Tag Archive | "Masdar City"

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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Emission controller

Ben Churchill is managing director of Emrill, the award-winning facilities management company that counts Masdar City among its clients. He tells BGreen how his company is helping hundreds of building owners reduce carbon emissions… and save millions of dollars. Interview by Gary Wright

We’re at the Westin Hotel in Dubai and Ben Churchill takes to the stage and confesses to the assembled conference “I’m addicted to carbon”. With a wry smile the Englishman reveals more of his addiction: his love of plastic bags… and all things great about 21st century living. Then he admits to the audience that the birth of his son made him reflect on the way we devour the planet’s resources. But he’s not preaching and he is certainly no green militant: he is very clear that practicing sustainability, with its enormous cost savings, simply brings green benefits.
He said: “This is not about saving the planet or polar bears – well it is – but people are driven by saving money.”
And with that Churchill takes the assembly at the Sustainability Cooling Conference, held last month, through the huge strides with his leadership company Emrill is making in the facilities management, saving millions of dirhams for owners and slashing carbon emissions too. He explains that buildings are responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than any other sector.

I had met Churchill for the first time just two hours before his presentation to the conference. He is managing director of Emrill, which last year saw its revenues grow by 47% and this year saw it named FM green company of the year – as well as overall winner.

“Sustainability at Emrill is wide ranging,” he explains. “It’s about the culture of the company and it starts with our staff. “Emrill has over 5,000 employees across the UAE where it looks after more than 1,000 buildings – with around 30,000 customers.”
He said: “In our business many of the staff involved in face-to-face meetings with customers are the concierges and the security guards. Emrill seeks to set up an environment which allows them to do the very best that they can do.
“We try to give them autonomy and the opportunity to grow and develop. We invest in our staff, we allow people to flourish. “Everybody wants to do a good job and staff perform better if it’s a nice place to work.”
He refers to the international accreditation standards to which Emrill subscribes and its H&S policies like the UK.
“It’s not philanthropic – it’s good business and yields results.” Churchill is no textbook manager either and notes business is far more complex than many management gurus would have you believe (“more like a living organism”).
He quotes Peter Drucker, often considered the inventor and father of modern management: “Culture eats strategy for breakfast”.
Emrill Energy, launched two years ago, has pioneered energy saving in building management and there are some impressive figures that I suggest should make securing new business straightforward. For example 34% of the world’s carbon emissions can be directly related to the buildings in which live and work, says Churchill, who adds “it’s probably closer to 40%”. With the addition intelligent system controls such as variable speed drives on pumps, movement sensors in rooms to control lighting and air-conditioning and to sense the numbers of people in a room along with LED lighting, a building is well on the way to slashing energy bills between 35 and 40% per year. He then talks about BMS – the building management systems – that runs everything from lighting to air-conditioning temperature and hot and cold water supplies.
“Did you know that only 8% of BMS systems are commissioned correctly?” asks Churchill, “that is a bit like saying that 92% of the world’s buildings have their brains turned off.
“If we as an industry can save 35% of the 34% that buildings contribute to global carbon emissions, then we can make a large difference.”
Then he reveals the big benefit to clients: “Energy consumption of a building is around double the cost of facility management.”
He lets you think about that and then explains that Emrill will assess the consumption, show where savings can be made – from the LED lighting to smart air-conditioning systems – then offset that against the cost of the FM.
“A client might chose to pay for all the changes. Then move forward with a far more economic building, or we can arrange the finance for them – again paid for by the savings and we will tell them how long it will take – or any combination.”
When Churchill presents this simple explanation I genuinely believe that this is a perfect business model but he assures me that not everyone believes it can be that simple and some still take more convincing.
It becomes clear that Emrill’s strategy has no real pitfalls and is, as he says, “not about save the planet, but to save money”. The huge reduction in carbon emissions is simply a useful side effect.
Dubai and Abu Dhabi divide Emrill’s business. Around one-third is in Abu Dhabi where Etihad is among its FM customers and, at the time of interview, Emrill further enforced its green credentials after landing the FM contract for Masdar City – the world’s biggest sustainable city project.
Emrill’s PR chief initially asked BGreen not to reveal it had landed the contract but within an hour Churchill was on stage at the cooling conference revealing it to delegates as part of his presentation: Energy in FM, optimising building efficiency. Emrill’s specialist knowledge and experience with solar panels placed it in an extremely strong position when tendering for Masdar City’s contract.
Churchill explains that Emrill set out at the beginning of last year to find a partner with whom it could work on its energy strategy, which would think holistically about the problem of emissions from buildings. It found Crowley Carbon, an Irish company with a broad spectrum energy knowledge and in November 2012 Emrill Energy was launched by explaining “Our industry is the biggest contributor to climate change”.
At the launch of the new wing to Emrill, Churchill said the that UAE ranked third in the world when it comes to energy consumption per capita per head in 2011, following Qatar and Trinidad & Tobago, and stated that it was time to be “slightly concerned” about the figure.
At the time Crowley Carbon chairman Norman Crowley said: “The goal of this joint venture is to make Dubai buildings the most efficient in the world.” And that is what Emrill has aimed to achieve since.
The interview is drawing to a close and Churchill is due on stage at the Westin for the presentation. As we leave the almost deserted restaurant he asks me whether I feel cold and I admit I do.
“That should never happen in Dubai,” he says. “And yet you find it in many places. The air conditioning is set for a roomful of people. A simple sensor would solve it – and save energy costs.”

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French Business Council Dubai & Northern hosts its first ‘Focus Day’

In collaboration with Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) and the Emirates Green Building Council (EGBC), the French Business Council Dubai & Northern Emirates (FBC) will host its first ‘Focus Day’ on Sunday 6th October 2013, on the theme of the Green Economy in the UAE. His Excellency Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, Managing Director and CEO of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority; His Excellency Alain Azouaou, Ambassador of France to the UAE; and Mr Adnan Sharafi, EGBC Chairman, will deliver the opening addresses.

The conference will take place at DEWA’s office building in Al Quoz, which is the largest Platinum LEED-certified government green building in the world. The conference will offer valuable insights into the UAE’s green sector with presentations and panel discussions.

During the discussion panels, senior executives and experts from the public authorities and private companies will cover a range of topics including Green building, Energy Efficiency, and

Water treatment. Panellists include DEWA, Diamond Developers, Dubai Carbon Centre of Excellence, Dubai Municipality, Etihad, ESCO, Farnek, HOK, Majid Al Futtaim, Masdar City and Veolia Water Solutions and Technologies.

French major companies support this exceptional event: LeGrand and Maf Dalkia through business cases about green projects. The French Automotive Group RENAULT, the only carmarker worldwide offering a complete range of 100% electric vehicle with 4 models, will display 2 Renault Twizy, its iconic urban two-seaters 100% electric.

Commenting on the event, Agnes Lopez Cruz, Executive Director of the French Business Council

Dubai and Northern Emirates, said: “This unique event is a great opportunity for our members to showcase their capabilities and learn more about the exciting developments within the Green Economy and the possibilities for French business, by sharing experience and insights and through the networking session with experts, stakeholders, UAE businessmen and government representatives. We are deeply grateful to DEWA for hosting this event at their unique building and to the EGBC for its support and participation.”

The conference will be followed by a VIP guided tour of the building and a networking buffet. A rewarding opportunity to meet French and local companies in the green sector and even more.

The FBC Focus Day on the Green Economy:

Date: Sunday 6th October 2013

Time: 8.30am to 2pm

Venue: DEWA Platinum LEED building

Conference language: English

*Pre-registration is required and a conference delegate fee applies.


For more information on the agenda, visit:  http://crm.fbcdubai.com/extern/url.php?u=527&qid=149922 .

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UAE not new to sustainability, experts say

The UAE has implemented several sustainability projects and policies over the years, including the UAE 2021 Vision plan, mandatory efficiency codes for buildings, public-lighting, air-conditioning and water usage, and the urban sustainability project, Masdar City.

These efforts are not recent, as Dr Sultan Ahmed al Jaber, UAE special envoy for Energy and Climate Change explains.

“Sustainability lies deep within the UAE’s heritage and was instilled in us by our founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al Nahyan, who recognized the need to protect our environment and preserve the precious natural resources for future generations,” said al Jaber.

The country’s participation in Rio+20 is that of a strong advocate of global sustainable development. They will host an official UN event on 20 June entitled, “Black Gold and the Green Economy: A Hydrocarbon Exporters’ Perspectives on Sustainability,” which will evaluate the case for sustainability in major hydrocarbon economies.

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