Omran Leads With Sustainability
Cementing its position in the Sultanate as the leading sustainable developer for the second year running, Omran released the Company’s second edition of Sustainability Report 2013: Creating a Sustainable Tourism Destination, and conducted a stakeholder seminar which focused on the themes of sustainability throughout all levels of society. The event was held at the Millennium Resort, Mussanah.
Omran’s 2nd Sustainability Report ensures the company maintains the title of most transparent real estate and tourism developer in the region for the second year running, and outlines comprehensive information on the Company’s developments and hospitality assets. The report provides data and insights into Omran’s performance on four key pillars of economic, social, environmental and cultural heritage, and sends a strong signal that the company is serious about taking ownership over the full range of their operations in a sustainable manner. Discussing the launch of the second edition of the sustainability report, Eng. Wael Al Lawati, CEO of Omran noted, “In 2013, the tourism industry’s contribution to the Omani GDP was OMR 2,079 million – and this staggering figure is testament to the growing importance of the sector to the national economy. Omran plays a leading role in the
development of the tourism sector by developing, managing, and investing in tourism projects. Hence, it is imperative that we focus on embedding sustainability into our services and operations, setting an example of a socially responsible organisation in the Sultanate.”
Eng. Wael Al Lawati also mentioned, “Sustainable management makes good business sense, and has started becoming increasingly important for Omran. Through initiatives such as the Sustainability Report and this seminar, it is our objective to steer not only ourselves, but our stakeholders towards realising the value of incorporating responsible and sustainable business practices. At Omran, sustainability is not just aligned, but increasingly embedded, into everything we do.”
To coincide with the release of Omran Sustainability Report, an interactive seminar titled ‘Sustainability Talk’ was held, and was attended by over 120 participants, including a number of senior Omran staff as well as University students, community members, SME’s, tourism operators, social and environmental champions, as well as public and private stakeholders. The day-long seminar addressed the importance of sustainability and the emphasis that Omran places on sustainable development around the key pillars of economic, social, environmental and cultural heritage.
The ‘Sustainability Talk’ seminar witnessed an engaging dialogue highlighting the definitions of sustainability, as well as an interactive forum where stakeholders were encouraged to discuss the true meaning of sustainability for them as individuals. During the seminar session participants also shared thoughts on how tourism activities can be managed in a more sustainable manner, in order to minimise impacts on society, the environment and to enhance Oman’s cultural heritage.
Eng. Wael Al Lawati added, “Omran sees real value in being transparent so we can engage all stakeholders on the subject of sustainability and seek out new ways to improve and innovate. One of the key outcomes of the seminar was to form a stakeholder sustainability committee which will include members of society, stakeholders, advisors and motivated youth who share the common interest in making sustainable change in tourism sector. We hope to work hand in hand in order to advance the implementation and scope for sustainable development throughout all sectors of society, and look forward to convening the committee in the near future, placing the themes of sustainability high on the agenda.”
The 2nd edition of Omran Sustainability Report details the economic, environmental and social outcomes resulting from its everyday activities. The report also presents the company values and governance model, and demonstrates the link between company strategy and its commitment to a sustainable global economy, while the report is structured using the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) standards for transparent reporting.
Omran’s latest report has made significant improvements by expanding the scope with the inclusion of 30 fully reported GRI performance indicators. The company continues to use the Global Reporting Initiative 3.1 standard to guide reporting, but have started transitioning to reporting using G4 which focuses reporting on the basis of topics and themes identified as important to stakeholders. By showing this leadership in sustainability reporting, the Company’s aim is to continue to be the most transparent developer in Oman.
Commenting on the successful outcomes of the ‘Sustainability Talk’ seminar, Johnjoseph Ryan, Manager of Sustainability Advisory Services at Sustainability Excellence noted, “We commend Omran for achieving higher levels of transparency and for committing to take a leadership role in sustainability implementation in the real estate and tourism development sector. The event today was unique in that it was structured to provide a platform for meaningful engagement on sustainability issues with the objective to inspire each other to take real action and to work together for the future of Oman.”
Omran has had some big successes in 2014. Major projects such as the Oman Convention and Exhibition Center are on schedule, and several developments such as the Alila Jabal Akhdar resort and Atana Musandam resort have opened their doors to the Oman market with resounding success. Studies are showing that Omran’s properties will bring in millions of Omani riyals to the economy as well as offering further employment opportunities. The company also boasts having completed nearly 10 million man hours without a single lost time injury, while on the environmental front, nine developments are pursuing LEED green building certifications. Omran developments have also reduced per capita waste, energy, and greenhouse gas emissions.
Omran is the first tourism development company in Oman, and one of only a handful across the GCC to achieve ISO 14001 accreditation for their environmental management systems. The Company also actively contributes to environmental preservation through a number of projects and initiatives which actively engage the local community.