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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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ADNEC steps up sustainability efforts

In 2011, ADNEC focussed on translating its commitments into measurable actions—particularly in recycling. ADNEC saw a 124% year on year increase in the amount of waste recycled, totalling 282,094 kilograms by the end of 2011. The waste recycled last year meant an equivalent of saving around 4,200 trees, 93,670 gallons of oil, 986,000 kilowatts of energy, 1.73 million gallons of water and 739.5 cubic yards of landfill.

“We are constantly seeking new systems and processes that allow us to reduce our environmental impact. Our use of innovative technology helps us make great strides each year and ADNEC today has become a case study of success in the UAE. Sustainability is an integrated part of what we do, not an afterthought. We encourage all organisations around the UAE to approach it in the same way,” according to Al Hashmi.

Al Hashmi attributes ADNEC’s waste management successes through the simple act of building awareness across the venue with signage and recycle bins at convenient intervals. They also extended the range of waste categories for processing, from the five basic groups (cardboard, plastic cans and films, aluminium cans, paper and scrap metal) to include glass, printer cartridge and battery recycling in 2011. Another huge contribution to the decrease in waste produced in 2011 was the recycling of gypsum board, which is widely used in exhibition stands and would otherwise be discarded post-show.

“Incremental change can make a big difference in the end. In the exhibition industry, it’s our business to bring a large number people (to our venue) within a short period. Of course that will create an impact on society in terms of the noise, waste and pollution. If you assume the plywood and other materials like carpet tiles are discarded after each event, then that will lead to thousands of tonnes of waste landing up in the desert,” he said at the sidelines of the International Green Awards Summit, held on World Environment Day last week.

Best practices followed by sustainable organisations globally usually stem from moulding an environmentally aware and vigilant workforce who embrace sustainability as part of their internal work culture. According to ADNEC’s Environmental and Cleaning Manager, Nabil Al Yafaei, this embodies their core strategy to a tee.

“ADNEC has an environmental task force with representatives from across the company meeting on a regular basis to discuss new ideas,” he said, referring to the taskforce that banded together in 2010 to develop a holistic sustainability framework. “We make it high priority across the whole company, not just in one department. We encourage all our employees to think about sustainability in everything they do and, as a result, their enthusiasm is universal.”

ADNEC’s all-round approach to going green is exemplified by their choices even in their food menu, with hammour, the overfished local specialty, off the table at ADNEC’s many eateries. At present, ADNEC is testing new technologies, including recycling kitchen oil as biofuel operating cherry-pickers around the centre. Solar panels have been laid across the roof of one their car parks to test the potential of on-site energy generation. The solar panels, which cover 1000 square metres on Car Park B, are currently used to power the elevators, although they have the capacity of 111 kilowatts, enough to light three floors of the car park.

Future plans at the centre include acquiring a wood chipping machine, a food waste convertor, and even water-from-air technology. With many exhibitors using wood-based stands, a wood chipping machine could provide the centre with the means to curb post-event disposal, allowing ADNEC the option to shred the wood to be used as insulation material.

This is why BGreen votes ADNEC as one of the TOP GREEN ORGANISATIONS in the UAE in our July 2012 issue. Read next month’s cover story for other case studies.

TABLES:

Table 1: The results from ADNEC’s recycling programme in 2011

Items 2010 (kg) 2011 (kg) Increase 2011 Target
Cardboard cartons 123,736 156,820 27% 5%
Plastic 10,081 13,094 30% 5%
Cans 700 1,255 79% 5%
Paper 92,843 89,755 -3% 5%
Scrap Metal (Steel) 350 3,415 n/a 2011 1st full year Launch
Glass bottles Not commenced 17,755 n/a Launch
227,710 282,094

Table 2: The calculated savings from ADNEC’s recycling programme between 2010 and 2011

Savings 2010 2011
Trees 3672 4,190
Oil (gallons) 82,080 93,670
Energy (kw) 864,000 986,000
Water (litres) 1,512,000 1,725,500
Landfill (cubic yards) 648 739.5

 

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