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du - Sustainability Report
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du - Sustainability Report

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As a leader in reporting sustainability initiatives and measuring efforts against international standards, du is pleased to announce the release of its fourth Annual Sustainability Report as per the directions of Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) G4.

du is one of the few organisations in MENA that has submitted a Communication on Progress (COP) at the UNGC Advanced level. The report contributes to raising the benchmark for such reporting in the region even higher. The standards for creating a more tenable future are reflected in du’s four pillars of sustainability: Emiratisation, entrepreneurship, the UAE culture and heritage, and the environment.

“Our aim is to lead by example in such responsible institutional practices and encourage various companies in the region to follow suit by being more transparent with their businesses practices,” said Osman Sultan, Chief Executive Officer, du. “At du, we do not see ourselves as merely a telecom provider, we consider ourselves as a corporate citizen and we take our economic, social and environmental responsibilities very seriously. We continuously strive to implement sustainability practices across all aspects of our business in the most innovative ways. This year’s Sustainability Report highlights our achievements.”

“Sustainability can only be achieved through a harmonious effort aimed at combining culture, environment and people, we all have to work together,” Osman continued.

In line with EXPO 2020 objectives, and as an Emirati telecommunications company, du aims to continue being the frontrunner in the UAE in setting the standards for sustainability and corporate social responsibility (CSR). The latest Annual Sustainability Report establishes du as an industry leader when it comes to conducting business in a responsible way. Their commitment to achieving the UAE’s Vision 2021 is portrayed through the noted achievements towards Emiratisation, environmental impact and their commitment to nurturing young talent within the community. Through these efforts, du hopes to exemplify positive changes within the telecommunications sector and various other industries in the region.

Last year, du was among the first companies, and the only telecommunications operator, that adopted the New Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) G4 Comprehensive guidelines, launched in May 2013 in the Netherlands. Ever since, the telecommunications leader has encouraged more companies to adopt this most contemporary standard of reporting. Only 11 other such reports have been released, which further cements du as a frontrunner in the field.

As a result of its continued efforts, du’s Emiratisation program has encouraged an increased number of Emirati employees to join the telecommunications company, by offering a career driven work environment. The company adopts successful programs to encourage young Emiratis to join the ICT sector and has recorded 35.3% Emiratisation in 2014.

Furthermore, du has fostered the importance of encouraging entrepreneurship in the region in order to drive the economy, and as a result hosted the first 2014 Global Innovation Index of the MENA region in the UAE. The index ranked the UAE as the top overall performer in the region.  

Environmentally, du undertook massive efforts to reduce its carbon foot print, by reducing the number of company vehicles to 120. In a continued effort to educate staff members and customers it reduced the paper trail by using recycled paper and reducing printing, and through encouraging the practice of e-billing. Furthermore, over half of the mobile sites are now powered by Smart Hybrid power systems, as opposed to diesel generators.

Hala Badri, Executive Vice President, Brand and Communications, du, said: “We closely follow our four pillars of sustainability, including supporting education, entrepreneurship, the UAE culture and heritage, and environment preservation. 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. We are supporting the UAE’s Vision 2021 of being a green leader and we consistently encourage others to do the same.”

Highlights of du’s 2014 Sustainability Report include:

Steady increase in Emiratisation figures; 35.3% of the company’s full-time employees are Emiratis.
Achievement of a Gallup Employee Engagement Score of 4.29 which lands them in the 65 percentile in the Gallup Global Database.
Social volunteering efforts exceeded their target of 2000 hours by 208 members of staff and 210 external partners donating 2, 546 hours to various social and environmental charitable causes.
Conversion of over 60% (250 site) of mobile sites from diesel generators to Smart Hybrid power systems
Reduction in the number of vehicles to 120 with a combined capacity of less than 260, 000cc.
More than 150, 000 kilograms of electronic waste was either recycled or resold and a mobile take-back scheme was launched.
Increase in green initiatives: 97% of the paper used in the du offices is recycled and there has been a 30% reduction in printing in the office. 71% of post-paid customers now use the e-billing service, reducing the overall paper consumption by 30%.
Attainment of Social Return on Investment for the Ramadan initiative, ‘Mawaed Al Rahman’ at approximately 1:2, which means that for every AED 1 invested in the programme, there was a societal benefit that was valued at close to AED 2, thus setting a new standard by a socially-responsible company, and doubling the investment, and showing a ‘profit’ for society. du’s commissioned social impact measurement study to better understand the societal impact of Mawaed Al Rahman was the first time that du, or any other telco in the region, applied an objective methodology of evaluating the impact of its social project by using financial proxies. The methodology is popular globally but relatively new to the Middle East.

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. 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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