Key initiatives on nature, carbon markets, renewables and more announced on Day 2 of Business & Philanthropy Climate Forum at COP28

Key initiatives on nature, carbon markets, renewables and more announced on Day 2 of Business & Philanthropy Climate Forum at COP28
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Key initiatives on nature, carbon markets, renewables and more announced on Day 2 of Business & Philanthropy Climate Forum at COP28
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Updated 03 December 2023
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Key initiatives on nature, carbon markets, renewables and more announced on Day 2 of Business & Philanthropy Climate Forum at COP28

Key initiatives on nature, carbon markets, renewables and more announced on Day 2 of Business & Philanthropy Climate Forum at COP28

Key business and philanthropy leaders joined with leaders of multilateral development banks and political leaders from emerging economies at COP28 on Saturday, to announce a range of initiatives aimed at harnessing the resources of business and philanthropy for climate action.

The second day of the inaugural COP28 Business and Philanthropy Forum included key announcements on preserving nature, energy transition alongside a methane abatement accelerator and an initiative to decarbonize health supply chains.

The day was opened with a keynote address from Kristalina Georgieva, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, who gave insights into how business and philanthropy leaders can work with global organizations to catalyze a just transition to a greener economy.

There were also sessions on the impact of philanthropy, featuring, Bill Gates, the co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; Ray Dalio, founder of Bridgewater Associates; Dr. Precious Motsepe, co-founder and chief executive, Motsepe Foundation; and Abdul Aziz Al-Ghurair, chairman, Abdulla Al-Ghurair Foundation for Education.

A discussion on transition funding, involving Odile Renaud-Basso, president of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development; Dilhan Pillay Sandrasegara, CEO of Temasek Holdings; and Dr. Andrew Steer, president and CEO of the Bezos Earth Fund, also explored the distinctive blended finance platform championed by Ahmed Saeed, CEO of Allied Climate Partners, and International Finance Corporation as one of the investors.

With opening remarks from Jesper Brodin, chief executive, Ingka Group, IKEA, the forum also hosted a key discussion on energy, which explored how the sector and other heavy emitting industries can work with policy-makers to galvanize broad action to advance the just energy transition and reduce emissions, whilst providing accessible energy to support the development of all economies and people. The session featured high-level speakers including Mohamed Jameel Al-Ramahi, chief executive, Masdar; Marco Arcelli, chief executive, ACWA Power; and Juliet Davenport, president, The Energy Institute; with closing remarks from Dr. Rajiv Shah, president, The Rockefeller Foundation.

Commenting on the forum and the role the private sector has to play in climate and nature, COP28 Special Representative for Business and Philanthropy and Chair of the COP28 Business and Philanthropy Climate Forum Badr Jafar said: “Governments simply do not have the available capital or capacity to make the climate transition on their

own. To move from the billions we have to the trillions we need, we require urgent, unprecedented, delivery-focused public, business and philanthropic collaboration. The Business and Philanthropy Climate Forum represents a paradigm shift that recognizes this opportunity and connects diverse stakeholders together in a way that creates a multiplier effect on climate and nature impact. The private sector increasingly recognizes that embracing a sustainable and equitable future, leaving no one behind, is the growth story of our time.”

The day also featured sessions on media and climate, harnessing nature for climate impact, the built environment, space and climate, the effects of climate on health, and a pitch session where climate entrepreneurs pitched their ideas to investors.

Among the initiatives announced at the forum were:

Enteric Fermentation R&D Accelerator

Andrew Steer, CEO, Bezos Earth Fund, in partnership with Methane Hub, CIFF, Quadrature Climate Foundation, and Danone announced the $250 million Enteric Fermentation R&D Accelerator, to accelerate methane mitigation in livestock production.

The Data for Methane Action Campaign

Kate Hampton, CEO, CIFF, in partnership with Global Methane Hub, High Tide Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, and Bezos Earth Fund announced The Data for Methane Action Campaign, worth $100 million worth of funding to convert methane data into action.

Join the Planet

Alex Avellanet, board member of Join the Planet, unveiled a global movement committed to repurposing discarded materials into valuable products and reusing them to fund initiatives around the world that can protect, restore and regenerate natural ecosystems through work with local communities. The global movement is supported by the legendary Lionel Messi.

First Movers Coalition

Open remarks were provided by Secretary John Kerry, US special presidential envoy for climate, and Borge Brende, president of the World Economic Forum, for the First Movers Coalition session where CEOs from Volvo Group and Norsk Hydro announced a new partnership to co-develop a roadmap toward supplying near zero-aluminum in 2030.

Health for Climate

Leaders committed to pushing for ambitious net-zero targets across healthcare system supply chains. The health impact of climate change will include more cases of heat stress, infectious diseases, and malnutrition. The initiative, announced by Pascal Soriot, CEO of AstraZeneca, will aim to minimize the contribution of the global health system to the increased health burden it will eventually face.

Nature Positive for Climate Action

Razan Al-Mubarak, president of the International Union for Conservation of Nature and UN Climate Change High-Level Champion, and Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, CBD Nature Action Agenda Champion, announced the impact of the Nature Positive for Climate Action call of over 150 businesses and financial institutions having committed to a call to action to contribute to a whole-of-economy approach to transforming economy/society to meet climate and nature goals — noting it is important to activate the ambition loop to strengthen action from parties and put us on the path to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement, given the results of the Global Stocktake.

The Indigenous Peoples Initiative

Hindou Ibrahim, chair, International Indigenous Peoples Forum on Climate Change, announced a call to action to provide direct financing for indigenous peoples and organizations, to join forces in protecting and restoring nature and biodiversity.

ONE AMAZON and ONE AMAZON Impact Fund

Rodrigo Veloso, founder and CEO, ONE AMAZON, and Peter Knez, chairman, ONE AMAZON, announced the ONE AMAZON and ONE AMAZON IMPACT FUND, which is the world’s first trillion-dollar nature-based asset platform, benefitting all stakeholders while making a lasting impact on Amazon Rainforest preservation.

New Funding on Super Pollutants

Christie Ulman, president, Sequoia Climate Foundation, in partnership with Global Methane Hub and other philanthropies, announced new funding for super pollutants worth $450 million, which will help countries incorporate all non-CO2 GHG2 in their new NDC targets for 2035 and leverage additional resources to triple climate finance in this category by 2030.


New Murabba to bring Riyadh’s visionary downtown to life

New Murabba to bring Riyadh’s visionary downtown to life
Updated 03 March 2024
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New Murabba to bring Riyadh’s visionary downtown to life

New Murabba to bring Riyadh’s visionary downtown to life

New Murabba Development Company has signed an MoU with the Tourism Development Fund to spearhead the transformation of Riyadh. The agreement will see the two entities work closely together to create New Murabba: the world’s largest, modern downtown, serving as a model for future urban development and contributing toward Riyadh city’s evolution, in line with Vision 2030.

NMDC’s strategic partnership with TFD aims to fulfill Saudi Arabia’s potential as a leading investment destination — a go-to tourism and hospitality hotspot distinguished by a thriving tech ecosystem, an enabling business environment and a diverse and welcoming society.

The MoU was signed by NMDC CEO Michael Dyke and TDF CEO Qusai bin Abdullah Al-Fakhri. As part of the agreement, TDF will provide direct financing opportunities — in collaboration with its network of partners and contracted investors.

Al-Fakhri said: “We are pleased to have partnered with the New Murabba Development Company to bring this bold undertaking to life, an innovative undertaking that will enhance Riyadh’s status on the global stage as one of the commercial and financial capitals of the world. This is a future-focused partnership that extends our efforts to work in a fully aligned manner with the private sector to create a greater, more prosperous Saudi Arabia.”

He added: “In line with Vision 2030 and the National Tourism Strategy, our agreement with New Murabba Development Company marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter for Riyadh, one that adds to the richness of the Kingdom’s inspiring story of transformation. Together, we aim to create a modern downtown in the Saudi capital that provides even greater access to exceptional living, working and entertainment experiences. Representing the very best of Saudi excellence, we believe New Murabba will attract tourists — as well as investors — to the Kingdom, and improve citizens’ and residents’ quality of life.”

NMDC CEO Dyke said: “New Murabba will be a gateway to the future. We are confident that our partnership with TDF will enable us to play a transformative role in diversifying sources of income for the Saudi economy, aligning seamlessly with the objectives of Vision 2030. Together, we will create groundbreaking opportunities that will elevate the Saudi tourism landscape and drive New Murabba to the forefront of global innovation.”

He added: “Reflecting our commitment to the community and the environment, New Murabba has been designed in accordance with internationally established best practices and sustainability standards, incorporating green spaces, providing an extensive network of walking paths and promoting healthy living. Our goal is to make New Murabba a truly exceptional place to live, work, play, and visit. We will offer convenient access to a wide range of amenities and experiences that will enhance the lives of residents and visitors, fostering a sense of security and well-being. Accessibility is also a top priority for us, with New Murabba being just 20 minutes away from King Khalid International Airport by car. The Mukaab — a new architectural wonder — will, of course, serve as the centerpiece of New Murabba, redefining Riyadh’s skyline from the outside, while presenting a truly jaw-dropping experience within the inside.”

Established in 2022, NMDC is wholly owned by the Public Investment Fund, with its board of directors being chaired by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.


stc raises the bar for innovation at Mobile World Congress

stc raises the bar for innovation at Mobile World Congress
Updated 03 March 2024
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stc raises the bar for innovation at Mobile World Congress

stc raises the bar for innovation at Mobile World Congress

stc Group, a global leader in digital transformation, has successfully concluded its sponsorship and participation in Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.

The group solidified its commitment to innovation and growth through the signing of strategic MoUs with industry giants. The following partnerships were announced:

• IBM Middle East: stc Group and IBM Middle East agree to collaborate on upgrades to current fault management systems through the implementation of the latest cloud-based Netcool fault management platform.

• China Mobile International Limited: The agreement will see both partners work together to advance the deployment and implementation of IoT connectivity services for businesses in the region.

• Channels by stc x Huawei: In collaboration with Huawei, this MoU focuses on driving growth in the devices business, engaging in yearly business plans, and exploring strategic collaborations.

• Channels by stc x Samsung: This joint business plan with Samsung aims to sustain growth initiatives, marking a significant collaboration in the consumer electronics and services sector.

“Partnerships with global entities such as Ericsson, Huawei, and Samsung signify the great strides that stc is making toward an even more globally connected future,” the group said. “With these collaborations, stc is positioned at the forefront of shaping the ever-evolving digital landscape, driving collaboration, innovation and accelerating performance.”

During the event, stc Group showcased a variety of on-ground activations, each highlighting different facets of their technological prowess and commitment to sustainability. These included the AI Selfie, a customized interactive experience that enabled visitors to create their own digital avatars.

The Digital City 3D sand table demonstrated stc Group’s vision for the future of smart cities and their advanced technology. Visitors had the opportunity to be fully immersed in a 3D tour inside Makkah through Makkah 3D Experience, further underscoring stc’s continuous efforts in promoting cultural heritage and visualization technologies, all while illustrating how 5G-Advanced can catalyze digital transformation across sectors.

The IntelliReserve activation specialized in tracking and analyzing data on various wildlife species in the Kingdom, and the Sustainable Park activation gave visitors the chance to experience a virtual journey through interactive screens.

These on-ground activations represent stc Group’s innovative approach to digital transformation and its commitment to sustainability and connectivity.


Extend launches SR100m fund, academy to develop Saudi media sector

Extend launches SR100m fund, academy to develop Saudi media sector
Updated 03 March 2024
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Extend launches SR100m fund, academy to develop Saudi media sector

Extend launches SR100m fund, academy to develop Saudi media sector

Saudi Arabia’s marketing and communications sector has accompanied at all levels the unprecedented transformation underway in the Kingdom. Several partnerships have taken shape between various private sector companies specializing in marketing and communications, and government entities, to support the rapid growth, create new and promising opportunities for young talents, and attract foreign investment.

In this context, Extend, a leading national provider of marketing services and integrated strategic solutions, has signed a cooperation agreement with two global entities — Intuit Lap, a French academy of design and strategic creativity, and Peaksource Group, a creative technology platform. This agreement will see the establishment of “Extend Academy,” which will offer several educational and training programs under the supervision of international consultants. It will graduate 200 students annually in the following tracks: creative design, strategic planning, communication consulting, digital innovation, and brand specialization, with approximately 40 graduates in each track.

The agreement was signed in the presence of Minister of Communications and Information Technology Abdullah Al-Swaha, in addition to a number of officials from the Ministry of Media and media professionals.

Moreover, a SR100 million ($26.6 million) fund was launched in partnership with Rassanah Capital, a specialized asset management firm that provides investment solutions in the Kingdom. The “Extend Fund” aims to support and incentivize local medium and small companies to grow and develop, attracting expertise and enabling them to compete more broadly in the sector. The fund will focus on digital media, arts, Arab culture and media production, and will be managed by Rassanah Capital. This fund is expected to create numerous job opportunities, empower national cadres to enhance the culture of Saudi Arabia globally, and serve as an attractive investment opportunity.

Extend also launched the third edition of its digital performance report for Saudi ministries. This report helps analyze news and public discourse in digital media for government entities. The launch was a collaboration with Crowd Analyzer, the first Arabic language platform for monitoring social media; Tailwind, which utilizes its specialized GWI market research tool; and Emplifi, a platform for technological tools and solutions in marketing and business. The initiative aims to keep pace with the rapid digital changes in the Kingdom, and monitor and archive them to serve as a reference for performance measurement, and conducting studies and research. This will contribute to the development of digital government media in the Kingdom.

The initiatives were announced at a ceremony held in Matal Al-Bujairi in Diriyah, to mark the 13th anniversary of Extend’s founding. Extend is committed to enhancing its responsibility toward the Saudi media sector, promoting media literacy, empowering individuals with experience in advertising, strengthening their ideas, and honing their skills to achieve a comprehensive transformation in all aspects of the Saudi media industry.


Ericsson, iot squared to transform Saudi Arabia’s waste landscape

Ericsson, iot squared to transform Saudi Arabia’s waste landscape
Updated 02 March 2024
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Ericsson, iot squared to transform Saudi Arabia’s waste landscape

Ericsson, iot squared to transform Saudi Arabia’s waste landscape

Ericsson and stc Group’s iot squared signed a memorandum of understanding at the Mobile World Congress 2024 in Barcelona, Spain to offer the Ericsson Connected Recycling platform as a software-as-a-service in Saudi Arabia. The partnership will increase awareness of the importance of waste management and contribute to shaping a more sustainable future in the country.

Ericsson Connected Recycling is an end-to-end platform that addresses the environmental impact of waste by digitizing the reverse supply chains to enable optimization, comprehensive traceability and transparency, and the possibility to monetize waste. The key is safeguarding the world’s natural resources by turning waste into recycled raw materials rather than putting them in landfills or burning them.

The platform also has a powerful sustainability reporting feature that provides valuable recycling insights that can optimize operations and empower circularity. It can integrate and orchestrate external data sources, store data safely and offer powerful big data management, which enables insightful data visualizations and efficiencies in the value chain.

As part of the MoU, Ericsson and iot squared will offer ECR in the Kingdom for several waste streams, with an initial launch to address municipal solid waste.

Othman Aldahash, chief executive officer of iot squared, said: “Our mission is to provide organizations with real-time insights for critical decision-making and intelligent operations. Ericsson Connected Recycling is a platform that complements iot squared’s mission as well as our ambition to transform the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s technological landscape with Internet of Things solutions to achieve sustainability in line with Saudi Green Initiative.”

Håkan Cervell, vice president and head of customer unit, stc, Saudi Arabia and Egypt at Ericsson Middle East and Africa, said: “Ericsson is building a better future today. The Ericsson Connected Recycling platform promotes circularity, innovation, and sustainability by digitizing and tracing several waste streams with an initial launch of municipal solid waste in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This transparent approach connects buyers and sellers of waste and recycled raw material, fostering a more sustainable economy in the country, aligned with the Saudi Green Initiative. We are proud to partner with iot squared to make this a reality.”

Ericsson Connected Recycling is an incubation unit within Ericsson ONE — an internal accelerator for Ericsson employees with pioneering new business ideas.


Crate & Barrel and CB2 flagship stores open in Jeddah

Crate & Barrel and CB2 flagship stores open in Jeddah
Updated 02 March 2024
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Crate & Barrel and CB2 flagship stores open in Jeddah

Crate & Barrel and CB2 flagship stores open in Jeddah

Majid Al-Futtaim Lifestyle, a leader in lifestyle retail across the GCC, has announced the opening of Crate and Barrel and CB2 in Red Sea Mall, Jeddah, marking the first side-by-side store for the sister brands outside the US. Connecting customers to designers worldwide, the stores are set to provide dynamic collections curated for Jeddah residents, featuring indoor and outdoor furniture, tableware, kitchenware, décor, accessories, rugs, and bed and bath items.

The openings mark the second store for both Crate and Barrel and CB2 in the Kingdom, following the success of the Riyadh-based stores, which saw a 27 percent growth since opening in 2022. The regional expansion is a continuation of the upward growth trajectory initiated by the brands’ partnership with Majid Al-Futtaim Lifestyle, which launched in 2017 and also includes three Crate and Barrel stores and the region’s first CB2 store in the UAE.

Fahed Ghanim, CEO of Majid Al-Futtaim Lifestyle, said: “We are thrilled to open our second stores for Crate and Barrel and CB2 in Saudi Arabia and bring these world-class brands to Jeddah residents. This move represents a significant milestone in our journey as we continue to elevate our home category across the region.

“The dual openings also underscore our commitment to expansion into the Kingdom, ensuring that our valued customers in Saudi Arabia have access to globally sought-after brands and the latest design trends.”

Renowned globally for its modern furniture, textiles, kitchenware, and home decor, Crate and Barrel offers exclusive designer collaborations with Jake Arnold, Leanne Ford, Athena Calderone and Molly Baz. The new 1,400-square-meter Jeddah store has a dedicated space for Crate and Kids, showcasing children’s decor, toys, furniture, accessories, and bed and bath items.

Meanwhile, CB2’s 630-square-meter store invites customers to explore collections featuring design-forward collaborations with designers such as Gianfranco Frattini and Lawson-Fenning, as well as a seasonal assortment of CB2 exclusives.

Sarah Sullivan, senior director of international operations at Crate and Barrel Holdings, said: “As we celebrate the grand opening of the Crate and Barrel and CB2 stores in Jeddah, we are delighted to see a growing demand for our brands in the region, a testament to the successful partnership with Majid Al-Futtaim Lifestyle.”

We look forward to curating inspiring spaces for Jeddah residents, introducing exclusive collaborations, and weaving our brands into the fabric of the community.”

Both brands also provide an online shopping option through local platforms.