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IHC 2020 ESG report demonstrates progress on industrial recycling, local supply chain sourcing and community impact.

June 03, 2021

Abu Dhabi-based International Holding Company PJSC (ADX: IHC) has released its 2020 Environmental, Social and Governance Report, demonstrating the company’s strong commitment to positive corporate impact in alignment with the UAE National Vision 2021 and Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030 toward developing a sustainable and knowledge-based economy.

The report shows progress on key metrics across key entities in IHC’s portfolio and will inform about the company’s strong push towards excelling in Environmental, Social, and Governance strategy and policies to promote sustainable ESG practices in 2021 and beyond.

Syed Basar Shueb, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of IHC, said: “As global and regional investors increasingly focus on the environmental and social impact of public companies, IHC’s ESG report demonstrates how seriously we take this aspect of our business. We are committed to leading the local industry through transparent disclosures and will continue to develop innovative solutions and initiatives that enhance our position as a responsible contributor to the UAE’s society as well as its economy.”

Reducing our environmental impact through recycling and reusing

Over the past several years, environmental responsibility at IHC has exceeded compliance with government regulations, to focus on limiting energy consumption and Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions. While energy and water consumption grow as the business expands in response to high demand, the company has taken steps to mitigate its environmental impact, including installing solar streetlights at Asmak’s new seafood factory, which will reduce total electrical consumption by 43,800 kilowatt per hour (kWh) per annum, and recycling and reusing over 85% of the 139,019 cubic metres (m3) of wastewater generated by IHC Food verticals.

In addition, the company is engaging with innovative measures to achieve a circular economy where materials are productively reused rather than wasted. For example, in 2020 portfolio company increased its use of renewables by 9% and sold over 5,000 litres of used vegetable oil to third parties to be recycled into biofuel, while Eltizam adopted a policy to prioritise eco-friendly suppliers and completely eradicate single-use plastic by the end of 2021.  

Creative positive social impact in our community

In 2020, IHC and its subsidiaries rolled out a series of social programmes to invest in the communities where we operate in a way that has a positive, measurable, and lasting effect.

These initiatives included community events, awareness raising and direct giving, such as a donation of almost 25,000 kilograms of chicken from Al Ajban to the UAE’s Emirates Red Crescent, and food packs distributed by Zee Stores via third-party non-profits to support those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Palms Sports hosted a series of community sports tournaments, including five martial arts competitions for local and international fighters and a swimming tournament was held for more than 50 students of determination. Digital communications company Multiply organised an awareness-raising campaign and art exhibition named ‘Food Not Trash’, inspiring the community to reduce food waste by planning and purchasing responsibly, storing food effectively and reusing leftovers efficiently.

In line with IHC’s efforts to create long-term economic value for the UAE by supporting UAE-based and Emirati-owned businesses in its supply chain, Al Ajban increased its local procurement to 31% and as a result increased its procurement spending on local suppliers by 9%, while Palm Sports increased its local procurement by 26% from 2019.

Transparent and independent governance and talent development

IHC’s independent Board of Directors is composed of five members, four men and one woman, meeting the Securities and Commodities Authority’s requirement for all UAE listed companies to have at least one female board member. IHC has reaffirmed its commitment to increasing gender balance at every level of the organisation, increasing the proportion of female new hires to 24% in 2020 from 15% in 2019.

In line with the UAE’s Emiratization strategy, our Food and Industrial verticals increased the number of UAE Nationals in the workforce by 60% in 2020, out of which over 62% are women.