Majid Al Futtaim and Enova have unveiled their net-positive strategy that aims to slash water use and create more energy than it consumes by 2040, said Ibrahim Al Zu’bi, Head of Sustainability at Majid Al Futtaim Holding.
Al Zu’bi was speaking at a media round-table discussion on October 17, in Dubai, and was joined by Anne Le Guennec, CEO at Enova, and Ghaith Shocair, CEO, Shopping Malls at Majid Al Futtaim Properties.
Sharing details about the strategy, Al Zu’bi said: “The net-positive strategy is a new mechanism of environmental sustainability, which just means to give more than you can take when it comes to the environment. It covers two main issues, and they are CO2 emissions and water, and we want to do our best to reduce our environmental impact and maximise our socio-economic impact.
“We do not want to be just efficient, but we have decided to be net-positive by 2040. We plan to make our buildings not only carbon neutral but will also be producing renewable and clean energy. We already have audited our data, and we know precisely our carbon footprint. The next step would be to reduce our impact, and in the third phase, we will begin to make a positive contribution by integrating renewable solar, wherever possible, so that we can reach our target by 2040.”
Speaking on the role of Enova, Le Guennec said that as part of the partnership, her team has already installed a portable solar plant at three malls belonging to Majid Al Futtaim, and by 2017, Mirdif City Centre, Mall of the Emirates and Fujairah City Centre would be equipped with 12,500 solar panels, with a coverage of 25,000 square metres that would produce 6,000 MW of power, yearly. The entire project would bring in savings of AED 80 million over the next 20 years.
Speaking on the response from the retail partners, Shocair said: “The response from our retail partners has been very positive towards these initiatives and, through the joint partnership, new levels of standards and guidelines have been established towards achieving our target. It is just about bringing in a change in what they were doing, like procuring recycled paper. Through such practices, we want to push the envelope.”
Al Zu’bi added that the shopping mall teams at Majid Al Futtaim have developed a star rating system for our retail partners and a fit-out training guide. The system, he said, is mainly focussed on energy and water efficiency and indoor air quality. Training would be imparted to the staff to work towards this goal, and stars would be awarded to the best retail partner who has achieved the target. And currently, the policy for Majid Al Futtaim shopping malls is that retail partners must achieve a minimum of three-star ratings that focus on indoor air quality, water and energy efficiency, capacity building and engagement for their staff.