As significant business ventures with a potentially high environmental impact, sustainability should be a key priority in malls’ planning and development, Doha Festival City (DHFC) general manager Robert Hall has said to Gulf-Times.
“In the current context of climate change, being at the forefront of both policy and defining consumer behavior, malls must take their commitment to sustainability very seriously and invest a lot in mitigating their environmental impact, both in terms of technology and awareness-raising,” he told Gulf Times.
From clothes and accessories to food and cosmetics, sustainability is intertwined with various facets of retail, Hall said, citing that DHFC is “proud to partner with some of the world’s leading sustainable brands.”
He noted that DHFC, being the “first sustainable mall in Qatar” and receiving Level 3 certification by the Global Assessment System, is committed to delivering green strategies as part of its corporate social responsibility mission.
He added that the mall currently saves 30% of traditional water consumption levels through efficient faucets and sanitary fixtures and applies cutting-edge strategies for filtering, collecting, and treating storm and sanitary water to avoid waterway contamination. It is also using natural cooling techniques to boost the mall’s energy efficiency.
DHFC is upgrading its system to enable the utilization of treated sewage effluent (TSE) waters for chilled water circulation and will be able to entirely rely on TSE water for its chillers in the second half of 2021 while undertaking further action to boost the sustainability of its operations, Hall said.
The mall will also continue educating the youth on the importance of sustainability by organizing a series of workshops dedicated to creating crafts from waste material, he added.
“We have recently partnered with Qatar National Tourism Council (QNTC) to launch the first-ever digital raffle draw, engaging with Qatar residents in the safest possible way and offering them a chance to win a host of amazing giveaways.
“The raffle draw was held online and was 100% digital with no human interaction, bringing joy to shoppers and rewarding their loyalty. We are excited to work with QNTC again and to support Qatar’s National Vision 2030 to promote the country’s tourism sector,” Hall said.
DHFC, in partnership with sustainable brands within the mall, recently launched a month-long campaign to mark World Ocean Day aimed at raising awareness about preserving the ocean and biodiversity.
Committed to the mission of raising awareness on crucial environmental issues among Qatar’s youth, DHFC will also continue with its ‘Save the Ocean Kids Art Wall’ featuring the best kids’ artworks about the ocean and its marine life until June 30.
“To make the exhibition even more exciting, we have also launched an interactive ‘Dive under the Sea with a hawksbill turtle’ exhibition, educating visitors about this rare species living in Qatar’s seas, explaining their life cycle and actions to take to preserve them,” he said.
The displays are aimed at educating customers about the most pressing ecological problems and environment-friendly gestures to adopt to protect the biodiversity and cleanliness of the ocean.
“The fashion industry weighs heavily on natural resources, and we are proud to host brands that show a responsible approach to the environment. COS, H&M, Harvey Nichols, The Body Shop, & Other Stories, and Tavola are taking part in this initiative showcasing their environment-friendly products. All activities are conducted under the umbrella of the ‘Festival Cares’ and ‘Qatar Unites Us’ CSR campaigns launched in Qatar,” Hall added.
He hoped that such initiatives would “engage Qatar residents with environmental challenges and encourage them to develop environment-friendly attitudes towards marine life while helping forge responsible consumer behavior – fundamental to our planet’s future.”