The Bahrain Institute for Pearls and Gemstones (DANAT) proudly has announced its membership in the United Nations Global Compact initiative, a voluntary leadership platform for the development, implementation, and disclosure of responsible business practices.

This strategic collaboration comes at a time when sustainable practices are impacting consumer choices, and it’s an affirmation of DANAT’s commitment to sustainable practices and responsible business conduct, integrating sustainability principles into every facet of its operations, from supply chains and internal protocols to community engagement endeavours.

Mrs. Noora Jamsheer, CEO of DANAT, expressed her profound pride in this significant milestone, stating: “Our membership in the United Nations Global Compact represents our ongoing efforts towards a brighter and more sustainable future for all. We aspire for DANAT to play a pivotal role in advancing the Sustainable Development Goals crucial for attainment by 2030. This underscores DANAT’s commitment to spearheading initiatives that promote environmental stewardship and foster the adoption of eco-friendly technologies.”

Mrs. Jamsheer added: “DANAT has made significant contributions to enhancing Bahrain’s standing as a premier destination for pearls and gemstones. Its constant commitment to advancing the Sustainable Development Goals underscores its dedication to responsible business practices. DANAT is fully committed to this endeavour and will diligently work to expedite its positive impact by fostering resilience to climate change, conserving resources, and promoting inclusivity.”


About DANAT:

Bahrain Institute for Pearls and Gemstones (DANAT) was established in 2017, under the aegis of His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince and Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Bahrain. It was formed as a wholly owned subsidiary of the Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company (Mumtalakat), the sovereign wealth fund of the Kingdom. Its vision is to become the world’s preferred institute for natural pearls and gemstones’ third-party verification services and scientific research.   

As a reflection of Bahrain’s ancient pearling history and the strong desire to protect this heritage, DANAT was established as the guardian of global gemmological excellence. It plays a vital role in ensuring, protecting and enhancing public trust in pearls, gemstones and jewellery. DANAT is an authority on industry standards, scientific knowledge and education, and is committed to maintaining the highest standards of professional and personal ethics. 

Zainab Azur
Officer – Marketing and Communications

A new tool designed to empower Islamic banks in the fight against climate change has been launched by the General Council for Islamic Banks and Financial Institutions (Cibafi).

The Bahrain-based global umbrella organisation for Islamic financial institutions presented the solution during a webinar yesterday titled ‘Unveiling the Cibafi Greenhouse Gas Measurement Tool to Strengthen the Contribution of Islamic Financial Institutions to Climate Action’.

The event brought together experts to discuss the crucial role Islamic banks can play in advancing climate initiatives.

This move aligns with Cibafi’s growing commitment to sustainability, following the declaration made by the Islamic Finance Infrastructure Organisations during COP28.

The newly unveiled Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Measurement Tool represents a significant step forward for Islamic banks, allowing them to assess the environmental impact of their investment portfolios.

“Cibafi is dedicated to supporting Islamic banks in addressing climate change and promoting sustainability within the industry,” said Cibafi secretary general Dr Abdelilah Belatik in his opening remarks. He highlighted the potential benefits of the tool, expressing hope that Islamic banks will leverage it to enhance their operations and achieve greater sustainability outcomes.

The webinar featured a panel discussion with experts from the UK, UAE, Canada, and Malaysia. The panel explored how Islamic banks can integrate sustainability practices, emphasising collaboration and adherence to global standards for managing climate risks. They also shared strategies for seamless implementation of the GHG tool.

Cibafi’s initiative demonstrates the Islamic financial services industry’s growing focus on sustainability and climate action. The organisation remains committed to supporting its members by facilitating dialogues on emerging issues and representing them at global financial events.

Source: Gulf Daily News

Under the patronage of His Excellency Engineer Kamal bin Ahmed Mohammed, President of the Electricity and Water Authority, Bahrain Aluminum Extrusion Company (Balexco) held the inauguration ceremony of the 2.25 MW Solar Power Plant. His Excellency confirmed EWA’s support for Balexco solar energy project and appreciates Balexco’s commitment in adopting and investing in alternative and sustainable energy sources and encouraging other private sector companies looking to integrate sustainable practices into their operations to follow a similar approach motivating them to contribute to achieving the Kingdom’s goals for renewable energy. 

This project, which was initiated with the signing of the Letter of Intent (LOI), in Partnership with Kanoo CleanMax a leading developer of renewable energy sources in Kingdom of Bahrain in November 2022, followed by the signing of the Solar PPA agreement on the 18th of July 2023. which was concluded with a ceremony announcing the start of operation of the project on the 5th of May 2024, in the presence of EWA’s representatives, banks, industrial companies, Balexco accredited customers, in addition to the relevant government and renewable Energy representatives in Bahrain.  

His Excellency noted that the Electricity and Water Authority aims to adopt the best practices in the field of renewable energy by working to implement the sustainable energy transformation plan, through which investment initiatives in renewable energy sources will be adopted and thus reduce carbon emissions to achieve carbon neutrality by the year 2060, and in accordance with the Kingdom’s international obligations. 

In response to Kingdom of Bahrain’s vision to reduce carbon emission by 30% by 2030 and net zero carbon emission by 2060, the newly installed Balexco Solar Power Plant is a testament to Balexco’s dedication to leveraging renewable energy sources to power its operations. Covering an impressive 30% of the company’s current electrical power demand, this project signifies a substantial move towards reducing our dependence on traditional power sources and minimizing our carbon footprint. The project will enable carbon abatement of 1773 MT Co2 annually; equivalent to planting 21,517 palm trees or taking 377 cars off the roads. 

Bahrain Aluminum Extrusions Company (Balexco) is proud to announce this important achievement in its commitment to sustainability and environmental preservation, as the solar energy plant located on the company’s roof not only demonstrates Balexco’s responsibility towards environmental conservation but also aligns with global efforts to combat climate change. This project stands as a model for other industrial companies looking to integrate sustainable practices into their operations by adopting renewable energy, which will enable companies to play a crucial role in promoting a sustainable and greener future for all. 

On this occasion, Balexco extends its sincere gratitude to His Excellency Engineer Kamal bin Ahmed Mohammed, President of the Electricity and Water Authority, for sponsoring this event, and to the Electricity and Water Authority for their continued support to activate the company’s solar energy project and other energy efficiency programs that Balexco is working to advance, in addition to environmental, social, and governance projects, and their commendable efforts in developing renewable energy projects in the Kingdom in line with the outcomes of the national plan and the vision of the Kingdom of Bahrain in the field of renewable energies. 

Naseej BSC (c) , in collaboration with the Bahrain Institute of Banking and Finance (BIBF), recently organised a charitable training session  aimed at promoting community engagement, environmental awareness, and corporate social responsibility.

The training session was centred around a team building activity  where employees collaborated to assemble and re-install bicycles. This activity  fostered teamwork, as well as project management skills that included project planning, decision making, procurement, and time keeping.   At the end of the training session, the bicycles were donated to the orphaned children registered with  the Royal Humanitarian Foundation (RHF) of Bahrain.

Naseej’s Chief Executive Officer,  Mr. Amin Al Arrayed underlined  the Company’s dedication to environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices, as well as the importance of giving back to the community we operate in. On an organizational level, Mr. Al Arrayed emphasised the significance of investing in its human capital  while simultaneously serving the community. Mr. Al Arrayed expressed his appreciation towards his staff for participating in the training session and working towards a noble cause as a team.

The event served as an opportunity for employees to engage in meaningful community service while enhancing teamwork and performance within the company.

Mr. Amer Mohamed Janahi – Chief Operating Officer at Naseej, highlighted the importance of such activities in developing essential skills and fostering a cohesive work environment. He thanked the BIBF for extending this valuable training to its employees. 

On his part, Dr. Ahmed Al Shaikh, CEO of BIBF, commended the collaboration between Naseej and the institute, recognising the role of initiatives like the team-building event in driving employee engagement and organisational success.

The charitable training event organised by Naseej and BIBF exemplifies Naseej’s commitment to social responsibility, community engagement, and environmental sustainability.

Arla Foods, recognized as one of Denmark’s largest food producers and a global leader in the industry, aims to bring its transformative initiatives to the forefront of the international stage at COP28 in Dubai.

Emphasizing their main highlights on the COP28, Mr. Kim Villadsen, Senior Vice President and Head of MENA, said, “At Arla, we continuously try to accelerate our sustainability actions and engagements, and for that, we were present at COP27 blue zone and will also be present in COP28 blue zone within the Danish Pavilion. Our main focus areas at COP 28 will revolve around scope three emission reductions in collaboration with key customers, methane emissions, and how the industry is coming together on this, and finally, regenerative farming practices.”

Also, he shed light on Arla’s commendable sustainability initiatives and its commitment to reducing its carbon footprint. 

“We are working across our entire operation to reduce our carbon footprint, and we have ambitious targets in place that are approved by The Science Based Targets Initiative and in line with the Paris Agreement to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees. In our scope 1 and 2, we plan to reduce emissions by 63 % by 2030 (compared to the 2015 baseline). For example, by using renewable energy at sites and offices and switching to fossil-free alternatives in our logistics. In scope 3, which includes on-farm emissions, the target is a 30 % reduction in emissions per kilo of milk by 2030 (also compared to the 2015 baseline). Most recently, we have implemented a point-based model by rewarding farmers who engage the most in sustainable actions on farms and motivating them not just to continue but to accelerate their efforts in creating a better future for the dairy industry.  Arla Foods aims to be carbon net zero by 2050.” Mr. Villadsen stated.

In the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, Arla Foods manufactures 70% of its products within GCC markets, reflecting a strong commitment to localized production. Mr. Villadsen explained, “With the presence of our two Dairy manufacturing sites in Bahrain and Saudi, we are proud to have 70 % of the products we sell in MENA being produced within the GCC markets. MENA as a region stands for approximately 7 % of total Arla group revenue in 2022.”

He added, “In 2022, Arla’s total group revenue was 13.8 billion euros. The Danish market accounted for approximately 8.8 % of that.” As a global leader, Arla Foods is not only contributing to Denmark’s economy but also spearheading sustainability efforts that resonate on a global scale.

As for future expansion, Mr. Kim Villadsen said, “We are continuously monitoring the possibilities and have big growth ambitions for the MENA region. It started with the establishment of our two dairy sites in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, where we are always looking into production line expansion, followed by our recent acquisition of the Kraft cheese portfolio in MENA, which is another good example.”

Arla Foods’ relentless efforts towards sustainability are driven by a dedication to creating a better future for all. The company’s goal to be carbon net zero by 2050 resonates with its commitment to environmental responsibility and sustainability on a global scale.

Visit Bahrain, a leading destination management company in the kingdom, has highlighted the crucial role being played by the firm in advancing sustainable development and safeguarding the environment, natural and cultural heritage, ecosystems and habitats.

Emphasizing the significance of promoting environmentally conscious and sustainable tourism, Visit Bahrain said it serves as a foundation for striking a harmonious equilibrium between tourism progress and the preservation of the environment and natural resources.

“This supports the efforts of the Ministry of Tourism and the Bahrain Tourism Authority in developing the tourism sector as a whole,” remarked Visit Bahrain CEO Ali Amralla.

Furthermore, Amralla stressed the importance of bolstering Bahrain’s tourism offerings and future travel destinations to boost competitiveness.

“This approach also aims to achieve economic, social, and environmental growth in tourist regions. He affirmed the necessity of adopting policies and strategies that focus on sustainable tourism and the integration of biodiversity into Bahrain’s tourist destinations,” he noted.

Amralla also called for the formulation of sustainability guidelines tailored to the tourism sector and the establishment of reference standards for consultation.

He highlighted the critical role of implementing sustainability criteria across diverse tourist facilities, and advocated for the adoption of a comprehensive guide for all tourism sector entities and representatives, outlining the finest practices in the field of sustainable tourism, as featured in International Tourism Planning & Development.

Amralla highlighted the crucial nature of backing environmentally conscious endeavors within hotel establishments and embracing forthcoming global trends that emphasize responsible tourism and sustainability.

“This process aims to ingrain these values within local tourist destinations and amenities, motivating them to heighten their dedication to sustainability benchmarks. Encouraging initiatives are being taken to amplify sustainable awareness within the sector and among tourists, along with a focus on innovation and digital transformation within the industry,” stated the top official.

“These actions seek to boost revenues, foster growth, and create opportunities for SMEs. These efforts align with Bahrain’s Vision 2030 and the objectives of its economic agenda,” he added.

According to him, the transition to sustainable tourism represents a strategic move towards positioning the Kingdom of Bahrain as a premier destination for global travellers seeking high-quality sustainable experiences.

This entails an advanced tourism product crafted through innovative environmentally friendly practices, which not only limit carbon emissions but also foster sustainable advancement. This aligns with the future aspirations of the tourism and travel sector, marked by its commitment to promoting sustainable, economically prosperous, and environmentally responsible tourism,” added Amralla.

Visit Bahrain CEO urged tourist establishments, tourist attractions and hotels to allocate resources towards the adoption of sustainable technologies, with the aim of cultivating a more ecologically viable tourism sector.

Such endeavors would not only enhance the industry’s sustainability but also play a pivotal role in realizing the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 and reaching a state of net-zero emissions by 2050, noted Amralla.

Furthermore, these efforts are instrumental in furnishing a well-defined pathway for local tourism enterprises, travel agencies, tour operators, and similar entities to align their operations with principles of sustainability, he added.

Source: Trade Arabia

Manama, Bahrain: Bapco Energies, the integrated energy company leading the energy transition in the Kingdom of Bahrain, has launched its Sustainability-Linked Finance Framework. The Framework will allow the Company to link its financing with decarbonisation goals in line with Bahrain’s commitment to sustainability and climate action as pledged by His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince and Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Bahrain, at COP26.

As part of the Framework, Bapco Energies has disclosed detailed Scope 3 absolute emissions targets. Unlike Scope 1 and 2 emissions which are related directly to the operations of Bapco Energies, Scope 3 refers to emissions that the Company is indirectly responsible for – a measure that is critical in the fight against climate change. The Framework was developed in close collaboration with Standard Chartered, which acted as the Company’s ESG advisor in the process.

Under the Framework, Bapco Energies will be able to tap into the emerging ESG investor and lender base in a robust and transparent manner. With Standard Chartered’s support, the Framework received a Second Party Opinion from ISS confirming its alignment with the ICMA Sustainability-Linked Bond Principles (SLBP) and the LMA Sustainability-Linked Loan Principles (SLLP).

Mr. Mark Thomas, Group Chief Executive Officer, Bapco Energies said, “We are proud to have published our Sustainability-Linked Finance Framework and Second Party Opinion from ISS. Disclosing our detailed and ambitious decarbonisation targets, makes us the first national energy company to implement this practice setting a global benchmark in the energy sector. Transparency in sharing these targets allows us to play our part in addressing the global climate crisis more effectively, and we are committed to actively contributing to global and local sustainability agendas. This announcement underlines our commitment to deliver a commercially viable energy transition to support the Kingdom’s efforts of achieving Net-Zero by 2060.”

Dr. Boutros Klink, Standard Chartered CEO, Bahrain and Middle East (excluding the UAE)said: “We are delighted to have built on our longstanding relationship with Bapco Energies and our support for the Kingdom’s ambitions by creating its Sustainability-Linked Finance Framework, which is testament to our market-leading sustainable finance capabilities. We are proud to have been part of Bahrain’s economic growth for the last 100 years and hope to continue to be for the next 100 years and beyond.” He added: “We commend Bapco Energies for its undertaking of this Framework and for leading the way among national energy companies in setting ambitious emission reduction targets that will contribute to efforts that seek to mitigate climate change. At Standard Chartered, we are committed to supporting our clients across our dynamic footprint as they venture into the sustainable finance market to meet their ESG ambitions.”

In the Framework, Bapco Energies lists its Scope 1 and 2 net emissions intensity reduction targets, using 2017 as a baseline: 15% by 2025, 25% by 2030, 50% by 2040, 75% by 2050; and by 2060, reaching net zero Scope 1 and 2 emissions. Bapco Energies is also committed to reducing absolute Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 30% from 2017 levels by 2035. For its landmark Scope 3 targets, Bapco Energies will reduce absolute Scope 3 emissions within the Kingdom of Bahrain by 30% from 2017 levels by 2035; and by 2060, reach Net-Zero Scope 3 emissions.

Standard Chartered has a long-standing commitment to Sustainable Finance which is backed by a robust framework and approach to assessing, mitigating, and managing Environmental and Social Risk. The Bank continues to make and update sustainable finance commitments and has set a number of targets, including mobilising USD300 billion in sustainable finance by December 2030; achieving USD1 billion in Sustainable Finance income by 2025; and aiming to reduce the emissions associated with financing activities to net zero by 2050.

Source: Zawya

APM Terminals Bahrain, the operator of Khalifa Bin Salman Port, has announced the launch of a ground-breaking solar power project worth approximately BHD3.8 million (US$ 10 million), which will make the port energy self-sufficient by the end of 2023. By implementing this project, the terminal will reduce its carbon emissions by 65% while also securing a reliable and sustainable source of energy.

The solar power project is part of APM Terminals’ global decarbonisation plans, which aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 70% by 2030 and achieve net zero by 2040. APM Terminals describes the solar power project in Bahrain as one of the main pillars in its overall decarbonisation journey.

By the end of the solar implementation project, APM Terminals Bahrain will have installed 20,000 solar photovoltaic panels capable of generating 18.5 Gigawatts of electricity per year. This renewable energy source will produce clean and sustainable energy for powering various port operations, including container handling, crane operations and lighting.

Source: The Maritime Standard

The concept for a ‘green mosque’ that integrates sustainable practices and smart technologies is being discussed and was recently presented by the Supreme Council for the Environment (SCE).

The sustainable mosque, as the project is called, promotes the use of renewable clean energy resources as well as a water treatment facility that recycles ablution and other grey water to be re-used irrigating a sustainable garden.

Greywater is commonly used water from bathroom sinks, showers, tubs and washing machines. It is not water that has come into contact with faeces, either from the toilet or from washing reusable nappies.

During a roundtable discussion focused on eco-friendly places of worship at the joint Bahrain-EU Conference on Freedom of Religion and Belief organised by King Hamad Global Centre for Peaceful Coexistence (KHGCPC), SCE environmental specialist Mohammed Shamlooh discussed the project, and how the model may be implemented in the future.

The concept takes a three-pronged approach. It would use solar energy to generate electricity for the mosque which, among other uses, would power the water treatment plant, providing water that would help beautify the mosque.

“The mosque is built from local materials that insulates heat to conserve energy,” the SCE said, in a statement.

“It is oriented towards the north to take advantage of the wind patterns. The roof of the building is equipped with solar panels, and the whole building has energy-saving LED lights supplemented with electric sensors.

“The minaret is also designed to operate as an air catcher and a natural cooler for the mosque. These measures help in reducing the overall power consumption in the building.

“The mosque has an ablution water collection system to produce treated water that can be used for irrigation purposes, cleaning the building, and in the production of organic fertiliser.”

When asked if elements of this design could be retrofitted into existing mosques, Mr Shamlooh noted that the SCE is looking into doing this, especially around the recycling of ablution water.

“The ablution water, as well as rainwater and air conditioning water, is reusable with minimal treatment for irrigation,” Mr Shamlooh, who was part of the technical and environmental assessment team on the project, added.

The SCE also noted that it plans to instal tap water sensors and other water-saving equipment while using drip irrigation in the area surrounding the mosque.

The council did not reveal a firm timeline or location for the proposed mosque.

In September last year, the GDN reported that Southern Municipal councillors called on the Cabinet to allot funding in the 2023-24 national budget for special pipelines and networks to recycle the water, called wudu in Arabic.

This was in response to ‘millions of gallons’ of water being wasted, according to the council’s then-services and public utilities committee chairman and now council chairman Abdulla Abdullatif.

According to former works, municipalities and urban planning minister Essam Khalaf, small-scale pilot schemes to recycle wudu water in an internal network were under implementation in two mosques – Safiya Kanoo Mosque in Tubli and Ali Kanoo Mosque in Hidd.

The SCE’s green mosque concept was discussed, amid a conversation around how places of different faiths can drive sustainable change in their communities.

During the round table, Anglican Alliance advocacy and communication manager Elizabeth Perry also highlighted the Communion Forest initiative, being run by the Anglican Communion across the world.

Under the initiative, churches, dioceses and provinces can take on the mantle to plant trees, restore wasteland, create tiny gardens and other environmental projects, as a way to integrate environmental and spiritual life.

Ms Perry also highlighted the series of Bible studies created around the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Source: Naman Arora, Gulf Daily News

Leading sustainable energy partner for businesses to deploy over $1 billion worth of projects in the Middle East, Africa and beyond.

Yellow Door Energy (“YDE”), the leading sustainable energy partner for businesses, has today announced the closing of a new equity raise to continue its development of sustainable energy projects in the Middle East, Africa and beyond. The investment also includes a purchase of current shares, enabling the company’s initial investors to exit. The funding is substantially provided by YDE’s newest and now controlling shareholder, Actis, with existing shareholders International Finance Corporation (IFC), Mitsui & Co., Ltd. (“Mitsui”) and APICORP also increasing their equity commitments. With the closure of this landmark transaction, YDE’s business plan is fully funded and the management team is now focused on executing sustainable energy solutions over the next five years, with a portfolio value expected to exceed $1 billion, which will be funded through a combination of equity and debt securities.

Jeremy Crane, CEO and Founder of Yellow Door Energy, said: “This substantial investment will enable Yellow Door Energy to rapidly expand into new countries and deploy over $1 billion in projects across the region. We whole-heartedly welcome Actis as our majority shareholder and look forward to a fruitful collaboration. We would also like to express our gratitude to our existing shareholders – IFC, Mitsui and APICORP – for their continued investment and support for our business model of providing affordable, reliable and sustainable energy to visionary companies in the MEA region and beyond.”

Nalin Nayyar, CFO of Yellow Door Energy, added: “Our shareholders understand the importance of patient capital when investing in sustainable long-term infrastructure projects. With over $400 million in equity expected, Yellow Door Energy is fully funded and well positioned for the next phase of the company’s growth. We look forward to leveraging our shareholders’ expertise and benefiting from their continued synergies to add value to our business and customers.”

Lucy Heintz, Partner and Head of Energy Infrastructure at Actis, said: “We’re excited about the opportunity our partnership with Yellow Door Energy presents to contribute to the MEA region’s transition away from fossil fuels by deploying new solar PV technology. We see a clear opportunity to help Yellow Door Energy continue its growth journey and to build the region’s distributed solar sustainability leader.”

With operations in the UAE, Jordan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and South Africa, Yellow Door Energy has one of the largest commercial & industrial project portfolios in the region, with 106 megawatts in operation and 104 megawatts awarded and under construction. The company has key existing relationships with a large customer base of over 50 companies, including multi-national businesses such as Nestlé, Majid Al Futtaim, DHL, Mondelēz and Unilever.

The company’s mission is to be the sustainable energy partner of choice for leading businesses, helping them reduce costs and lower carbon emissions. This directly supports net zero emission targets set by countries and companies worldwide to mitigate the impacts of climate change.