Majid Al Futtaim has unveiled its strategy to become net positive in water consumption and carbon emissions by 2040.
The UAE-based real estate developer and operator is the first company in the Middle East to commit to a net positive future.
The strategy was launched in the presence of Dr Thani Ahmad Al Zeyoudi, the UAE’s Minister of Climate Change and Environment.
Dr Al Zeyoudi commented: “Majid Al Futtaim’s net positive commitment is a landmark step in helping to create a more sustainable future for our region.
“The strategy is in line with the UAE Green Agenda and the UAE National Climate Change Plan to address solutions to pressing current and future environmental challenges. Collaboration with the private sector is key to realising our sustainability goals, and promoting a shared responsibility for our environment.”
As part of the net positive strategy, Majid Al Futtaim will measure its current carbon and water impact, and implement measures to reduce it through projects focussed on decreasing carbon emissions and water consumption for all of its regional assets.
The sustainable initiatives will range from small-scale energy efficiency measures and onsite renewable energy installations to rainwater harvesting and greywater recycling systems.
In the longer term, Majid Al Futtaim plans to improve accessibility to and the quality of water in local communities where it has extracted water for business purposes.
Alain Bejjani, chief executive officer of Majid Al Futtaim Holding, said: “We see it as not only a moral imperative, but also a core responsibility to our stakeholders to set the standard for sustainable development in the region, and to continually strive to become one of the most environmentally considerate companies in the world.
“We are delighted with the progress we have already made in this space but, ultimately, know our work will not be complete until we have reached a stage where we are giving more back to the environment than we take.
“[This is why] we have set ourselves the ambitious, while realistic, target of becoming net positive in our carbon emissions and water consumption in less than 25 years. We are extremely proud to be the first company in the Middle East to commit to such a target, and hope our action inspires others in the region to follow suit.”
Ibrahim Al-Zu’bi, head of sustainability at Majid Al Futtaim Holding, added: “Our sustainability journey at Majid Al Futtaim started almost a decade ago and, in that time, we have made incredible progress.
“Becoming net positive is the next ambitious goal that we have set, and we are fully committed to achieving it by 2040. In doing so, we will help provide a framework to ensure the private sector becomes a force for good, further protecting our shared resources in a region that faces challenges around water scarcity and energy consumption.”
The net positive movement was developed through the work of Net Positive Group, a collaboration between Forum for the Future, The Climate Group, and World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
Net Positive Group includes other high-profile international conglomerates, including Kingfisher, BT, Coca-Cola, and Lego.