The King Abdulaziz Centre for world culture

Aramco recognises that education underlies economic and societal progress, and therefore, it concentrates on building STEM competency in the youth

Saudi Aramco believes in the power of energy to transform lives, lift communities, advance human progress, and sustain the planet. When Aramco put its energy to work, it enables others to seize opportunities that can change the world. The quality of Aramco’s future depends on what it does today.

Aramco recognises that education underlies economic and societal progress, and therefore, it concentrates on building STEM competency in the youth of Saudi Arabia and in communities where it operates internationally. Through Aramco’s many community outreach programmes in Saudi Arabia, it strives to facilitate the successful growth of sustainable micro industries that give people the tools to improve the economic future of their families and their communities.

Through targeted donations, Aramco helps enable those most in need to attain their full potential. Domestically, the kingdom is home to a diversity of unique and ecologically sensitive habitats that require careful stewardship. Internationally, Aramco’s offices and operations are located in a variety of environments. The protection and preservation of the natural environment for future generations is vital to Aramco’s success, and to the continued quality of life for all.

Accelerating human potential in the kingdom Aramco’s ability to maximise value from the kingdom’s resource base is dependent upon developing the next generation of highly skilled workers. Aramco’s efforts to boost STEM competency in youth spark imaginative and analytical thinking that may one day help it resolve some of the world’s most pressing energy challenges.


The company’s flagship citizenship initiative, the King Abdulaziz Centre for World Culture, is positioned to make a tangible, positive impact on the kingdom’s future by inspiring a passion for knowledge, creativity, and cross-cultural engagement. The Centre, and the renovated Energy Exhibit, opened in the second half of 2017 and drew more than 44,000 visitors to cultural and educational exhibits and programmes.

During the year, the Centre continued to implement programmes that enriched knowledge and creativity across the kingdom. Examples of such programmes include iSpark, a touring programme that delivered scientific, technological, and engineering content to schools in communities along the southern borders of the kingdom, and iDiscover, an educational programme that provided new interactive math and science instruction techniques to teachers.

Aramco’s digital fabrication laboratory, FABLABDhahran, guided a project team of 40 participants to design and fabricate a Newtonian Reflector Telescope. Reflective of its commitment to help preserve and promote the kingdom’s heritage, and in collaboration with the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage, Aramco sponsored the "Roads of Arabia" exhibition tour of China and South Korea.

The exhibition, which showcases the kingdom as a global crossroads, was on display for three months in Beijing and Seoul, drawing more than 40,000 and 120,000 visitors, respectively. The international "Bridges Art Programme," comprised a series of impactful cultural engagements to embrace common values and positively shape wider relationships, continued to offer compelling cultural events in 2017.

More than 50 Saudi artists participated in nine exhibitions, including shows at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Brooklyn Museum, drawing more than 320,000 visitors.


Around the world, supporting the communities in which Aramco operates is fundamental to its success and part of its commitment as a sustainable business. Wherever Aramco works, it strives to link its support for the needs and priorities of local communities with its strategic objectives and competencies. Aramco’s chosen areas where it can best leverage its expertise and create long-term mutual value are in STEM education, youth development, culture, and
 social welfare.

An young innovator at Fablab

Examples of how and where Aramco sought to make a positive difference in 2017 include:

North America, The Houston Museum of Natural Science: Ongoing support for the renovation and expansion of the Wiess Energy Hall in the heart of the energy capital of North America. The museum draws more than 2 million visitors each year. Michigan Science Centre (MiSC): With a mission to inspire curious minds of all ages to discover, explore, and appreciate STEM learning, Aramco supported MiSC with the addition of a new energy module to their "Energy on the Move" traveling exhibit, which reaches more than 300,000 people annually.

Europe, The Netherlands – Maastricht University: Established support for a Ph.D. programme focused on sustainable approaches for bio-based materials, including biomass and bioenergy.

United kingdom – the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies (OIES): The Saudi Aramco Fellowship helps support a total of seven Ph.D. fellows in the field of energy studies.

Asia, South Korea: Provided assistance for the design and construction work for a renewable energy themed playground at the Seoul Energy Dream Centre, a museum and educational complex. Japan: Backed research and development activities, including CO2 capture and storage, by the Kyoto-based Research Institute of Innovative Technology for the Earth.

Other countries: Open to students in China, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, and the Philippines, the "Aramco-Enactus Innovative Challenge" inspired students to develop innovative solutions that address issues related to environmental sustainability and energy efficiency in their communities.


Enhancing sustainable practices Aramco aspires to make a positive and lasting difference by equipping the people in its local communities with the skills, resources, and know-how to create self-sustaining enterprises. Aramco endeavours to support programmes that draw upon local resources and traditional crafts. For example, Aramco continued its support to enhance the development of the beekeeping and honey industry in Al Baha, including training 500 beekeepers, planting 50,000 seedlings to support honey production, and fulfilling ISO certification requirements for the research and training centre it previously established.

Similarly, Aramco is assisting coffee farmers in the Jazan region, home to its refinery and terminal project. Aramco provided training in cultivation and production for 560 farmers and enhanced infrastructure at 76 farms. Additional community programmes targeted to create greater economic opportunities and instill sustainable practices include:

• Benefiting 50 families in Al Jawf through an olive tree seedlings plantation project;

• Helping 50 fishermen with skills training and new fishing boats in the Red Sea coastal area near Yanbu;

• A sewing centre for hearing impaired women in Dammam and a women’s sewing centre in Qassim, which combined, are providing economic advancement opportunities for 170 women;

• Aramco renovated and equipped a Braille printer maintenance centre in Madinah and trained 100 vision impaired people in the craft; and

• The "Made in Makkah" programme strives to boost localisation of the Hajj and Umrah souvenirs market.

Aramco trained 60 women and conducted a market study to direct production to capture more of the demand from the 10 million people who visit the region every year.


As part of Aramco’s commitment to support communities at home, Aramco identifies populations in need where it can make an immediate and positive impact. Aramco’s "I Want to Hear" campaign, which completed its second consecutive year in 2017, is one such programme. Thousands of employees donated to Aramco’s programme to provide 1,000 hearing aids for people, including hearing assessments and the fitting of the hearing aids.

In addition to supporting communities in Saudi Arabia, Aramco seeks to contribute meaningful assistance to the communities that host its offices and operations around the world. Aramco’s efforts include support for a wide range of citizenship activities, including disaster relief, literacy and STEM skills development, and volunteer work by its employees for charitable causes.

Nurseries for growing olive trees initiative

North America: Aramco’s Houston subsidiary is home to Aramco’s North American office and a number of Aramco’s affiliates. After the devastating impact of Hurricane Harvey on the city, Aramco assisted with relief efforts, with scores of Aramco’s employees participating in community volunteer activities. This included helping organise and pack 300,000 meals for at-risk families and contributing to a Habitat for Humanity project to rebuild 176 homes.

For the 13th time, Aramco’s Houston office served as the title sponsor of the Houston Half Marathon, part of the Houston Marathon Weekend. Hundreds of Aramco’s employees participated as runners or volunteers for the event, which drew 33,000 participants from 42 countries and raised millions of dollars for local charities.

Europe: In The Hague, Netherlands, Aramco launched the first ever Aramco Beach Run. With over 1,500 participants, the event raised funds for the Juliana Children’s Hospital, one of the country’s leading pediatric hospitals. In the UK, Aramco’s employees participated in a cleanup of London’s canal network and supported one of the city’s food banks.

Asia: Through Aramco’s Aramco Scholarship Programme, and in partnership with the charity Community Chest of Korea, Aramco supported 86 disabled university students majoring in science and engineering disciplines. Aramco’s Singapore office partnered with Habitat for Humanity to support impoverished families in nearby Batam, Indonesia. Through the Batam Build Project, over 2016 and 2017, Aramco built 33 houses able to withstand monsoons.

Promoting biodiversity in the kingdom In Saudi Arabia, Aramco is acutely aware that the kingdom is home to a wide variety of unique and ecologically sensitive habitats that require careful stewardship. With Aramco’s operations spanning the breadth of the kingdom’s environmental zones, the protection and preservation of Aramco’s natural environment for future generations is of vital importance. Aramco’s activities strive to better understand ecosystems, and to promote and protect biodiversity through educational programmes and positive interventions.

The maintenance centre for Braille printers

Monitoring and understanding Aramco’s environment it continued to monitor marine environments in 2017. In partnership with KFUPM and Kaust, Aramco sustained its programme to assess the state of the marine and coastal environments in the Arabian Gulf and develop baseline environmental data for the Red Sea. With the same partners, Aramco also completed a blue carbon study (blue carbon is the carbon stored and sequestered in coastal ecosystems) to estimate carbon sequestration in company biodiversity areas.

The study highlighted that areas such as the Ras Tanura Mangrove Eco-Park and Abu Ali Island are able to store approximately 1.7 million tonnes of CO2 over the lifetime of the mangroves. Aramco reviewed the final report of findings related to the monitoring of the more than 700 artificial reef modules it deployed in the Arabian Gulf. Additional reefs will be deployed depending on the success rate of coral growth.


Launched in 2007, Aramco’s Environmental Education Programme gives students the tools and understanding to protect the environment and helps build a sense of accountability for their communities. In partnership with the Ministry of Education, this programme assists school teachers to develop "Friends of the Environment" clubs. Young people share their newfound skills with their peers in various environmental projects such as flower and tree planting, recycling, conservation, and schoolyard cleaning.

The ‘I want to hear’ campaign

Since the programme’s inception, it has grown to include 1,836 schools and a total of 1,293 Friends of the Environment clubs. For people of all ages, Aramco’s Environmental Protection organisation developed a new field guide highlighting the remarkable biodiversity of Dhahran, the site of Aramco’s corporate head office. The richly illustrated guide is designed to inspire employees and community residents to better understand the wealth of biodiversity in their local area and raise environmental awareness.

Aramco’s mangrove plantation initiative to restore lost mangrove habitats in the kingdom’s Eastern Province coastal areas is on track to plant two million mangrove seedlings by the end of 2018. In addition, the Mangrove Eco-Park project, currently in the construction stage, intends to preserve ecologically sensitive habitats and raise public awareness of the role mangroves play in providing a habitat for bird and animal species, and as significant carbon sinks.

One of the world’s true wildernesses, the Rub’ Al Khali hosts numerous native reptile and mammal species, along with an estimated 180 bird species. By establishing the Shaybah Wildlife Sanctuary near Aramco’s facilities, Aramco is helping to preserve this unique ecosystem and protect in situ species. In addition, in partnership with the Saudi Wildlife Authority, Aramco has reintroduced three iconic species that had disappeared from the area: The Arabian oryx, the Arabian sand gazelle, and the ostrich. Aramco is also developing a research station to support national and international researchers to study biodiversity in the Rub’ Al Khali to help Aramco better understand and manage this vast landscape, along with a visitor’s centre to help inspire and inform.

Although it is headquartered in Saudi Arabia, Aramco’s commitment to biodiversity extends to the communities that are home to Aramco’s global offices and operations. In collaboration with academic and research institutions and other organisations, Aramco continues to conduct initiatives that help protect the biodiversity of land, sea, and coastal ecosystems.

These efforts include a groundbreaking initiative, SI Move, which follows various species of terrestrial, avian, and marine animals with satellite tracking devices to improve their understanding.

Related Stories