Pioneering Net Positivity in the Middle East

Interview with Ibrahim Al-Zu’bi, Head of Sustainability, Majid Al Futtaim - Holding

Ibrahim Al-Zu’bi, Head of Sustainability, Majid Al Futtaim - Holding

In April 2017, Majid Al Futtaim launched an ambitious “Net Positive” program to reduce energy and water consumption across all of its assets. Or more precisely a long-term sustainable development strategy. The holding aims to be a leader in this field and is keen to set the example. An interview with Ibrahim Al-Zu’bi, Head of Sustainability at Majid Al Futtaim.

> Planet: Net Positive Commitment. Why have you decided to pioneer Net Positivity in the region?

IAZ: Our sustainability journey at Majid Al Futtaim started almost a decade ago and in that time we have made incredible progress. Becoming Net Positive in Water and Carbon 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. As always, we are grateful for the continued support of the UAE government in helping us achieve our sustainability goals.

> Planet: You said you have made « incredible progress » so far. How have Enova contributed to the achievements until now and why are their solutions at the core of reaching the new ambitious goal?

IAZ :Ever since we created Enova together with Veolia in 2002, we have maintained a strong and supportive partnership throughout our sustainability journey. Thanks to the implementation of energy efficiency solutions and monitoring systems, we have been able to achieve our environmental targets so far, and we are looking forward to further building on this partnership in the future. The leverage inherited from Veolia’s more than 160 years of experience in sustainable energy, water and waste management makes Enova a reliable and credible expert in sustainability.

> Planet: Do you think « sustainable moments » are « great moments », as per your slogan?

IAZ : Absolutely! Experiencing great moments means creating happiness and that is closely linked to Sustainability in every way. Gulf Business recently published an article about how Sustainability could be a link in improving happiness, which is supported by evidence presented in the 2016 World Happiness Report (see link). According to the authors of the report, all three dimensions of sustainable development — economic, social, and environmental — are conducive to happiness, and they found that happiness is higher in countries that are closer to realizing their Sustainable Development Goals than those that aren’t. At Majid Al Futtaim, we strive to achieve this by creating great experiences for our customers in all our destinations, from providing them with excellent air quality to supporting energy- and water-saving habits. We not only aim to positively impact the lives of our customers and communities in a sustainable way but also to be an example and contributor to governments’ Sustainable Development Goals in the countries in which we operate.

 

Key figures for Mall of the Emirates

Surface area: over 255,489 sqm
Enova employees: over one hundred, including 27 for Ski Dubai
Visitor numbers: 45 million visitors annually
CO2 emissions: 49,940 metric tons in 2016