Sasol is an international integrated chemicals and energy company that leverages technologies and the expertise of its 30 000 people working in 33 countries. Established in South Africa in 1950, Sasol develops and commercializes technologies, and builds and operates world-scale facilities to produce a range of high-value product streams, including liquid fuels, chemicals and low-carbon electricity.
In Qatar, Sasol is a joint venture partner with Qatar Petroleum in ORYX GTL, the world’s first commercial-scale GTL plant based in Ras Laffan Industrial City; ORYX GTL uses Sasol proprietary gas-to–liquids (GTL) technology to convert natural gas into liquid fuel and chemical products.
Ifpinfo had the following interview with Jack Saba, GM Public Affairs, Sasol Middle East & India.
Q. What are the initiatives you are recognized for? What makes you so good at what you do?
A. Sasol actively supports the four pillars of the Qatar National Vision through social impact community programs supporting the disabled community, the environment, education, health and development across the SME sector. We develop and manage our own initiatives, and aim for long-term, sustainable impact in the communities where we invest.
One of our flagship programs is called “Definitely Able,” and supports awareness and inclusion of the disabled community (www.DefinitelyAble.com). A complement to that program is “Accessible Qatar”, which provides accessibility information of venues for the disabled (www.AccessibleQatar.com). One of our most well-known environmental programs is the “Qatar e-Nature” Application (www.enature.qa). Every year we conduct the “Qatar e-Nature Schools Contest” for all schools in Qatar. In the health sector we created an educational and awareness board game called “The Health Park”, which is targeted toward diabetic children. We believe it is important to develop many sustainable initiatives aimed at supporting the communities where we operate.
Q. What is Accessible Qatar and where did the inspiration for the initiative come from?
A. Accessible Qatar builds on Sasol’s ongoing Definitely Able CSR initiative. The concept for the initiative grew out of an engaging session called “Finding the Accessible Doha” held during the Definitely Able Conference in March 2015, where disabled individuals from around Qatar, the region and the world discussed inclusion for people with disability as full members of society.
Accessible Qatar is a smartphone application and website, the first of its kind in the region providing the disabled community instant and reliable information about the accessibility of public and touristic locations in Qatar. Combining expertly-audited data with user-submitted reviews and ratings, Accessible Qatar gives the disabled community and tourists the confidence to visit different accessible destinations. Moreover, having accessibility information publicly available on Accessible Qatar will encourage venues to make necessary modifications in support of accessibility for all patrons.
Q. Could you provide more explanation about some other Sasol CSR initiatives?
A. Sasol works on a number of noteworthy CSR initiatives which all contribute back to the pillars of the Qatar National Vision 2030:
Qatar e-Nature Sasol developed the app and website in partnership with Friends of the Environment Centre (FEC), to support the objective of Qatar National Vision 2030 to promote sustainable development by contributing towards an environmentally aware population. To increase environmental awareness, we started conducting Qatar e-Nature schools contest for all schools in Qatar on yearly basis since 2014.
Definitely Able Sasol created this signature CSR initiative with the objective to champion the positive benefits of sport, art, music and education in empowering people with disabilities to find their place in society. Under the Definitely Able banner, Sasol held several events such as: Chairs Vs Champs” exhibition match between South Africa’s Wheelchair Basketball Team and Qatar’s able bodied handball team, “Run Like the Wind” race between an Arabian horse and a blade runner, “Souls in Harmony” Concert with the British Para-Orchestra and Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra, “Deﬁnitely Able Conference and ILHAM Art Exhibition” at Museum of Islamic Art, and “Accessible Qatar”. Sasol was able to achieve recognition from several official government and private sector bodies, through attaining accolades and the formation of strategic partnerships.
The Health Park with Salem and Sarah Sasol and Qatar Diabetes Association (QDA) launched a new educational tool, “the Health Park with Salem and Sarah”, developed to support children and families living with type 1 diabetes in Qatar and the region.
Q. What are the major accomplishments you think the company has achieved that is worth noting?
A. Sasol was able to achieve local and international recognition through its various CSR initiatives: a Silver Dolphin from the Cannes Corporate Media & TV Awards for the film, “Voices” that was previewed during the Definitely Able Conference, 2015. Sasol year after year was awarded The CSR Leader award for its outstanding contribution to the local society. Qatar e-Nature won “Best Initiative on CSR in the Energy Sector in Qatar” Award from Dar Al Sharq, a recognition by HE the Qatari Minister of Environment in 2015 for the application’s contribution to preserving the State of Qatar’s environmental resources, and regionally for “Best Mobile-Government Service Award” from the government of Dubai and “Best Arab Government Smart Applications Award” from the government of Kuwait.
Q. What can we expect from the company in the near future?
A. As part of its ongoing commitment in shedding light about Accessibility, Sasol has recently conducted an Accessibility Awareness and Audit Training workshop for officials from the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, Ministry of Public Health, Qatar National Commission for Education, Culture and Science and Qatar Petroleum, in order to showcase the importance of this topic. Moreover, accessibility audit is an on-going task for many sectors aiming at covering as many venues as possible in Accessible Qatar application.
Sasol has partnered with Project Qatar as an accessibility partner in order to further showcase the importance of accessibility; in the aim to promote an inclusive society in line with the Qatar National Vision 2030. Within the exhibition, the Accessible Qatar Conference and Accessible Qatar Awards will be held on 8-9 May 2017, which aims to provide knowledge sharing in order to create awareness and explore importance of accessibility implementation in the various everyday life sectors.
Q. Have you ever participated in an exhibition or any event organized by IFP Group?
A. No, Project Qatar would be the first IFP exhibition that Sasol participates in through Accessible Qatar initiative. We hope that all IFP exhibitions from now onwards will be accessible with the support of Accessible Qatar team.