking: Saudi Arabia Chart 12 Water Availability, Equity and Security Landscape: Saudi Arabia Chart 13 Water Security and Efficiency Landscape: Saudi Arabia Chart 14 Food and Agriculture Ranking: Saudi Arabia Chart 15 Food and Agriculture Landscape: Saudi Arabia Chart 16 Role of Agriculture in the Economy: Saudi Arabia Chart 17 Environmental Resilience Ranking: Saudi Arabia Chart 18 Environmental Resilience Landscape: Saudi Arabia

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