In 1824 when the existence of the “greenhouse effect” was first argued by physicist Joseph Fourier, it was dismissed as a crackpot theory and laughed out of court. Ninety years on, global temperatures are soaring; ice caps are melting; ocean levels are rising and the ozone layer is thinning. The activities of mankind have changed our climate – and no-one is laughing any more.

The chief cause of climate change is now universally acknowledged as Greenhouse Gases – caused by burning fossil fuels and clearing forests to drive the wheels of industry. Reducing these gases is key to tackling climate change – and nearly every developed nation is now a signatory to grandiose accords pledging support but seldom action. Industry worldwide has also been slow to respond.

In contrast, Al Ghurair Investment’s commitment to the environment goes far beyond statements of intent. We believe in sustainability and are determined that all our business operations have minimal effect on the planet. That takes action, not words. But what effect DOES our business have? You cannot manage what you cannot measure – so we are now measuring our impact as never before.

Al Ghurair has commissioned an ongoing independent assessment of our carbon footprint across the company’s Foods and Resources Divisions. Every aspect of their operations are being put under the microscope with a view to reducing Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions from our plants. The assessment will serve as the company’s baseline – an environmental barometer against which to measure future emissions and calculate if we have managed to reduce them.

The parameters of the carbon footprint for Al Ghurair Foods and Al Ghurair Resources will be in accord with internationally-agreed criteria for measuring Gas Emissions – as defined by the GHG Protocol. The Protocol was launched in 1998 and is a multi-stakeholder partnership of governments, businesses, non-governmental organizations and other parties convened by the World Resources Institute.

The GHG emissions will be reported and quantified as tones of CO2e (CO2 equivalent). As well as measuring Al Ghurair’s own emissions, the analysis will allow us to make comparisons with other companies within the same industries – letting us know whether our carbon footprint is above, below or on par with the industry average.

The analysis and assessment is being undertaken by the Dubai Carbon Centre of Excellence which was selected for its expertise and independence. The Centre was chosen for the task by the Energy Committee at Al Ghurair Foods. But the initiative is only the latest in a long line of eco-friendly measures adopted by Al Ghurair Investment as part of our commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility.

Waste Management, Recycling, Energy Efficiency and Water Conservation are other cornerstones of our ongoing quest for a sustainable business – and a planet where ‘Climate Change’ will one day mean change for the better!