Sourcing the agricultural commodities on which human life depends cannot help but generate a special appreciation of nature, the environment – and of the small and wondrous planet we all call home. And so it is with Al Ghurair Resources.

For more than 40 years, the Resources Division of Al Ghurair Investment has had its finger on the pulse of Mother Earth, witnessing at first hand the effects of climate change on weather patterns, crop production and the very sustainability of life itself.

It is perhaps no surprise therefore that Al Ghurair Resources should be at the forefront of local measures to reduce man’s unsustainable demands on the planet – beginning with reduction of CO2 emissions largely responsible for depletion of the Earth’s ozone layer and resultant global warming.

According to the Living Planet Report 2014 released last October, the UAE per capita has the world’s third biggest ecological footprint – prompting the country’s Minister of Environment and Water to call for “proactive programs that aim to reduce our unsustainable consumption, with a special focus on reduction of the carbon footprint”.

His comments were backed by the Emirates Wildlife Society, which stated: “In the UAE, development choices should consider the full cycle of any activity. When constructing a building, water and energy consumption should be factored in at the design stage. By making smart choices we can reduce the use of natural resources”.

Both could have been talking about Al Ghurair Resources which is currently embarked on a $14 million ‘Co-Generation’ Power Plant in order to drastically reduce the carbon footprint from its operations. The plant, at Jebel Ali, will be the first of its kind in the UAE, with a lifespan of 25 years. Construction began in January 2015, and the plant is expected to be operational by early next year.

The new plant will provide the energy demands of the Oils & Proteins segment of Al Ghurair Resources (AGROP) as well as those of the Division’s Refinery (AGRR). Currently the crushing and refining operations take energy from the DEWA grid and also produce steam burning from Heavy Fuel Oil and Light Diesel Oil.

In stark contrast, the Co-Generation Plant will burn coal and produce energy for both utilities from the same single process, thereby dramatically reducing the present carbon footprint. Nowhere else in the country is there a similar system which burns coal as fuel and utilizes the steam and electricity for industrial purposes.

Not content with leading the way on Co-Generation, a raft of other projects designed to reduce the environmental impact of Al Ghurair Resources are currently in Research & Development or subject to feasibility studies. R&D is a precarious business. It takes time and money, and positive results are never guaranteed.

But what is guaranteed is the lasting Commitment of Al Ghurair Resources to pursue eco-friendly business practices in line with the promise of our parent, Al Ghurair Investment, to ‘enhance lives in the communities we serve’. And in line with our higher moral duty as human beings to protect our God-given planet and all its blessings….