|Majid Al Futtaim Properties, a leading owner, developer and operator of shopping malls in the region, has launched its new five-year sustainability strategy.|
The new strategy was announced during MAF’s third annual Sustainability Summit in Sheraton Hotel at the Mall of the Emirates, Dubai.
The summit brought together more than 100 experts from a range of industries and institutions to discuss the uptake of sustainability in the Middle East, lessons learnt from building and operating green buildings, as well as the growing investor appetite for sustainability benchmarking and reporting.
It was held in association with the Emirates Green Building Council, The British University in Dubai, Jones Lang LaSalle and the Dubai Chamber of Commerce Sustainability Network.
George Kostas, CEO, MAF Properties, said: “Our region is facing major social and environmental change. We therefore believe that a responsible business must look to drive growth that is economically efficient, socially fair and environmentally sustainable.
“Majid Al Futtaim Properties is recognised as a sustainability leader in the Mena region since we launched phase one of our sustainability strategy four years ago. Today we are ranked as the leading property company in the Middle East, and according to the 2013 Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB) survey, we rank second in the Asia-Pacific region and in the top 133 property businesses worldwide.”
Ibrahim Al Zu’bi, head of sustainability, said: “It is our vision to enhance people’s lives through sustainable real estate. This commitment is reflected in our approach to issues ranging from labour conditions and health and safety in our developments to supporting local economic development. Achievements include 17 per cent reduction in water consumption in our malls and a 15 per cent reduction in our hotels. In addition, last year we delivered Dh13.3 million ($3.6 million) in community investment through hosting events in our malls, donating staff time, providing free space to groups and cash contributions.”
The first panel discussed the challenges and opportunities of green buildings in the Middle East, while the second panel focused on social and environmental standards, debating about specific drivers in the Middle Eastern market. The third panel discussed the importance of sustainability benchmarking and reporting.