Majid Al Futtaim Receives Highest ‘Green Star’ Rating from Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB) in 2020
Majid Al Futtaim, the leading shopping mall, communities, retail and leisure pioneer across the Middle East, Africa and Asia, has received the highest ‘Green Star’ status from the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB). In its seventh year receiving the GRESB Green Star rating, the company earned an additional star and scored 84 and 82 points for its standing investment and development portfolios respectively, despite the challenges brought about by the global pandemic.
According to GRESB’s latest assessment, Majid Al Futtaim improved the performance of its standing investment portfolio, scoring 14 points above the GRESB average. The company performed particularly well in key areas such as energy management, stakeholder engagement, and greenhouse gas emissions. Majid Al Futtaim’s score was bolstered by progress made against its 2040 Net Positive commitment and the World Green Building Council’s Net Zero Carbon Buildings commitment, which challenges business, organisations, cities, states and regions to take action towards decarbonising the built environment.
Majid Al Futtaim’s development portfolio outperformed the GRESB benchmark average by 8 points, and it was recognised as the best performing company in the retail shopping centre sector across Asia. The company’s strict Sustainable Building Policy and Net Positive Water commitment enabled its building materials and water use to achieve a high score in both categories, positioning the company’s performance considerably above its peers.
Commenting on the achievement, Ibrahim Al-Zu’bi, Chief Sustainability Officer at Majid Al Futtaim said: “While the COVID-19 pandemic has made it increasingly difficult for real estate developers and owners to maintain high standards of sustainability, participation in this year’s GRESB benchmark increased by 22 per cent, demonstrating the sector’s commitment to transparency and disclosure. Securing an additional star in 2020 is testament to Majid Al Futtaim’s long-term commitment to sustainability, best in class building principles across our assets, and our sustainable investment model. Above all else, it is the result of years of hard work from our people to ensure Majid Al Futtaim is leading the way in Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) standards across the region.”
Majid Al Futtaim has a long history of upholding global sustainability standards. Underpinned by its company-wide sustainability strategy, Dare Today, Change Tomorrow, which is directly aligned with 10 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the company has set a roadmap to achieve its vision to become one of the most environmentally considerate companies in the world.
Majid Al Futtaim is the first company headquartered in the Middle East – and one of only a few globally – to commit to becoming Net Positive; and in November 2019, it also became the first company in MENA to commit to phase-out single-use plastics from its operations by 2025.
To guarantee the company’s ambitious goals are met, Majid Al Futtaim performs annual audits and reports on its sustainability progress. Last year, the company registered other significant sustainability firsts, such as the issuance of two Green Sukuks worth US $1.2 billion, one of them becoming the world’s first benchmark-size corporate bond of its kind; and the introduction, through its Carrefour business, of the region’s first two in-store hydroponic farms, which use 90 per cent less water than traditional soil agriculture and deliver around 31 kilograms of fresh herbs and microgreens daily.