Why was the Red Sea Development Project recognised for ESG?

The Red Sea Development Project was recently recognised as the ‘ESG Initiative of the Year, by the Chartered Governance Institute

The ultimate aim of a good sustainability strategy is to put back into the world the things we have taken for granted for thousands of years while providing for an ever-growing population. The burning of fossil fuels, demolition of absorbent green spaces, and the over-consumption of food, water and other resources, are actions that have all contributed to the climate pressures that we face today. 

Through a regenerative tourism project, The Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC) is tackling some of the most pressing issues in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) while encouraging tourism in the area, by preserving the local environment, setting a precedent for sustainable development in the region, all while offering access to some of the most scenic areas of Saudi Arabia.


TRSDC is recognised for its ESG achievements

Recently, the Chartered Governance Institute UK and Ireland’s 2021 Awards took place in London at Hilton Park Lane. The ceremony—hosted by the BBC Breakfast presenter, Dan Walker—recognised The Red Sea Project as the ESG Initiative of the Year. So, why has the TRSDC been awarded this prestigious award? 

As a result of the company’s sustainable construction efforts and new planned projects alongside the likes of the Blue Planet Ecosystems, Red Sea Farms and, more recently, Ethmar Group, a social investments company, and the private foundation, Ghoroos. 

Collaborating on aquaculture with Blue Planet Ecosystems

Since the inception of the project, TRSDC’s Chief Executive Officer, John Pagano has signed some significant agreements, one of these being a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Blue Planet Ecosystems. The agreement will see the investigation of a carbon-negative fish production solution. The partners will test the suitability of Land-based Automated Recirculating Aquaculture (LARA) at The Red Sea Project, which will leverage the conditions that are ‘perfect to pilot and establish our desert farming technology - to demonstrate our joint vision of turning sunlight into seafood’, Paul Shmitzburger, Chief Executive Officer at Blue Planet Ecosystems, said on the day that both companies signed the agreement. ‘We are looking forward to this amazing development journey and feel proud to be making our contribution to a global movement’, Schmitzburger said. 


Producing sustainable food sources with Red Sea Farms

Once operational, The Red Sea Project expects to welcome around 300,000 guests per year and will provide jobs for 14,000 people or more. With such a high number of people to feed each year, the project requires an alternative source of food. 

An agreement between TRSDC and Red Sea Farms will see the development of 50 square hectares for food development, which will be used to encourage leading companies from across the globe to set up food production and trial cutting-edge technologies with the idea of scaling for commercial use. During the pilot project, Red Sea Farms will grow a variety of leafy greens, herbs, vine crops, fruit, and vegetables. Upon successful completion of the pilot, TRSDC has already planned to scale its production areas 100 hectares. 

Driving social change with Ethmar and Ghoroos

In an effort to support social change in the region, TRSDC has also signed an MoU with Ethmar and Ghoroos to develop socioeconomic opportunities in the agricultural sector. Both companies will support the project by investigating and implementing potential opportunities in the area and strengthening the surrounding community through volunteering. The scheme is part of TRSDC’s strategies to rejuvenate the local area and support the community that surrounds the project. 

‘Through this collaboration, we will be able to reinforce our support to the local communities whilst retaining our focus on three main aspects: Building partnerships, building capabilities, and enhancing livelihoods’, says Pagano.

TRSDC’s input into the agreement will be provided in the form of marketing expertise and environmental support to ensure mutually beneficial results for stakeholders. 


For more sustainability insights, check out the latest issue of Sustainability Magazine

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