Majid Al Futtaim Properties achieves Gold for sustainability

11 May 2014

Majid Al Futtaim Tower 2 is the first existing building in the UAE to be LEED EBOM Gold rated

Investment in sustainability recovered after one year by operational and maintenance cost savings

Dubai – Majid Al Futtaim Properties, one of MENA’s leading diversified property companies with operations across shopping malls, hotels and mixed-use communities, announced today that its head office in Dubai, Majid Al Futtaim Tower 2, has achieved the Gold standard according to the requirements of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for the operation and maintenance of existing buildings (LEED EBOM). The Gold certification was awarded by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) and Majid Al Futtaim Tower 2 is the first building in the UAE to achieve a Gold rating for LEED EBOM.

The building’s environmental impact was assessed at the end of 2013 and improvements were measured in comparison to the baseline rating established in 2009.  Majid Al Futtaim Properties exceeded the LEED EBOM requirements in a number of key areas, notably the substantial reduction in the consumption of water, over-achieving 26 percent, and energy, over-achieving 18 percent, as well as the significant increase in waste recycling, over-achieving 68 percent, as validated by Jones Lang LaSalle.

George Kostas, Chief Executive Officer of Majid Al Futtaim Properties said:
“Sustainability is no longer something that occurs in isolation, it is embedded in the way we do business. As part of our Sustainability Strategy, our focus has been on making our existing buildings more efficient in terms of energy and water conservation and our new developments compliant with world-class green building standards.

Majid Al Futtaim Properties’ investment in order to achieve this rating was relatively low as the focus was on managing resources and operations rather than just conducting replacements. Our investment was recovered in just one year and incremental savings were achieved within the second year, highlighting the affordability and long-term financial benefits of being sustainable.”

The company took a comprehensive, end-to-end approach to achieve this and a number of initiatives came into play. For example, motion detectors that activate the lights were installed in non-operational common areas of the building, water flow rate was regulated to reduce wastage through motion detecting taps and fault detection systems to identify and repair leakages and faults, and all cleaning equipment and office materials are Environmental Preferable Products (EPP) with the Green Seal by the US Environmental Protection Agency as they have lower counts of Volatile Organic Compounds that are harmful to individuals and the environment.

Ibrahim Al-Zu’bi, Head of Sustainability at Majid Al Futtaim Properties added:
“This achievement was a team effort, involving everyone across the business delivering the required standards and achieving really positive results. While this is a great milestone for us as we aim to improve our own sustainability and inspire others to take action, there is still a lot to be done as we look to take a lead in establishing responsible practices in the region.”

Water Efficiency achieved 100 percent on building water fixtures and water performance measurement. Commissioning also scored 100 percent and the building achieved all possible innovation in operations credits through reduction of mercury in their lamps, solid waste durable goods, reduction of heat island, and conducting in-house training and green building education of suppliers as well as staff LEED training. Finally, waste recycling divergence averaged 68 percent for the year and 100 percent of durable goods during the performance period. 

Majid Al Futtaim Properties approaches all of its assets with a long-term view, voluntarily adheres to UK requirements for Environmental Impact Assessments, some of the most stringent in the world, for all of its development projects. The Company has invested more than AED 25 million over the past three years in improving the water and energy efficiency of their buildings.

In September 2013, Kempinski Mall of the Emirates was the first hotel in the Middle East and North Africa to achieve LEED EBOM certification and only the second building in the UAE to achieve LEED Gold accreditation. At the same time, City Centre, Fujairah became the first building in Fujairah to achieve LEED Gold accreditation and City Centre, Beirut received LEED Silver accreditation.