PADICO HOLDING recognizes the importance of maintaining eco-conscious business practices. Operating in way that is environmentally responsible not only preserves Palestine for future generations of Palestinians, but it also makes economic sense. The company has therefore pursued a number of infrastructure investments that provide for the needs of the Palestinian people in a healthy and sustainable way.
PADICO HOLDING’s investments in the agricultural and industrial sectors amounted to USD $33.1 million, representing six percent of the company’s total investment portfolio at the end of 2011. One of the most important investments in agriculture and land cultivation and greening is the Nakheel Palestine for Agricultural Investment Company, a USD $11 million company devoted to developing the Palestinian date production industry, and to producing high quality dates that can be exported to foreign markets, especially those in Europe.
The project represents the largest Medjool dates plantation in Palestine – set up over a total land area of 3,000 dunams. By the middle of 2012, Nakheel finished planting 19,000 palm trees, a significant number of which are expected to start producing dates in 2012. The entire area of the designated land will be planted by 2014. The company currently employs 120 people, a number which is expected to double.
The Palestinian date industry is young but promising as the demand for dates and related products currently exceeds the supply. We are therefore optimistic, despite the fact that Palestinian dates do not yet have a substantial foreign market share.
Solid Waste Management
The lack of environmentally sustainable solutions for solid waste has plagued several West Bank localities. It is often the case that local governments in Palestine are only able to collect solid waste, while treatment and recycling of the waste remain unavailable due to a lack of infrastructure. The involvement of PADICO HOLDING in such activities will not only create an investment activity for the company, but it will also contribute to environmental stewardship.
In 2010, PADICO HOLDING founded the Palestinian Solid Waste Recycling Company (TADWEER), the first Palestinian company to offer specialized, environmentally sound solutions for solid waste recycling. The company has already established its first project in the city of Nablus, and has acquired a twenty-five percent stake in Al Kubra Solid Waste Management Company, which has established a solid waste management facility in the Zahrat Al Finjan landfill in the city of Jenin. Together, the plants will be able to discharge 500 tons of solid waste per day.
Promoting Environmental Awareness and Practice
In addition to investment of capital in two important environmental projects – the solid waste recycling plants in Jenin and Nablus – PADICO HOLDING has been involved in creating environmental awareness among publics. The company has supported a new award dedicated to pioneers and innovators in the environmental sector. This award was designed in partnership with Ma’an Center for Development to encourage environmental awareness and protection. The company also sponsored a conference on renewable energy in cooperation with Birzeit University.
Jacir Palace InterContinental Hotel, an investment of PADICO HOLDING in the tourism sector, earned the Energy Efficiency Award after an energy audit survey. The survey showed that the hotel had achieved a 22% drop in energy consumption in 2011 compared to 2010. The Jacir Palace also received the trophy for the Best Green Hotel and even beat other InterContinental hotels in Jordan and Palestine for the 2010 Award for the Best Electricity Saving Hotel and the 2011 Award for the Best Water Saving Hotel.