BGreen Magazine » Green business The Middle East's only business magazine dedicated to environmental issues and sustainability Wed, 23 Oct 2013 13:00:36 +0000 en-US hourly 1 MAF launched five-year sustainability strategy Wed, 23 Oct 2013 07:30:23 +0000 Lorraine Yesterday Majid Al Futtaim Properties (MAF) launched its new five-year sustainability strategy, which aims to strengthen the company’s position as a global leader in the field.

The new strategy was announced during Majid Al Futtaim Properties’ third annual Sustainability Summit in Sheraton Hotel Mall of the Emirates, Dubai.

George Kostas, CEO, Majid Al Futtaim Properties, said: “Today MAF is ranked as the leading property company in the Middle East, and according to the 2013 Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB) survey, we rank second in the Asia-Pacific region and in the top 133 property businesses worldwide.”

Presenting Majid Al Futtaim Properties’ new sustainability strategy, Ibrahim Al Zu’bi, Head of Sustainability, said: “It is our vision to enhance people’s lives through sustainable real estate. This commitment is reflected in our approach to issues ranging from labour conditions and health and safety in our developments to supporting local economic development. This is an evolving commitment and we are proud that our commitment thus far has included achievements such as a 17% reduction in water consumption in our malls and a 15% reduction in our hotels.

“In addition, last year we delivered AED 13.3 million in community investment through hosting events in our malls, donating staff time, providing free space to groups and cash contributions.”

Speaking at the event, Nils Kok, Executive Director, GRESB, discussed how the number of companies and funds disclosing information on sustainability performance in 2013 to GRESB increased by nearly a quarter compared to the previous year.

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Qatar could lead sustainable development Sun, 20 Oct 2013 12:00:04 +0000 Lorraine International study commissioned by the UN Global Compact revealed that one in three CEOs are actively seeking to employ circular economy (recycling) models. Qatar is said to be well in sync with global trends.

Dr Daan Elffers, founder of EMG and  advisor with the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute in California, speaks about the business opportunities behind implementing CSR at this level, and the premium circular economy model Cradle to Cradle.

Netherlands, historically, has an excellent reputation for its high public awareness and advanced approach to sustainable development. It is among the first countries in the world to implement Cradle to Cradle and the circular economy on a significant scale.

“Countries such as Qatar, with their strong ambition and unique potential to make a positive contribution to both society and the environment, are in an ideal position to accelerate innovation and take the lead in transforming natural sustainability challenges into their competitive advantage,” said Elffers. “We are looking forward to engaging with Qatari organisations to further streamline these ambitions into tangible results.”

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Sustainability Network expands to over 50 members Sun, 20 Oct 2013 08:00:20 +0000 Lorraine

With a new member, AGL Coca-Cola joining in, the Sustainability Network’s membership has gone up to 51 companies. Two of the members – Tristar and Majid Al Futtaim Properties – who have recently produced Sustainability Reports talk about the challenges and benefits of reporting on their company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) and share their reporting journey in this issue.

As a Sustainability Network member, the Chalhoub Group is featured for its Gift of Giving Campaign during Ramadan when the company distributed 12,000 plus backpacks made of 100% recycled plastic bottles to 6,000 plus underprivileged students in the UAE and region reinforcing the link between education and environmental responsibility.

In its ‘Sustainability Network Interview Series’, the newsletter features Mr. Simon Webb, Managing Director of AF Carillion who talks about his company’s strong commitment to health and safety and its impact on the quality of people’s lives as well as their approach to embedding responsible business practices.

The newsletter covers Engage Dubai’s new community partners including Growing Leaders Foundation (GLF), Skyline University College and Stepping Stones while the Dubai Chamber Sustainability Directory shares the story of a Sustainability Network member (National Bank of Abu Dhabi) and company (BiteRite) working together to deliver healthy meals at the Bank.

Also, the newsletter covers the Climate Change seminar which the Centre for Responsible Business (CRB) organised in collaboration with EWS-WWF and carries an article on Marketplace Leadership in the Dubai Chamber CSR Label framework as well as new case studies from the CSR case study bank. CRB established in 2004 by Dubai Chamber, fosters corporate integrity promoting Dubai as the region’s gateway for global commerce by promoting transparency and rule of law. It is the leading centre of expertise in business ethics and corporate social responsibility in Dubai.

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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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Increasing the sustainability options in the hotel sector Sun, 29 Sep 2013 07:30:56 +0000 Lorraine Sustainability is a key themes at this The Hotel Show Dubai 2013, which opened yesterday at the World Trade Centre.

Among the 560 exhibitors there were some new ideas to help hotels across the region reduce their carbon footprint.

Wooden keycards are the latest addition to the range from Prime Source, the Sharjah-based producers of environmentally friendly paper products in Hall 7, stand F192.

Company representative Mohamed Fahad said: “Keycards are used the world over by hotels and the non-environmentally keycards used by many are easily replaced with these sustainable wooden cards.”

They cost slightly more – around 80fils – but the environmental benefits far outweigh it and allow hotels to demonstrate clearly to their customers they are taking sustainability seriously.

On the Union Paper Mills (UPM) stand in Hall 8, stand E233, a hotel food drying machine was creating a lot of interest allowing hotels to reduce their food waste to dry pellets which can be used as fertilizer or even animal feed.

UPM is the oldest and largest recycling company in the UAE providing integrated waste management solutions using their food waste drying machines.

Sales Nagarajan Jayachndran said: “This machine allows hotels themselves to deal with food waste themselves. We have had a lot of interest and food waste is one of hotels biggest concerns.”

UPN were even displaying a smaller version aimed at individual householders.

In Hall 6 on Stand A152 Al Yousuf GreenTech was showing a range of energy saving solutions from a three-wheeled electric delivery scooter, which allows staff to travel around larger complexes, to a range of flexible solar panels, which can in used along with LED lights for outside illumination.

Business development manager Hassan Al Jayouchi said: “Our company offers total integrated lighting solutions including LED lights, movement sensors and time switches to ensure the most economic use of energy.

“We can visit a business and map its whole energy usage, give a price for the installation of lighting systems and show how quickly it will pay for itself and the future savings.”

The Hotel Show 2013 is running a full three-day conference programme and tomorrow (Monday) there will be two panel discussions
set to draw those interested in reducing the green footprint of their establishment.

At 4pm a session titled ‘Waste Control During the Holy Month’ will talk to hoteliers about how they reduced their food waste during Ramadan and Eid and how this impacted on their bottom line, while meeting CSR targets.

The panel is: Dave Reeder, Editor, ProChef (CHAIR), Uwe Micheel, Director of Kitchens, RADISSON BLU, Sascha Triemer, VP Culinary Atlantis, ATLANTIS,  Harald Oberander, Director of Kitchens, DWTC, Michel Jost, Executive Chef, YAS VICEROY, John Cordeaux, Executive Chef, FAIRMONT THE PALM

At 5.15pn that session is followed by a session ‘Making Hospitality More Sustainable’ where speakers include David Thomson, Chief Operating Officer, JA RESORTS & HOTELS, Sandrine Le Biavant, FARNEK (Green Globe Representative ), Christophe’ Fourment, Hotel Manager, TIME GRAND PLAZA HOTEL, Fredrik  Reinisch, GM.

To find out more about The Hotel Show 2013 in Dubai



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ecoConstruct Expo returns in April Wed, 13 Mar 2013 13:42:10 +0000 Staff reporter ecoConstruct Expo, hosted alongside Cityscape Abu Dhabi, provides an opportunity for the region’s consultants, contractors and architects to source sustainable building/construction solutions, showcase  their eco-friendly building and infrastructure products.

According to lan Robertson, CEO, Jones Lang LaSalle MENA, “The foundations are being laid for a recovery from 2014, with a number of major infrastructure projects scheduled to start later this year. We also expect the real-estate in both Abu Dhabi and Dubai to benefit from increased economic activity between the UAE and East Asia, specifically China and South Korea, as well as sub Saharan Africa and Australia.”

The latest figures from Ventures ONSITE show that the UAE has a number of projects planned, under tender, under construction or on hold, of US$900,953 million.  Similarly, project values for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are US$673,490 million, Qatar US$108,063 million and
Kuwait US$142,924 million.

This outlook sets the platform for Cityscape Abu Dhabi and ecoConstruct Expo 2013, held on 16 -18 April at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.

As one of the world’s leading business-to-business real-estate events, Cityscape’s portfolio of exhibitions, conferences, round tables, seminars, and business breakfast events brings together key industry decision makers, international investors, developers, architects, designers and consultants.

According to recent reports, developers across the region are focusing on the impact of sustainability and green construction concepts on their profits and cost savings targets. Energy audits have shown that energy bills can be reduced by up to 20% through good design and the use of sustainable materials.

Adnan Sharafi Chairman of  Emirates Green Building Council (EGBC) explains, ‘’The construction industry in the region is witnessing robust growth, and emerging from the challenges faced in the last few years, the sector now has a renewed focus on sustainability and quality. Industry stakeholders seek materials and processes that will not only help optimise resource use efficiency, but also contribute to cost and energy savings in the long run. Through our participation at Cityscape Abu Dhabi and ecoConstruct Expo 2013, Emirates Green Building Council is underlining its commitment to promoting best practices in sustainability in the built environment, in line with the green vision for the UAE.”

As steady growth is being witnessed within the industry, this focus on preservation and quality will benefit everyone from the Developer to the end-user.

“Being the region’s leading event focusing on green sustainability, ecoConstruct Expo has a crucial role to play in what is an ever-increasing priority for the building industry,” offered Chris Speller, Commercial Director, Informa. “Together with Cityscape Abu Dhabi, the Expo is perfectly aligned to provide a holistic view of one of the region’s key economic sectors.”


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WETEX Mon, 04 Mar 2013 13:15:08 +0000 Staff reporter Expected to boost the UAE’s chances of winning the bid for hosting the World Expo 2020, WETEX 2013 will demonstrate Dubai’s proven expertise in hosting a world-class event.

Water Technologies, Energy and Environment Exhibition (WETEX 2013), is being held under the directions of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai and under the patronage of HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, UAE Minister of Finance, President of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), and will have an Expo 2020 booth to support the UAE’s efforts to win the bid.

Organised by DEWA, under the umbrella of the Supreme Council of Energy, WETEX 2013 will take place from 15-17 April 2013 at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre (DICEC). The three day show will be held concurrently with the Dubai Global Energy Forum ‘DGEF 2013.’

HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, Vice Chairman of the Supreme Council and Managing Director and CEO of the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) said that preparations for WETEX 2013 are in full underway to have a successful event.

“From its very humble beginnings in 1999, WETEX has now emerged as one of the prominent exhibitions in the world that specialises in electricity, water, energy, environment, green building and oil and gas,” said HE Al Tayer.

Al Tayer added that this leading position for WETEX is a result of earnest efforts made by the organising committee and a dedicated team that has succeeded in attracting national pavilions, international companies, industrial and commercial bodies working in the fields of energy, electricity, water and oil and gas.

WETEX is now a world class event from planning, organisational and internationally involved perspectives: boosting Dubai’s position as a global destination to host major events.


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CSR disaster relief efforts Tue, 26 Feb 2013 08:51:40 +0000 Staff reporter   Has your company been involved with CSR work? You can have a chance to take the Certified Sustainability CSR Practionioner Training for free by sending us a CSR case study of what your company has been doing. From cameras, to printers, to projectors, to broadcast equipment and finally, corporate social responsibility. When it comes to Canon, CSR is one of the important aspects of their company profile.

Being a company branded specifically with technology and new and innovative products, Canon has been heavily involved with CSR work around the world from disaster relief donations, to personal aiding victims to blood donations.

United States

Many of cities in the United States were extensively damaged from Hurricane Sandy. The hurricane was a record setting heavy rainfall and blackout across the United States. In a contribution effort to support recovery efforts, Canon U.S.A donated $100,000 to the affected regions.


In 2011 record breaking heavy rains caused a massive flood in Thailand. Canon Marketing Thailand and Canon Hi-Tech carried out local relief efforts on their own to aid the victims of the flood.

The Canon Marketing Thailand staff prepared and donated 1,000 sets of survival kits containing necessary supplies such as food, water, medicine, lighting equipment and insect repellent. Shortly after, the Canon caravan drove around Ayutthaya, Chainat and other disaster stricken parts of Thailand to distribute the kits.

Similarly, Canon Hi-Tech also prepared supply kits that included food water, daily necessities, and garbage bags among other necessities. These supplies were donated to the flood victims in the Lopburi area.


Heavy rainfall in Pakistan’s northwest region has caused regrettable flooding in Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa resulting in substantial damage in the region and many losses of life. The Canon Group has donated three million yen to the Japanese Red Cross Society and other humanitarian aid organisations to assist in the relief.


Canon Inc has been providing assistance shortly after Haiti was struck with a giant earthquake. The earthquake caused extensive destruction and loss of life. The Canon group has been aiding the relief efforts of the victims with a 20 million Yen (approximately US$220,00) donations to the Japanese Red Cross Society and other humanitarian aid organisations. In addition, donations were also collected from employees and put through to the Japanese Red Cross Society.

Middle East

In cooperation with Sharjah Blood Centre, Canon Middle East regularly donates blood at the Canon office in Dubai.

If you have a story to share about your company’s CSR work please email by 6 March, 2013 . You can have a chance to be nominated on behalf of Bgreen to attend the Certified Sustainability CSR Practitioner training for free!

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Green awareness education Wed, 30 Jan 2013 12:11:49 +0000 Staff reporter Dubai has launched a series of classes in the first 6 months of 2013 to spread green awareness across the region in an effort to build a greener economy.

To create a changing business environment, the capacity building Initiative plans to bring top international practices, and local experts to the UAE to prepare their business staff. The trainings will be delivered by the Dubai Carbon Centre of Excellence (DCCE), part of Dubai energy cluster under the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy (DSCE). Their aim will be towards helping companies operate their energy and carbon strategies in an efficient way.

According to the DCCE, a variety of topics regarding sustainable business practices such as carbon foot print and management, energy and resource efficiency operations and renewable energy will be covered.

“These programmes are designed to practically educate senior managers on legislation and policy that will affect organisations as well as practical tools and methodologies that can be applied across the corporate value chain.” Mr. Waleed Salman, Chairman of the DCCE said.

The courses are endorsed by the Supreme Council of Energy, The International Green Awards, and the EWS-WWF. Delegates will be certified carbon or efficiency managers by the DCCE. The content of the qualification complies with the global standard ISO 14064 and the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol in accordance with the IPCC guidelines and prepares for reporting through the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) and Global Reporting Initiate (GRI).

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WFES 2013 comes to an end Sun, 20 Jan 2013 07:37:11 +0000 Staff reporter Governments and renewable energy companies to undertake more actions the 6th World Future Energy Summit concludes in Abu Dhabi. 

The sixth World Future Energy Summit (WFES), part of Abu Dhabi Sustainability week, concluded on Thursday 17 January. A large number of consumers, government officials and business men from around the world were present along with an increased number of exhibitor. The WFES delivered an exceptional conference and is seen as a global leader in the sustainability and renewable energy industry.

165 speakers led discussions to plan the global future energy agenda for the next ten years, and provided blueprint solutions for the 120 countries that have already set renewable energy targets. The discussion took place at the International Renewable Energy Conference in Abu Dhabi (ADIREC), hosted by the WFES.

Masdar, host of the WFES announced a striving long-term goal to develop large scale commercially viable desalination plants that are fully powered by renewable energy sources by 2020.

ADIREC focused its attention on innovation. The ADIREC programme included sessions on how technology and innovation will shape the future. Panel discussions were held, featuring leading experts in solar energy, wind, geothermal energy, energy storage, innovation and entrepreneurship, sustainable transport and the evolution of hydro power.

While the session rooms quickly filled up, thousands of visitors poured into the exhibition hall at the WFES to see the latest technologies and solutions in areas such as energy efficiency, solar energy and electric transport. A total of 650 companies from 40 countries displayed their merchandise including 70 new product launches. Leah Liu, Marketing and Communication Manager from Sun Tech Limited is amazed with the success of WFES 2013.

“This is our fifth time to participate in WFES and we are keen on continuing to be part of this event.  We believe this is an excellent platform for reaching international companies and networking with potential partners or clients. So far we have been able to link with our trade customers from the UAE, India and Europe,” said Liu.

The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) is another long-time exhibitor at WFES.“Being part of the oil and gas field makes this event a good platform for ADNOC and its companies to present our perspective and experiences on the issues of sustainability. We are keen on fully applying the international and highest standards to achieve safety and security, using environmentally friendly resources, and we have always been keen on being pioneers of green environmentally friendly initiatives,” said Ibrahim Mohamad Al-Marzouqi, Manager, Public Relations for ADNOC.

Naji El Haddad, WFES Show Director for event organiser Reed Exhibitions, is elated with the positive outcomes from this year’s summit.“WFES continues to go from strength to strength as the leading world event for the renewable energy and sustainable industries. With 91 official government delegations at the opening ceremony and increased attendee and exhibitor numbers, WFES’s importance on the future energy calendar has been reinforced,” said El Haddad.


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