Our Sustainability Strategy

Our Sustainability

Strategy

Our Sustainability Strategy
Embracing the local and global frameworks while making significant strides towards a sustainable future.

“It is my pleasure to present Chalhoub 2020 Sustainability Report. After reading our report, I am sure you will share my sentiment that, despite 2020 being an incredibly difficult year, we have connected with each other like never before. This is reflected in the great accomplishments of our teams who have remained dedicated to living our core values of respect, excellence, and entrepreneurial spirit. As a result, we have fostered resilience in the face of unprecedented disruption.

Patrick Chalhoub
Group President

“The pandemic presented many challenges this year. However, for sustainability, it has also presented many opportunities. Across our Group, the necessity to rapidly implement digital technologies has revealed efficiency and sustainability go together. This and our people’s dedication to the long-term vision of our Group has meant that we have continued to make progress in issues like human rights, diversity & inclusion, carbon emissions reduction and renewable energy integration.”

Florence Bulte
Chief Sustainability Officer

Our Journey
PATRICK’s MESSAGE

The pandemic has been one of the toughest challenges we’ve faced in our seven decades of operation. 

Nevertheless, this chapter of our history has driven a period of transformative learning and innovation that has reaffirmed our commitment to all aspects of sustainability: environment, society, and our Group.

To deal with the economic crisis brought by lockdown it was necessary for us to move with agility, and keep serving our customers in these extraordinary circumstances, particularly through e-commerce.

Under business-as-usual circumstances, from inception to launch, the creation of a single e-commerce site typically takes up to fifteen months. However, with the collaboration and dedication of our people, we were able to launch fifteen e-commerce sites in a single month. This enabled us to continue to delight our customers, wherever they are, whilst significantly growing our presence in the virtual marketplace.

Moreover, this innovative transformation towards hybrid retail has furnished us with resilience to future shocks and market shifts. 

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Our use of digital technology has also supported our mission to build a sustainable, secure business and community. In terms of safeguarding and wellbeing, our Speak Up platform has created a safe space for everyone’s voice to be heard. Additionally, the efficiency improvements delivered by digital technology have reduced our impact on our planet by helping us to mitigate waste and pollution generated across our operations.

Our digital transformation has been accompanied by a cultural transformation within the Group that has served our people who are at the heart of everything we do. Servant leadership, where our employees’ and local communities’ needs come first has been integral to this behavioral shift. Throughout this year our leaders have shown authenticity, empathy and transparency and built virtual communities. This has produced digital workspaces enabled through a shift to our new remote working policy and e-learning tools, where people have felt a sense of trust from their managers. As a result, our People Managers’ purposes have evolved away from command-and-control style leadership towards nurturing the growth and wellbeing of our people.

Regardless of our successful navigation through these challenging times, the experiences we have endured have focused our attention on the threats of future natural and economic crisis that may result from issues including climate change, deforestation, and water shortages. However, the actions of our people have filled me with confidence that the Group will continue to thrive when the next challenge inevitably comes our way. With focus and great efforts from all of us, both individually, and as an organisation, we will reinvent ourselves, innovate, be courageous, take responsibility and be lean, agile, and more efficient. We have been at the forefront of innovation and change, and we are committed to accelerating our recovery and creating opportunities for growth for ourselves and our teams.

I want to end my welcome message by extending many thanks to our people, who are working hard to keep the business running, and who are serving our customers and meeting their changing needs. I know and appreciate the efforts you are making, and I am humbled and inspired by how hard you have been working. You are our strongest asset, and we are committed to creating together a brighter future in which we are more connected and available to each other. Your personification of respect, excellence and entrepreneurial spirit is an inspiration.

In our 65-year history we have had to contend with many crises. Through the talent and dedication of our teams, we have come out stronger each time and this will be no exception.

Patrick Chalhoub
Group President

OUR SUPPORT TO ATTAINMENT OF ‘PRIORITY’ SDGs

Being a UNGC board member we hold a greater commitment towards ensuring that the Group is integrating the 17 UN SDGs within its strategy. We believe that “Sustainability is a definition of mindset and actions” and therefore have set actionable targets for each of the pillars.

OUR CONTRIBUTION TO OTHER SDGs
OuR SustAINABILITY MISSION

To help build a strong and sustainable business and community.

THE PILLARS OF OUR SUSTAINABILITY STRATEGY
Our 2023 Commitment Option 1
OUR 2023 COMMITMENTS TO FOSTER SUSTAINABILITY
SETTING FOCUS ON KSA OPERATIONS
Engaging with key stakeholders
ENGAGING WITH KEY STAKEHOLDERS
Material Option 2
MATERIAL TOPICS FOR OUR GROUP
UNGC
CONTRIBUTION TO NATIONAL AND GLOBAL AGENDAS

“Managing our GHG emissions to be on a 1.5°C trajectory is a crucial element of our sustainability strategy. Integration of renewable energy, especially roof-top solar, at our offices and warehouses is key to reducing our climate impact and embracing low carbon growth. We have now installed over 4MW of solar panels, and over 30% of our electricity in 2 sites is renewable. We also aim to do that by installing electric vehicle chargers by the end of 2021, so we can facilitate electric vehicle adoption for Chalhoub employees and for our fleet.”

Kevin Chalhoub
Chalhoub family

THE Pillars of OUR Sustainability STRATEGY


Our comprehensive framework provides a sturdy system consisting of five pillars to foster sustainability:

Our 2023 commitments


SETTING FOCUS ON KSA


KSA has been identified as a Group priority and in alignment with the Group strategy, several streams have been identified and executive committees have been formulated, including the KSA Sustainability Strategy Committee.

 

Engaging with Key Stakeholders to Understand Most Important Issues


Regular engagement with our stakeholders enables us to stay current with the sustainability issues that matter to them. Furthermore, it demonstrates that we value our relationships with them. The important stakeholders that we continuously engage with and several modes of communication to open dialogue are described below;

Defining what matters


We conducted a detailed materiality assessment in 2018 to identify the important sustainability topics that we should focus on and include within our sustainability report. This year we undertook feedback of a smaller group of internal and external stakeholders to understand if the materiality assessment we undertook in 2018 is still relevant. The results indicated that the sustainability topics that were identified as material by our stakeholders in 2018 are still considered important by both internal and external stakeholders. However, we have also added Human Rights as a material topic which already ties in the existing people policies and activities we have in place. Detailed stakeholder consultation to redraw our materiality assessment shall be undertaken again in next year reporting cycle of 2021.

The figure below provides the list of sustainability topics that are material to us. The Y-axis of the graph reflects the importance of the sustainability topic to our stakeholders, and X-axis represents its importance to our business.

 

Contribution to National and Global Agendas


 

We operate across 9 countries and have ensured that our sustainability priorities resonate with regional and global sustainability frameworks, including the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs), the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) principles, the United Nations Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs), Saudi Plan 2030 and Dubai Plan 2021. To know more please click on the links below.

Our support to attainment of 'Priority' SDGs

Being a UNGC board member we hold a greater commitment towards ensuring that the Group is integrating the 17 UN SDGs within its strategy. We believe that “Sustainability is a definition of mindset and actions” and therefore have set actionable targets for each of the pillars.

Our contribution to other SDGs

United Nations Global Compact

UNGC Principles Report Link
Human Rights
1 Businesses should support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights. Responsible Operations
2 Businesses should make sure that they are not complicit in human rights abuses. Responsible Operations
Labour
3 Businesses should uphold the freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining. Collective bargaining is prohibited in the GCC
4 Businesses should uphold the elimination of all forms of forced and compulsory labour. Responsible Operations
5 Businesses should uphold the effective abolition of child labour. Responsible Operations
6 Businesses should uphold the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation. Diversity and Inclusion
Environment
7 Businesses should support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges. Energy Management and Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions

Water Management Optimisation

Waste Management

8 Businesses should undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility. Energy Management and Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions

Water Management Optimisation

Waste Management

9 Businesses should encourage the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies. Energy Management and Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions

Water Management Optimisation

Waste Management

Anti-Corruption
10 Businesses should work against corruption in all its forms, including extortion and bribery. Corporate Governance and Responsible Business Practices
The United Nations Women’s Empowerment Principles

Most of our customers, and a large proportion of our people, are women. Motivated by treating them fairly and equally, we are dedicated to upholding the UN Women’s Empowerment Principles.

UN Women’s Empowerment PrinciplesPrinciples Report Link
1 Establish high-level corporate leadership for gender equality Diversity and Inclusion
2 Treat all women and men fairly at work – respect and support human rights and non-discrimination. Diversity and Inclusion
3 Ensure the health, safety and well-being of all women and men workers People Experience and Wellbeing

Employee Health and Safety

4 Promote education, training and professional development for women Talent Management
5 Implement enterprise development, supply chain and marketing practices that empower women Diversity and Inclusion
6 Promote equality through community initiatives and advocacy Impact
7 Measure and publicly report on progress to achieve gender equality . Diversity and Inclusion
UAE Vision 2021

The Vision aims to make the UAE among the best countries in the world and to achieve the vision six national priorities have been identified, which represent the key focus sectors of the government. We have ensured that through our sustainability initiatives we are supporting the attainment of the UAE vision 2021.

National priorities Report Link
1 World class healthcare People Experience and Wellbeing

Employee Health and Safety

2 Competitive knowledge economy Customer Centricity and Experience

Digitalisation and Transformation

Innovation and Creativity

3 Safe public and judiciary Corporate Governance and Responsible Business Practices
4 Cohesive society and preserved identity Nationalisation

Diversity and Inclusion

Culture Transformation

5 First rate education system Talent Management

Impact

6 Sustainable environment and infrastructure Energy Management and Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions

Water Management Optimisation

Waste Management

Vision 2030 Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Themes Report Link
1 Achieving environmental sustainability Energy Management and Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions

Water Management Optimisation

Waste Management

2 Living healthy, being healthy People Experience and Wellbeing

Employee Health and Safety

Impact

3 “DAEM” meaningful entertainment for citizens Impact

People Experience and Wellbeing

4 Learning for working Talent Management
5 Providing equal opportunities Diversity and Inclusion

Nationalisation

6 Attracting the talents we need Talent Management