Dubai, UAE: AG Facilities, one of the leading facility management companies in the UAE, and MBM, its subsidiary ‘soft services’ company, have partnered with CAFU, a tech startup from the prestigious Al Ghurair family, in an innovative project to reduce emissions and mitigate climate change in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The Ghaf seed project was launched in 2020 by CAFU, with the aim of planting more than one million Ghaf trees across the country in order to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in the atmosphere. Under the new partnership with CAFU, AG Facilities and MBM provided critical manpower to gather and prepare Ghaf seed pods prior to planting.

Travelling across the country, the team collected more than one million pods from numerous sources and transported them back to a central location in Dubai. Once collected, the pods were cleaned and treated, before the seeds were extracted and prepared for planting.  The planting utilised cutting-edge, AI-driven CAFU drone technology, overcoming the challenges of the UAE’s desert climate and terrain in order to access to more remote areas.  

Speaking about the initiative, Rashid Al Ghurair, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of CAFU, commented: “By bringing together leading minds from across sectors, we are proud to launch this initiative, to reduce levels of carbon dioxide from our direct environment. Our mission to plant one million trees is reflective of Dubai’s philosophy of building innovative solutions for future generations.”

This partnership aims to support the UAE’s National Climate Change Plan 2017-2050, which aims to significantly reduce country’s overall emissions. Presently, in the UAE, the average person produces 22.9 tonnes of CO2 each year[i], making this mission critical. 

John Iossifidis, Group CEO at Al Ghurair Investment, said: “Climate change is one of the defining issues of our times, and the responsibility for action does not just sit at a policy or government level – it is the social responsibility of business, and us as individuals. At Al Ghurair Investment, we are committed to our purpose of ‘Enhancing Life’. I am delighted that Al Ghurair has partnered with CAFU on this important initiative to reduce carbon emission levels – driving sustainable change and enhancing life to all.”  

Mohamed Adil Haneef, COO at AG Facilities commented: “At AG Facilities and MBM, we believe that the environment is a loan we take from our future generations, and it is our sacred duty to return it in pristine condition. To that effect we are always eager to initiate or support activities which help reduce our carbon footprint and support in making the world a better place to live.” 

The Ghaf tree was selected for this initiative as it is drought-tolerant, requiring very little water or maintenance, and is able to absorb more than 34kg of CO2 per year, equating to more than 4.1 million metric tonnes during the course of is 120-year lifespan. The species of tree is of particular significance as not only is it indigenous to the region but it was also the symbol of the UAE Government’s 2019 ‘Year of Tolerance’ campaign, recognised as a historic emblem of stability and peace in the country’s desert environment.

[i] Source: Environment Data Atlas

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