Qalaa Holdings is a Regional Leader in Sustainable Business Practices
At Qalaa Holdings, we measure our success as a company in terms of not only financial returns but also in terms of our social impact. We believe that responsible investing is the key to consistently producing profits for stakeholders and positive outcomes for communities where we operate across Egypt and East Africa. By investing in core industries that have a positive social and environmental impact, we add to the communities in which we work and help to build the region’s future.
Our subsidiaries across the continent are engines for growth that create jobs, have a positive environmental impact, and benefit their host communities. For example, at peak construction, the Egyptian Refining Company (ERC), our USD 4.4 billion second-stage oil refinery created 8,115 construction and 700 permanent jobs. The refinery is producing clean-burning Euro V diesel fuel for local consumption, a step that will reduce Egypt’s sulfur emissions by almost one third. ERC also regularly funds facilities upgrades and maintenance for community schools works. Since its inception, Qalaa Holdings has provided more than USD 60 million to fund community projects and scholarship programs.
In addition to giving equal weight to profit and social impact within our own investments, we actively encourage other private sector companies in Egypt to take similar steps. We are a founding member of the Egypt chapter of the United National Global Compact, the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative, with over 9,500 signatories across more than 160 countries. The UNGC calls “companies to align strategies and operations with universal principals on human rights, labor, environment, and anti-corruption, and take actions that advance societal goals.” We were the first Egyptian company to receive an “A grade” from the Global Reporting Initiative for our 2015 Sustainability Report, and we are consistently ranked in the top 10 companies with sustainable business practices on the Egyptian Stock Exchange.
Our Sustainable Development Goals
While Qalaa Holdings recognizes the importance of all 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the company mainly focuses on 6 sustainability targets aligned with 6 of the (SDGs)
An Integrated and Inclusive Approach to Education & Human Capital Development
32K+ Benefeciaries from Qalaa's education and human capital development initiatives
- We have provided more than 184 scholarships to students to complete graduate studies abroad since 2007 through the Qalaa Holding Scholarship Fund (QHSF). Watch Qa laa Holdings Scholarship Foundation documentary .
- We donate USD 30,000 annually to fund the Qalaa Financial Services Center (QHFSC) at The American University in Cairo (AUC). The Center provides students with unique learning opportunities by integrating hands-on practical education with financial concepts.
- In 2016, the ERC launched a new scholarship program called Mostakbaly. Since then, we’ve provided a total of 51 undergraduate scholarships for students to attend various prominent Egyptian Universities in addition to 60 scholarships for primary school teachers to attend the Teaching Early Learning Program at AUC. Read more about ERC Mostakbaly program.
- Since 2015, we have enrolled more than 60 students in AUC’s Engineering Cement Professional Diploma program through a partnership between the University and our cement subsidiary ASEC Holdings.
The ultimate goal of all our initiatives and projects is to help reduce economic and social inequalities by building capacities through education and human capital development. Through our community development initiatives — Tamkeen, Reyadah and Mashrouy — we support women, youth and special needs.
OUR ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY
In addition to complying with environmental laws in all countries where we operate, Qalaa Holdings has also developed proactive environmental policy to ensure that we have a positive impact. Our environmental policy encompasses the following goals and practices:
- We always conduct a thorough study of environmental impact before making-on-the-ground investments.
- We prioritize efficient use of resources to minimize waste and depletion of natural resources.
- We actively move industries and communities toward the use of cleaner energy.
- We introduce sustainable transportation services to industries and communities in which we operate.
- We invest in the latest technology for waste management as key solution to global shortages of energy and other resources.
- We fund the research and development of new technologies to reduce emissions and minimize waste.
- We invest in compliance with health, safety, and environmental measures.
- We produce annual reports on our performance to celebrate our strengths and identify and address weaknesses.
- We use the world’s most technologically efficient irrigation system at Dina Farms’ 93,000 Feddans to reduce water consumption.
- We use the Nile River to link producers, exporters, and importer to local and global markets through Nile Logistics.
Qalaa Holdings prides itself on the strength of its diverse management team. Gender balance and female economic empowerment are cornerstones of Qalaa’s human capital development programs. Qalaa believes in fostering a highly inclusive work environment that promotes women’s influence and impact. 25% of Qalaa’s board members are women, 46% of QHSF scholars are women and 8,500+ benefited from ERC’s Tamkeen for women empowerment program.
DECENT WORK AND ECONOMIC GROWTH
- Since we first started as a private equity firm in 2004, we have built over 50 businesses, creating more than 40 thousand temporary and permanent jobs in the process.
- At subsidiaries like TAQA Power and ASEC Holdings, our local employees interact with and learn from the specialists and engineers working onsite.
- We provide vocational training and other educational opportunities in order to close skills gaps. Relying on local skilled labor is a sustainable business practice that will create a brighter future for Egypt and its citizens.
- More than 16,000 workers have been trained at our cement subsidiary, ASEC Engineering, through ASEC Academy’s vocational training program.
- 2,489 people were trained in job market skills by the Egyptian Refining Company (ERC) as part of its vocational training initiative.
- Through ERC’s Tamkeen program, we have empowered more than 1,300 women with training to enter the job market in addition to benefitting 129 women entrepreneurship projects.
PARTNERSHIP FOR THE GOALS
- We are an active member of UNGC and were the first Egyptian company to receive an “A grade” from the Global Reporting Initiative for our 2015 Sustainability Report.
- We are a founding member of the Egyptian chapter of the UNGC, and we actively encourage other companies to adopt and work toward the Sustainable Development Goals.
- In every country in which we work, we partner with governments, civil society, international organizations, and think tanks to increase the size and scope of our impact.
- We advocate for private sector involvement in addressing the many challenges our region faces from education to infrastructure to human capital development.
- We joined the Integrity Network Initiative (INI) in June 2017. the INI seeks to engage the Egyptian business community in a collective effort to fight corruption and create an efficient and enabling business environment. Read more.
Qalaa is the first Egyptian company to sign an international pledge that aims to limit the effects of global warming and building a net-zero carbon economy for the future. As signatories of the Business Ambition for 1.5°C, Qalaa will measure, quantify and accordingly reduce its greenhouse gas emissions at a pace and scale that is necessary to limit global warming.
AFFORDABLE AND CLEAN ENERGY
- Since 2015, our solid waste management subsidiary Tawazon has supplied companies in heavy industries with nearly 200,000 tons of sustainable biomass fuel. The company also recycles municipal and agricultural waste into useful products such as compost and animal fodder.
- TAQA Power, the largest private sector distribution company in Egypt, delivers gas to 1 million customers.
- TAQA Arabia’s EGP 1.35 bn solar power plant in Aswan’s Benban Solar Park will connect 50 MW of solar power to the national grid.
- ERC will reduce Egypt’s sulfur emissions by 93,000 tons or 30% by producing clean-burning Euro V diesel for local consumption.
- We have developed a comprehensive and progressive environmental policy to make investment decisions and govern our subsidiaries.
INDUSTRY, INNOVATION, AND INFRASTRUCTURE
- Qalaa Holdings invests in a diverse array of sectors ranging from industry to infrastructure.
- We support innovative forms of transportation and infrastructure by investing in water and rail transport to reduce pressure on clogged highways in Egypt and other regional countries.
- We facilitate knowledge transfer, introduce international best practices, and empower employees in order to spur innovation in all of the sectors in which we invest.
- By recycling solid waste into fuel for heavy industries such as cement, Tawazon is redefining the environmental impact of these traditionally toxic industries.