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Our Environment

As an organisation, we were founded on the principle to add value to all our stakeholders, especially the community we work in. Today, this founding value is made evident through a number of projects and processes, all of which are part of our continually evolving sustainability strategy.

We are extremely fortunate to be involved in a range of sustainability and CSR initiatives, such as encouraging youth entrepreneurship, promoting education and wellness, conserving UAE’s heritage and contributing to the development of our society.

Please click on the tabs below to learn more about our performance in the respective areas.

  • Conservation of natural resources

    In 2015, our total emissions (Scope 1, 2 and 3) were 312,344.38 tCO2e and our GHG emission intensity was 0.037 tCO2e per customer.

    We have 250 sites (previously running on diesel generators) that now run on smart energy hybrid systems. This system helps reduce diesel consumption by up to 50%. We also have 150 sites where we have installed free cooling systems and have six sites that run completely on solar panels.

    Due to an expansion in our operations, we had to slightly increase the number of vehicles and engine capacity within our fleet – we now have a total of 126 vehicles with a combined engine capacity of 290,700cc. However, our vehicles are more fuel-efficient as we have invested in cars with lower engine capacity. At the moment, 61 cars (close to 50%) are 1.5 litre engine vehicles and only seven vehicles have engine capacities above 4 litres.

    To minimise our workplace environmental impact, we have a number of electricity reduction strategies across our owned offices that have resulted in a total of 861,393 kWhrs, equivalent to almost AED 380,000. During the year 2015, we have saved 124,028.4 kWhrs (worth AED 41,988) from energy-efficient measures taken at both our LEED-certified stores.

  • Waste management

    We continue to support various causes relevant in our community, either by engaging our passionate staff to volunteer in various events, donating our office equipment to deserving organisations or partnering with local organisations to encourage youth sports, engagement in the labour camps and more. We also actively contribute to social development campaigns initiated by the UAE Government.

    Consistent with our overall approach to abate the organisation’s environmental impact, we aim to minimise wasteful or polluting practices in our operations. One of the most important initiatives in this aspect has been the waste management of key materials that we consume.

    During the year, we purchased 2,048 printer cartridges of which 200 were recycled. Also, more than 98% of the paper we consume at the office (more than 32 tonnes) comes from a recycled source. 100% of our retail consumer bags (we ordered close to 850,000 in 2015) are also made from FSC certified paper.

    In 2015, we recycled 32 tonnes of cardboard, 17 tonnes of paper and two tonnes of plastic. We also recycled 182 tonnes of hazardous waste (batteries and printer cartridges) and resold or reused close to 138 tonnes of e-waste and other obsolete items.

  • Workplace environment

    In 2014/2015, we embarked on a project with UL Environment to certify our office premises as Indoor Air Quality Certified. The UL Indoor Air Quality Building Certification Program is the world’s first Comprehensive IAQ certification and preventative maintenance program. It addresses all the elements of chemical, physical and biological parameters that are capable of causing poor indoor air quality.

    In 2015, there was one minor hydraulic oil spillage reported by an outsourced vendor. The location was at a warehouse where the vendor was dispatched to shred items for us. There was no environmental impact on any water systems. An environmental clean-up was conducted and waste material disposed of in a designated landfill by the vendor.

  • Environment impact of technology

    In 2014, we launched our mobile phone trade-in scheme, allowing customers to trade in an old mobile phone or tablet for a voucher redeemable on purchase of a new device at our stores. We partnered with a specialised electronics recycling company who trained our staff to assess the condition and value of the handset at the store and immediately give the value to the customer. Customers could then choose to redeem a new device. The traded-in devices are recycled responsibly by our partner; either refurbished and re-sold in low income markets, or dismantled with parts being sold to traders.

    We comply with national and regional regulations and guidance on design, installation and operation of all our stations. As a result, their operational efficiency and safety avoids any adverse health effects they may have on the UAE community. In 2014, the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority published the results of a technical survey to measure radiation levels from our stations. This result of this study stated that our stations meet the regulatory policy as well as the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) standards.

  • Responsible procurement

    Our Sourcing Policy — built on a foundation of transparency, ethics and a balance between quality and pricing — spells out the controls and processes in place to ensure that all dealings with vendors are fair and through a competitive process, avoiding any conflicts of interest or improper dealings.

    In 2015, we worked with more than 700 suppliers and partners. The overall value of sourced products and services was worth AED 4.9 billion. We worked with 15 Emirati SMEs, and we are encouraging more SME companies to register with us. Up to 83% of our invoices are now processed on our e-procurement system which continues to improve our procurement efficiency – these represent 70% of our spend.

    Our policy stipulates that we give preferential treatment to Emirati SME companies even if they are up to 5% of the quote provided by regular vendors. We also have designated employees to provide coordination and support to young Emirati businesspersons on our processes and procedures so they can work with us efficiently.

    Our Sustainable Environmental Procurement Policy promotes the awareness and usage of environmentally friendly products and services, by including consideration for environment factors in purchasing decisions. Our suppliers are also made aware of our corporate values, supplier Code of Conduct, as well as our Health, Safety and Environment Policy — all of which we expect them to respect and abide by. Our values and Code of Conduct, which also cover human and labour rights, form a part of the overall contract our vendors sign, while the HSE Policy is completed as a separate document. In 2015, all vendors that registered with us submitted the HSE Vendor Pre-assessment form as this is a mandatory requirement for our vendor registration process.

  • Saving through enhanced customer operations

    As part of our commitment to the environment, we want to reduce the amount of paper we use in billing. So, we introduced the ease of online billing. Every month we send a detailed eBill to the customer as a free service. Customers who wish to have printed bills will still receive them, however, they will be in summarised bill formats. All new customers are sent eBills by default. In 2015, this reduced our paper consumption for billing by 16% — this translates to more than seven tonnes of paper.

    We have also digitised the registration process for our customers for the ‘My Number, My Identity’ (MNMI) campaign by TRA. This means that we are not only saving customers from printing application forms, but also saving on fuel/commuting costs and their valuable time. We also launched an online portal where enterprise customers can upload their details without having to print any documents or registration forms.

    Last year, we redesigned our Pay As You Go SIM pack, Tourist SIM pack and the Elite SIM pack. Although, there was a slight addition of plastic and metal into the new design, we have reduced paper usage by more than 95%. Looking at the entire quantity of SIM packs purchased during the year, we have been able to save close to 600 tonnes of paper as a result of our redesigned SIM packaging.