Almarai cuts emissions, increases use of solar power by 119%

Almarai cuts emissions, increases use of solar power by 119%
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Updated 22 September 2021

Almarai cuts emissions, increases use of solar power by 119%

Almarai cuts emissions, increases use of solar power by 119%

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia leading multinational dairy company Almarai has taken several steps to reduce emissions and increased the use of solar energy by 119 percent, according to its annual Sustainability Report 2020.

The Tadawul-listed company has reduced car fuel consumption in its sales, distribution and logistics department by 4 percent as compared to 2019. According to the report, clean energy accounted for 2.5 percent of the total power consumption, which is 4.4 percent within the sustainability strategy’s limits.

“Climate change can pose risks to agricultural production,” said Abdullah Al-Otaibi, head of corporate communication and public relations at Almarai. He said in order to fight climate change the company is taking measures to ensure sustainable growth.

Al-Otaibi said their energy strategy is based on solar power generation, increasing operational efficiency and energy monitoring efficiency, and improving the energy culture in pastures.


Middle East ‘catching up’ in better use of energy, but more work is needed: ENGIE

Middle East ‘catching up’ in better use of energy, but more work is needed: ENGIE
Updated 15 sec ago

Middle East ‘catching up’ in better use of energy, but more work is needed: ENGIE

Middle East ‘catching up’ in better use of energy, but more work is needed: ENGIE

DUBAI: Middle East companies need to do more to make a visible impact on bigger energy goals, an official with multinational utility company ENGIE has told Arab News. 

“There are new regulations in place, which basically request the builders and consultancy companies to build on a greener environment, and there are more stringent regulations,” Jesus Gutierez, head of energy efficiency at ENGIE Solutions, said.  

These regulations only applied to newer projects, he added, leaving a big percentage of older buildings inefficient in their energy use.  

Gutierez said there is increasing interest in the region for energy efficiency solutions, with demand coming from different sectors. 

“We started to be very active in the commercial sector — hotels, hospitals, and schools — but more and more now we are getting into factories,” the ENGIE head told Arab News on the sidelines of the Future Food Forum in Dubai. 

The French company is currently working with a UAE-based cement company, where they transform the heat produced by the factory into electricity.

Aside from the new regulations, a stronger consciousness about sustainability is also pushing the demand upwards.

“Before, energy efficiency was all about the payback and return of investments, but now the companies are willing to invest in solutions with longer returns,” he explained. 

Gutierez added: “For them the priority is how to become more sustainable because they understand, if they don’t do it, clients will start to notice and choose the ones that are greener.”

Another factor driving this demand for energy efficient solutions is financing —  as either the technology becomes cheaper or providers have designed a business model that is attractive to their clients. 

Energy efficiency in food and beverage companies

A particular sector where energy efficiency is a big issue is food and beverage, which is one of the biggest emitters of carbon dioxide in the world. 

About 40 percent of the man-made emissions come from food systems, according to a study published in the Environmental Research Letters journal. 

Although Gutierez said the supply side is catching up in implementing more sustainable systems, there is still a lot of work to be done on the consumer side, particularly in so-called ‘downstream’ processes such as food processing, delivery, and retail. 

“The major track of the food industry based here in the UAE are more on the downstream processes, because local production is relatively small,” he explained, adding: “This is where we see more and more companies finding ways to reduce their energy build.”


Top executives of SoftBank-backed Ola to exit ahead of potential $1bn IPO

Top executives of SoftBank-backed Ola to exit ahead of potential $1bn IPO
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Updated 17 min 40 sec ago

Top executives of SoftBank-backed Ola to exit ahead of potential $1bn IPO

Top executives of SoftBank-backed Ola to exit ahead of potential $1bn IPO

SoftBank Group-backed Indian ride-hailing firm Ola is set to lose two top executives, according to an internal memo seen by Reuters, ahead of a potential $1 billion initial public offering.


Chief Financial Officer Swayam Saurabh and Chief Operating Officer Gaurav Porwal are leaving the company, according to the memo sent to employees by Chief Executive Officer Bhavish Aggarwal.


Ola did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.


Aggarwal in the memo also announced several management changes across its mobility, vehicle commerce, and delivery and financial services units.


Saurabh, a former CFO of Hindustan Zinc, has been with Ola for seven months while Porwal, who has run the mobility business over the last year, joined the company in 2019.


Porwal will be leaving Ola to "pursue other interests", while Saurabh will be pursuing other opportunities, according to the memo.


Moneycontrol first reported about Ola's management changes on Tuesday.


Ola plans to raise up to $1 billion through an initial public offering in the next few months, according to recent media reports.


Founded in 2010, Ola also counts private equity firms Temasek and Warburg Pincus among its investors and competes with U.S.-listed Uber Technologies for a share of India's ride-hailing market.

The firm has since expanded into offering cars on lease and into the electric-vehicle space in the country.


Ola's electric vehicle business earlier this year launched a scooter and has charted out plans to produce kick scooters, e-bikes, drones and even flying cars. The unit raised more than $200 million at a valuation of $3 billion in September.


Apple to sell fewer iPhones as chip crisis bites: J.P.Morgan

Apple to sell fewer iPhones as chip crisis bites: J.P.Morgan
Image: Shutterstock
Updated 34 min 27 sec ago

Apple to sell fewer iPhones as chip crisis bites: J.P.Morgan

Apple to sell fewer iPhones as chip crisis bites: J.P.Morgan
  • The brokerage trimmed its iPhone revenue estimate to $63 billion for the first quarter of fiscal 2022

 J.P.Morgan on Tuesday became the second brokerage in two weeks to cut its forecast for Apple Inc's iPhone sales for the crucial holiday quarter as the global chip shortage and factory closures in Asia finally catch up to the technology giant.


The brokerage trimmed its iPhone revenue estimate to $63 billion for the first quarter of fiscal 2022, which would be a yearly fall of nearly 4 percent, analyst Samik Chatterjee said in a note to clients.


Last week, Needham said it expected iPhone 13 shipments to total 80 million units in the first quarter and cut its estimates for the holiday quarter by 10 million units citing supply chain issues including the chip shortage.


For the fourth quarter, JPM expects iPhones to bring in revenue of $46 billion after selling 58 million units, marginally higher than Wall Street's forecast of $41 billion.


According to Refinitiv IBES, analysts are expecting about 45 million units for the holiday quarter and 79.4 million units in the first quarter.


While Apple has weathered the supply crunch better than many other companies due to its massive purchasing power and long-term supply agreements with chip vendors, supply chain bottlenecks and lockdown in some countries are hampering its production timelines.


Bloomberg News reported last week that the Cupertino, California-based company is likely to slash production of its iPhone 13 by as many as 10 million units due to the global chip shortage.


Customers wanting an iPhone 13 are already having their patience tested with one of the longest wait times for the phone in recent years, analysts said.


"We continue to see strong demand for iPhone 13 and 5G iPhone SE relative to low investor expectations to act as a catalyst, the timing of realization of which, although delayed on account of supply headwinds, is unchanged in magnitude," Chatterjee said.


However, Apple said on Monday that its two new MacBook Pro models, that run on more powerful in-house chips, and new AirPods 3, will start shipping next week.


Apple's announcement of hardware innovations for the holiday season despite the chip shortage showed the company was flexing its supply chain muscles, Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives said.


Russia to go after Google this month with fine of up to 20% of annual turnover

Russia to go after Google this month with fine of up to 20% of annual turnover
Image: Shutterstock
Updated 41 min 47 sec ago

Russia to go after Google this month with fine of up to 20% of annual turnover

Russia to go after Google this month with fine of up to 20% of annual turnover
  • Russia has ramped up pressure on foreign tech companies as it seeks to assert greater control over the internet in the country

Russia said on Tuesday it would this month seek to fine U.S. tech giant Google a percentage of its annual Russian turnover for repeatedly failing to delete content deemed illegal, Moscow's strongest effort yet to rein in foreign tech firms.

Communications regulator Roskomnadzor said Google had failed to pay 32.5 million roubles ($458,100) in penalties levied so far this year and that it would now seek a fine of 5-20 percent of Google's Russian turnover, which could reach as much as $240 million, a significant increase.


Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


Russia has ramped up pressure on foreign tech companies as it seeks to assert greater control over the internet in the country, slowing down the speed of Twitter since March and routinely fining others for content violations.

Opposition activists have accused Alphabet's Google and Apple of caving to Kremlin pressure after they removed an anti-government tactical voting app from their stores.

Roskomnadzor earlier in October said it would ask a court to impose a turnover fine on social media firm Facebook, citing legislation signed by President Vladimir Putin in December 2020.

"A similar case will be put together in October against Google," Roskomnadzor said in emailed comments to Reuters on Tuesday, noting that the company also owned video-hosting site YouTube.

The SPARK business database showed that Google's turnover in Russia in 2020 was 85.5 billion roubles. A 5-20% fine would amount to between 4.3 and 17.1 billion roubles.

Google is currently fighting a court ruling demanding it unblock the YouTube account of a sanctioned Russian businessman or face a compounding fine on its overall turnover that would double every week and force Google out of business within months if paid.

 


‘Saudization’ plan rolled out in key areas in Al-Baha region of the Kingdom 

‘Saudization’ plan rolled out in key areas in Al-Baha region of the Kingdom 
Updated 19 October 2021

‘Saudization’ plan rolled out in key areas in Al-Baha region of the Kingdom 

‘Saudization’ plan rolled out in key areas in Al-Baha region of the Kingdom 

Riyadh: Sales outlets in the Al-Baha region will be required to only employ Saudi citizens, under plans announced by the Minister of Human Resources.

The move will come into action on January 14 2022, as a part of the country’s ‘Saudization’ plan, and will see 10 other sectors in the area also required to abide by the scheme. 

These include electrical appliances, plastic materials, soap and detergents, water, food and beverages. 

The announcement excluded professions of cleaning, loading/unloading, and driving.

Cafes will also have a 'Saudization' quota of 50 percent, while restaurants will have a target of 40 percent.

This comes following the recent announcement by the Crown Prince on Sunday, to launch strategic offices to drive development in three key regions of Al-Baha, Al-Jouf, and Jazan.