3 Jordanian companies leading the way to a greener future

3 Jordanian companies leading the way to a greener future

In today's world, where environmental challenges are more critical than ever, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) play a crucial role in embracing sustainability practices. At Bank al Etihad, we value and celebrate businesses that not only excel in their industries but also lead the way towards a greener future.

That's why we launched our 2023 SME Awards under the theme of "Our Green Future." Although we typically hold our SME Awards annually, our 2023 edition was postponed due to the ongoing events in Palestine. However, to ensure fairness to all applicants, we organised a private event to announce the winner.

With this theme, we aimed to highlight companies committed to implementing environmental solutions or adopting green transition measures in their operations to maintain resources for future generations. Of more than 80 applications, 3 companies made it to the final round. These companies are Clara Water, Attayebat Company for Food Industry, and the Jordanian Company for Carton Industry. 

In this article, we'll take you through how each company is paving the path to a greener future. 

Clara Water

Clara Water was established in 2017 to address Jordan's single-use plastic waste problem and to fill a gap left by some of the biggest multinational water companies that have a presence in the country. Despite possessing the know-how and technologies to produce greener alternatives, these companies continue to use plastic.

In contrast, Clara Water delivers water in reusable glass bottles of various sizes.

The company’s water comes from Um Al Basateen, a water source in Jordan. While it currently only offers still water, it plans to introduce sparkling and alkaline water soon. 

What's inspiring about the company isn't just its impactful mission but also its rapid growth. Clara Water founder Mesha'l Batayneh explains: "When the company was founded, we set a target to reach 1,000 customers in the first 12 months. We were able to achieve that target within 4." 

Since then, demand for the company’s products has grown, and it has become a supplier of water in reusable glass bottles across Jordan's hospitality industry. From Amman to the Dead Sea, Petra, and beyond, many hotels and restaurants choose Clara Water's products for their guests.

Beyond its main offering, the company provides a pick-up service to collect customers' bottles to clean and disinfect them for reuse. It has also partnered with a waste management solutions provider to retrieve bottles from hotels and restaurants. Even if the glass retrieved is broken, this poses no issues as it will be broken down further and shipped to the company's glass manufacturer to be recycled back into bottles.

Furthermore, Clara Water has implemented several green transition measures internally. The company prides itself on its energy efficiency. It also has a greywater system in place, extending to different parts of its building. 

As for the company's social pillar, Clara Water is an employer that believes in equal pay and provides working mothers with the option to work from home. The company also has its own minimum wage, 35% higher than the official government minimum, and provides transportation to its employees.

Attayebat Company for Food Industry (Referred to as Attayebat hereafter)

Attayebat was born from Zuhair Al Qasrawi's dream to build a factory in Palestine producing chips with a distinct Palestinian flavour. The journey was challenging, especially due to the need to import raw materials from foreign countries into a region with a delicate political and economic landscape. However, despite these hurdles, Attayebat became a reality in 2011 under the leadership of Zuhair's son, Dawoud.

One of the main reasons the Qasrawi family was driven to establish Attayebat is their belief in the importance of exporting products with an Arab identity. But what exactly does the company make? Snack pellets! You know, those bite-sized, crisp snacks that are perfect when friends come over to play card games or Jackaroo. Attayebat crafts its snack pellets from a blend of ingredients: potatoes, corn, legumes, and wheat, with a plan to replace wheat with barley in the near future.  

After obtaining the FSSC 22000 certification, Attayebat signed an agreement with a prominent global food company. This agreement enabled it to export its products to markets such as Iraq, Palestine, the UK, and Saudi Arabia.

Attayebat's manufacturing process involves 4 steps: mixing, shaping, drying, and packaging. Throughout each step, the company prioritises environmental responsibility. For example, water consumption is minimised during mixing, and high-energy-efficient production lines are used for shaping and drying. Additionally, recycled cartons are used for packaging. To ensure minimal waste, Attayebat reuses excess snack pellet batter in its production line or sells it as animal feed. Furthermore, 90% of the company's electricity needs are met through solar energy.  

Aside from adopting these green transition measures, the company has also introduced several corporate social responsibility efforts, such as creating volunteering opportunities and providing training to individuals interested in specific departments.

Jordanian Company for Carton Industry (JCCI)

In the 1970s, a family farm in Jordan was facing a challenge: packing their poultry and fruit. The patriarch started developing packaging solutions for the farm produce. His son, Majdi Hashlamon, saw the potential to launch this idea into the market. In 1985, JCCI was born, specialising in pulp-moulded egg and fruit trays.

From the start, JCCI focused on sustainability. Circularity had shifted from being a family practice to a principle that shaped the company's mission. Sarah, Majdi's daughter leading JCCI's business development efforts, explains: "Jordan generates around 3 million tons of solid waste annually, yet only 7-10% is recycled. This is why JCCI introduced sustainable alternatives to traditional packaging materials, to address Jordan's waste problem."

In addition to its recycled trays, the company also manufactures corrugated cardboard packaging, which is 100% recyclable. To source materials, JCCI collaborates with local factories, printing presses, and government entities to convert their paper waste into new, sustainable products, contributing to a circular economy.

JCCI's dedication to sustainability extends to its operations. Adopting a solar policy, the company now operates entirely on solar energy. Retrofit measures were implemented to upgrade machinery, resulting in significant annual savings. JCCI converts over 400 tons of paper waste into sustainable products every month, while all waste generated from their operations is reused in the manufacturing process.

Furthermore, JCCI employs heat recovery technology and a water recycling system to treat wastewater generated during operations and make it reusable. Measures such as installing double-glazed windows, thermal insulation, and switching to LED lights further demonstrate JCCI's commitment to sustainable practices.

Beyond these green measures, JCCI aims to positively impact the community by hiring locally, providing transportation for employees, and developing an educational program to raise awareness about recycling and circularity in schools across Jordan.

JCCI's comprehensive approach to sustainability led to its win at our 2023 SME Awards after a panel of independent judges picked it. As the winner, it was awarded 50,000 JOD, and with the cash prize, the company has outlined a strategic allocation plan: 30% towards infrastructure development, 30% towards educational outreach for schools and local communities, and 40% to research and development for innovative technologies aimed towards supporting the circular technology. This forward-thinking approach emphasises JCCI's commitment not only to its own growth but also to the broader goals of environmental sustainability and community engagement.

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