Aldar’s ESG score ‘well above the industry average’ for both Dow Jones Sustainability Index and Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI)
Aldar Properties says its newly published third sustainability report showcases the resilience of its “business and sustainable growth strategy in 2020.”
The report highlights the significant progress and steps forward that Aldar has made with regards to its sustainability goals with Aldar markedly increasing its ESG results, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, scoring higher than all listed real estate companies in the UAE.
After implementing a refreshed sustainability strategy last year, Aldar was ranked third among all listed companies on Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange. It also improved its ESG score well above the industry average for both Dow Jones Sustainability Index and MSCI.
Commenting on Aldar’s commitment to sustainability, Talal Al Dhiyebi, Group CEO at Aldar stated: “Aldar’s new sustainability strategy arrived last year at a time when the relevance of the ESG agenda was beginning to strengthen locally, regionally and globally. Sustainability is deeply rooted in our foundations with a historic commitment to preserving local flora and fauna, developing diverse talent and localizing the supply chain. We are proud that we took that commitment to the next level in 2020, further enhancing our regional ESG leadership position. As we embark on the next phase of our journey, aligning our strategic priorities with international standards and frameworks will enable us to pursue sustainable and inclusive growth opportunities for the benefit of our stakeholders, and to shape communities for the better.”
As one of the first companies in the Middle East to adopt the TCFD framework as part of its sustainability reporting, Aldar is aligning with global best practices to enhance its climate-related disclosures and manage climate change risks across the entire real estate life-cycle. It also reflects Aldar’s ongoing commitment to facilitate the advancement of sustainability in the region by adhering to green building standards, investing in sustainable innovation, and developing localized procurement policies.
Greg Fewer, Group Chief Financial and Sustainability Officer at Aldar, said: “Climate change is one of the defining challenges of our time. The business community’s response to the climate crisis will have lasting implications for future generations. Aldar’s adoption of the TCFD framework, the fact we are now a signatory of the United Nations Global Compact, and our focus on developing a robust Carbon Neutral Action Plan by the end of 2021, clearly indicates the direction of travel for us as a company. It is our firm intention to lead by example in the region and to effectively manage climate-related risks and opportunities both today and in the years to come.”
Aldar’s progress is highlighted in the report across the four strategic pillars which the company uses to benchmark developments: Economy, Community, People and Environment.
- Economy highlights include a strategic partnership with the Abu Dhabi government to oversee the development of national housing, public infrastructure, as well as projects in education, healthcare, infrastructure, social services, and facilities management, the launch of the Scale Up incubator programme, and the introduction of a new sustainable procurement strategy.
- Community highlights include AED 30 million pledged to Sandooq Al Watan bringing total investment to AED 150 million since the inception of the fund, AED 1 million contributed by Aldar employees to the “Together We Are Good” programme, and AED 2 million invested in the ATMAH programme for people of determination.
- People highlights include mandatory sustainability training modules delivered to 300 employees, launching a Diversity and Inclusion Strategy to encourage the recruitment of women and people of determination across all levels, while 90% of employees recognised Aldar as a Great Place to Work (12% increase year on year).
- Environment highlights include a 17% reduction in energy consumption compared to 2019 on a like-for-like basis, a 13% like-for-like carbon footprint reduction and a 9.7% like-for-like reduction in water consumption across Aldar’s shopping malls, hospitality, leisure assets and schools.
The report also mentions important upcoming milestones and long-term sustainability ambitions for Aldar that extend beyond 2020. For example, Aldar is developing a Carbon Neutral Action Plan which will be launched by the end of 2021. Specific targets will be set within the Carbon Neutral Action Plan to catalyze a reduction in carbon emissions and to drive the carbon neutral agenda across the business, in alignment with regional and global best practice. Aldar is also focused on delivering against its 2025 energy and emissions reduction targets and improving waste management across the entirety of its business.
The period covered in the report is from January to December 2020. It spans across Aldar’s business and was prepared in accordance with the Core option of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards, the world’s most widely used standards on sustainability reporting and disclosure.