BGreen Magazine » News The Middle East's only business magazine dedicated to environmental issues and sustainability Tue, 08 Oct 2013 11:40:18 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Sustainable lighting service now available in the UAE Tue, 08 Oct 2013 11:40:18 +0000 Lorraine It is estimated that lighting consumes 20% of overall electricity worldwide and up to 75% of that can be reduced by switching to efficient lighting (LED).
Today, GE Lighting and The Change Initiative announced a joint venture initiative to promote energy-efficient lighting across residences and commercial establishments in the UAE. The joint initiative will drive a ‘direct to home’ service that makes it extremely easy for UAE residents – both residential and commercial – to access sustainable and aesthetic LED lighting products.

The joint initiative aims to service at least 7,000 households with efficient lighting systems through the ‘direct to home’ service.

GE Lighting will offer LED lighting solutions through direct to home service which will be facilitated by The Change Initiative. The direct to home service currently offers range of sustainable solutions like ECOVER home cleaning solutions, accessories, services like indoor air quality measurement and other energy saving solutions for homes.

Savings from lighting has been identified as the most immediate and cost effective method to immediately reduce the carbon footprint around the globe by UNEP (enlighten programme).

George Bou Mitri from GE said: “With the Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy targeting a reduction in energy use by 30% by 2030 and Abu Dhabi targeting 7% renewable energy generation capacity by 2020, the nation has demonstrated its strong focus to strengthen environmental sustainability. Our new initiative plans to effectively reach both residential and commercial end-users in retro-fitting existing buildings with energy efficient LED solutions.”

GE is showcasing its advanced and innovative LED solutions for residential, retail, hospitality, commercial and outdoors at Light ME.




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Leadership in HSE Tue, 08 Oct 2013 07:51:11 +0000 Lorraine Asian countries are emerging as the fastest growing economies. The soon-to-be drivers of energy demands have started to focus on Health Safety and Environment (HSE) as a top priority. Leaders across the oil and gas industry gathered at the Global HSE Conference this year to discuss the paradigm shift, and how to transform business processes which would be both safe and sustainable. Lorraine Bangera writes

The Global HSE Conference 2013 concluded on September 27, with a focus on process safety, emergency response and emerging technologies in health, safety and environment. The two-day conference held in New Delhi was based around the combined theme of ‘Collaborate, Lead and Tranform’. The global conference was organised by Cairn India, Oil Industry Safety Directorate (OISD), and Government of India. Global and regional professionals, along with regulators, industry leaders, think-tanks and policymakers gathered at the event, to share best practices and exchange ideas for improving HSE culture.
Speaking at the conference about the role of each employee, M.M. Murugappan, vice chairman of Murugappa Corporate Board said: “There is a Sanskrit saying ‘yatha raja tatha praja’ which means ‘as is the king so are his subjects’. Leaders of any organisation need to recognise the critical need of HSE and must cherish it. The employee must be valued and he too must adhere to the value system of the institution.” In the oil and gas industry the safety of the workforce has long been an issue of concern thanks to the extreme conditions in which oil is often extracted. But as the industry has progressed, more measures have been introduced.
Claire Forbes, director of Response Consultants said: “Over the last 25 years we have learnt a lot since Piper Alpha [the 1988 oil rig fire in the North Sea]. One of the main problems was how employees were not able to communicate with their families. They also did not know enough information and no one talked to them. That has changed, in fact we have improved dramatically in the past 25 years. There were 106 recommendations that came out of the Alpha, and all 106 recommendations are now in place.”
Suggesting further changes, Susan Mackenzie, head of energy division, Hazardous Installations Directorate – UK, recommends eliminating major hazard risks at the design phase. She said: “Engagement with contractors about the plant, equipment and services supplied must happen before beginning the activity. Because that point is ideal to eliminate some of the hazards rather than just control them.”

Role of leadership
Teresa Budworth, chief executive at Nebosh-UK, said: “I think leadership at every level of an organisation but particularly at the very top is absolutely very essential to achieving good health, safety and environmental performance. However, it is not the only factor, it is important to have competent health and safety advisors in a company. It is also essential to engage with the workforce, and developing leaders in health and safety and sustainability within many levels of the organisation. “Speaking as a leader of an organisation; as a leader you set the agenda. And to a large extent you set the values to an organisation. If you make health and safety a core value, it tends to permeate through to the whole organisation.”

Oil and gas industry
“One of the great things in the oil and gas industry is its global and mature,” said Les Linklater, team leader at the Step Change in Safety – UK. “And we have learnt where we have got control.” “Commitment should be to learn those lessons and apply them every day. Demonstrate it is a good industry to work in and that we are capable of learning. “We are putting people at risk in a hazardous environment and as long as we are having accidents and fatalities, there is more to do. We need to look at the learning lessons, for example even the lessons learnt from Alpha 25 years ago are still relevant today,” he added.
Conferences play a major role in presenting learning lessons. Linklater said: “Society expects us to look after the people, and that is an absolute clear societal expectation. So when we are here at these conferences we need to use our time really well to listen to what’s happening in the world. Nobody has the absolute perfect solution in the world. Whether it is the US, UK, India or Australia, we have to come together to listen to each other. Because what we might find working well in one place, might work well or even better in another place. “Then we can take these lessons and implement them in our own organisations. We need to know we are in it together, it’s a global industry, and safety actually drives the industry forward. Good safety is good business.”

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GEMS students lend a helping hand Mon, 07 Oct 2013 12:01:13 +0000 Lorraine 58000 GEMS students across the globe celebrated ‘Sewa Day’ on October 6.

With environmental, charitable and community orientated events planned throughout schools over the next three months, the students will take part in 115 activities before the end of the year.

Sewa is a universal concept which involves serving the community without any rewards. The students have and will continue to volunteer for activities including recycling and clean-up drives, buddy programmes with groups supporting special needs children, tree planting, and food distribution.

A wide range of activities across the GEMS network is organised to celebrate the services. Students aged from 3 to 17 years are encouraged to think about their local community.


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DEWA collaborates with SAP Mon, 07 Oct 2013 10:51:14 +0000 Lorraine Collaboration between Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) and SAP will help the government organisation in implementing the SAP’s Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) programme. With more than 40 years of experience and nearly 50,000 customers, SAP’s ERP software is built to support the organisations. The leverage role-based access to critical data, applications, and analytical tools helps streamline processes across procurement, manufacturing, service, sales, finance, and HR. SAP aims to measure, integrate and automate all internal operations of DEWA and link them with the outputs of the Strategic Plan.

“Through this programme, DEWA aims to integrate its overall operations to provide specifications, flexibility, integrated reports, monitor operational works, and timely information that support taking the right decision,” said Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, CEO of DEWA.

During the delegation, various subjects were discussed including the activation of the new ‘Governance’ Model, and the participation of SAP MENA in the Water, Energy, Technology, and Environment Exhibition (WETEX) 2014.

The meeting also highlighted DEWA implementing the Smart Government initiative, and transforming to the smart grid.



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Exhibitors thrown out of Future Green show Mon, 07 Oct 2013 06:22:48 +0000 Lorraine Thirty five exhibitors at the two-day Future Green show in Dubai Marina Mall were thrown out just two hours after the opening because their stands were untidy.

Shocked exhibitors say they were given just 30 minutes to clear their stalls from the mall after the new manager allegedly said it looked like a “car boot sale”.

But mall bosses say the stalls were not set up as required and there were safety considerations, which meant there was no alternative but to close the widely advertised event down.

Since 2011 Goumbook has held the Future Green exhibition in Dubai Marina Mall attracting around 4,000 people and this year’s two-day event opened last Thursday (Oct 3).

Tatiana Antonelli Abella is founder of Goumbook, an online green platform dedicated to eco-awareness in the UAE and GCC. It was behind the Give a Chaf scheme, which was backed by local companies to encourage more planting of the indigenous tree.

In an open letter on Gounmbook’s website she said: “Going green is not a tagline or a marketing strategy for businesses and governments: it’s about making sure we will all have enough water, food, health and energy in the future. It’s a necessary choice that will enable that future.

“In 2010 Goumbook launched another initiative, the Future Green event, in partnership with TECOM Investments and the EN Park Free Zone. The event was a success and in 2011 it was moved to a public location to allow more foot-fall: Dubai Marina Mall invited us to host Future Green 2011- 2012 and 2013 in their premises, part of their CSR agenda. This event has become an important date for small enterprises and young entrepreneurs of the Green Economy to launch their activities and meet the public and consumers.

“All these amazing initiatives have run for the past four years with great success. Through Goumbook we were able to work with many entities, from local government, to international companies, to NGOs and charities.”

She then explains the reason for the criticism on the organisation’s website saying the new boss at the mall said her show was “car-boot sale looking”.

“The new GM of the Mall, told us that he doesn’t care about our track record or about what was done the previous years in the mall. He made clear that the space given to us has a financial value and that the mall can not tolerate to host an event that resembles a car-boot sale!

“Two hours from the event opening, he sent his team to close the event and send us home! The only alternative he gave was to go outside the mall in the Marina Promenade under the sun at 37 degrees, and far away from his eyes as he could not stand the site of a ‘low quality car boot sale’ as he called the event.

Exhibitors had 30 minutes to pack and leave! He sent a team to remove the tables and chairs without even giving us the time to explain the situation to the exhibitors, who felt abused and mistreated. He did all this in front of all the people who came to visit us at the mall, in the middle of the day.”

She said that half the exhibitors were local companies including Emirati-owned companies and “government agencies such as the EWS-WWF”. More than 50% of the exhibitors were local companies, some owned by UAE Nationals. She also says that safety, as mentioned in subsequent press articles was never mentioned and that Emaar has always shown huge support for green initiatives and believes the way they were treated amounts to bullying.

A spokesperson for the mall told BGreen: “Dubai Marina Mall is a committed partner in Dubai’s sustainable development initiatives, and continues to set environment-friendly benchmarks relating to mall operations.

“In addition to 70% of the mall’s common areas depending on natural daylight when possible, and LED lighting being installed in all common areas, the mall uses 100% environmentally friendly cleaning products and uses only grey water is used for irrigation and landscaping. A roof garden has also been built to reduce heat transmission and improve absorption; and the windows have been tinted to reduce heat transmission, in turn lowering cooling costs.

“The mall hosts the Future Green exhibition as part of our commitment to support green awareness initiatives and to extend support to retailers and manufacturers of environment-friendly products and services. The event has been successfully held in the mall in earlier years, attracting strong crowds.

“Unfortunately, this year, the event set-up was not as per approved specifications. There were also safety considerations which were not met. The management therefore had to take appropriate action to ensure the smooth operations of the mall.”

Read the full content of the letter here.

Read our original story :

From toxic free wax candles to sustainable abayas – Dubai’s green scene takes residence of Dubai Marina Mall…


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DEWA’s green vision Sun, 06 Oct 2013 11:18:19 +0000 Lorraine HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD and CEO of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) confirmed that DEWA is working to achieve the UAE Vision 2021 which aims to make the UAE one of the best countries in the world by 2021, and to implement the ‘Green Economy for Sustainable Development’ initiative. DEWA aims to consolidate the foundations of sustainable development by facilitating and supporting various initiatives to promote green technologies, to increase energy efficiency, encourage conservation of natural resources, and reduce carbon footprint, one of the hallmarks of the shift to a green economy.

Al Tayer was addressing a conference organised by the French Business Council in Dubai and Northern Emirates (FBC). The event was held at DEWA’s Sustainable Building in Al Quoz, the largest sustainable government building in the world. The conference addressed a number of key topics including green buildings, energy efficiency and sustainability, and water desalination technologies.

Al Tayer said: “DEWA supports a wide variety of initiatives to enhance sustainable solutions. This also complements the Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030, which aims to reduce energy consumption by 30% by 2030, through the adoption of energy efficiency initiatives. The implementation of this strategy will strengthen Dubai’s leading position in energy security, and efficiency, and support a green economy and sustainable development, which emerges from the clear vision of the government.

“DEWA has also achieved significant savings in energy consumption, by adopting environmentally friendly technology in the production of electricity and water, as well as launching a number of initiatives that have contributed to the high rates of savings in the consumption of electricity and water to save resources for a better tomorrow.”

“In line with the Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030, DEWA has succeeded in raising the efficiency of our plants by 26% from 2006 to 2012, and increased production capacity by 450 MW without using more fuel, by using successfully tested technologies in exchange for a minimal cost compared to the costs involved in installing new plants. In terms of green buildings, we work in cooperation with the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, and a number of private sector companies to retrofit over 30,000 buildings in the Emirate of Dubai to make them more sustainable. The two-phase project, at a cost of AED10 billion, as the adoption of green building standards in Dubai, will become mandatory starting the beginning of 2014,” concluded Al Tayer.


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GE prepares oil & gas industry careers at MEPEC 2013 Sun, 06 Oct 2013 09:44:09 +0000 Lorraine GE highlighted the importance of nurturing youth talent for the oil & gas industry through special sessions organised for university students at the Student Program being held as part of the Middle East Process Engineering Conference & Exhibition (MEPEC) 2013 at the Bahrain International Exhibition & Convention Centre from September 29 to October 2, 2013.

The sole sponsor of the program, GE also introduced the Young Engineering Panel (YEP!) discussion, which was launched last year in the UAE, to engage young engineers in a productive and thoughtful discussion on career opportunities in the oil & gas sector.

Additionally, GE’s Global Talent Recruitment team engaged students on a wide range of topics including career navigation, power networking, how to impress your recruiter, your personal brand and social media.

The Student Program was inaugurated by Rami Qasem, President and CEO of GE Oil & Gas for the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey (MENAT) region, who shared his industry experience with the participants.

He said: “Sponsoring the Student Program and introducing the Young Engineers Panel are a testament to GE’s commitment to the Middle East region to support the creation of a large talent pool of professionals locally for the process engineering industry. It is important that we create the future generation of business and technology leaders for the oil & gas industry. GE will work with governments, our business partners and academic institutions to strengthen knowledge transfer to the student community, and potentially create rewarding career opportunities.”

A Deloitte survey in 2012 reported that oil & gas executives in the region feel there is a looming talent shortage in several areas of the industry including operations, IT, risk and regulatory functions and R&D. They observed that human capital management is of primary importance for the region, which is reflected in GE’s focus on training, guiding and supporting technically qualified students for the oil & gas industry.

]]> 0 From toxic free wax candles to sustainable abayas – Dubai’s green scene takes residence of Dubai Marina Mall Thu, 03 Oct 2013 11:21:52 +0000 Lorraine A celebration of sustainability is currently taking place in Dubai Marina Mall with more than 35 exhibitors throughout region showcasing household appliances as well as arts and crafts all with one objective, to supply the consumers of Dubai with eco-friendly alternatives.

Future Green show, in association with Goumbook, put on the festival to highlight how consumers can purchase responsibly without jeopardising quality and to educate individuals about alternatives on the market.

Highlights of the event so far have been the attractive organic chemical free skin care as well as the initiative to support native endangered trees in the UAE. Suppliers at the event are also more than happy to explain why their product is sustainable, with genuine passion, which can only increase the success of this event.

With marketing on Dubai’s radio waves, as well as a fantastic location, this show represents how important the region considers sustainability: a core pillar to Dubai’s expo 2020 bid.

The event runs from October 3-4, and is not a one off. Founder of Future Green and Goumbook Tatiana Abella has committed to further shows throughout the UAE over the next 12 months as well as a directory of green products available through their website.



The Future Green show was cancelled two hours after opening as it did not meet mall standards.
Read full story here :

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Availon wins full maintenance contract for Vattenfall’s wind farm Thu, 03 Oct 2013 05:08:40 +0000 Lorraine Availon, a leading wind farm service provider, announced today that it was awarded a complete maintenance contract for Vattenfall’s 12MW Jänschwalde wind farm, located near Cottbus in the German federal state of Brandenburg.

Availon was already in charge of maintaining three of the turbines since 2012, and it has now taken over the responsibility for all of the wind farm’s 2MW Vestas V90 turbines, through a full maintenance service agreement known as WindKeeper Complete. In addition to comprehensive maintenance services and the provision of numerous upgrades, the WindKeeper Complete maintenance package developed by Availon also includes the replacement of major components, and an availability guarantee.

“We have worked with Vattenfall on this project since 2012. The partnership resulted in great success, and we are very pleased that Vattenfall has decided to hand us over the responsibility for servicing their entire 12 MW wind farm”, commented Markus Spitzer, Managing Director of Availon.

Since its founding in 2007, today’s Availon GmbH has established itself as a leading provider of multi-brand wind turbine services. In addition to focussing on its core market of Germany, the company is also steadily expanding its global strategic position. This Rheine-based company currently employs a workforce of around 290 employees in Germany, Spain, Italy and the US. Availon GmbH looks after more than 1,800 MW on an international level. Its proactive, all-inclusive service for wind turbines covers the entire operational value creation chain, ranging from remote monitoring, maintenance and spare part supply through to troubleshooting and turbine optimization. Availon GmbH is the first independent wind turbine service provider which has been fully certified by Germanischer Lloyd for all processes required for service provision.


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Leadership is top priority for business sustainability says new study Wed, 02 Oct 2013 06:34:43 +0000 Lorraine Sustainability endeavors continue despite the economic downturn, but study highlights opportunities to further embed them throughout organizations and business strategies

  • Senior leadership engagement is the most frequently (44%) cited factor in determining the success of companies’ sustainability strategies over the next three years
  • Leading companies need to advocate sustainability benefits to encourage adoption by the wider business community
  • Challenges still exist with perceived high costs and lack of belief in rate of returns

Senior leadership is regarded as the most critical driver of sustainability within a business and nearly half of businesses (44%) believe engagement with business leaders will be the most important factor in successfully implementing a sustainability strategy over the next three years.

At board level, 28% have periodic meetings addressing sustainability, but only 18% of companies have directors who assess the success of sustainability initiatives.

These are the findings of Sustainability Insights: Learning from Business Leaders by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). The research, based on a survey of more than 300 European business executives explores how businesses’ sustainability strategies have performed in recent years and identifies the key drivers for future success.

“Despite the challenging economic environment, companies have largely stayed with their sustainability goals. What we are seeing now is a real shift to mainstream sustainability-related initiatives in Europe. Companies are learning how to better integrate this into their businesses profitably. There is still a lot of room to improve but this is a profoundly positive change,” said Brian Gardner, senior editor at the Economist Intelligence Unit.

More Compelling Business Case for Sustainability Required

The research identifies the need to build a stronger business case to convince the wider European business community of the value of putting sustainability at the heart of its operations. While 52% of companies have been able to maintain their sustainability agenda despite the economic downturn, almost half (44%) of respondents report that the biggest barrier to implementing a sustainability strategy is perceived high costs, coupled with a lack of belief in rates of return.

For those companies that recognise the value of sustainability, the benefits they cite include differentiation from competitors (32%) and enhanced stakeholder engagement (29%). While only one in five (21%) cite boosted profits as a key benefit of their sustainability endeavours.

Innovation, Collaboration, and Technology are Critical

Sustainability Insights: Learning from Business Leaders explored innovation, collaboration and technology as important components of the disruptive approaches needed to drive the next era of sustainable business. This is essential if organizations are to achieve the breakthroughs needed to accelerate progress towards improved sustainability.

Leading companies are increasingly turning to collaboration to maximize resources and intelligence. Nearly a third of businesses (32%) now work with competitors to seek out ideas for sustainability innovation, and a similar number (27%) work with NGOs and civil society. Over the next three years, businesses say that partnerships will be important contributors to driving sustainability success.

More than a quarter of companies (28%) believe technological innovation will also drive the success of their sustainability strategy in the next three years. Additionally, 61% say that technological developments contribute to sustainability-related innovations, and 41% say they’ve successfully harnessed technology to improve their environmental impact.

“We are proud of the progress we have made on our own sustainability journey, but the next era of sustainable business will be led by more meaningful collaboration. Working with government and society, we all need to identify the innovations that will address the significant societal and environmental issues of our time,” said John F. Brock, chairman and chief executive officer at Coca-Cola Enterprises, which commissioned the EIU report.

Sustainability Insights: Learning from Business Leaders was launched at the Sustainability Innovation Summit yesterday (October 1, 2013)





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