Qalaa Holdings’ Sustainability Chief recognized by the Arab League and CSR Arabia for pioneering work in sustainability and supporting the SDGs; showcases Qalaa’s responsible investing triple bottom line “profit-planet-people” model and ERC at the Arab Sustainable Development Week

Ghada Hammouda presents Qalaa’s progress toward achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the third annual Arab Sustainable Development Week

Ghada Hammouda, Qalaa’s Chief Sustainability and Marketing Officer has been recognized by the Arab League and CSR Arabia Sustainability Awards for impact and influence in supporting corporate SDG adoption and implementation on the heels of presenting Qalaa’s three-pronged “Economic-Environment-Social” Responsible Investing strategy at the Arab Sustainable Development Week (ASDW) in Cairo.

During the “17 Goals and One World … SDGs from Adoption to Implementation” session presented in front of a high-level audience that included government ministers, diplomats and business leaders, Hammouda showcased Qalaa's commitment to integrating and supporting the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as the first company in Egypt to incorporate them into its Corporate Sustainability Strategy.

Qalaa Holdings is one of the leading companies that adopted sustainable economic, environmental and social business practices as key pillars of being a responsible investor and creating a successful enterprise.

“We are witnessing a confluence of many factors that are setting the stage for paradigm shifts in how businesses worldwide operate, use resources and measure their success. Pressures include ones from millennials seeking a more sustainable future, climate change and environmental disasters, fast emerging technologies and digitalization. They are forcing companies and CEOs to re-examine their corporate purpose, create better metrics and shift their focus from shareholders only to stakeholders and inclusive growth and resource preservation. Governments recognize they need the active engagement and investment of the private sector. The private sector in turn recognizes it has a key role to play to achieve inclusive sustainable growth. It is a time for collective action, and partnerships are forming as we saw in the 23 September UN Climate Summit committing to net zero carbon emissions by 2050,” said Hammouda.

“At Qalaa we make sure to look at every facet of our operation in terms of how we can be of benefit through four specific prisms: the economy and the country, the environment, the community, and our employees. We strive to always act with the interest of our multiple stakeholders in mind,” said Hammouda. “While doing so, we have made sure to align our vision with international best practices and support Egypt Vision 2030. As such, we became early adopters of the 17 SDGs with a special focus on six in particular that align with practices and investments we had in place, namely: quality education, affordable and clean energy, decent work and economic growth, industry innovation and infrastructure, responsible consumption and production, and partnerships for the goals.”

In the 15 years since its inception, Qalaa Holdings has contributed to achieving economic sustainability and driving economic growth through investing in strategic sectors such as energy, waste management, and river transportation, building factories with the latest technologies, expanding export strength and import substitution. To date, Qalaa has founded and developed more than 50 companies and created well over 40,000 jobs. In terms of impact on the planet and environment, Qalaa has worked tirelessly to balance and reduce its carbon footprint, which includes making investments in affordable and clean energy solutions — one of its primary operational objectives. This has ranged from investing in Beban, the largest renewables solar power plant in the region, to investing in alternative fuels and manufacturing. “This approach has been applied across the company’s three energy subsidiaries — ERC, Tawazon, and TAQA Arabia, whose operations serve to promote Egypt’s economic growth through developing a clean and sustainable energy industry,” added Hammouda

With over 32,000 beneficiaries from its education and upskilling initiatives, Qalaa has placed special emphasis on people, particularly through education and human capital development across all its subsidiaries. Qalaa’s subsidiary ERC, a US$ 4.4 billion refinery, runs the Mostakbaly Scholarship Program, which has since inception awarded over 177 scholarships for students and teachers from the neighborhood of Mostorod to attend and receive training at top Egyptian universities.

In 2006, Qalaa seed founded the Qalaa Holdings Financial services Center at AUC to fill skill gaps and continue to upskill a generation of financial services professionals, marking almost 3,000 graduates to date. In 2007, the company established and continues to run the largest private sector scholarship program through the Qalaa Holdings Scholarship Foundation (QHSF), which has thus far awarded 195 scholarships for graduate studies abroad. “This has been possible through sustainable financing from an endowment. The ripple effect of such an investment is immeasurable,” said Hammouda.

Underpinning Qalaa’s sustainability and responsible investing strategy is a keen focus on best-of-breed governance and effective partnerships, collaborating with the private sector, government and civil society to amplify individual impact. “We are extremely proud that over the years we have managed to forge successful partnerships and lead by example to actively encourage other private sector entities in Egypt to take similar steps,” said Hammouda. A prime example of Qalaa’s responsible investment strategy is ERC, which has sought to manage assets in a way that sees the firm include environmental, social and governance practices through partnerships that foster positive impacts on profits, people, and the planet. ERC is the largest public-private partnership in Africa and an essential import substitution play delivering diesel and other high-value products to EGPC at the heart of the consumption market in Greater Cairo. The project has generated more than 16,500 jobs at peak construction and 700 permanent positions. Once fully operational, ERC will have a positive impact on air quality in the Greater Cairo area. By supplying the local market with clean Euro V diesel, it will eliminate 186,000 tons (c. 29%) of Egypt’s sulfur dioxide emissions and improve the quality of the national petrol supply. The project delivers on five SDGs through the tireless work of a dedicated community development team, offering the surrounding community education, economic development, volunteering, entrepreneurship, women’s empowerment, and special needs initiatives.

Qalaa Holdings monitors and reports voluntarily on its ESG and sustainability progress annually to the UNGC. For the latest Communication on Progress and sustainability reports, click here.


Qalaa Holdings (CCAP.CA on the Egyptian Stock Exchange) is an African leader in energy and infrastructure. Formerly known as Citadel Capital, Qalaa Holdings controls subsidiaries in industries including Energy, Cement, Agrifoods, Transportation & Logistics, Mining and Printing & Packaging. To learn more, please visit

For more information, please contact:

Ms. Ghada Hammouda
CMO & Head of Corporate Communications
Qalaa Holdings (S.A.E.) (click to reveal this email)

Tel: +20 2 2791-4439
Fax: +20 22 791-4448
Mobile: +20 106 662-0002