Thursday 18 July 2024

Ahmed Galal Ismail

Majid Al Futtaim takes key steps towards sustainability

DUBAI, June 13, 2024

Majid Al Futtaim, a leading shopping mall, communities, retail, and leisure pioneer, has launched the second phase of its ‘Dare Today, Change Tomorrow’ sustainability strategy, with renewed 2028 Sustainable Business Commitments.
Majid Al Futtaim’s ‘Dare Today, Change Tomorrow’ strategy aims to positively contribute to climate resiliency and inclusive economic development. Since its inception in 2018, the strategy has significantly evolved, shaping the group's operations and driving initiatives that support its 2028 Sustainable Business Commitments. 
This holistic approach has led to notable advancements in sustainable finance, securing green building certifications, eliminating single-use plastics, and promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace. 
Long-term value
Today, the ‘Dare Today, Change Tomorrow’ strategy continues to be rooted in creating long-term value for the regions in which the group operates. Covering the period from January 1 to December 31, 2023, the sixth group-wide annual report demonstrates Majid Al Futtaim’s sound management of ESG risks and opportunities, as well as its progress towards delivering on its sustainability targets across three strategic focus areas: Rethinking Resources, by rethinking the use of our resources to make a net positive impact;  Transforming Lives, by providing a healthy, sustainable and fulfilling way of life for the communities we serve;  Empowering Our People, by unlocking their full potential.
Majid Al Futtaim’s adoption of sustainable finance within its capital structure has been a key strategy in enabling the success of its ESG initiatives. To date, the company has raised a total of $4.95 billion through various sustainable instruments, including three Green Sukuk, one green hybrid bond, and two sustainability-linked loans. 
These funding actions have improved the company’s sustainability disclosures to the broader market, aligning it with best practices while linking its ESG performance to how it finances its operational and capital expenditure. This approach also embeds accountability for the ESG implications of its activities. Additionally, Majid Al Futtaim completed its first disclosure aligned with the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD), placing it in the top 3% of early adopters in the Mena region.
Three pillars
Ahmed Galal Ismail, Chief Executive Officer of Majid Al Futtaim, commented: “Our sustainability actions in 2023, aligned to our three pillars of Rethinking Resources, Transforming Lives and Empowering Our People, delivered impressive results as highlighted in this report. For Majid Al Futtaim, and our region, this year presented important milestones in sustainability. 
“Notable progress was made towards securing the region’s long-term prosperity, demonstrating our resoluteness in delivering value-accretive, profitable, and sustainable growth. This progress allowed us to confidently enter the second phase of our ‘Dare Today, Change Tomorrow’ strategy, renewing our steadfast commitment to people and the planet.”
Rethinking resources 
Guided by robust policies that are aligned with the Group’s environmental commitments, the Rethinking Resources initiatives set requirements in the areas of carbon, water, climate resilience, nature—based solutions, and circular economy.  
Working towards its goal to achieve Net Positive operations by 2040, Majid Al Futtaim certified 2,070 additional assets, residential units and neighbourhood communities to LEED, BREEAM, or equivalent, reaching a total of 3,181 certified assets in 2023. 
Furthermore, the company achieved a 24% reduction in Scope 1 and 2 emissions compared to the 2019 baseline. This was supported by milestone initiatives like the signing of the 36,000 kWp Power Purchase Agreement to provide solar power to 18 shopping malls in the UAE, Bahrain and Oman. 
In partnership with Project Maji, a non-profit social enterprise, a rural Kenyan community was provided 1.9 million litres of clean water. Given the success of this partnership, we aim to expand this initiative across other countries of operation.
Transforming lives 
Committed to having a positive and lasting impact on the communities which it serves, Majid Al Futtaim has taken steps to promote local economic development, drive innovation, and enhance customer wellbeing across its operations. 
In line with the company’s Sustainable Procurement Policy, 80% of spending in 2023 was with suppliers local to Majid Al Futtaim operations. The company also invested in six additional infrastructure projects in residential communities, including the opening of Distrikt at Tilal Al Ghaf, Dubai. 
Majid Al Futtaim has also sought to support regional entrepreneurship, selecting seven innovative start-ups winners of its Launchpad programme in 2023, having received over 400 applicants since the programme’s launch. The company also provided 57 internship opportunities to Emirati students through a partnership with the UAE Ministry of Education, and donated AED9.8 million ($2.67 million) to charities supporting social causes. 
The group has recruited approximately 2,000 UAE nationals since September 2021, with a target to hire 3,000 Emiratis across its UAE workforce by 2026. The company was awarded the Best Large Company in Achieving Emiratisation Targets at the 2023 NAFIS Awards, demonstrating its commitment to developing home-grown talent and driving the UAE’s economic leadership and competitiveness.  
Empowering its people
Majid Al Futtaim is committed to empowering its people with the necessary tools and support to fully realise their full potential. In 2023, LinkedIn Top Companies ranked Majid Al Futtaim as the 4th best workplace to grow your career in the UAE. 
Representation of women in the top three seniority levels increased to 26%, meeting the 23% target set for 2023 through our sustainability-linked loan. Additionally, Majid Al Futtaim held its 7th annual Wellness Week, spanning 10 countries with over 25,000 engagements and achieved over 40,556,000 safe working hours across its construction projects.
Climate action
2023 was a remarkable year for the UAE, with Dubai playing host to COP28 and the first Global Stocktake on progress towards the goals of the Paris Agreement. With that, the company doubled down on emissions reduction, signing a further 20,000 kW solar power agreement with Engazaat to power four malls in Egypt and Lebanon. 
Majid Al Futtaim also invested in 250 carbon credits through Dubai Financial Market’s (DFM) carbon credit platform pilot project and partnered with the American University in Cairo as a founding partner in the launch of the Executive Diploma in Sustainability.--TradeArabia News Service


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