Majid Al Futtaim recently rang the market-opening bell at Nasdaq Dubai to mark the listing of the world’s first benchmark corporate Green Sukuk and the first Green Sukuk issued by a corporate in the region.
Valued at $600 million with a tenor of 10 years, the Green Sukuk is testament to Majid Al Futtaim’s long-term commitment to support the transition to a low carbon economy. The investment will be used to finance and refinance Majid Al Futtaim’s existing and future green projects, including green buildings, renewable energy, sustainable water management and energy efficiency.
To mark the occasion, Alain Bejjani, CEO, Majid Al Futtaim – Holding, rang the market-opening bell in the presence of Essa Kazim, governor of Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and chairman of Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre (DIEDC); Hamed Ali, chief executive of Nasdaq Dubai; and members of Majid Al Futtaim’s leadership team.
“This issuance will enable Majid Al Futtaim to deliver more sustainable experiences for our customers and to address the implications of climate change. As we progress on our sustainability journey, we are extremely proud to list the world’s first benchmark corporate Green Sukuk and look forward to identifying and pioneering innovative ways to meet our ambition to be Net Positive by 2040. The widespread interest from global investors in the bond indicates their confidence in our ESG rating, BBB credit rating and prudent financial and risk management approach. Investors’ faith in our vision empowers us to continue on our path to become one of the most environmentally sustainable companies within our industries,” Bejjani said.
In preparation for issuance of the Green Sukuk, Majid Al Futtaim recently established a Green Finance Framework and a Green Finance Steering Committee, which will oversee the selection of new and existing projects for the green portfolio. Majid Al Futtaim has also received a “low risk” environmental, social and governance (ESG) rating by Sustainalytics, an independent ESG auditor, certifying the company is at ‘low risk’ of experiencing financial impact from ESG factors, due to its low exposure and effective management of ESG issues.
“The Green Sukuk demonstrates our commitment to upholding sustainable practices across our businesses and communities we operate in. The Green Sukuk further supports our ambitious Net Positive strategy and through the proceeds generated, will deliver impactful and measurable socio-economic and environmental benefits,” added Ibrahim Al-Zu’bi, chief sustainability officer at Majid Al Futtaim – Holding.
In 2017, Majid Al Futtaim launched its Net Positive strategy which aims to significantly reduce the company’s water consumption and carbon emissions to the extent that it puts more back into the environment than it takes out, resulting in a positive corporate footprint by 2040.
The company has a proven track record of applying green building best practices across its portfolio. The company was the first organisation in the region to achieve LEED certification for its shopping malls, hotels and offices buildings. Al Zahia, the company’s flagship community in Sharjah is the first BREEAM ‘Very Good’ rated community in the MENA region. Majid Al Futtaim introduced a Sustainable Building Policy that set minimum building standards as: LEED Gold V4 (USGBC), 3 Pearl (ESTDAMA) or BREEAM ‘Very Good’ Rating. The company now owns over 32 million sqft green certified floor areas, including the recently opened My City Centre Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s most sustainable shopping mall.
In 2018, the company received the ‘Green Star’ rating by Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmarks (GRESB) for the fifth consecutive year, in recognition for its sustainable practices and initiatives, resulting in a score of 84%, outperforming the global benchmark average by 7% and the GRESB average by 17%. The company was ranked the sixth best performing non-listed company in the retail sector across Asia in 2018.