Qalaa Announces Joining 177 early Corporate Movers from 36 Countries in the “Business Ambition for 1.5°C” Campaign for Climate Action - SDG#13

On the sidelines of Davos 2020 “Stakeholders For a Cohesive and Sustainable World” and in continuation of its pioneering sustainability practices, Qalaa Holdings is pledging to set climate targets that align with limiting global temperature rise to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels

On the sidelines of Davos 2020, Qalaa Holdings is proud to announce that it has signed a pledge that will see the company commit to 1.5°C science-based emissions reduction targets aligned with a net-zero future in response to the latest climate science recommendation to limit the worst impacts of climate change. Qalaa became one of 177 pioneering early adopters of the campaign to address climate change in a more urgent and quantifiable manner.

“Qalaa Holdings has already adopted a multifaceted strategy throughout our operations that has sustainability, innovation and value creation at its core. Since inception 15 years ago, we have strived to ensure that our investments and practices are responsible across economic, environmental, and social parameters,” said Qalaa Chairman and Founder Ahmed Heikal. “Now I think we are ready to take things to the next level and thus I am extremely proud to be among the first companies worldwide to take part in this ambitious corporate initiative that promotes collective action towards achieving sustainable emissions targets.”

The campaign was originally announced in Madrid, Spain at the 25th annual United Nations Climate Change Conference COP 25 and in a joint press release from the United Nations Global Compact, the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) and the We Mean Business coalition. Link to UN Climate Change News:

“We believe that businesses have a vital role to play in helping limit the effects of global warming and building the net-zero carbon economy of the future. We are very proud of the fact that our investments in solar, biofuels, recycling, river transportation, and environmentally-friendly building materials are already making a positive impact. As signatories of the 1.5°C Pledge we will be able to measure, quantify and accordingly reduce our greenhouse gas emissions at a pace and scale that is necessary to limit global warming,” said Heikal.

“The scale of the climate crisis is more visible than ever and the need for climate action becomes more pressing with each passing day. By signing this important pledge, we are underscoring our accountability, responsibility and leadership towards carbon neutrality and achieving a more sustainable future for generations to come,” said Hisham El-Khazindar, Co-Founder and Managing Director at Qalaa Holdings. “It is a continuation of a responsible ESG program that has always made us the investor of choice for DFIs, multilateral development banks and export credit agencies looking for opportunities in African megaprojects. As we build businesses in addition to looking for financial returns commensurate with risks, we are always looking to make a positive and measurable impact on the communities and environments in which we operate. Large corporations should follow suit and step up to their role as major stakeholders in our common future, collaborate to achieve the 1.5 campaign goals, and convert their investment portfolios to net-zero emissions by 2050.”

As part of its focus and commitment to responsible investing and sustainability, Qalaa is the first Egyptian company to appoint a Chief Sustainability Officer, Ms Ghada Hammouda, and the first to establish a Sustainability Committee at the corporate board level as it continually works to ensure responsible health, safety, labor, governance and environmental practices across its subsidiaries.

“A confluence of changes, disrupters and paradigm shifts in policy, public perception and the environment have created a new climate for business. We are at an inflection point in the history of capitalism as we know it. As we enter what is termed the “decisive decade”, we need to redefine the role of businesses in society, establish a clear purpose that goes beyond financial returns to include the 3 P’s “Profit”, “People”, “Planet” and deliver on shared prosperity that respects the planet and the environment and takes the interests of all stakeholders into account,” said Ghada Hammouda, Chief Sustainability and Marketing Officer at Qalaa Holdings.

“The 1.5°C climate pledge is in line with the company’s triple bottom line strategy that aims to promote long-term economic, social and environmental development and supports the achievement of Egypt’s Vision 2030 and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including SDG#13 Climate Action, where Qalaa has been leading by example.”

Like all signatories to the 1.5°C pledge, Qalaa will be asked to set verifiable science-based targets through the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), which independently assesses corporate emissions reduction targets against scientific best practice. Companies that align their business strategies with climate science are best-placed to thrive as the global economy transitions to a net-zero future by 2050.

Qalaa Holdings has contributed to achieving sustainable growth by investing in strategic sectors such as energy, waste-to-energy circular solutions, energy-efficient river transportation, infrastructure, and industrial facilities equipped with the latest environmentally responsible technologies.

To date, Qalaa has founded and developed more than 50 companies and created well over 40,000 jobs. In terms of impact on the planet and environment, Qalaa has worked tirelessly to balance and reduce its carbon footprint, which includes making investments in affordable and clean energy solutions (SDG #7) — one of its primary operational objectives. Among Qalaa’s investments in affordable and clean energy are the Egyptian Refining Company (ERC), a USD c.4.4 billion refinery in Greater Cairo which will seek to eliminate 186,000 tons of Egypt’s Sulphur dioxide emissions; Nile Logistics, a transportation, port management and logistics platform that utilizes environmentally friendly river barges as an alternative to trucking, and TAQA Arabia, Egypt’s leading private sector energy distribution company with investments in the world’s largest solar park in Benban Aswan, which is expected to eliminate c.78 thousand tons of emission annually.


To join the movement and take action, visit:

Qalaa Holdings (CCAP.CA on the Egyptian Stock Exchange) is an African leader in energy and infrastructure. Qalaa Holdings builds responsible and sustainable businesses that add value to the economies and societies in which it does business. Formerly known as Citadel Capital, Qalaa Holdings controls subsidiaries in industries including Energy, Cement, Agrifoods, Transportation & Logistics, Mining and Printing & Packaging. To learn more, please visit

For more information, please contact:
Ms. Ghada Hammouda
CMO & Head of Corporate Communications
Qalaa Holdings (S.A.E.)

Tel: +20 2 2791-4439
Fax: +20 22 791-4448
Mobile: +20 106 662-0002

Twitter: @qalaaholdings