The Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC), the developer behind the world’s most ambitious regenerative tourism project, has unveiled its inaugural Sustainability Report detailing its pioneering approach to sustainable development and achievements to date, and commitment to transparency and accountability.
The report, titled ‘Laying the Foundation for a Sustainable Destination’, contains a comprehensive overview of how TRSDC is taking a regenerative approach to development of The Red Sea Project. This includes details on its:
- Environmental commitments, including a pledge to deliver a 30 percent net conservation benefit by 2040, only developing 22 of more than 90 islands, and powering the destination with 100 percent renewable energy, validated by the Utilities PPP awarded to a consortium led by ACWA Power last year
- Socio-economic contributions, by increasing the employment and training opportunities for local Saudis, demonstrated by its Elite Graduate Program, which provides young Saudis with practical experience for roles in the tourism sector plus conducting the Future Faces of Tourism study to understand attitudes towards hospitality and tourism careers
- Maintenance of safe construction efforts amidst the COVID-19 pandemic including Zero Lost Time Incidents (LTI) during the construction of marine jetties, Coastal Village and Base Camp
- Wide range of external certification standards and awards achieved, including an ISO 31000:2018 Risk Management System certification.
The report was developed in accordance with the internationally recognized Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) sustainability reporting framework and demonstrates the project’s alignment with the UN Sustainable Development Goal’s. It includes TRSDC’s first formal stakeholder engagement and materiality assessment which has led to identifying the material sustainability topics and focus areas for TRSDC.
“Sustainable development requires a three-dimensional approach that combines environment, economic and societal considerations. As we set out to develop the world’s most ambitious regenerative and innovative tourist destination, this report brings our sustainable ethos to life and is a public commitment to doing things differently,” said John Pagano, CEO of TRSDC.
TRSDC’s trajectory towards 100 percent carbon neutrality is described within the report, including the exploration of innovative carbon sequestration techniques, such as the removal of carbon through large-scale Marine Microalgae Production Farms.
The project master plan was informed by a marine spatial planning exercise delivered in partnership with King Abdullah University of Science and Technology. The ground-breaking application of conservation and development planning supports efforts to enhance biodiversity and conservation-priority species distributions across almost 1,300 square kilometres of pristine lagoon
TRSDC has partnered with Al Falah Ready Mix on the supply of low carbon “green” concrete as well as Saudi Amana Contracting for the delivery of pre-finished modular units. These innovative approaches are supporting TRSDC to meet its strict sustainability targets and providing a blueprint for other developments with regenerative ambitions.
The report also highlights TRSDC’s socio-economic commitments which include the company’s Sustainability Stewards initiative. This initiative provides local talent with bespoke training to raise their awareness on the need to preserve the environment, and build an understanding of the fauna and flora, and the importance of biodiversity for our planet. Beside its importance for the environment, this initiative is also in line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 and its commitment to developing local talent who can compete internationally.
Carlos Duarte, Professor of Marine Science at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), said: “TRSDC is creating a development that goes beyond all previous measures of sustainability and is leading the industry to a greener and bluer, more equitable future. Pushing boundaries is the essence of science and innovation and together, TRSDC and KAUST are raising the bar by creating new industry standards in sustainability.”
The Red Sea Project has already passed significant milestones and work is on track to welcome the first guests by the end of 2022, when the international airport and the first hotels will open. Phase one, which includes 16 hotels in total, will complete in 2023.
Upon completion in 2030, The Red Sea Project will comprise 50 resorts, offering up to 8,000 hotel rooms and more than 1,000 residential properties across 22 islands and six inland sites. The destination will also include luxury marinas, golf courses, entertainment and leisure facilities.
The full report is available here