London, 17 November 2021 – The Red Sea Project which is being developed on the Saudi Arabian Red Sea coast by The Red Sea Development Company took the award for ‘ESG Initiative of the Year’ at The Chartered Governance Institute UK & Ireland’s 2021 Awards at the London Park Lane Hilton Hotel last night. The Awards, which were hosted by BBC Breakfast presenter and Strictly Come Dancing contestant Dan Walker, recognise those individuals, teams, projects and initiatives that help organisations to better serve their stakeholders and society through innovative and exemplary governance.
Sara Drake, chief executive of the Institute says:
“Environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues have occupied the time of senior leaders considerably in recent years, with the public quick to make its feelings about ESG issues known. One only needs to consider the depth of feeling about environmental issues on display at the recent COP26 in Glasgow to know that governments and organisations across the globe are having to make concerted efforts to respond to issues they know that society feels genuinely passionate about.
“This award recognises those ESG initiatives which are of real, demonstrable benefit to organisations, their employees, customers and other stakeholders. Of all the initiatives shortlisted this year The Red Sea Project was, the judges felt, the one which went the furthest beyond compliance and which promised to be the most impactful, potentially touching thousands of lives. This is an initiative of many parts, and the nomination was particularly strong in describing the benefits to different parts of the economy, among them farming, the fishing and hospitality industries.
“The sustainability report linked to the project provides a comprehensive overview of the approach to integrating sustainability within the company’s operations and the measures taken to deliver on commitments. These include achieving a 30% net conservation benefit by 2040, by putting in measures to increase the biodiversity of the area being developed and enhance key habitats like corals, mangroves, seagrass and land vegetation. Less than 1% of the entire project area will be developed and it will be the first tourism project of its size to be powered solely by renewable energy. Local communities, farmers and fishermen will benefit from the commitment to socio-economic goals, along with Saudi students. The project has been awarded a Green Financing accreditation in recognition of its market leading approach to social and environmental sustainability and it is a worthy winner of our ‘ESG Initiative of the Year’ award.”
Three other projects were shortlisted for this award. They were as follows:
The full list of 2021 Awards winners can be found at www.cgi.org.uk/awards
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