Tag Archive | "Abu Dhabi"

EcoWaste 2014 is ‘ready for business’ says organiser

Waste-to-energy is emerging as a viable and practical option as a renewable energy source, particularly in the Gulf region where it is estimated that GCC countries generate 120 million tons of solid waste per year, says the man behind EcoWaste 2014 next month in bu Dhabi.

Several companies from the United Arab Emirates, including Averda Waste Management, Green Mountains and Emirates Environmental Solutions (Mualaja) Holding, have already booked a space to showcase their latest and most innovative technologies. They will be joined by international organizations from Germany, Denmark, Finland, France, Switzerland, Singapore and the United States, such as the ALBA Group, Eldan Recycling, MariMatic Oy and MTB.

In addition, a series of seminars presented by many EcoWASTE exhibitors and partners will serve as a platform for knowledge exchange, networking and business opportunities. Systems for waste collection and sorting, waste treatment infrastructure and innovative solutions for waste management are only some of the topics up for discussion. Seminars are open to all 2,000+ expected visitors during the exhibition open days.

Last, but certainly not least, EcoWASTE has many activities planned to engage our youth. We have set aside a whole area dedicated entirely for students, where they will be able to display all sorts of recycled-related work. On top of that, the Centre of Waste Management will announce the winners of a recently launched competition to encourage waste reduction among school children in Abu Dhabi during EcoWASTE.

“Recent research shows that Abu Dhabi alone produces over six million tons of waste in total, a figure that is expected to rise to 30 million tons on current growth estimates,” said Naji El Haddad, show director (pictured right).

“This waste can then be converted into useable energy to support the solar and wind industries and become a vital part of the regional energy mix.

“As part of the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2014, I am pleased to announce that EcoWASTE, a new exhibition dedicated to the waste management and recycling sector, will be co-located with the 7th World Future Energy Summit (WFES) and the 2nd International Water Summit in Abu Dhabi from  January 20 to 22.”

Hosted by Masdar and held in partnership with the Centre of Waste Management in Abu Dhabi (CWM), EcoWASTE aims to support the region’s urgent waste disposal challenges and needs in the quest for sustainable development, says Haddad.

“EcoWASTE will cover the entire solid waste management services sector, bringing together waste management experts from the public and private sectors to exchange know-how and do business under one roof.”

Through its targeted exhibition and workshops, the event will provide a range of exciting new business opportunities in waste-to-energy, with the chance to network, exchange best practices, unveil new projects and source cutting-edge technologies and solutions.

EcoWASTE offers a unique platform for investment and partnerships in waste management and recycling, and we are confident that this new exhibition will showcase the technologies currently available to make waste-to-energy conversion a reality within the region.

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‘Sustainable infrastructure can save huge environmental and financial costs’

Dewan Architects & Engineers, one of the region’s leading architectural and engineering consulting firms, explored sustainable building and design strategies that help save huge environmental and financial costs. The presentation was delivered at the Big-5 Sustainability Design and Construction Conference.

Engi Jaber (right), architect and sustainability specialist at Dewan, showcased the substantial energy savings the company had achieved through the innovative and sustainable design. Some of the savings included a 33% saving at the Premier Inn Hotel at Abu Dhabi International Airport, a 20% saving at the Bateen School in the UAE, and a 25-30% saving at Samarra University in Iraq.

Mohamed Al Assam, founder and chairman of Dewan, said: “Too often, design aesthetics and sustainability are treated as somehow adversarial to each other; this is simply not true. The essence of great design is sustainability. It starts from the earliest planning phases and should be integrated at every stage, seamlessly assimilated into the surrounding local environment – that is what defines iconic architecture. We are proud to say that sustainability is integral to every project at Dewan, which has enabled us to demonstrate clear and substantial energy savings at our landmark developments”.

Dewan’s presentation explored a range of techniques in the design and construction of buildings to improve efficiency, cut waste, and minimise environmental damage. For example, it discussed how envelope insulation materials and systems can reduce up to 50% of energy consumption, while efficient landscaping (through soil enhancement products) can similarly cut irrigation demand in half.

Sustainability is increasingly recognised as a priority in the region, as concerns grow about the looming threat of climate change and energy shortages. According to research figures, almost 70% of the power generated is consumed by commercial buildings. With the rise in electricity costs, the government of the UAE has taken serious measures to reduce its negative impact on the environment.

The authorities have taken various sustainability initiatives and directives aimed at developers, architects, engineers, and the contractors and have invested great sums of money in renewable and energy efficient technologies.

The UAE is now recognised as a key developer in sustainability. It has been chosen on numerous occasions to educate the world on the emerging trends and technologies to achieve sustainability.

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ADSG members plan ahead

At its fourth Quarterly Forum Meeting, the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Group (ADSG) discussed the group’s strategy for the years 2014 to 2018. The meeting was hosted by an ADSG member, Rotana, where members explored the current and upcoming sustainability issues that the group should work on.

During the opening of the meeting, Huda Al Houqani, ADSG’s director, said: “Our focus will remain on partnership, collaboration and knowledge sharing – as our chosen operating model to advance economic, social, and environmental objectives simultaneously.”

During the meeting the group announced that one of its members, Masdar, is working closely with the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP). CDP is an international non-profit organisation that provides the only global system for companies and cities to measure, disclose, manage and share vital environmental information.

The ADSG invited its members to form a pilot group of companies in Abu Dhabi to further develop their carbon reporting, in accordance with the CDP’s reporting approach.

During the meeting, and the group discussed its forthcoming plans to participate at the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week taking place next year from January 18-24.


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Regulation and Supervision Bureau to participate in IWS 2014

The second International Water Summit (IWS), a platform for promoting global collaboration on water sustainability to be held on January 20-22 at ADNEC, has confirmed the participation of Nick Carter, Director General of the Regulation and Supervision Bureau, in one of its highly anticipated panels.
Entitled ‘Water Security and Future Water Sustainability’, the panel discussion will highlight future opportunities for the UAE and discuss how improved water sustainability, regulation, technology and governance will enable the region to keep pace with commercial development and population growth.
As the independent regulator of the water sector in Abu Dhabi, the Bureau plays a crucial role in the sustainability of the sector. This includes collaborating with a number of government and operating company stakeholders to make sure there is a coherent and integrated water strategy, capable of effectively managing desalinated, recycled and ground water.
Carter said: “We have issued regulations to ensure that recycled water from Abu Dhabi’s wastewater treatment plants is used effectively, safely and in applications appropriate for its quality. Other stakeholders, including the Abu Dhabi Environment Agency and the Food Control Authority are working with sectors such as agricultural and farming communities looking at best practice in irrigation technology and crop selection, reducing the pressure on native aquifers and water resources.”
The Bureau’s Powerwise and Waterwise offices, launched in January 2013, champion effective water and electricity consumption in Abu Dhabi. “Through research and studies we are gathering high-quality data to better inform targeted campaigns for both domestic and non-domestic settings and to set policies in the future. We also partner with other government entities and sector stakeholders to put strategies in place that will promote an efficient water and wastewater sector. For instance, new buildings now have water-efficient fittings and the new water and electricity bills, launched in 2012, provide detailed information about consumption and the level of government subsidy.” added Carter
“Awareness of the critical issues surrounding the use of drinking water and education are crucial to the sustainable availability of this precious resource. Understanding its true value is key, especially when promoting the wise use of resources and in this regard we are winning.”



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Stay Green

An increasingly environment conscious consumer base is helping to persuade hotel brands to adopt sustainable practices. Here is a whistle stop guide for the greenest activities in the region, by Melanie Mingas

Kempinski Hotel Ajman
KREEN solar panel project

Unveiled in November 2012, the solar panel system at Ajman’s first five star hotel produces enough power to heat 30,000 litres of water every day and will reduce up to 140 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year.
Pioneered through a JV called KREEN, the project is the result of a partnership between Kempinski Hotels, Stadtwerke Mainz (public corporation, AAA rating) based in Germany, and Marshfield Energy based in Switzerland.
Mr. Ulrich Eckhardt, Kempinski regional president, MEAI, said, “Kempinski was the first company to bring a luxury hotel to Ajman. Now we are the first company to bring sustainability to the forefront of our hotel operations here in Ajman through this new solar project, the recycling of wastewater for landscaping, as well as several other sustainability initiatives underway in the hotel.”

Saadiyat Dune Protection Zone

More than 60 volunteers from The St Regis Saadiyat Island Resort helped to transplant 2000 plants to enhance the vegetated dune areas on the seaward side of the Saadiyat Beach Golf Club pathway, restoring the dunes and helping to cultivate local wildlife.
Forming a Dune Protection Zone, the newly vegetated areas will enhance the beach, and in turn further increase the nesting habitat for the critically endangered Hawksbill Turtles, which return here to nest every year between April and July.
This activity forms part of TDIC’s ongoing commitment towards sustainability and environmental best practice.
St Regis Saadiyat GM, John Pelling, said: “Last year we had one turtle nesting site immediately in front of the hotel. It was very exciting to learn that about 100 new hatchlings made their way towards the sea.
“We take some key precautions to ensure the stretch in front of our resort is conducive to these endangered species during the nesting season as we believe the islands beauty lies in the fact that it is natural, and we are keen to play our part in maintaining its pristine beach.”

Hyatt Hotels
Choose Wisely

The overall number of commercial fish in the country has declined by 80% in the last 30 years.
In the UAE, 60% of the total catch is made up of species that are fished beyond sustainable levels, and eight of the most valuable commercial fish are being overexploited including Shaari, Farsh and Kanaad. Hamour, otherwise known as Orange-spotted Grouper, is fished at over seven times the sustainable level and is the most overfished species in the country.
Hyatt Hotels’ five star properties across Dubai and Abu Dhabi collaborate with the EWS-WWF to pioneer adoption of the Choose Wisely campaign, integrated throughout F&B outlets in the UAE to ensure that fish is sustainably sourced.
The hotels’ restaurants will create special sustainable fish dishes using sustainablelisted local fish as defined by the Choose Wisely consumer guide.
“The programme is focussed on sourcing and providing F&B options that are good for Hyatt guests and associates, good for the planet, and good for local communities,” said John Beveridge, Area Director for Hyatt Hotels & Resorts in Dubai and GM of Grand Hyatt Dubai.
“The Choose Wisely initiative fits well within our food philosophy and highlights our commitment to healthy people, a healthy planet and healthy communities.”
The overall number of commercial fish in the country has declined by 80% in the last 30 years.
In the UAE, 60% of the total catch is made up of species that are fished beyond sustainable levels, and eight of the most valuable commercial fish are being overexploited including Shaari, Farsh and Kanaad. Hamour, otherwise known as Orange-spotted Grouper, is fished at over seven times the sustainable level and is the most overfished species in the country.

Bin Majid Beach
Hotel Go Green

Guests at the Bin Majid’s four UAE properties who do not require daily replacement of in-room amenities and linens are presented with a vouchers to use against purchases in the hotel. The group hopes to spur neighbouring properties to initiate similar campaigns.
Bin Majid Group GM Dr Ali Kasapbashi, said: “We are pleased to announce that we have initiated a Go Green concept in support of a sustainable hospitality industry. Hotels can play a major role in changing the culture of waste in the UAE so we are doing our best to help protect the environment and sustain its natural resources for the present and future generations.”
The “Go Green” campaign is aimed at creating awareness on the importance of protecting the environment and sustaining its natural resources for the present and future generations

The Westin
Food to Fertiliser

Within 10 hours, Westin Abu Dhabi can transform the 225kg of food waste produced daily into 93% organic fertiliser, in the form of a dry, high grade product that is approximately one third of the waste’s original weight.
Using the waste from six restaurants and the staff cafeteria,this fertiliser is then used across the resort to feed bedding plants, grass areas, trees, herbs and vegetable gardens, reducing the carbon footprint associated with transportation of waste materials off site.
The Korean-built machine facilitating this process does not use any chemicals or degrading agents during the cycle, only heat.
It is currently the only fertiliser machine of this scale and quality in operation in Abu Dhabi, and the only machine in any Starwood EAME property.
By 2020, Starwood Hotels & Resorts aims to reduce energy consumption by 30% and water consumption by 20% across more than 1,100 hotels worldwide.
There are plans to roll this fertiliser from waste food project out to the six Starwood properties in Abu Dhabi turning this into an area initiative.

Onyx Hotels
Plan Bee

Bee populations globally are in a worrying state of decline, but in Bangkok, Onyx Hotels has launched Plan Bee, to save the Asian honeybee (Apis cerana) from extinction. Honeybees are key pollinators in the environment today. It is estimated that one-third of all the food plants we eat depend specifically on bees for pollination.
In spite of the important role bees play in the global food chain and ecosystem, honeybees, as with many pollinators around the world, have come under threat due to a number of factors, including the use of pesticides and planting of genetically-engineered crops, loss of habitat and biodiversity, increases in various pests and diseases due to changing weather conditions, pollution and poor husbandry techniques.
The pledge will make Oriental Residence Bangkok the first serviced residence or hotel with an urban beekeeping initiative in Bangkok. Onyx hope to introduce urban beekeeping to Thailand and beyond, partnering with Raitong Organics Farm to ensure the successful delivery

People and Planet

While many hotel chains call their sustainable initiatives CSR, Ritz- Carlton has made a pledge to both nonbusiness commitments, by using the money saved by the implementation of sustainable initiatives, to fund CSR work in local communities.
The work is pioneered by former HR director, Sue Stephenson who relocated from the UK to US work for Ritz-Carlton in 1991.
In 2006, Stephenson assumed the leadership of The Ritz-Carlton social responsibility programme, Community Footprints®. Reporting to the president and COO, Hervé Humler, she is charged with expanding the company’s global efforts through a series of multi-faceted initiatives focussed on child wellbeing, hunger and poverty relief, and environmental responsibility.

Globally Green

As part of its commitment to sustainable development, Swissôtel Hotels & Resorts release its first public sustainability report Q4 2012, revealing that since 2009 the group has achieved: 11 % reduction in water consumption per guest night; 13 % reduction in CO2 per guest night; and 13 % reduction in energy consumption per guest night.
On a monthly and annual basis, Swissôtel reports the performance of more than 100 environmental KPIs, which are consolidated and analysed by the corporate office. Sustainability teams at all hotels ensure the corporate strategy is implemented, with consideration given to local regulations, cultures and practices.
“For us, being sustainable isn’t about the things you say, but the things you do”, says Meinhard Huck, president Swissôtel Hotels & Resorts. “It is our goal to be clear and honest in the communication of our objectives, goals and performance and we welcome dialogue with all our partners, guests and team members. With the release of this sustainability report we have achieved another important milestone.”

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IRENA confirms first permanent diplomatic representatives

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) received its first two permanent representatives last week. This will be a key step to build up the diplomatic functions of the young organisation’s headquarters in Abu Dhabi.

Representatives of the UAE and Germany presented their credentials to IRENA’s Director-General, Adnan Z. Amin, at ceremonies in Abu Dhabi.

Amin said: “The appointment of permanent representatives reinforces IRENA’s partnership with the UAE, Germany and other member countries, strengthening international cooperation to capitalise on the huge market changes that are making renewable energy a competitive, realistic option around the world.”

Dr. Thani Al Zeyoudi, a former IRENA Council chair is now newly appointed as UAE Ambassador Extraordinary Plenipotentiary.

He said: “IRENA is the first major multilateral organisation to be headquartered in the Middle East, and it heralds an era of change in the heart of the energy industry.”

The German Ambassador to the UAE, Nikolai von Schoepff, said: “The quick accreditation of Germany is significant proof of the increasingly important role IRENA is playing as the international organisation for the promotion of renewable energy and the sustainable use of all its forms.”

As part of the UAE’s commitment as host country, IRENA will move by 2015 to a purpose-built headquarters building in Abu Dhabi’s low-carbon, Masdar City.

IRENA will hold its 4th General Assembly in Abu Dhabi on January 18 and 19, kicking off the annual Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week.


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