Al Naboodah Group Enterprises wins ‘Most Sustainable Business Model’ prize at Gulf Sustainability and CSR Awards 2019
Al Naboodah Group Enterprises (ANGE), the management company for one of the UAE’s oldest and most respected family conglomerates, received the Most Sustainable Business Model prize at the Gulf Sustainability and CSR Awards Ceremony 2019 for the second consecutive year.
Swaidan Saeed Juma Al Naboodah, Managing Director at Al Naboodah Group Enterprises said: “We are extremely proud to receive this recognition as it reinforces our commitment to building a sustainable business model. As a successful family-owned conglomerate, we are conscious of our responsibility towards future generations as well as maximizing our stakeholder value.”
The accolade adds to ANGE’s incredible award-winning trajectory in 2018, including:
- A 4 star-rating from ‘Taqdeer’ for its excellence in worker welfare;
- Wins at the Expo2020 ‘Better Together’ Awards ceremony in three categories: ‘Health and Safety’, ‘Worker Welfare’ and ‘Employee Engagement’;
- Ranked 1st for the ‘Construction Sector Category’ and runner-up for ‘Large Business Category’ during the CSR Arabia Awards;
- Safety Contractor of the Year award from RTA;
- UAE’s Happiest Workplace Award from the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation because of its commitment to employee welfare in the UAE.
The latest award coincides with the release of ANGE’s third sustainability report, which is developed in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative’s sustainability standards. The report outlines ANGE’s accomplishments in implementing sustainable practices aligned with UAE Vision 2021’s agenda.
A strategic approach to sustainability
In 2018, ANGE solidified its position as an Emirati company with a global outlook on sustainability extending beyond its borders and aligned its sustainability objectives with the United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which provide a global framework to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure all people enjoy peace and prosperity. Furthermore, ANGE became an official signatory to the ‘United Nations Global Compact’ (UNGC), which implied the adoption and incorporation of the 10 principles of UNGC into ANGE’s strategy and policies to operate its business responsibly by adhering to terms relating to human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. The adoption of the principles makes ANGE part of an elite global community of 13,000 participants.
Fatima Ahmed Saeed Al Naboodah - General Manager, Sustainability, at Al Naboodah Group Enterprises said: “At the heart of our sustainability approach is the belief that understanding the needs and challenges of all our stakeholders – customers, employees, suppliers, local community, and the environment – and incorporating them into our enterprise strategy enables us to engage in value creation activities, which are central to achieving business growth and maintaining a sustainable competitive advantage.”
Commitment to Anti-Corruption
In 2018, as a group-wide priority, ANGE incorporated the UN’s Anti-corruption policy into its own anti-corruption practices, which include its existing ‘Whistle-blower’ policy. The aim behind this is to ensure that all employees comply with the laws and regulations applicable to each country where ANGE operates. The zero-tolerance approach towards bribery, fraud or any form of corruption is built on ANGE’s strong family and corporate values. The revision in policy was supplemented by mandatory fraud awareness training for more than 205 senior employees, with a view to expand the course to all employees in 2019.
Emiratisation recruitment programme
Now in its third year, the Emiratisation recruitment programme aims to attract, develop, and retain Emirati talent through a three-month internship and work placement programme. It has successfully hired 13 new Emiratis, bringing up ANGE’s total number of national employees to 60, as set out in its 2017 objectives.
Employee welfare ranks high within ANGE, as the company believes that its employees are the core of its success. A total of 1,939 new employees joined ANGE in 2018 with the company investing in their well-being, growth and development, along with industry-leading remuneration, benefits and training opportunities.
Construction staff and workers, in particular, have access to award-winning accommodation, free health check-ups, regular recreational activities, basic amenities, free Wi-Fi and catering in the canteens with cuisines tailored to their countries of origin.
All ANGE employees receive the benefits mandated by the UAE government and it strives to exceed those required by the law. Employees get life insurance, health care, disability and invalidity coverage and parental leave covering both genders.
Employees are also encouraged to participate in open forums to ‘have a voice’ and make suggestions for improvements or raise challenges in a non-confrontational environment. Feedback obtained from these forums has helped make ANGE a great place to work.
ANGE conducted its annual Operatives Happiness Survey to monitor its employee satisfaction levels across several areas. More than 10,000 responses were collected during the survey and the results indicated that over 99% of employees are ‘Satisfied’ with their working conditions and feel that management ‘Recognizes good job performance’. Ninety-nine percent of employees ‘Trust each other’, and 99% feel ‘Safe in their work environment’.
The above survey ran concurrently with the Employee Happiness (office and managerial positions) survey with more than 91% of employees rating themselves as ‘Happy’ or ‘Very Happy’. ANGE will review the surveys to further enhance its incentives and performance-driven rewards to achieve a higher rating in 2019.
Health and safety
In 2018, there were significant developments made to improve employee health and safety standards. There was a 40% reduction in the total number of ‘Lost Time Injuries’ and the ‘Lost Day Rate’ has decreased amongst employees, meeting the company’s target of 5 incidents set out in 2017.
For the third consecutive year, ANGE reported zero workplace-related fatalities. More than 1,970 employees were trained and certified in safety and over 10,000 operatives received refresher training to help reduce hand injuries.
ANGE will continue setting industry benchmarks for health and safety with its existing Visible Felt Leadership (VFL) programme. This involves top management periodically touring project sites to asses and inspecting the facilities and their safety levels. During 2018, 2,322 VFL tours were conducted and recorded a safety compliance score above 80%.
In line with UAE Vision 2021 to develop a sustainable environment and infrastructure, ANGE launched a programme to obtain the ISO 50001 Energy Management System certification. This international guideline implements a systematic method towards the efficient use of energy, conserving energy resources and reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). ANGE’s GHG emission levels decreased by 15.8% due to the adoption of clean energy sources and efficient energy use. The certification process is ongoing and is expected to be completed by Q3 2019.
In 2018, ANGE reduced the total amount of non-hazardous waste produced by 36% out of which 26% was recycled and diverted from landfills. ANGE has also taken steps over the course of the year to establish a strong foundation for reducing its environmental impact by conducting regular energy and water audits across the company.
ANGE will continue with its Employee Volunteering initiative launched in 2017, whereby employees are granted up to six working days paid leave per year to engage in meaningful community activities. ANGE has also collaborated with the Royati Family Society initiative to provide non-perishable food items to those in need in the UAE during the Holy Month of Ramadan, which packed and distributed 1,500 boxes that amounted to nearly 30 tonnes of food.
Career development & learning
In 2018, the company invested a considerable amount of resources towards its learning and development programmes. It delivered a total of 112,428 hours’ worth of training to upskill the talents of its employees. This approach ensures an optimal skilled workforce and results in knowledge sharing amongst all employee levels.
Sustainable supply chain practices
ANGE recognizes the importance of suppliers and treats them as key stakeholders pertinent to the success of its operations. The company places a high priority on working with local businesses (SMEs), in order to support their growth and ultimately contribute to the UAE’s local economy. In 2018, ANGE spent 83% of its annual procurement budget on local suppliers, an increase of 10% over the 2017 spend.
ANGE has the in-house capabilities to self-supply its customers and not rely on third party suppliers on most of its construction projects. This allows ANGE to take control of quality and provide unprecedented customer service. The company listens carefully to any customer complaints and tries to address their concerns and resolve them as soon as possible. Taking this a step further, the company invests enormous amounts in an automated feedback system that flags complaints directly to the management to act immediately. As a result, overall customer satisfaction levels reached a high of 94%.
Shaikha Abdullah Mohammed Al Naboodah - General Manager, Marketing, commented: “Exceptional customer experience is one element of ANGE’s Vision 2025. We take pride in maintaining high customer satisfaction levels across all our businesses. This year, we have moved from paper-based feedback to digital feedback platforms, which has helped us to immediately address key concerns and thereby improve response times and satisfaction rates. This year we also launched our ‘Key Strategic Partners’ programme, which focuses on nurturing relationships with our principal stakeholders. The programme has helped us to build close ties with our key customers and establish long-term, strategic partnerships.”
Abdullah Mohammed Juma Al Naboodah, Chairman of Saeed & Mohammed Al Naboodah Holding, commented: “The vision of the two founding fathers of our Group runs parallel to that of the government of the UAE. We believe in ‘Preserving our Heritage and Working for a Sustainable Future’.”
“The 2018 sustainability report exhibits our efforts while noting ANGE’s commitment to constant enhancements and improvements in order to create value for our future generations. Our organization’s vision aligns with the Sustainability Pillar of the UAE’s Vision 2021. We are mindful and conscious of our responsibility towards improving the quality of our air, reducing our carbon footprint, preserving our precious water resources, increasing our efficiency to consume clean energy and implementing a green growth plan. We have made a great start in improving our stakeholder dialogue while focusing on supporting locally-based SMEs to boost the overall economy of the UAE,” he added.
The 2018 Al Naboodah Group Enterprises sustainability report can be downloaded here:
The Al Naboodah name has a long association with the UAE. From humble beginnings in the late 1950s, the vision of two brothers has created what is today one of the most respected family conglomerates in the UAE that now employs over 16,000 people. The Al Naboodah Construction Group started operations in the 1960s and today employs in excess of 14,000 people in the UAE and Sri Lanka.