Colm McLoughlin,  Dubai Duty Free Executive Vice Chairman & CEO
Colm McLoughlin, Dubai Duty Free Executive Vice Chairman & CEO Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai Duty Free’s long-term environmental initiative ‘Plant A Tree, Plant A Legacy’ has been voted Best Sustainable Initiative at the 2024 Asia Pacific Travel Retail Awards, announced online in a virtual ceremony on 13th March, a media release said.

Organised by TR Business, the special regional edition of the acclaimed consumer-voted Travel Retail Awards, includes 17 product-based categories and six CSR initiatives and promotions, mirroring the lineup of the 2023 Global Travel Retail Awards.

In line with its commitment to supporting global actions toward preventing and reversing the degradation of the environment worldwide, Dubai Duty Free launched the ‘Plant a Tree, Plant a Legacy’ initiative in June 2021, with the goal of planting 10,000 trees in the next ten years, according to the company.

Commenting on the award, Dubai Duty Free Executive Vice Chairman & CEO, Colm McLoughlin said, “We are delighted that our environmental initiative “Plant A Tree, Plant A Legacy” has been voted as the Best Sustainable Initiative. This is a testament to our ongoing concern for the environment and our implementation efforts toward a sustainable future. Through extensive tree planting and community engagement, the impact of this long-term initiative is expected to be significant and far-reaching, setting a powerful example for global environmental stewardship.”

“Thank you to all the international travelling shoppers in the Asia Pacific for voting for us,” added McLoughlin.

According to the company, the primary objectives of the long-term initiative are threefold: (1) to combat deforestation by planting and nurturing a diverse range of tree species; (2) to increase awareness among staff and other stakeholders about the value of tree planting; and (3) to promote sustainable development and improve the livelihoods of local communities through ecological restoration.

Various projects have been planned to fulfil this ambitious goal, including the distribution of 250 Microgreens Grow Kits to Dubai Duty Free employees, the creation of ‘DDF Forest’ in 2022, which to date has a total of 1,000 trees planted in the Ecuadorian Amazon Forest, and in 2023, partnering with Dubai Police Academy and the Zayed International Foundation for the Environment for the "UAE 100,000 Tree Planting" initiative, wherein by the end of 2023, an estimated 7,000 trees will be planted under the Dubai Duty Free name.

Now in its fourth year, the Travel Retail Awards: Asia Pacific acts as a true litmus test for brands, suppliers, retailers, and other commercial stakeholders. In addition to the category winners, TRBusiness and m1nd-set also highlight the recipients of the ‘Highly Recommended’ accolade, which recognises those finalists that came within a fraction of the winning score.