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UAE 'can be leader in sustainable development'

DUBAI, September 14, 2014

Sustainability is gaining momentum globally and areas in the region, such as the UAE, have the opportunity to be the flagship of sustainable development, said property expert JLL, which released its sustainability report on Sunday.

"The region is at the forefront of environmental policies, procedures and regulations and each developer has to now take responsibility for going that extra mile and pushing the boundaries of sustainable development," remarked Alan Robertson, the CEO of Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) for the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region.

In its 2013 Sustainability Report, “We are JLL. We take responsibility,” the company has commended the industry for making progress on converting to greener construction and building practices in the Middle East.

Dubai’s goal to be the most sustainable city by 2020 supports this progress, it stated.

"The combination of stricter environmental legislation and greater awareness of a sustainable premium will drive increased attention on more sustainable building practices in the Middle East over the next few years. While we have made progress in the past year, we expect this to accelerate in the buildup to Dubai’s Expo 2020," explained Robertson.
 
The report presents a summary of JLL's performance against its highest-priority sustainability areas: energy and resources; green buildings; client service excellence; community and supply chain; and workplace, well-being and diversity.

It highlights an increased demand from clients, employees and shareholders to integrate sustainability into real estate decisions. JLL’s approach is consistent with guidelines of the Global Reporting Initiative’s G4 Guidelines, the International Integrated Reporting Council’s (IIRC) Framework and the United Nations Global Compact.

According to Robertson, JLL uses its global resources and proven best practice in providing services to clients in the Mena region.

"We see our contribution to the community as an important part of our sustainability strategy, and we continue to look for ways to enhance some of the top properties we manage in the UAE. For example, when JLL introduced an energy management system  into U Bora Tower in Business Bay, a number of small but significant changes resulted in an annual average saving of 15 per cent on the utility costs," he stated.

JLL’s commitment to environmental and social sustainability, and corporate governance and citizenship for clients and its own operations are evident through its 2013 achievements in the five focus areas of its Global Sustainability Commitment, detailed in the report:  

Energy and resources:
*JLL delivered estimated energy savings of 377 million kWh for US clients, equal to $39 million in 2013 and equivalent to removing roughly 46,300 cars annually from the road.
*In JLL’s own offices, greenhouse gas emissions decreased by seven per cent to 1.5 metric tons per employee in 2013.

Green buildings:
*JLL achieved 76 green building certifications for clients, covering 481,200 sq m, over 75 per cent of which were Leed.
*125 JLL offices have green building fit-out or certifications, or are incorporating green building or fit out principles.

Client service excellence:
*JLL appeared on Ethisphere Institute’s “World’s Most Ethical Companies” list for the sixth consecutive year in 2013 (seventh in 2014).

Community and supply chain:
*JLL recorded total charitable contributions of at least $4.4 million. Employees volunteered more than 2,821 days to support charitable causes in 2013, up 61 per cent from 2012.
*In Dubai, JLL Mena sponsors a triathlon series (the first race in 2013 was the Roy Nasr Memorial Triathlon) and raises funds and provide help in kind to worthy causes such as the Al Noor Centre.

Workplace, well-being and diversity:
*JLL was recognised by organisations including the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index and the Black Equal Opportunity Employment Journal for our efforts to promote workplace diversity.
*44 per cent of countries had at least one diversity and inclusion initiative.

"Working with  the facilities management company on implementation, these changes included modifying the lighting system (LED lights) and optimising the building management system," said Robertson.-TradeArabia News Service




Tags: UAE | Sustainable development | JLL |

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