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During the announcement of the green plans at COP28 at Expo City Dubai on Monday Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Dubai: Microsoft and Sharaf DG on Monday announced their green missions at the COP28 climate conference in Dubai.

During a press conference held in the Green Zone, the companies announced a collaboration to launch ‘Ctrl+S’ (in-store and digital campaign) with ‘S’ signifying ‘Safe’.

Thomas Kowollik, Vice President Consumer Sales Organisation, EMEA, Microsoft, and Nilesh Khalkho, CEO of Sharaf DG, took the opportunity at COP28 to explain sustainable fashion products to their customer base.

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Thomas Kowollik at the event Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Microsoft and Sharaf DG collaborated with the Arab Fashion Council, wherein a designer will be handpicked to craft an eco-conscious capsule collection, tailored exclusively to complement the companies’ Windows product lineup.

Talking about the collaboration, Kowollik said the idea was to engage their wide customer base into sustainable fashion. “For some it is important to have a fashionable device or a fashionable accessory, right? We are basically looking at ways to keep our customers excited with our products and keeping sustainability high on the agenda.”

Kowollik said more details on the fusion of fashion and technology will be announced soon.

During the conference, Kowollik outlined an ambitious plan for Microsoft that entailed becoming “carbon negative, zero waste and water positive by 2030 while completely removing CO2 (carbon dioxide) emissions by 2050.

“We also have plans to operate with 100 per cent renewable energy by 2025 and... we have also set a plan for zero per cent single-use plastic in packaging,” he said.

Various plans

Khalkho meanwhile spoke about Sharaf DG’s plans to go green.

“We already have been issuing e-receipts, giving premium cloth bags and paper bags for our customers to carry. LED lights have been installed across our stores and we have had electronic shelf labels since 2017,” he said.

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Nilesh Khalkho at the event during the presentation Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Sharaf DG also hosted the one of the biggest buybacks that saw 15,000 laptops, smartphones, TV sets, accessories collected. “Our book donation campaign also saw 7.4 tonnes of book collected in 2023 alone. These have been duly recycled,” said Khalkho.

He added 52 tonnes of e-waste was collected in time to celebrate UAE’s 52nd Union Day.

"We believe that recycling of e-waste is the key to a brighter future, and the building blocks of a greener environment,” said Khalkho. “By fostering a culture of contributing to the surroundings, we aim to empower individuals to dream a healthy planet and build an eco revolution."

Regional significance

Kowollik said: “The MENA region of our business represents 20 per cent of the global numbers. We are not winning the sustainability challenge without keeping the MENA region in mind. The region is very agile and fast moving. We are now here in Dubai and everyone can see how fast it is moving.”

Khalkho said: “Sharaf DG is into a lot of things beside being a tech retailer.” Sharaf DG has a consumer base of 2.5 million. “We are trying to create an ecosystem for the tech world. We don’t mind people upgrading but be conscious of where you leave your old device behind.”