Saudi statesman, almost half a century ago, is reported to have said of the Kingdom, that it was his country’s “moment in the sun”. And so, it must have seemed back then, in the 1970’s when high oil prices brought transformative wealth to his nation. But today, those of us who have had the privilege of being a regular visitor to Saudi Arabia are amazed by the jaw-dropping pace of social change, national ambition and pride. The transformations going on today seem far more significant than anything known hitherto. For young Saudis this really is their “moment in the sun”. And the outside world is coming to visit and discovering both the beauty of the land and the warmth of its people. These are exciting times and there is much to celebrate.
However, for Saudi Arabia to take its place amongst the nations, in the struggle that links all of humanity – the fight for a sustainable environment – much more needs to be done, and much quicker than has been the case, thus far. Back in 2021 the leadership of the country inaugurated the bold ‘Saudi Green Initiative’. The vision outlined was crystal clear: reduce emissions, green the country, protect the land and the sea. But to make this happen it needs not just youth engagement but for businesses to step up and play their part. Right now, MM&Co.’s research suggests that corporate Saudi Arabia, with some notable exceptions (e.g. Olayan Saudi Holding Company, Olayan Financing Company) is the laggard versus the UAE, Europe and the United States.
Using a simple metric, of the percentage of Saudi companies having a proper Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO), compared to a wider international peer group, the extent of the challenge today becomes very clear. Here is what Metin Mitchell & Company’s (MM&Co.) research shows:
Percentage of companies having a CSO
|KSA listed||KSA family||UAE listed||UAE family||Europe listed (including UK)||USA listed|
|33.33 %||15.79 %||44 %||37.5 %||92.5 %||100 %|
 Proprietary data MM&Co.
It is, at this juncture, worth considering why it makes sense for a company to have a proper CSO to drive environmental, social and governance (ESG) initiatives. The first thing to stress is that the CSO is not just this year’s corporate fashion. Nor is it just a way of assuaging our conscience for the sake of our children and grandchildren. It’s a bottom line imperative. CEOs who do not appoint a CSO with teeth should, in my opinion, be fired for failing their shareholders. Indeed in the US some shareholders have sued management for failing ESG. It is very clear that most companies that get sustainability right can expect a boost in profits. McKinsey & Co’s excellent report: Five ways that ESG creates value by Witold Henisz, Tim Koller, and Robin Nuttall (2019) shows that the right ESG strategy can enhance the bottom line in the following ways: top line growth through consumer and community preference vs competitors; cost reductions – less waste; government support; productivity uplift through more engaged employees – remembering that generation Z wants to be doing something meaningful; better investment returns.
Dr. Mitchell referred to a proper ‘CSO’. What he means by this is the executive who has the following attributes: empowerment, credibility, influence, coaching skills and critically – direct reporting line to the CEO or, more radically, to the Board, in the manner of a Chief Internal Auditor.
Empowerment & Reporting: a CSO without the authority to work across and down the organization, is pointless. The ability to make change will come, in part, from the hierarchical positioning of the CSO – either through direct reporting line to the CEO or to the Board. The legitimacy of seniority and access to the CEO and/or to shareholders should allow the CSO to work with function and division heads to drive, corporation wide, the organizations’ ESG strategy.
Credibility: the individual appointed does not necessarily have to be an ESG specialist – but they have to understand and care passionately about the subject and come from functions that understand business inside out. Thus finance, marketing and operational executives, with a successful track record behind them can make fine CSOs.
Influence & Coaching: ESG should not be a police function but an enabling function to help an organization and its executives reach its environmental goals. The skills of a real coach and influencer are required to nurture performance and encourage change of ethos and behaviour rather than ensuring stick beating compliance with dry rule book procedures that makes everyone’s eyes glaze over and ultimately prove counterproductive.
Here is what you can expect your CSO to do for you: design and implement sustainability initiatives; lead the sustainability team; manage the sustainability budget; stay updated on the government’s ESG initiatives, plans and regulations; coach and teach colleagues on achieving positive outcomes for the environment and for the organization; track environmental impact and increase profitability through ESG initiatives.
However, the CSO cannot do it alone, the whole organization needs to be involved and play its part and every employee needs to contribute to the discipline of sustainability. As they say, ‘there is no planet B’.
The Kingdom has the leadership, the resources and the ambition to be a regional role model in the existential struggle for sustainability – but the business community needs to move much faster. Appointing a strong CSO is the first step in this mission critical journey.
Source: Metin Mitchel & Co
As part of Lulu’s ESG & Sustainability programs, a solar project is being installed at LuLu Warehouse in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in accordance with a contract with Kanoo Renewable Energy and CleanMax. As a result of the project, the first year is expected to generate 0.87 Mn kWh of electricity.
With such a large solar project, LuLu has taken an important step towards sustainability and demonstrates their commitment to ESG and eco-friendliness. The solar installation will reduce LuLu Warehouse’s carbon footprint and result in significant energy cost savings, which will contribute to a more sustainable future. Further, if LuLu’s production exceeds its needs, LuLu plans to contribute the same to the Kingdom’s wellbeing, demonstrating their commitment to supporting sustainable development.
“As part of this important step towards a more sustainable future, we are thrilled to be partnering with Kanoo and CleanMax on this exciting solar project.” “The solar installation will not only reduce LuLu Warehouse’s carbon footprint, but also result in significant energy cost savings,” said Shehim Mohammed, Director, LuLu Saudi Hypermarket.
Lulu Warehouse expects to complete the solar project by the end of the year and will be able to reduce its carbon footprint and save on energy costs.
Source: Saudi Gazette
Hilton, in partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) West Asia, Winnow and Goumbook, has announced the launch of Green Ramadan, an initiative which will see food waste reduction efforts implemented at hotels across several key markets in the Middle East, including Waldorf Astoria Lusail Doha in Qatar, Conrad Dubai in the UAE, and Hilton Riyadh Hotel & Residences in Saudi Arabia.
With reports from UNEP West Asia showing that food waste increases by 25% – 50% in the region during religious and social festivities, Hilton is introducing measures to minimise waste during the holy month of Ramadan and drive awareness around local sourcing and food waste. The initiative is in line with Hilton’s Travel with Purpose 2030 Goals to reduce food waste sent to landfill by 50%.
The partnership will combine Hilton’s drive towards a net zero future, UNEP’s ‘Recipe of Change’ food waste reduction campaign, Goumbook’s local sustainability expertise, and Winnow’s AI technology – allowing for digitally-led tracking of food waste throughout Ramadan. In doing so, Hilton will gather data to predict future procurement and production needs while also minimising its long-term environmental impact.
As part of the initiative, participating Hilton hotels across Qatar, the UAE and Saudi Arabia will compost excess food waste, prioritise local food sourcing within a 50-mile radius, promote plant-based dishes, restrict plastic use across operations, and partner with food banks.
In Qatar, Waldorf Astoria Lusail Doha will offer guests a tasteful dining experience at Bywater Restaurant with breathtaking views of the stunning Arabian Gulf. The restaurant takes pride in serving locally sourced produce from the Al Wabra Farm, showcasing a meticulously crafted menu that plays an active role in reducing food-related emissions. The hotel has also partnered with the Hifz Alnaema Food Bank to reinforce charitable giving during the holy month.
In the UAE, Al-Wāha by Conrad Dubai will feature local produce from Fresh on Table, and an innovative plant-based section with a thoughtfully curated menu that helps to significantly cut food-related emissions. The hotel is also partnering with the UAE Food Bank to reinforce charitable giving by donating 100 meals per day throughout Ramadan. Conrad Dubai will also compost food waste from Al-Wāha through The Waste Lab.
Meanwhile in Saudi Arabia, Hilton Riyadh Hotel & Residences will take guests on a gastronomic journey at Amara, its Ramadan tent, which will feature local produce from Nadec and Pure Harvest Smart Farms as part of a thoughtfully curated menu that helps to significantly cut food-related emissions. The hotel is also partnering with the Ita’am Food Bank to reinforce charitable giving and will donate 100 meals per day throughout Ramadan. Additionally, the hotel will collaborate with Black Cow to collect and compost Iftar buffet leftovers to be used as organic fertilisers locally.
Emma Banks, vice president, F&B strategy & development, EMEA, Hilton, said, “As a global hospitality brand, Hilton has a responsibility to lead the industry in the pursuit of sustainable solutions. We are delighted to embrace the holy month of Ramadan with the introduction of the Green Ramadan initiative. Our partner, Winnow, will play a crucial role in this digital-first approach by collecting food waste data and using it to inform our local procurement requirements while working closely with our partner Goumbook to ensure an educated approach towards the implemented sustainable practices. We’re also aligning closely with UNEP West Asia’s ongoing ‘Recipe of Change’ campaign aimed at reducing food waste across the value chain”.
“We hope that Hilton’s Green Ramadan initiative will set the standard for years to come by encouraging local food sourcing and reducing food waste,” said Banks.
Mr. Sami Dimassi, UNEP representative and regional director, West Asia, said, “We are very pleased to collaborate with Hilton to activate this campaign across its key markets in the Middle East. Reducing food waste is not only about saving food, but also about saving resources. The only way forward is to work hand-in-hand by engaging the local community, private sector, and influencers. Today, every plate counts and so does every wasted plate. Let us all fight food waste and work towards a more sustainable future”.
Marc Zornes, CEO and co-founder, Winnow, said, “Winnow is delighted to partner with Hilton, Goumbook and UNEP West Asia on this initiative during Ramadan. Food waste is an important area of interest for the region from a social and environmental perspective. Our intention is for this collaboration to be underpinned by real-world data and behavioural science, offering a playbook for the industry to tackle food waste”.
Tatiana Antonelli, founder and managing director, Goumbook, said, “We are thrilled to collaborate with Hilton on their Green Ramadan initiative alongside UNEP West Asia and Winnow. With food waste almost doubling in the holy month of Ramadan, there is a great opportunity to raise awareness and spotlight the benefits of local sourcing and food waste management. As we look forward to COP28 happening in the Middle East later in 2023, this is our chance to address the need to instill change and drive action”.
RedSea, the Saudi AgTech business whose one-of-a-kind technology enables commercial farming in hot environments globally, has agreed a deal with PIF-owned Saudi Downtown Company (SDC).
The new partnership allows the two parties to discuss designing, building and operation of RedSea greenhouses at SDC locations across the Kingdom, allowing the deployment of sustainable agriculture technologies everyone can benefit from.
Each downtown project is a mixed-use development that will provide a platform to enhance the quality of life and promote economic growth across 12 Saudi cities, delivering magnet attractions for each individual location.
The partnership will enhance the urban living experience through the integration of innovative, sustainable greenhouses into modern city landscapes with original concepts also designed to highlight the rich culture and tradition of each area.
The greenhouses are not only sustainable and include the most advanced technologies, the facilities will themselves become attractive destinations for visitors in their own right through their creative experience and culinary-driven offerings.
New job and training opportunities for locals can be expected in the horticultural management, juice bars and cafés that will form the ensemble.
This collaboration is aligned with the Kingdom’s vision and the quality of life objectives by enhancing green spaces and providing fresh, high-quality produce to local communities.
RedSea provides world-class expertise from a Saudi Made company that ensures a robust and science-based design of innovative sustainable agriculture technologies for very hot climates.
RedSea’s technologies span from the roots of the fruits and vegetables to the roof of the greenhouse and have been proven in its 6-ha facility near Riyadh and its research and development facility in KAUST.
Ryan Lefers, CEO and co-founder of RedSea, said: “We are excited to announce our collaboration with SDC. The greenhouses are not only sustainable and inclusive of the most advanced technologies – the facilities themselves are designed as experience centres for community visitors while also providing agriculture education as well as economic advantages.
“We are delighted to be working with key Saudi partners such as SDC to further our mission to feed the world sustainability while significantly scaling our business.”
RedSea has a full platform of proprietary technologies including transparent nanomaterial which allows visible light through, while absorbing the heat – and a smart enterprise remote monitoring and control system enabling higher yields and sustainability for agriculture producers in hot climates globally.
RedSea’s goal is to become a world-leader in providing sustainable technologies for hot environments, pioneering sustainable solutions to tackle food insecurity.
RedSea now has its technology deployed in seven countries and is currently delivering produce to over 100 retail locations across Saudi Arabia, under the Red Sea Farms produce brand.
This partnership is part of the portfolio of high-profile sustainable farm facilities RedSea is building, including RedSea Global and Silal.
Source: Arabian Business
Estedama, a fully integrated environmental solutions service company based in the Eastern Region of Saudi Arabia, continues to strengthen its waste recycling capabilities as it announces plans to invest in a contaminated soil wash plant designed and engineered by CDE.
The wash plant will be commissioned at Estedama’s Al Damman facility where it will process a range of oil-contaminated waste materials from around Saudi Arabia. transported by the company’s own fleet of tanker trucks, trailers, vacuum suction trucks and support vehicles.
The news comes as the two companies finalise the milestone agreement at the EcoWASTE Exhibition & Forum in Abu Dhabi, marking the first project between the materials wet processing experts and environmental specialists.
Soil washing involves the recovery of a range of materials from soils, often extracted from oilfield and drilling sites containing pollutants, organics and other contaminants from oil spillages. Traditionally categorised as a waste product and destined for landfill, these contaminated soils typically contain valuable sand, and aggregate and oil resources that can be recovered. in a range of specifications, cleaned and reused by the construction industry for a variety of applications.
Mr Faleh Aldossary, General Manager, Estedama, says: “It is our vision to be the leading fully integrated industrial waste management entity in Saudi Arabiathe Middle East, contributing to the circular economy initiatives set by 2030 vision and we are always exploring the potential for new strategic partnerships with forward-thinking and innovative technology providers who we believe can help us to make that vision a reality.
“The adoption of new and improved technology is fundamental to achieving this and we see CDE as an important partner whose expertise and reputation in the field of soil remediation will support our company to transform how contaminated soils are managed in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”
CDE Regional Manager for Middle East & Africa Mr Ruchin Garg, says: “Investing in CDE washing technology is committing to a better way of working. Estedama is a company already fully focused on tackling the waste burden through technological means and so there is unmistakable synergy between our two companies. Our solutions have been developed over 30 years of engineering excellence and we’re confident our technical response will equip Mr Aldossary and the Estedama team with the technology to strengthen its market position and deliver a long-term sustainable means for the management of oil-contaminated waste streams.”
RIYADH: Saud Arabia has been recognized as a water sector growth hotspot on the back of its considerable private sector opportunities, according to a report released ahead of the World Future Energy Summit, to be held from Jan. 16-18 in Abu Dhabi.
With a focus on the Kingdom, the business event for future energy and sustainability is set to discuss desalination, wastewater treatment and digitization as key growth opportunities for the Middle East’s water sector.
As Saudi Arabia is addressing the increasing water demand caused by economic diversification, population growth and urbanization, the report highlights the Kingdom’s potential to drive private sector growth in the water sector.
The Kingdom is investing greatly in wastewater treatment infrastructure to allow the recycling and reuse of water.
Desalination capacity is expected to increase to 7.5 million cubic meters per day by 2027 in the Kingdom, up from its current capacity of just over 3 million cubic meters daily.
The Saudi government is also investing in 147 sewage treatment plants all around the country, as well as almost 15,000 km of wastewater collection networks.
The World Future Energy Summit report also highlighted the UAE and Türkiye for effectively reusing water.
The report identifies the UAE’s strong water sector project pipeline and its support of the country’s long-term growth.
Investments worth $2.8 billion are expected to take place in the desalination segment as the region advances to achieve treated water reuse to 95 percent, the report added.
As for Türkiye, its struggle with water stress from ineffective water usage is expected to drive demand for water and wastewater treatment products and systems forward.
“Demand for recycling systems based on ZLD and RO technologies is predicted to meet the country’s development plan target of boosting wastewater reuse to 5 percent by the end of 2023,” stated the report.
With Vision 2030 at the heart of its growth, Saudi Arabia is targeting to increase the private sector’s contribution to the gross domestic product from 40 percent to 65 percent by 2030.
The operating revenues of the business sector in Saudi Arabia during 2022 alone surpassed SR4 trillion ($1 trillion), according to official data released by the General Authority for Statistics.
GASTAT data further revealed that the highest revenue-generating activities were registered in manufacturing, mining and quarrying, as well as wholesale and retail trade.
Compared to 2021, operating revenues of business establishments rose substantially, supported by an increase in many economic activities, reaching 26 percent.
The Water Regulator has issued an updated version of the Water and Wastewater Services Guide in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The Guide is a reference for service providers, stakeholders, and beneficiaries. It includes rules, rights, and duties that define the relationship between service providers and service consumers.
It also explains the principles that regulate the relationship between them for all consumers.
The Water Regulator has launched an awareness campaign themed “Your Guide” to educate beneficiaries and service providers about their rights and duties through the updated version of the Water and Wastewater Services Guide.
The Guide is available for further information and updates via the official website www.wr.gov.sa or social media accounts @Water Regulator.
It is noteworthy mentioning that the Water Regulator is an official governmental body tasked to regulate services providers of the water sector, based on the provisions of the water law, except for cogeneration services.
Source: Press release
By 2030, 30% of Saudi Arabia will be protected land. Decades of soil erosion and desertification will be reversed. Trees will be planted: 10 billion of them. They will be fruit trees, agricultural trees, but also 100 million native species.
In the desert fringes, species like ghaf and acacia, which have adapted to the arid conditions over generations, will reappear in huge numbers. At the other extreme, millions of mangroves will be grown to protect the marine environment
There will be ten protected areas within the country, including seven royal reserves.
In the coming weeks and months, the Independent will delve deeply into the changes the Saudi Green Initiative (SGI) will bring – cultural change, ecological change, the reintroduction of native animals, the preservation of desert habitats, the regeneration of reefs in the Gulf and Red Sea.
The man at the heart of this unprecedented act of environmental renewal is Dr Muhammad Ali Qurban, chief executive of the National Centre for Wildlife.
The protected areas may be fenced off. That does not mean they are out of bounds.
“The protected areas will have three parts,” says Dr Qurban. “There’s an area reserved for biodiversity. There will be areas for graziers, organised with a plan and a model. And an area for tourism. We want visitors to visit and enjoy these locations on safari.”
The SGI is part of the wider, dramatic diversification the Saudi economy is going through as part of its Vision 2030 plan. The country is opening up in more senses than one. Allowing the rest of the world to experience its extraordinary and surprisingly diverse natural environment is very much part of it.
As the land recovers and the vegetation returns, so will the species that feed on it: ibex and oryx among them. Herds of goats and camels too, but their grazing areas will be strictly controlled: industrial levels of grazing is one of the reasons the land becomes barren. The arid, featureless desert of popular imagination is not a ‘natural’ state for much of Arabia beyond the heat and dunes of Rub’ Al Khali, the fabled Empty Quarter.
Wild ungulates can overgraze too, stopping young shoots and trees from getting established. Think of the Highlands of Scotland, where uncontrolled and unfearful deer populations create the barren hills and valleys we see today.
What if you reintroduce the fear and flight factor, then the herds move on before the land becomes degraded?
In Arabia, the time is drawing near when hyenas, cheetahs and, above all, leopards will be reintroduced to a land where they roamed freely until the 20th century.
The facts, and the objectives of the SGI are as follows. There are 60 separate initiatives costing a total of 700bn Riyals. Even beyond the protected areas (currently 16% of the country), there will be strict new measures to stop overgrazing and uncontrolled development.
As for the seas around Saudi Arabia, the Red Sea and the Gulf, 30% will become Marine Protected Areas and 100 million new mangroves will protect those ecosystems.
In 2025, one of the world’s largest urban green projects, King Salman Park, will be opened. On energy, perhaps the most eye-catching headline is that the world’s biggest oil producer intends to become the world’s leading producer and exporter of hydrogen fuels.
Conferences, like the forthcoming COP27, are a time for presentations, plans and promises. But as Muhammad Qurban says, the facts are already on the ground. Saplings are planted within it.
In fact, the Wildlife Centre thinks they may arrive at their targets well before 2030 – “we are planning for 2025, 2027,” says Dr Qurban.
There are now three generations of oryx in the wild in Saudi Arabia: a remarkable transformation for an animal that was declared extinct in the wild 50 years ago.
This year more leopard cubs have been born in the AlUla breeding centre. Reintroducing the most magnificent and elusive of Arabian predators to the wild will take time. But it will happen.
Yet away from the slide presentations and the benchmarks, these are measures that will profoundly change lives of Saudis – for urban dwellers, as well as coastal and rural communities, as cities embark on their own journeys. As part of its own green plan, Riyadh, the capital, will, for example, divert 94% of its waste away from landfill by 2035. New job opportunities are opening up as tourists and scientists come to the country in ever greater numbers and experience the national parks, and their extraordinary natural and human heritage, for themselves.
There is no question that graziers, pastoralists and hunters will need to adjust to a new reality where the natural environment and the creatures that inhabit it become a natural resource that is very strictly protected.
Only it isn’t exactly a ‘new reality’.
For 2000 years, and probably longer, the Arab lands were managed between different tribes by a system known as himā. The himā protected land on behalf of the community; but it also protected the earth, as areas were set aside to prevent overgrazing and ensure they were regenerated.
For Arab peoples living in a land of scarce resources, it was a tradition that preserved both livelihoods and fragile ecosystems.
Indeed, it sounds very like some of today’s most fashionable agricultural and rewilding theories. But in the last century, nation states were born, motor vehicles arrived and the demand for food, especially meat, increased with growing populations. The himā system was no longer seen as fit for purpose.
The scholar Lutfallah Gari takes up the story in the Muslim Heritage website:
The period between the banning of the himā system and the start of constructing national parks and protected areas was a period characterised by severe destruction of the plant cover through overgrazing and felling of trees as well as over-hunting of wild animals. That period extended the tasks of the governmental agencies, not only to conserve the continuity of the plant cover which was depleted, but also to restore part of it.
That article was written in 2008. Much work has been done in the intervening period. But the Saudi Green initiative is an exponential change. Yet in other ways, it is founded in a long tradition: of harmony between people and nature.
Find out more about the MGI summit and SGI forum here: greeninitiatives.gov.sa
Published by The Independent in partnership with the Saudi Green Initiative
Averda, the leading end-to-end waste management and recycling company in emerging markets, and King Abdullah University of Science of Technology (KAUST), a graduate research university in Saudi Arabia, announced the signing of a new contract for a waste management facility and services that will provide sustainable waste management solutions for the University, with zero-waste goals projected by 2025.
Averda will manage all aspects of solid and hazardous waste, including recycling, sorting, waste transfer and disposal.
Since 2015, Averda has worked with KAUST to design and deliver an integrated waste management service for its campus facilities and residential neighborhoods that matches the needs and sustainable goals of the university. During this time, over 3,500 tonnes of waste has been recycled, including 1,332 tonnes of cardboard, 227 tonnes of paper, 357 tonnes of plastics, 614 tonnes of metals and 243,000 litres of different types of oil.
Averda’s new 10-year contract with KAUST will support the university’s zero-waste-to-landfill target even further, recycling and recovering 100% of unavoidable municipal waste by-products with a one-stop, integrated materials recovery facility (MRF) and streamlined processes for collecting, sorting and bundling waste. The arrangement will be further strengthened by the introduction of an all-electric fleet of Averda waste collection vehicles (previously diesel). In addition to energy savings, the use of electric vehicles will eliminate emissions, minimize noise, and reduce maintenance, among other benefits.
KAUST Vice President of Facilities Management Matthew Early said: “KAUST is proud to continue our relationship with Averda in this transformational zero-waste journey. The overall endeavour of waste management — from the facility where the waste will be sorted into various recycling streams, to the all-electric collection fleet — will allow KAUST to meet its goal of zero-waste by 2025 and elevate KSA’s quest for environmental sustainability by preserving the environment and contributing to improving quality of life.”
The new bespoke facility, designed to complement KAUST’s contemporary campus, will include an administrative space, depot and parking for vehicles, and storage for containers and other operating equipment. Averda’s specialised waste collection services across the KAUST campus and five residential areas will ensure the correct collection and handling of each waste type. Recyclable material will be sorted and sold to the market, and organic material will be composted by KAUST’s composting facility.
The more than 7000 KAUST residents will play an important role in separating recyclables at the source. To this end, KAUST and Averda are developing an environmental awareness campaign for residents to ensure total participation in the zero-waste effort.
The use of information technology to record, monitor, analyse and report waste management data will be a vital component to support this program and ensure that KAUST meets its sustainability targets. Technological provisions will be made to collect data at granular level, including bin management, dynamic weighing system, fleet tracking and management. A sustainability plan for operations will track and measure progress against targets to maximise emission reductions and keep KAUST fully informed of the environmental footprint of the activities and services delivered by Averda both on and off site.
Averda Chief Growth Officer Mazen Chebaklo commented: “Sustainable practices are an integral part of KAUST’s campus. For over a decade, Averda has provided KAUST with an exemplary sustainable waste management service, that has evolved with the growth and feedback of the community. We are delighted to help KAUST on the next stage of their sustainability journey, as they commit to reduce emissions and achieve zero waste to landfill. KAUST is a clear leader in the implementation of circular economy principles. We are proud to support an institution that continually strives to improve the sustainability of their operations.
Petro Rabigh launched on Tursday its initiative to plant 10 thousand Mangrove saplings in conjunction with the “Saudi Green Initiative” and the United Nations global sustainable development goals (Working for the Sake of the Climate – Life Underwater – Life on Earth). The first phase of the initiative targeted the plantation of 1000 saplings along the Kharar Bay in Rabigh Governorate, covering an area of over 70 thousand square meters. Company employees and their family members took part in planting the saplings.
Petro Rabigh’s President & CEO, Engineer Othman bin Ali Al-Ghamdi, emphasized that the mangrove trees plantation initiative is part of the Company’s commitment to reducing carbon dioxide emissions in order to mitigate pollution and support the goals of the Kingdom Vision 2030. The initiative aims to increase plant diversity, improve climate conditions, lower temperatures, and educate Company personnel and their families and raise environmental awareness. the President & CEO pointed out that Petro Rabigh is collaborating with the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture and utilizing several scientific studies and researches to carry out this strategic direction.
Al-Ghamdi stated that the Company, as part of its keen interest in nature conservation, signed last March a 20-year term partnership and strategic cooperation agreement with Gulfcryo covering the extraction of 100,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually from the Mono Ethylene Glycol (MEG)Plant, located in the Petro Rabigh Industrial Complex, with the aim of contributing to a sustainable economy and the replacement of fossil fuel burning plants. This agreement is aligned with the Kingdom’s Carbon Circular Economy concept, the ambitious Vision 2030 programs, the Green Saudi Initiative, and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
According to Engineer Mohammed Farsi, the Company’s Vice President of Engineering and Support, planting mangrove trees has both a biological and a cultural significance, and it contributes to achieving several objectives, including educating the society about plant preservation and providing a healthy and natural environment. Farsi confirmed that the Kingdom is on its way to achieve a qualitative leap in environmental protection and landscaping, unmatched by any other country in the Middle East. As a result of such pioneering and ambitious initiatives, desertification will be reduced, biological diversity will be enhanced, and a cleaner, more sustainable future will improve human wellbeing and the quality of life.
Furthermore, Farsi stated that the Petro Rabigh initiative is part of the Company’s social responsibility to expand the plant landscape in the coastal environment. He pointed out that Mangrove trees are among the most important natural resources in the Kingdom, which we are seeking to intensify and multiply through plantation projects to achieve Saudi Green Initiative goals. The Mangrove trees have many advantages, such as protecting the coasts from rising water levels, reducing the effects of climate change by storing substantial amounts of carbon in soil, providing wildlife with a habitat, absorbing toxins, storing carbon over the long term, and delaying the effects of climate change. “We have launched this initiative to contribute to a greener future that helps in improving the quality of life and in protecting the generations to come”, he added.