du Continues To Make A Positive Contribution To Sustainability In The UAE

du, a leader in reporting sustainability initiatives and measuring efforts against international standards, has released its fifth Annual Sustainability Report in line with Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) G4 directives. 2015 has been a year of transformation and innovation, and du’s efforts throughout the year have helped it pave the way towards a future that is not just smart but also very sustainable.

The company’s commitment to supporting the UAE leadership and its Vision 2021 is portrayed through the noted achievements towards quality Emiratisation, youth empowerment, education and environmental impact. Through its efforts, du exemplifies that it is more than just a telecommunications provider, but a responsible corporate citizen that creates value outside its core business that is in line with government objectives today and for future generations.

Osman Sultan, Chief Executive Officer, du, said: “As a responsible business, we have always had a strong focus on our relationship with, not only our government, but with society and the environment in which we operate. Creating a sustainable ecosystem for the future is in all of our hands, and as we continue to transform, we remain steadfast in our approach to sustainability and our support of the government’s vision in the hope that it will continue to differentiate us in the marketplace, and enhance lives across the UAE.”

du was lauded for its sustainability efforts in 2015. The organisation was awarded the H. H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Business Excellence Award (MRM Business Excellence Award), the highest level of recognition for business excellence in the UAE; the Gallup Great Workplace 2015 Award for the second consecutive year; the Dubai Chamber CSR Label for the third time, in recognition of du’s commitment towards embedding sustainability within the business. du was also the first company globally to earn the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) Building Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Certification assuring exceptional indoor air quality for all its office buildings.

As a result of its continued efforts, du’s Emiratisation program has encouraged the participation of Emirati youth from a grass roots level. du’s Masar Graduate Trainee Programme saw eight additional graduates join in 2015, bring the total graduate trainees to 40. Moreover, the staff turnover rate for Emirati employees was just 8%.

Furthermore, du has fostered the importance of encouraging entrepreneurship in the region in order to drive the economy from a grassroots level. du introduced its youth entrepreneurship programme, the ‘Agent 055 Network’ initiative to emphasise innovation, as well as diversification of revenue streams towards being a knowledge-based economy.

Environmentally, du undertook massive efforts to reduce its carbon foot print, by recycling and redistributing more than 320 tonnes of electronic waste. Moreover, the company increased its ratio of recycled paper for office consumption and encouraged a larger percentage of customers to use the e-billing service. 

During Ramadan 2015, du had 3.5 times the number of volunteers than the previous year – a total of 981 of the UAE’s residents, including popular social media influencers and corporate groups, contributed over 3,100 hours towards the community based initiative. In 2015, 1,296 du members of staff together with UAE residents contributed over 5,500 hours in a variety of volunteering initiatives. 

Hala Badri, Executive Vice President, Brand and Communications, du, said: “Our improved CSR Label score of 88.68% last year was a very good indication that our sustainability efforts are improving as we continue to expand as a business. We will continue to follow our four pillars of sustainability, including supporting education, entrepreneurship, the UAE culture and heritage, and environment preservation closely. It is important that we take responsibility for our future as a company and create an environment that promotes green practices within the corporate community, and that we consistently encourage others to do the same.”

Highlights of du’s 2015 Sustainability Report:

Emirati staff turnover reduced from 14% in 2014 to 8% in 2015.

Achievement of a Gallup Employee Engagement Score of 4.39 which lands them in the 73 percentile in the Gallup Global Database.
Social volunteering efforts exceeded their target of 2,700 hours by 500 volunteers, and in 2015 1296 volunteers gathered to donate over 5,500 hours to various social and environmental charitable causes. In Ramadan 2015, du engaged 3.5 times more volunteers than they had in 2014.
More than 320 tonnes of electronic waste was either recycled or resold and an equipment donation policy was put in place
Increase in green initiatives: 98% of the paper used in the du offices came from recycled sources and there has been a 16% reduction in paper for bills. 100% of du retail consumer bags were made from Forest Stewardship Council.

The GRI-G4 standards encourage companies to report only on what matters to them, to review their impacts both upstream and downstream, and require a larger number of disclosures covering the organisation, its governance practices, supply chain and more. To strengthen its commitment to responsible business practices, du is a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) principles, a steering committee member of the UNGC UAE Network, a partner of the Global Innovation Index and a member of Dubai Chamber’s Centre for Responsible Business. Together, these create a greater level of disclosure and transparency in terms of the aspects that are most relevant to du’s core business: telecommunications.

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