Saudi Red Sea Development wins ‘ESG Initiative of the Year’ honor at London

By Arya M Nair, Official Reporter
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Red Sea Project
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The Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC), fully owned by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), won ‘ESG Initiative of the Year’ honor at The Chartered Governance Institute UK & Ireland’s (CGI UKI) 2021 Awards at the London Park Lane Hilton Hotel.

The Awards, which were hosted by BBC Breakfast presenter and Strictly Come Dancing contestant Mr. Dan Walker, recognize individuals, teams, projects and initiatives that help organizations to better serve their stakeholders and society through innovative and exemplary governance.

The judges felt that the Red Sea Project went beyond what was required as part of necessary compliance and 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 sectors of the economy, including farming, the fishing, and hospitality industries.

The Red Sea Project is a regenerative tourism destination along Saudi Arabia’s west coast, and one of three giga-projects announced by His Royal Highness Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud in 2017.

Sara Drake
Sara Drake

“This award recognizes those ESG initiatives which are of real, demonstrable benefit to organizations, their employees, customers and other stakeholders. 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 percent 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.”

According to reports, the project received a Green Financing accreditation in recognition of its market-leading approach to social and environmental sustainability, making it a worthy winner of the ‘ESG Initiative of the Year’ award. It will be the first tourism project of its size to be powered solely by renewable energy. 

This flagship tourism project of Saudi Arabia recently achieved an overall score of 91 out of 100 in this year’s ESG-assessment and benchmark exercise by Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB), exceeding the score of 84 it accomplished last year.

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