Majid Al Futtaim Shopping Malls Generates Enough Renewable Energy to Power 3,500 Average Households for One Year
Majid Al Futtaim, the leading shopping mall, communities, retail and leisure pioneer across the Middle East, Africa and Asia, has published its annual Sustainability Report, showcasing the key sustainability milestones the company achieved in 2019. The report underscores Majid Al Futtaim’s commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Each year, the audited results showcase the company’s progress towards its Net Positive commitment. In 2019, Majid Al Futtaim reduced its group-wide operational carbon emissions by 2.4 per cent and water consumption by 1.6 per cent, despite an increase in operational floor area by 37 per cent since 2016. The company also generated almost 14 million kWh of renewable energy through its shopping malls – enough to power more than 3,500 average households for one year.
Majid Al Futtaim introduced power purchasing agreements to cover the electricity demand of the majority of its Carrefour stores in Jordan, as well as one of its biggest hypermarkets in Dubai. The company also increased its green building portfolio to 29 green-certified buildings and 2.5 million m2 of space with green credentials.
Majid Al Futtaim registered three significant sustainability ‘firsts’ in 2019. The company raised two Green Sukuks worth $1.2 billion, with the first issuance in May becoming the world’s first benchmark-size corporate bond of its kind. In November, Majid Al Futtaim became the first company in MENA to commit to phase-out single-use plastics from its operations by 2025. Also, in its Carrefour business, Majid Al Futtaim introduced 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.
Ibrahim Al-Zu’bi, Chief Sustainability Officer, Majid Al Futtaim – Holding, commented on the report: “2019 was a year when climate change awareness and action came to the fore, with social movement groups, corporates and governments stepping up their sustainability efforts. However, 2019 was also the year in which coronavirus started to spread across the globe, highlighting the need for collective action to ensure resilience and a sustainable future.”
“As we navigate this crisis and the new challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, our role in protecting the environment, the wellbeing of our employees and the communities we serve is paramount, and I am proud of the progress we have made. In 2020, we continue to work tirelessly towards our Net Positive commitment, phasing-out single-use plastics as we move ever closer towards a circular economy,” Al-Zu’bi added.
As part of the company’s pledge to phase out single-use plastics, Majid Al Futtaim introduced a wide range of initiatives to promote behaviour change. These include a zero waste ‘Green Home’ bio-certified, vegan and cruelty-free detergent refilling station at Carrefour Mall of the Emirates, cotton bags at fruit and vegetable sections in several outlets, and exclusive ‘Green Cash Counters’ for customers with reusable bags across 33 Carrefour hypermarkets in the UAE.
In addition, Majid Al Futtaim – Ventures has already removed 374,000 single-use plastic bags from its outlets, including VOX Cinemas, Magic Planet and Little Explorers, and has also eliminated plastic cutlery and straws in food outlets across the business.
As part of its sustainability strategy and in line with its vision to create great moments for everyone, everyday, the company has also placed a strong focus on promoting sustainable living, while nurturing entrepreneurship, skills development and innovation. To this end, Majid Al Futtaim created an Enterprise Hub to support start-ups and local businesses, and invested in an Innovation Centre of Excellence to encourage the sharing of innovative business ideas and solve sustainability challenges at a company-wide level.
Looking to the future, Majid Al Futtaim will continue to improve its environmental sustainability performance by developing a framework for calculating the embodied carbon emissions associated with its refurbishment and development projects and setting embodied carbon reduction targets. It has also undertaken two research projects to understand the potential and opportunities around investing further in renewables and water.
Furthermore, as part of Majid Al Futtaim’s commitment to workforce development, the company developed a group-wide sustainability e-learning programme that will be rolled out to all employees this year.