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Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (TAQA), one of the largest listed integrated utility companies in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region by market capitalization, announced a comprehensive 2030 Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) strategy.
The ESG strategy includes the national low-carbon power and water champion’s interim greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction goals and is a credible step towards achieving its net-zero ambitions by 2050. Under the strategy, TAQA has committed to a 25% reduction of scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2030 across the Group, including a 33% reduction of UAE portfolio emissions compared to the 2019 baseline.
Jasim Husain Thabet, TAQA’s Group Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, commented, “We see sustainability as an opportunity and are evolving to become a champion of low carbon power and water. That means meeting the energy and water needs of today as efficiently as possible, whilst also investing in the lower carbon alternatives we need. ESG was put at the heart of our corporate strategy last year, and this ESG strategy and the targets are proof of our delivering on this commitment. We have a key role to play in helping the UAE achieve its net zero by 2050 target which is reflected in our GHG emissions reduction targets.
These are not just targets for the future, they represent actions that we are already taking to deliver meaningful emission reductions and put us on a path towards the achievement of net zero by 2050. As we approach COP27 and COP28 here in the UAE, the focus will be increasingly on actions and not just pledges. As a major regional utility, we are determined to play our part without compromising on the security of supply. We will also be unwavering in our pursuit of the opportunities associated with tackling climate action and in our commitment to the wider principles of ESG.”
TAQA will focus on the decarbonization of power and water supply, further electrification across sectors, and demand-side management to support more efficient use of power and water.
The broader ESG strategy was built around six core material topics: climate change, water and effluents, occupational health and safety, diversity and equal opportunity, local community engagement and corporate governance. TAQA aims to achieve both quantitative and qualitative ambitions across these focus areas through several new and existing initiatives.
Highlights from the 2030 ESG Strategy:
- Reduce scope 1 and 2 emissions across the Group by 25% and in the UAE by 33% by 2030, compared to the 2019 baseline
- Achieve net zero scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2050
- Enhance climate resilience by reducing risks and increasing adaptive capacity
Water and effluents
- Reduce losses in water distribution by 25% in 2030 compared to the 2021 baseline
- Reduce energy consumption for desalination by expanding highly efficient reverse osmosis technologies to make up two-thirds of desalination by 2030
Occupational health and safety
- Increasing the transparency of reporting when it comes to occupational health and safety
- Already, TAQA has made being ‘safe’ one of its company values as it works to cultivate a culture of safety and has several ongoing health and safety initiatives across the business
Diversity and equal opportunity
- TAQA is also looking at improving diversity and equal opportunity across gender, age, nationality and people of determination
- TAQA is currently monitoring these areas and will look to deploy initiatives and investments to improve in these areas and has committed to having females represent 30% of its management positions by 2030
Local community engagement
- On the social side of ESG, TAQA will be putting its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) efforts into focus themes: Education equality and environment, aligning with several of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
- TAQA is also committing to increasing CSR spending in an economically responsible way to increase its positive impact
- TAQA has made a commitment to adopt best practices when it comes to governance and go beyond local regulations and requirements
- The company has set key performance indicators (KPIs) to steer the strategy and to report periodically on the ESG performance in line with reporting standards and expectations set by leading agencies
TAQA’s new ESG strategy builds upon its 2030 strategy for sustainable growth and returns. This business strategy demonstrated the company’s commitment to decarbonization, growth and optimization. As part of its strategy, TAQA committed to expanding renewable energy to comprise more than 30% of its power generation portfolio by 2030 and to expand efficient reverse osmosis (RO) technology to make up two-thirds of its desalination capacity by 2030.
To date, TAQA has several efforts ongoing in line with its focus on becoming an ESG leader and sustainability partner
- It strengthened its leadership in low-carbon power and water through the Masdar transaction. Once the deal is completed this will add significant renewable energy capacity, already exceeding TAQA’s original target of 30% renewable energy by 2030.
- Currently, under construction, a first-of-its-kind in the region high-voltage sub-sea transmission network will reduce ADNOC’s offshore carbon footprint by more than 30%. Once complete, it will connect ADNOC’s offshore operations to the Abu Dhabi grid to provide access to clean and efficient power sources, including solar and nuclear power.
- TAQA is working with Emirates Global Aluminum to enable access to grid-connected, clean electricity, supporting UAE industry decarbonization.
- TAQA has signed two MoUs for green hydrogen. In Abu Dhabi, TAQA is working with Abu Dhabi Ports to develop a 2GW green hydrogen-to-ammonia export project in Abu Dhabi. It is also working with Emirates Steel to use green hydrogen to enable the region’s first green steel manufacturing.
- TAQA’s subsidiary Abu Dhabi Energy Services (ADES) is working with 30 government buildings in Abu Dhabi to retrofit with efficiency measures that are expected to deliver approximately AED 99m (USD27m) in water and power savings across the lifecycle of the projects.
- Leading ESG rating provider recently upgraded TAQA’s ESG Rating from “Severe” to “Medium Risk” reflecting a 34% decrease in Risk. This rating positions TAQA as one of the leading ESG players in the EMEA region and now places the company within the top 30th percentile of utility companies globally.
- TAQA is a proud member of the UN Global Compact, of the IRENA Alliance for Industry Decarbonization and has signed the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment’s private sector climate pledge.