Responsible Business – Dubai
When it comes to sustainability within the construction industry, material manufacturers need to consider how their products are impacted by factors such as global climate change, ecological destruction and loss of biodiversity. But in a region where energy consumption per capita is high and where climate change can have excruciating effects given the high temperatures, how do companies remain committed to sustainability while reconciling their business economics? Responsible Business highlights Dubai Aluminium (DUBAL) as one of the major industrial companies in the region set on maintaining its commitment to sustainable economic, social and environmental management.
For DUBAL, owning and operating the world’s largest primary aluminium smelter using pre-bake anode technology is more than a source of pride in the remarkably rapid growth of the company since its inception in 1979 in the UAE. On the contrary, it’s also a source of great accountability and responsibility, which the wholly state-owned enterprise acknowledges and embraces by striving continually to be a role model.
This is reflected in a strong commitment to sustainability, as DUBAL endeavors to remain economically robust while protecting the environment, safe-guarding the health and safety of employees, and contributing to society. These aspirations are not only interwoven into DUBAL’s vision, strategic goals and day-to-day operations, but also enable continual improvement in its performance. DUBAL’s sustainability objectives are defined as follows:
• Causing no harm to people, the
environment and the local
• Effective governance and risk
• Recognizing the need to be socially
responsible by contributing to
sustainable community development
• Ensuring that the broader economic
contributions of operations are
injected into the local economy
Environment & Safety
From an environmental perspective, DUBAL recognizes the large footprint associated with the production of primary aluminium, since it is an energy intensive process that also yields certain air emissions, solid waste and liquid waste. To minimize the environmental impact of its operations, DUBAL strives to make its production processes as efficient as possible, so as to minimize the use of resources and control the release of pollutants into the environment. As such, DUBAL reduced its perfluorocarbon (PFC) emissions by 88%, compared to 1990 levels, and continued to see an overall decline in fluoride emissions throughout 2011.
DUBAL also places the safety and security of people and the land at the forefront of all decision-making, without exception. As a result of this commitment,
DUBAL’s first formal CSR policy and strategy, formulated and released in 2009, provide a key reference framework for all of the company’s community involvement. Reflecting DUBAL’s positioning as a responsible business entity committed to sustainable development. DUBAL’s CSR policy consolidates the company’s corporate social investment through a strong focus on capacity-building, social innovation, long-term partnerships, and employee engagement in community development initiatives. The CSR support offered by DUBAL comprises financial and in-kind assistance as well as contributing time, expertise and patronage to events in the community in four main areas:
• Economic: Supporting the economy
through direct and indirect financial
contributions, with associated
benefits for the community.
• Social: Aiming to improve living
conditions and create opportunities
for underprivileged and disadvan-
taged members of society.
• Environment: Striving to preserve
resources and act responsibly
so as to protect the environment.
• Workplace: Encouraging individual
development and diversity amongst
employees, along with socially
the DUBAL CSR Club, employees
are able to volunteer their time,
expertise and energy in worthy
causes within the UAE.
Often, DUBAL maximizes its reach and impact by working with well-established and reputable partners – such as educational institutes, non-governmental and community organizations, and other ethically responsible businesses. For example, DUBAL is a member of ENGAGE Dubai, an initiative of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce’s Centre for Responsible Business that is dedicated to creating awareness and raising funds for worthy causes through volunteer support by the member companies’ employees. An annual CSR planner is developed, along with a committed budget. The planner incorporates many yearly local, regional and international CSR activities (e.g. World Environment Day, Earth Hour, Breast Cancer Month, World No Tobacco Day, International Day of the Child, etc.).
In terms of social impact, the company consciously selects projects that enhance socio-economic development and thereby improve the quality of life for disempowered people and those who are economically disadvantaged. Support is provided to worthy and charitable activities in the community, particularly education and career development initiatives, cultural events, and children. In 2011, DUBAL spent $6.125 million on CSR activities, corporate sponsorships, donations and promotions.
Source: Responsible Business Magazine