Competitive Sustainability of Saudi Companies through Digitalization and the Circular Carbon Economy Model: A Bold Contribution to the Vision 2030 Agenda in Saudi Arabia
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AbstractThis study examines the challenges and opportunities of implementing the circular carbon economy model and digitalization in Saudi Arabia with a focus on CO2 emissions. The research finds that, prior to the pandemic outbreak in 2020, Saudi Arabia had succeeded in stabilizing production-based CO2 emissions due to a combination of policies outlined in the scope of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030. However, the economic downturn caused by the pandemic has led to a short-term reduction in CO2 emissions trends, highlighting the need for preparation for a rebound. Driven by the use of analytical methods including the Kaya Identity, this study suggests that the newly proposed circular carbon economy model could be an effective way for the country to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions by coordinating all significant stakeholders, including businesses and government actors. The research analyzes Saudi Arabia’s CO2 emissions trends over the past two decades and presents several steps necessary to achieve social, environmental, and economic outcomes for sustainable businesses operating in a fossil-rich country. We also highlight the need for organizational changes, new policy-making tools, as well as government, consumer, and stakeholder support to drive the changes required for integration of the circular carbon economy model and the adoption of smart technologies. Overall, the results can be used to emphasize the importance of sustainability as a competitive feature that allows businesses and countries to benefit from the distribution of risks and shared accountability.