How we’re developing a portfolio fit for people and our future – Ibrahim Al-Zu’bi, Chief Sustainability Officer, Majid Al Futtaim.
“The scientific evidence is unequivocal: climate change is a threat to human well-being and the health of the planet. Any further delay in concerted global action will miss the brief, rapidly closing window to secure a liveable future.”
The key message from the Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation & Vulnerability Report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) provoked one particular question: are we doing enough to protect us from the stark reality of a climate catastrophe?
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Emissions Gap Report, issued in October 2021, commented on how the latest Nationally Determined Contributions, NDCs, (i.e., countries’ action plans for decarbonising) take only 7.5% off predicted 2030 emissions, far short of the 55% required to meet the 1.5°C Paris Climate Agreement target. In fact, looking at the current agreed policies, we are on track for a minimum of 2.7°C of warming. If countries were to meet their most recent conditional and unconditional commitments, as well as their net zero carbon pledges, this figure drops to about 2.2°C1. Again, this falls short of the 1.5°C target.
However, I believe there is hope from a private sector who has the ability and, now more than ever, the drive to deliver a fair, just and net zero carbon future. Majid Al Futtaim is part of this movement and recognised as a pioneer on environmental, social and governance issues in our region. Pivotal to our journey is our long-term target of producing more energy and water than we consume, reaching a Net Positive business model by 2040.
We design, develop and operate buildings for people and a prosperous future, applying strict best practice principles on a wide variety of topics including health and wellbeing, carbon and energy performance, water demand and efficiency, waste and materials and climate risk. In 2021, we were the first in the world to receive LEED Platinum certification across our entire 13-hotel property portfolio and Tilal Al Ghaf’s Sales and Experience Centre, Majid Al Futtaim’s flagship mixed-use community in Dubai, is the first in the region to be Net Zero Energy certified by the International Living Future Institute (ILFI) and the first recipient of BREEAM Excellent in the GCC. We have undertaken a comprehensive quantitative modelling exercise of our entire properties’ portfolio against difference climate scenarios and conducted climate scenario analysis of our business strategy to understand and govern our top climate risks.
The next step in our journey is to align with science-based targets (SBTs). This will show us how much and how quickly we need to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions to prevent the worst effects of climate change, aligned with the latest climate science.
Majid Al Futtaim signed up to the Business Ambition for 1.5°C Commitment, led by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), requiring emissions reductions of 50% by 2030, and to reach net zero by 2050 at the very latest. To put this commitment into practice, we have developed Scope 1 and 2 SBTs for Majid Al Futtaim – Properties, aligned to a well-below 2°C pathway. Given that Scope 3 emissions account for more than 40% of our total Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions, we have also set a Scope 3 SBT (visit our 2021 ESG report to learn more about our targets). Majid Al Futtaim – Properties’ targets were approved by the SBTi this year and we recently submitted SBTs for validation to the SBTi for our Retail, Leisure, Entertainment & Cinemas, and Lifestyle Operating Companies. To meet our targets, we will continue to invest in the energy efficiency, renewable energy, and embodied carbon reduction activities that we already have underway.
Owing to the substantial emissions associated with the built environment, science-based emissions reduction targets are a necessary step for taking urgent action to reduce climate breakdown whilst ensuring buildings are resilient and minimising their impact. I invite you to take a vital step towards aligning with the Paris Agreement and join the growing number of companies setting SBTs.