Majid Al Futtaim Retail inks MoU with Environment Agency of Abu Dhabi and UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment


Majid Al Futtaim Retail, the Carrefour operator in the UAE, has signed a memorandum of understanding with The Environment Agency of Abu Dhabi (EAD) and UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment –during the 27th conference of the parties, held in Egypt.

The memorandum of understanding serves to enhance cooperation between the parties to further integrate sustainability in the public and private sectors. Furthermore, it seeks to help conserve natural and environmental resources by encouraging the use of reusable products in the retail sector to address the challenge of excessive plastic waste.

Assistant undersecretary for the sustainable communities sector, Hana Al Hashmi, said: “Approximately 7 billion of the 9.2 billion tonnes of plastics produced worldwide from 1950 to 2017 became plastic waste, ending up in landfills or dumped.

“Plastic pollution can alter habitats and natural processes, impairing the ability of ecosystems to adapt to climate change and directly affecting millions of people’s livelihoods, food production capabilities and social wellbeing.

“The UAE is committed to combating plastic pollution on all fronts. At MOCCAE, we are working together with our partners to apply an all-inclusive, sustainable and circular approach that ensures effective interventions along the full lifecycle of plastics. Building on the outstanding work of EAD and Majid Al Futtaim retail to date, the new MoU aligns with this direction, as well as with the objectives of the High Ambition Coalition to end plastic pollution that the UAE joined in September. The global initiative, launched in August, aims to eliminate plastic pollution by 2040. We hope this example will encourage more entities to support our efforts and adopt multi-use solutions that help minimise waste and are kinder to the environment.”

The three entities share a set of guiding principles to achieve climate neutrality in the UAE. This entails encouraging the consumption of reusable products and alternatives with a low carbon footprint, as well as conducting studies into consumer incentives when it comes to purchasing reusable products.

The three entities will collaborate closely to gauge the impact of the initiative by monitoring the decrease in single-use plastic bag usage and the rate of reduction of greenhouse gas emissions resulting from the switch to reusable alternatives.

Secretary general of the EAD, Shaikha Salem Al Dhaheri said: “This MoU with the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment and Majid Al Futtaim Retail will contribute greatly to the reduction of single-use plastics and a shift towards reusable alternatives that are innovative and sustainable. Carrefour was one of the first leading retailers to sign a pledge with us for the ban on single-use plastic bags, effective from June 1, and they are currently offering a wide variety of eco-friendly replacements, having already eliminated 90 per cent single-use plastic bags.

“Our goal is keeping in mind the bigger picture of the UAE’s vision of achieving climate neutrality through the UAE net zero by 2050 Strategic Initiative that was announced last year prior to COP26. We are now here at COP27 signing this agreement in alignment with our wise leadership as we all strive to conserve the environment and reduce the amount of plastic waste harming human health, our habitats and biodiversity.”

COO at GCC Majid Al Futtaim retail, Bernardo Perloiro, said: “We are honoured to be representing retail at COP27 today through this partnership with EAD and MoCCAE.

“As part of the Majid Al Futtaim ecosystem, we set the standard for sustainable, responsible, self-sufficient business. Carrefour is at the forefront of adopting new solutions to protect the interests of our customers and the environment, having been the first retailer in the UAE to introduce reusable shopping bags back in 2007. Since then, we have pledged to eliminate single-use plastic across our operations by 2025 – driving positive change and promoting and rewarding green shopping habits.”