Majid Al Futtaim releases ESG report of progress towards net positive in carbon objective

Regional shopping centre developer and operator Majid Al Futtaim released its 2021 environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) report, outlining the progress of its sustainability initiatives.

As first in the region to receive a $1.5 billion sustainability-linked loan, Majid Al Futtaim aims to ensure all its shopping centres are LEED certified by 2026.

Last year, 45 of the operator’s stores were LEED certified, BREEAM certified or equivalent, 35 more than those in 2020.

Majid Al Futtaim also hopes to make its Mall of Oman the first superregional mall certified as LEED Platinum.

“The rise of ESG on the corporate agenda has transitioned quickly from a niche interest to a mainstream requirement for companies seeking to lead across all industries today,” said Ibrahim Al Zu’bi, chief sustainability officer at Majid Al Futtaim Holding.

Aligning with the UAE’s national strategic net zero targets, Majid Al Futtaim intends to be net positive in carbon by 2040.

The group joined the Business Ambition for 1.5oC Commitment, aiming to reduce carbon emissions by 50 per cent by 2030 and achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Last year, its renewable energy amounted to 21.4 million kWh, a 26 per cent increase from 17 million kWh in 2020.

Majid Al Futtaim’s solar park in Jordan, opened last year, houses 49,000 solar panels which supply 100 per cent power to all 35 Carrefour branches across the country.

In coming years, the operator intends to open the largest private solar plant in Bahrain, which will span over 40,000 square metres and power 50 percent of its malls’ operations in the Kingdom.

“With ethical buying and sustainability gaining importance for consumers, we want to create a positive impact in everything we do, from our local communities and the organisations we partner with, to the products we procure and sell.

“In that regard, our 2021 report reveals our most recent accomplishments and represents a milestone in our journey to become Net Positive in carbon by 2040.

In keeping with Majid Al Futtaim’s Single-Use Plastic Phase-Out Policy, Carrefour branches across Armenia have eliminated the use of single-use plastic.

In addition, single-use plastic bags from the group’s retail outlets across seven other countries.

Last year, Majid Al Futtaim opened a facility in Dubai to study the efficiency of hydro-panel technology and solar power in generating clean water from air.

Ten hydro-panels have been installed, with each able to store up to 40 litres and producing approximately four litres of water daily.

“Our team is unified in its vision with a tenfold growth ambition over the next decade, focused on discovering new opportunities, expanding consciously towards a more connected, sustainable and equitable future for all.”

In pursuit of its cultural and heritage objectives, Majid Al Futtaim hopes to support the UAE’s economy by recruiting 3,000 Emiratis.

Over the next five years, the operator will create the first coding programme for women in the Middle East’s private sector, with room for 5,000 students.

Majid Al Futtaim also intends to employ women in 30 per cent of leadership positions by 2025 and in 35 per cent of advanced technology and digital roles by the end of next year.