Aramex’s commitment to sustainable business practices is a reflection of our values, our corporate culture and the way we choose to conduct ourselves. It is by all means a long term commitment; a management approach that is embedded in our business model and an ongoing affirmation of our responsibilities as corporate citizens towards our stakeholders. In 2006, we were the first company in the region to release an independently audited sustainability report. This 2009 report is our third exercise in reporting on our practices, measuring our economic, environmental, and social performance and most importantly learning along the way.
Our focus in 2009 has been as the title of this report indicates “Delivering on Emerging Opportunities”, with a focus on developing human capital. Despite the global recession, our people have produced remarkable financial results with our net profits increasing by 25%. Today, the Aramex family comprises of 81 nationalities in 46 countries, with women representing 15% of our management positions.
We continued investing in our main areas of priority - education and youth empowerment, entrepreneurship, community development, sports, emergency relief, and the environment. We have partnered with Injaz Al Arab across the region to empower young students to acquire entrepreneurial skills in order to create their own opportunities. In Egypt, we have worked hand in hand with the Future Generation Foundation to equip youth with the necessary skills to enter the job market.
Our partnership with Ruwwad for development continues to evolve, marking our commitment to our communities and continuing to put our entrepreneurial skills, network and expertise at the service of marginalized communities to help them create opportunities and be the change they wish to witness.
Furthermore, building on our transparent, interactive and continuous engagement with all our stakeholders, we have expanded our outreach through new communication channels with a new website (aramex.org), social media presence on Facebook and Twitter, and enhanced our internal communication tools.
On the environmental front, Aramex made significant strides in 2009. We continued to migrate our fleet to low-emission vehicles and reduce the fuel consumption from our direct fleet. Subsequently, we are working with our partners to enhance the current mechanisms for measuring emissions. We also met our target of converting all Aramex operations to unleaded fuel. And as a result of reducing paper consumption, we saved more than a hundred ton of paper between 2006 and 2009.
Quality is another aspect to which we give utmost attention. Aramex has achieved ISO14001 certification in eight of our stations. Moreover, we exceeded our commitment where eleven stations have been OHSAS1800 certified. Our safety record for 2008-2009 shows that we have achieved our 2006 target of zero fatalities across the network and that accidents per million shipments have decreased by 28%.
Finally, stemming from our belief that sustainable business practices and robust financial results are intertwined, this will be our last standalone Sustainability Report as we are shifting into integrated reporting next year. In the coming year, we will represent our sustainability results and progress in the 2010 Annual Report – further highlighting the inseparable role of sustainability in our operations, performance, and strategic direction. Aramex self-declared this report as GRI Level A, and following a third party audit, we have maintained our reporting performance by achieving an independent rating of A+. As signatories to the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), we are pleased to share this report on our efforts and achievements in 2009 as part of an ongoing dialogue about how to achieve and sustain outstanding performance while ensuring that our people, our clients and our communities remain the main beneficiaries of our success.
Founder and CEO of Aramex