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Issue 23 | MAY 2012
The Green Renaissance As part of what is known as the “triple bottom line,” Corporate Environmental Responsibility has secured itself as a requisite in successful business models
Energy and water | construction | green it | eco-leisure | Green Business Publication Publication licensed licensed byby IMPZ IMPZ
• WHITE WOOD • HARD WOOD • PLAIN MDF • MELAMINE MDF • VENEER • VENEER PLYWOOD • COMMERCIAL PLYWOOD • FILM FACED PLYWOOD • SOFT BOARD • CHIP BOARD • FIRE RATED CHIP BOARD • DOOR CORE By buying products with the FSC label, you are supporting the growth of responsible forest management worldwide
like Sanitary products, Gypsum products, Cement Fiber boards etc...
News: The latest world wide
Really?! Truth can be stranger than fiction
Summertown Interiors: Green inside out
energy and water
Telecommunications: Going green
BWA: Biodegradable antiscalants
LEED certification explained
Case-in-point: CER in the UAE
Eyes skyward: EU ETS in the Middle East context
The Green Spy on biologically renewable energy
Printing Green: large-scale solutions
The BIG Picture: Accorâ€™s new international sustainability programme
Michael Kramer: Solar charging stations
Allison Lai: Sustainability Consulting 101
Anurag Agrawal: Corporate profits versus the environment Road to Doha: Guy El Khoury on nuclear power Omar Al Jaddou: Bumpy skies ahead
59 May 2012
15-17 May 2012 Dubai World Trade Centre 11.00 â€“19.00
The Office Exhibition Innovation in the spotlight
Visit the largest commercial fit-out and design exhibition in the Middle East to find the latest innovations and international trends. Hundreds of market leading brands and products will be on display from exhibitors representing over 20 countries.
r World Chai e Diffrient
manscal BAFCO â€“ Hu Supplied by
Register online now for free fast-track entry www.theofficeexhibition.com/register
Sustainability’s siren song D
riving green practices in a corporate setting
strategy rather than an a marketing add-on. Cutting
isn’t as easy as setting up a sustainability
through the greenwash, we examine holistic green
department or outsourcing the task onto eco-
solutions for the hotel industry, printing tips for large-scale
conscious middlemen. This issue of BGreen highlights
projects, and the nuts-and-bolts of the USGBC LEED
the inescapable pull of the all-powerful buzzword—
certification. In May, we’re also proud to introduce a few
sustainability—and what it really means in the corporate
changes—from our illustrious panel of experts, to our
environment. We look at how Corporate Environmental
online careers section for green job-seekers. Hold on to
Responsibility can be embraced as part of a company’s
your collective hats, we’re only getting started.
May 2012 Issue
Praseeda Nair Editor email@example.com
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Expert Panel The concept behind the BGreen Expert Panel is to provide a platform for those who are active in encouraging sustainable practices and solutions across industries—the real experts—who can share their views, analyses, and research with our informed readers. We will also be organising quarterly events for the panellists to meet and mingle, while discussing the latest in news, strategies and solutions on focussed topics related to sustainability. Panellists are encouraged to pen their comments, opinions and analyses that can be published in our magazine, as well as on our website in a portfolio format documenting their contributions. The Panel is constantly growing as we strive to form the ultimate taskforce of decision makers, academicians, consultants and engineers that can encourage a sustainable watershed across industries. If you would like to nominate an expert to join our panel, please email our Editor, Praseeda Nair, at email@example.com.
His Highness Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Ali Al Nuaimi
LEED AP, Estidama PQP Vice Chairman Emirates Green Building Council Director Alabaar Energy and Sustainability Group
NCARB,LEED AP, BD +C, ESTIDAMA PQP Chief Technical Officer Middle East Centre for Sustainable Development
Dr Michael Krämer
LEED AP, PQP Managing Director Alpin Limited (Masdar City)
Senior Associate Taylor Wessing (Middle East) LLP Legal Counsel Emirates Solar Industry Association
UAE National Coordinator The Carboun Initiative
Dr Olisanwendu Ogwuda
Charles Blaschke IV
MEP BIM Manager iTech Holding
Director - Africa, Middle East, India and Oceania American Hardwood Export Council
Environmental Advisor Ajman Government Chief Executive Officer Al Ihsan Charity Centre Chairman International Steering Committee Global Initiative Towards a Sustainable Iraq, UAE
Academic Head & Director of Studies Civil and Architectural Engineering Institute for Infrastructure and Environment Heriot-Watt University Dubai
News | UAE
Abu Dhabi to document biodiversity Environment Agency Abu Dhabi (EAD) announced its intention to document the flora and fauna in the emirate. “We will start in the Western Region, which we know the least about, and look forward across the emirate in a comprehensive, systematic and scientific manner. After two years or so, we should have a thorough understanding of what’s out there in terms of the plants and animals,” said Dr Richard Perry, Director of Environmental Information, Science and Outreach at the EAD. The project aims to update existing information and set a baseline for future tracking. Geographic Information System Analyst, Hossam el Elkamy, says that the documentation process will involve a two-step process. “First, we have (the) data we get from the satellite imagery,
Regional talks ahead of Rio+20 The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in cooperation with the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy (DCSE), will host a preparatory meeting in Dubai this month for Arab countries attending the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in June. Titled ‘Sustainable Arabia: Clean Energy 2012,’ the conference’s main objective is to debate best practice on the key environmental issues concerning Arab countries in the run-up to Rio+20, and develop a consensus on the importance of transitioning to a green economy. “The real challenge facing sustainable development is implementation. In order to turn vision into reality, we need to look closely at the intergovernmental processes, policies and legislation and create workable solutions,” said Dr Elissar Sarrouh, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative. “Sustainable Arabia 2012 will be an important staging post in achieving this vision.”
which we need to verify through groundtruthing. Then we also need to compile or collect more data about biodiversity elements from the field.” EAD have started visiting sites to verify data acquired from satellite technology. The task of collecting new data has been open to the public. “It’s important for people to feel ownership of the environment in the UAE. We need to get as many members of the public as we can involve in the whole exercise. We design specially tailored surveys that they can help us with, and nothing is too complicated. You don’t have to be an expert,” added Dr Perry. EAD stated their interest to train students and other members of the public to contribute to their data collection.
UAE to release Renewable Energy Atlas Masdar Institute of Science and Technology signed agreements with the Directorate of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), Dubai Supreme Council of Energy (DSCE), and Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD), through the Abu Dhabi Global Environmental Data Initiative (AGEDI), formalising the funding contributions to the recently announced UAE National Atlas of Solar and Wind resources. Aimed at investors, policymakers, and researchers, the atlas will offer universal access to resource quality, grid, and land use data, helping to efficiently assess the feasibility of renewable energy projects for planning and investment decisions. The UAE is a partner in the IRENA Global Atlas initiative, while creating the National Atlas of the UAE to document domestic progress. Significantly, Masdar Institute will
make available its dust and humidity reconciliation tools, which allow researchers for the first time to account for the aerosols’ impacts on solar quality. Traditional assessments of renewable energy resources in countries like the UAE can be inaccurate by more than 25%, creating high financial risk during project-siting. DSCE and EAD will directly contribute to the required collection of ground measurement and land use data, as well as data processing and modeling, in order to accurately estimate renewable energy resource quality across the UAE. The atlas data will notably assist in the realisation of the UAE’s renewable energy targets, including 7% of generation capacity (or 1,500MW) in Abu Dhabi by 2020, and 5% of energy production (or 1,000MW) in Dubai by 2030. Data will be made freely available in early 2013 through IRENA.
WORLD | News
Climate Change in school syllabus
89 power projects await clearance New Delhi, INDIA – Environment and forest clearance for 89 power projects is pending with the government, according to the Indian media. While 41 power projects are awaiting environment clearance, 48 power projects require diversion of forest land, Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan said. She said a total of 165 power projects were granted environmental clearance and 143 power projects given forest clearance during the last three years. Two projects were rejected for environment clearance and three power projects did not get forest clearance during the last three years. The main reasons cited were regarding a delay in submission of environmental impact assessment report and environmental management plan including public hearing report and non-submission of complete information by the project proponents.
Hanover, JAMAICA — Minister of Education Reverend Ronald Thwaites announced that climate change will be in the primary school curriculum across Jamaica starting in the upcoming school year. “We are hoping that it will start in September at the primary level and then one day we start at the pre-primary level,” Rev Thwaites told the Jamaica Observer. “If we ingrain the habits of conservation and responsible environmental behaviour at the earlier stages of education, then they will be carried over, they will be infectious into the other levels of the school and the population as a whole,” he added. Minister of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, Robert Pickersgill, expressed a willingness to work with the education ministry, stating that “climate change is not something that is coming, it’s here and will get worse if nothing is done about it.” “The earlier you start our people in schools it becomes etched indelibly in their collective minds, and so we need to educate them about things like what affects rainfall, what affects drought and the whole business of conservation,” he explained.
Submarine cable for renewable energy
Reykjavík, ICELAND – Continental Europe could soon be receiving renewable energy from Iceland via a submarine power cable, according to the Icelandic energy provider, Landsvirkjun.
Iceland currently holds a unique position amongst European nations in its potential to increase reliable electric energy production from renewable energy resources. Landsvirkjun, one of Europe’s leading renewable energy companies, has proposed a submarine cable to Europe across the North Atlantic seabed to order to increase energy production to Continental Europe. Hordur Arnarson, CEO of Landsvirkjun, explained, “Providing sustainable energy to Europe through a submarine power cable offers an interesting business opportunity for the nation of Iceland and at the same time presents a partial solution to Europe where they are looking for an increased supply of
renewable energy. Numerous countries in Europe have already expressed interest in the possibility to connect with Iceland’s clean energy resources.” Landsvirkjun proposed additional analysis and research over the next few years into the potential impact on social, environmental, legal, and technical issues which will be undertaken in cooperation with interested parties including the Icelandic authorities, universities, interest groups, and energy and transmission companies. Oddny Hardardottir, the Icelandic Minister of Finance, announced that a working group will be appointed to research the feasibility of laying a submarine cable between Iceland and the British Isles and or mainland Europe.
News | REALLY?!
BGreen presents some of the world’s most surprising green news
Solar-powered theatre UK-based Sol Cinema upcycles abandoned caravans from the 1960s into mini theatres that run on solar power
two-berth caravan from the 60s was given a new lease in life by Sol Cinema, a project funded by a media arts charity group in the UK. With a film projector powered by four large lithium-ion batteries charged by two 120 watt solar panels, the sustainable micro-theatre seats eight adults or twelve children. According to Sol Cinema engineer, David Lloyd-Jones, a lot of attention was given to minimising the energy requirement to produce power. The project uses low energy LED projector laptops and lighting. The solar energy supply system was designed as a low voltage DC system that removes
the need for an inverter to produce conventional 220 volt AC. Lloyd-Jones notes that this decision resulted in the need for wiring cables around 20 times the length. “To overcome this, two control panels were made.” One panel was placed inside the cinema with shortest possible cables from the batteries to the ‘relay’ switch for the LED projector and lights. The second control panel housed manual switches in a remote unit outside the caravan, with a computer printer cable with 36 tiny wires connecting the two control panels. “This allowed the cinema operative to make up to 36 ‘relay’ on/off switches inside the caravan without the electricity having to (travel between both panels the
long way around),” Lloyd-Jones says. The cinema says it has a “full library of comedies, quirky movies, music videos and short films with inspiring environment themes,” aiming to raise awareness about solar power while screening educational films. Capitalising on the popularity of retro-kitsch at art fairs, the cinema’s “usherette” plays up the old world charm of the theatre experience with her outlandish uniform and vintage look. The micro-theatre’s success might suggest that cineplexes in the Middle East are only a few solar panels and wires away from bringing the world’s first renewable 3D or IMAX cinematic experience to a larger audience.
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Going Green in the UAE BGreen singles out the latest green products and initiatives with our seal of approval
Carbon-neutral envelopes introduced globally More than 200 million FedEx envelopes are shipped around the world every year, which can add up to a lot of emissions when calculated. FedEx launched a carbonneutral
shipping programme for its most widely used packaging solution for document shipping. FedEx stated their intention to invest in projects around the world that displace or sequester greenhouse gas emissions from the atmosphere, neutralising the impact of the resulting carbon emissions during shipments. The initiative is recognised as part of
EarthSmart®, the FedEx sustainability programme, offering solutions that benefit the planet and the company’s environmental performance. Through the carbon-neutral shipping programme, FedEx will calculate on an annual basis the tonnes of carbon dioxide released through the shipment of all global FedEx Express envelopes and purchase the equivalent amount of offsets from the notfor-profit organisation, BP Target Neutral. Aiming to neutralise the equivalent amount of CO2 emissions, BP Target Neutral will invest in alternative energy or conservation projects. These projects include biogas facilities on farms in the Netherlands, a reforestation project in the Tanzanian Southern Highlands converting degraded grassland to commercial forests, and a landfill gas collection system at Thailand’s first sanitary landfill. Since 2008, FedEx has set global targets
to reduce CO2 emissions from vehicle and air transport. By the end of FY2011, vehicle fuel efficiencies had improved by more than 16 per cent and aircraft carbon dioxide emissions had declined by 13.8 per cent compared to 2005 levels. Six FedEx solar installations generate more than six megawatts of clean, renewable energy each year, and solar panels at the FedEx hub at Cologne alone generate more than 800,000 kWh of energy on an annual basis. Additionally, 51 FedEx facilities in Europe are ISO 14001:2004 certified, including the European hub at Roissy-Charles De Gaulle in Paris, the largest hub outside the United States.
The world’s first desert-friendly air conditioners Panasonic has introduced a new line of air conditioners designed to specifically meet the climatic challenges of the Middle East. These new air conditioners run on minimal power with precise temperature control. By reducing wasteful cooling operation, Inverter Series reportedly can achieve up to 50 per cent less energy usage compared to the non-inverter units. Inverter control in the desert climate is now possible owing to unique, innovative technologies. The result is a new dimension in air conditioning that lets users enjoys more powerful cooling than ever, a stable room temperature, and energy saving performance. Cooling is possible even when the outside temperature is 55ºC. The new models featuring a highly durable
compressor and fan motor to maintain room comfort even under the hottest conditions. A tightly sealed electrical component box prevents fine sand particles from getting in to protect the high-precision inverter circuit. And an original Auto-Cooling System prevents the temperature inside the box from rising due to heat generated by the circuit board. The new technology has made it possible for an 18000 Btu Air conditioner to reach up to 22000 Btu, and a 24000 Btu model to reach up to 27000 Btu, based on the requirements resulting in faster cooling. New ECONAVI with Sunlight Detection notes changes in sunlight intensity in the room to reduce the waste of cooling under less sunny conditions. This function utilises high-precision
Human Sensor and Control Program technologies to optimise air conditioner operation according to room conditions.
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The volume of hardwoods standing in U.S. forests has more than doubled in the last 50 years. For more information visit: www.americanhardwood.org Follow us on Twitter ahec_europe
From sustainable roots Forbo Flooring Systems has been providing sustainable flooring solutions for generations. BGREEN speaks with Forbo’s Middle East Division
Forbo uses Life Cycle Assessment as the independent methodology of measuring their impact on the environment”
BGreen: What is Forbo’s competitive advantage over other brands in green flooring? How has Forbo been received in the UAE? Forbo: Forbo has a long established presence in UAE in terms of furnishing the market with high end quality products as well as a representative office serving the market with all necessary needs and support. As a global leader in flooring systems we have a responsibility to create a better environment. The way we serve and drive the market sets the pace and standard for world class flooring solutions. Sustainable development and creating better environments is integral part of all Forbo flooring systems activities. That is what gives Forbo advantage over all our competitors. BGreen: What would you say is Forbo’s primary green business strategy? Forbo: Forbo’s top product is Linoleum - Made from renewable natural materials,
fully biodegradable and environmentally friendly, we have been and continue to be at the forefront of sustainable awareness to fulfill our obligations to future generations. BGreen: In Forbo’s long history, what would be a notable case study in the UAE where sustainable flooring has helped secure green building certifications? Forbo: Forbo’s recent cases saw us contributing in different projects to obtain green building certifications, such as MASDAR city Abu Dhabi UAE, KAPSAC-1, CAPSAC-2 ARAMCO Saudi Arabia. INDICATORS OF SUSTAINABILITY Forbo uses Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) as the independent methodology of measuring their impact on the environment. Their aim is “to continuously minimise the environmental impact of Forbo Flooring
Systems as measured by the weighted categories in (their) independently verified Life Cycle Assessment measurement system by 25% before the end of 2015,” compared to 2009 levels. The LCA is calculated for 1m2 installed floor covering from cradle to installation. The figures are calculated based on the weighted mass of all the products, taking into account the energy consumption of all the Forbo offices and warehouses worldwide. The LCA index indicates that the company has continued to improve their performance for the 4th straight year. This reduction, according to Forbo, is due to the work that has been undertaken in all their production facilities, excluding the improvements made by the raw material supply chain, and during the installation process. The company’s carbon footprint, a sign of global warming potential, has been reduced by over 30% since 2007, mainly due to their policy of purchasing renewable forms of electricity, as well as their internal waste reuse and recycling programmes. A UNIQUE BLEND WITH NATURE Marmoleum, Forbo’s own brand of linoleum, is a natural product made from 97% natural raw materials, 70% of which are rapidly renewable, along with a 40% recycled content. The key raw materials used in its production include linseed oil, which comes from the flax plant seeds, wood flour from controlled forests and jute, the natural backing onto which the linoleum is calendared.
SUMMERTOWN INTERIORS| In Focus
Green inside out Marcos Bish, Managing Director of Summertown Interiors, speaks to BGreen about the industry’s green shift, to be catalysed by sustainability talks at The Office Exhibition later this month
he Office Exhibition, the largest event of its kind in the Middle East, will be dedicating the second day of the three-day show to focus on sustainability in furniture design. Summertown Interiors, partnering with other big names in the industry, are hosting the ‘Green Day’ at the exhibition, featuring a series of panel discussions on topics relevant to the industry.
BGreen: What exactly does the ‘Green Day’ entail? Marcos Bish: As a leading sustainable fit-out contractor, Summertown has many successes and case studies that we know can benefit others in the industry. Similarly, other leaders in the field have success stories that need to be heard. We want to create an open dialogue between suppliers, project managers, architects, end-users and so on, so that everyone involved in the design and use of these products are aware of where the industry stands in terms of sustainability. They need to take responsibility and be accountable for their role in the process as well. We saw a need for such a platform, where industry leaders can share their knowledge and experience for others to learn from, and grow. That’s how the concept for the Green Day came up.
BGreen: You mentioned Summertown’s successes. Could you tell us more about how the company achieves operational sustainability? MB: We’re not a large organisation that we have the resources to set up sustainability department. We believe in sustainable practices across the board, where every employee is accountable for best practices. We set up a Green Committee to drive our environmental objectives for the long term. One of our major objectives is to achieve carbon neutrality by 2020, but we also have yearly plans. In our first year, we set ourselves 14 objectives based on the level of difficulty, the cost, and the time it takes to implement them. We managed to implement 12 of the 14 objectives. Now, going into the second year of the committee, we have new targets to achieve. Volunteers who take time outside of work to drive operational sustainability run the committee. BGreen: How does a single employee figure in the large scale of things? MB: Awareness is what fuels innovation in terms of sustainable practices. People come to Dubai from different countries and cultures, and take what they learn
Marcos Bish, Managing Director of Summertown Interiors
every employee is accountable for best practices” from our multicultural environment to their home countries. Some of our employees adopt green concepts when building homes in their countries, for example. They start to question why they shouldn’t enjoy savings from making
SUMMERTOWN INTERIORS| In Focus
By reducing our consumption, we’ve also reduced our waste. We have saved about Dh15000 a year just from waste reduction, as the need for the waste collection trucks has decreased. In terms of landscaping, we’ve rigged up an airconditioner drip irrigation system to water our oldest tree. The other greenery around our offices are plants naturally found in our climate, and therefore require less water for maintenance.
The Itinerary small environmentally conscious changes in the way they live. Take our office boy, for example. He might be the most environmentally aware employee in Dubai, the way he comes up with innovative ways to cut down waste. We don’t use regular notebooks around the office anymore, thanks to his efforts in binding together recycled paper. He made these notebooks and placed them on every desk, which encouraged others to wake up to these ideas as well. Using recycled ink cartridges, for example, is another move initiated by the same employee. He came to me one day, after calculating the cost savings of switching to recycled ink cartridges and showed me in numbers the savings and environmental benefits of making a conscious choice. You need a few of these forward thinking people in every organisation to fuel change. BGreen: What are some of the innovative choices made by Summertown in your office environment? MB: Sitting in a healthy environment is an employee benefit that indirectly helps the organisation as well. Our meeting room is equipped with CO2 sensors that detect the level of carbon dioxide in the room in relation to the rest of the office, and pumps in oxygen from the outside if the levels get too high. This prevents us from feeling lethargic, which
happens when there isn’t enough fresh air in buildings. Our building is LEED certified, but it’s up to our company to maintain the integrity of the building and the certification. The certification is indicative of sustainable design, allowing for adequate daylight and insulation from the sun. When fitting out our office, it boiled down to making choices that kept the integrity of the building. Most of the wood furniture at our office is FSC certified fastreplenishable Eucalyptus MDF. They’re also Cradle-to-Cradle certified. All the appliances we use are Energy Star rated. In terms of water efficiency, we’ve reduced it by 32 per cent. We have motion detection in the washrooms that allows for smart lighting and water use. We have slow-flow taps installed to regulate pressure, and auto-flush at 3 litres to allow for efficiency. In terms of lighting, we don’t need to turn them on during the day unless it gets particularly overcast, in which case, they turn on by themselves. We don’t light up our corridors or our pantry, which has large windows to allow sunlight in, so the lighting is primarily over workstations. If our employees feel like the lighting isn’t bright enough, they can choose to turn on their individual desk lamps. The savings from these small acts is actually quite large. All our lights are LEDs as well, for added benefits.
Taking place at the Dubai World Trade Centre on 16 May 2012, the seminars will address the UAE’s progress in sustainable architecture and design, tried and tested strategies and how to enhance project value through adopting sustainable practices. “As the first contractor in the UAE to be awarded LEED Gold Certification for our offices, and with a 100% success rate in delivering LEED certified projects for our clients, Summertown Interiors, together with industry leaders, will share valuable insights for creating and delivering sustainable workplaces,” Bish adds. The ‘Green Day’ programme will be divided into three interactive sessions from 11am, 1.30pm and 3.30pm. All sessions are complimentary and are open to all registered visitors at The Office Exhibition 2012. The first session will include a discussion on local and global perspectives on sustainable design featuring top architectural and interior design firms including Aedas, Bluehaus Group, DWP and Stride Treglown. In the second session, the Emirates Green Building Council will show how maximising the potential of sustainable design from concept to delivery enhances project value. This will be followed by another industry discussion in which ARCADIS Gulf, Pringle Brandon, the Dubai chamber of Commerce and ISG will reveal their tried and tested strategies for optimising project value through sustainability. The ‘Green Day’ closes with a number of sustainable project case studies in the Middle East presented by industry leaders. “We’re really excited about our agenda for the ‘Green Day’ seminars and we’ve received incredible positive feedback. Summertown Interiors worked closely with our partners and the wider industry to develop a programme that offers meaningful and relevant content on sustainability for the local market.”
Energy and Water
Greening the communications sector Global communications companies look to reduce their environmental impact by increasing reliance on renewable energy sources as outlined at a recent GSMA Working Group meeting held in Qatar
fter years of notoriety for high levels of energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, the global communications sector has made notable progress in greening their practices. Qatar hosted a key meeting last month, facilitating discussions for communications companies to tackle the problems of climate change driven by less sustainable practices in the scetor. Leading operators including the Qtel Group, Telesol, Milicom, MTN, Zain and Vodafone, as well as technology leaders including General Electric, Eletek, Ameresco Solar and ictQATAR, participated in the GSMA Green Power for Mobile Regional Working Group, which was positioned as an “essential meeting for the industry.” The communications industry is an increasingly significant contributor to the global consumption of energy, particular as mobile Broadband use places higher power demands on each cell site, and there is greater use of mobile communications and data centres around the world. Companies in the Qtel Group have looked to play a leading role in this increasingly important area, working to balance the benefits of mobile communication while increasing the responsible use of energy and resources. In Qatar, Qtel was the first company to deploy solar-powered, eco-friendly Base Station sites as early as 2005, while Indosat in Indonesia has deployed more than 100 solar-powered sites to date, and
has plans to deploy significantly more in the near term. A major initiative is also underway to reduce diesel consumption across Qtel Group companies by encouraging the efficient use of an innovative new energy storage solution. More than 1,000 energy efficient sites are on target to be completed by 2012 across the Qtel Group footprint, reducing diesel consumption, including Indosat in Indonesia, Asiacell in Iraq, and Wataniya in Kuwait and Palestine. Paul Salmon, Chief Technology Officer, Qtel Group, said: “Qtel Group aims to enrich people’s lives, and working to protect the environment plays a major role in the process. We have already made real progress in integrating eco-friendly and high energy efficient technology throughout our regional networks, and we are eager to share our insights with other companies to help make a difference in the developing world.” “As well as delivering the positive environmental effects of moving away towards efficient energy solutions, the new investment will enable us to reduce expenditure on fuel and power in the medium term, which will contribute to our wider cost optimisation programme,” he added. The GSMA Development Fund launched the “Green Power for Mobile Programme” in September 2008, in partnership with the International Finance Corporation to promote the development of renewable energies for mobile telecom networks. This project
aims to encourage the mobile industry to use renewable energy sources, such as solar, wind or sustainable bio-fuels, to power new and existing off-grid base stations in developing countries. In a related venture, GSMA has also launched “Community Power from Mobile,” which aims to leverage the scale of mobile technology and infrastructure to provide millions of underserved communities with access to improved energy services. Since the inception of the Community Power from Mobile Programme in November 2010, jointly launched by the GSMA and Lighting Africa, research and analysis has highlighted both the opportunities and challenges in delivering access to energy through mobile. Over 1.6 billion people lack access to electricity around the world, and in many emerging markets, mobile network operators have become adept at generating their own off-grid power. Based on feedback from mobile operators, it is estimated that one person out of four in Sub-Saharan Africa will not have GSM network coverage in 2012. To reach this population, mobile operators and tower companies are still relying, for the most part, on diesel generators to power telecom towers. Deploying environmentally-friendly towers that can also provide community power offers the opportunity to make an immediate impact. The two-day workshop is part of a wider on-going strategy to implement attainable green initiatives, in partnership with the GSMA, across all Qtel Group markets. The Working Group is a forum which highlights initiatives and challenges as well as assessing available products and solutions, with the aim of consolidating industry insights and experiences.
Energy & Water
Biodegradable breakthrough in Water Treatment Additives Biodegradable antiscalants are set to revolutionise desalination in the region, by improving energy efficienCy while reducing the impact of the process on marine life, BGreen speaks with Dr David Cartmell, CEO And Chairman of BWA Additives
ince the company’s inception in 1973, scientists at BWA Water Additives in Manchester, UK , have been developing sustainable technologies for water treatment. These solutions have included desalination technology, which is arguably a life-saver in the water-scarce Middle East. Most recently, BWA has discovered a way to create biodegradable antiscalants, which are now available in over 80 countries. “When you boil sea water, calcium and magnesium forms a hard scale that acts as an absolute insultator that won’t allow heat through. If you have a deposit of a fingernail thickness, it will reduce efficiency by 10 per cent, which means 10 per cent more energy will be needed for the process. Our products keep metal surfaces clean, optimising energy efficiency, and subsequently lowering the carbon footprint
of the desalination process,” Dr David Cartmell, Executive Chairman and CEO of BWA Water Additives, told BGreen. The new biodegradable additives are also used to improve the efficient flow of agricultural water and in the separation of oil from water in oil and gas exploration, in addition to its role in desalination. BWA has also solved the historic ‘trade-off’ between biodegradability and performance. Creating the most biodegradable antiscalants ever by a factor of 4 to 5 times, BWA’s newest solution is reportedly the most effective, according to Dr Cartmell. As a PhD scientist, Dr Cartmell joined the business in 1985 and has been leading the Company and driving its technology innovation since 1997. Dr. Cartmell explained that before a product can be introduced as a product from BWA Water Additives, it must pass two tests: it must first be more environmentally acceptable than any other
The Biodegradability vs. Performance Trade-off of Common Scale Inhibitors Type of Scale Inhibitor
Inherent Biodegradability Result1
83-87% in 28 days
Maleic Acid Polymer
55% in 35 days
35% in 35 days
18% in 35 days
33% in 28 days
23% in 28 days
17% in 28 days
10% in 35 days
Performance, as measured by CaCO3 Inhibition2 83%
1 As represented by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD’s) biodegradability tests, the most commonly accepted globally 2 Based on CaCO3 jar test that measures ability of an additive to inhibit CaCO3 in simulated cooling water conditions close to a heat exchange surface.
product alternative; and it must deliver the same or better performance than any product alternative. “Just being biodegradable is not enough. Products must also deliver superior performance over the market alternatives, which is why I am so proud of what our scientists have achieved with our new Belclene 810 biodegradable antiscalants, as well as the other sustainable technologies from BWA Water Additives.” Dr Cartmell also highlighted the role of biodegradable antiscalants in the marine environment. “Most chemicals used in the desalination process eventually end up back into the sea. One of the big themes we have in our business is biodegradability, so that when the chemicals do reach the sea, they break down quickly into their basic elements of water, carbon dioxide, and oxygen.”
e-Mobility and Solar Charging Stations Dr Michael Krämer questioned the green merit of EVs Running on electricity generated by fossil fuels in the last issue of Bgreen. this month, he moves one step closer to achieving carbon neutrality on the road, tying up with his associates at Siemens UAE, Trina Solar, Canadian Solar, PowerOne, Hilti, and SES Technologies, to set up an at-home solar charging station for his e-vehicle
o be honest, I have had the idea of driving an electric vehicle that would run on solar power for quite some time. It was one of the main reasons why I thought about buying an electric vehicle in the first place. However, up until recently, “going solar” did not really appear to be an option here in Dubai. Yes, some medium-sized to large-scale solar plants exist or are in the planning phase, but individual use of solar power still does not really exist, unfortunately. “If you seek then you will find” as the Germans say, and I did manage to find very helpful individuals and companies who were ready to invest in and start a pilot project. The project is a solar operated charging station for electric vehicles, such as mine. Siemens UAE (Philipp Sonnauer) are supporting with the system design and providing one of the key pieces of equipment; the actual charging station that will be installed at home in our garage. A total of 5.07 kWp worth of solar panels are being contributed by Trina Solar (Matthew Silvester) and Canadian Solar (Catherine Gallagher) and will be installed on our roof at home in the Springs. PowerOne (Imad Meselmani) will provide the inverter, Hilti (Amir Mokhtar and Sara Georges) the support structure and SES Technologies (Justin Hall) will take care of the overall system integration. Application has been made to DEWA to approve the system and we are hoping to obtain approval within the next few weeks. Once approved, the system is expected to generate around 8,500 KWh of clean energy per year, avoiding approximately 5.9 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions. This may not sound like much, but these are the emission savings of only one, comparatively small, private solar installation. Given the vast amounts of
Justin Hall (SES Technologies), Michael Krämer, his daughter Lia Krämer, Sara Lteif (Hilti) and Philipp Sonnauer (Siemens)
solar energy that we are exposed to here in the UAE it does not take much fantasy to imagine the amount of greenhouse gas emissions that could be saved if every house in the UAE would make use of that free and clean source of energy. All electricity that the installation will generate will be available at the vehicle charging station at which the vehicle’s batteries will continuously be recharged with clean energy. All electricity that is not required for the car’s batteries will be used internally at home, thus reducing our overall requirement of conventionally generated electricity. Given that all selfgenerated electricity will be self-consumed, no electricity will be exported to the public grid. Even electric mobility is not absolutely “green” or carbon neutral if the energy required to operate the vehicle is produced by burning fossil fuels. It is, however, if such energy is generated from renewable sources, such as solar power. The project demonstrates that the solar radiation resources that are available to us
here in the Gulf region can be utilised in many ways. They can, of course, be used to generate clean energy that supplements the energy requirements of households or companies. Solar radiation can also be used to power cars, however, as well as satisfying our hot water requirements, desalinating sea water for use in gardens, powering street lights, particularly in remote areas, et cetera. Up until now solar radiation is hardly used as a resource here in the Gulf region. Fossil fuels are used on a large scale, instead of selling such fuels to customers abroad. The Gulf region really could be a leader in how solar resources can be used most efficiently and most effectively. Hopefully this small scale pilot project will assist in this vision becoming a reality one day. Dr. Michael Krämer is a Senior Associate at International Law firm, Taylor Wessing (Middle East) LLP, and Legal Counsel to the Emirates Solar Industry Association’s first Executive Committee. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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The green benchmark Until local municipalities fully roll out their respective green building codes, the United States Green Building Council’s LEED certification remains the most comprehensive environmental regulation for new and existing buildings. The Middle East Centre for Sustainable Development (MECSD) explains the process
Thomas Bohlen, Chief Technical Officer at the Middle East Centre for Sustainable Development
he total value of the green building market in the United States is expected to triple by 2013 from 2005 figures, according to statistics compiled by McGraw Hill Construction. “The business opportunities afforded by green building, even in the midst of a global economic crisis, are real and recognised by industry players,” comments Harvey M. Bernstein, Vice President
of Industry Analytics, Alliances and Strategic Initiatives at McGraw Hill Construction. “Furthermore green building has great potential to tackle unemployment through green jobs, and can address other societal issues such as creating healthier places where we live and work,” he adds. Following a similar line of reasoning, Dubai’s Strategic Plan 2015 aims for a palpable shift
The LEED Certification process: • •
• • •
in construction and design, with the Emirate witnessing a surge in certification projects of the last year. 2012 is the first year during which the number of existing buildings has been more than the number of new buildings being certified. Middle East Centre for Sustainable Development A joint project between Environment Health and Safety (EHS) and Pacific Control Systems LLC (PCS), MECSD was established to aid the introduction of LEED certified green buildings in the Middle East, in line with the nation’s move towards sustainable development.
In total MECSD has certified 27 projects, of which two gained platinum status, 12 gold and a further 12 silver. Of these projects, 26 are in Dubai and include: • ESAB Middle East; Platinium, new construction • TLM International FZE, Jebel Ali; Platinum, new construction • Easy Hotel, Jebel Ali; Gold, new construction • Nestlé Dubai Manufacturing LLC, Techno Park; Gold, new construction • Cruise Terminal, Mina Rashid; Silver, new construction • One and Only Royal Mirage, Palm Jumeirah; Certified Additionally MECSD has also certified two mid-rise residential complexes – a first for the Emirate – and has a further 60 projects in the pipeline, 20 of which are expected to reach full certification this year.
• • • •
Registration with USGBC Eco-charrette and Feasibility Study, to establish Targeted level of Certification. Technical Meetings with Stakeholders and Design Guidance- to develop the Certification Plan and ensure that the design includes desired green features and processes for a successful green building. Building Energy Modeling Analysis, feedback, and Reporting Water Use Analysis, Calculation, and Reporting Daylighting & Lighting Calculations and LPD levels Construction GuidanceCertification Plan, to ensure that the construction incorporates the green features and processes for completing the green features of the building as planned. Collection of required supporting data and upload to LEED on Line Fundamental LEED Commissioning Clarifications and resubmission to USGBC Final USGBC Award and Certification Measurement and Verification of energy and water consumption reductions - ongoing Enhanced LEED Commissioning, post occupancy Green Building Operation and Maintenance, post occupancy LEED Existing Building and Operation Certification-on going, within two to three years after initial certification and then every five years.
ESAB Middle East LEED Platinium BENEFITS 38.6% Savings on energy use 35.4% Savings on potable water use by water fixtures 20.9% Materials use with recycled content 43.9% Regional materials use THE NEW BUILDING Prime Residency II – is a new construction residential building project comprises of four floors with 41 flats in each floor with a total built-up area of 251,176 sq ft. It is a freehold apartment block, located in International City enjoys a prime spot within a Spanish environment. Sporting Spanish architecture, the residency evokes a contemporary living environment within the ambience of landscaped garden. The new residential construction is designed to have access to the best health and leisure facilities, from landscaped gardens to children’s recreation area. It is also hosts an exclusive retail area comprising of boutiques, cafes and restaurants. SUSTAINABLE SITES AND TRANSPORTATION The project team sought to encourage responsible transportation. The following are strategies to support it: • The project site is located within 0.5 miles of 193 community services and an existing residential district • Provides preferred parking and low-emitting and fuel-efficient vehicles on-site • Provides car/van pool parking for 19% of the total provided nonresidential parking spaces • 100% of non-roof impervious surfaces on-site have been paved with highly reflective materials • 100% of roofing materials meet the SRI requirement • Installed water efficient landscaping ENERGY EFFICIENCY MECSD as a Sustainability Consultant for Prime Residency II, has created an energy model to evaluate the effectiveness of the building’s energy conservation measures, in compliance with ASHRAE Std. 90.12004 Appendix G methodology. The following are the Energy Efficiency
measures incorporated in the project: • Highly insulated mass walls • Optimised glazing • Efficient lighting • Efficient HVAC systems INDOOR ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY The IAQ performance complies with the minimum requirements of ASHRAE Std 62.1-2004, and Ventilation for Acceptable IAQ that expects an increase in fresh air by 30% above minimum rates for healthy and good indoor environmental quality. • Installed air flow monitoring device for each mechanical ventilation to monitor the freshair • Installed CO2 sensors to monitor the carbon dioxide concentration in the densely occupied spaces • Developed and implemented a Construction Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Management Plan in reference to SMACNA guidelines
LEED Certification: GOLD, New Construction (NC) V2.2 Square Feet: 251,176 sq ft / Residential Building Neighborhood: International City, Dubai, UAE Construction Cost: $78 / square foot Completed: March 2011 Date of Certification: 21 October 2011
Use of building finish materials with low emission of volatile organic compounds (VOC) for adhesives, sealants, paints and coatings Lighting and thermal controllability are available for all shared occupant spaces Provide direct line of sight views for 99.83% of all regularly occupied areas
OTHER GREEN FEATURES INCLUDES • Earned an exemplary performance in regional materials use • Diverted 80.00% of on-site generated construction waste from landfill • Provides appropriately sized dedicated areas for the collection and storage of recycling materials THE TEAM Owner: Prescott Investments Ltd. Design Consultant: National Engineering Bureau Contractor: Sobha Contracting Green Building Consultant: Middle East Centre for Sustainable Development (MECSD), Dubai, UAE Chief Technical Officer: Thom Bohlen LEED AP BD + C LEED AP: Ashraf Ali Khan Patan & Melanie Bacho Commissioning Authority: Pacific Control Systems Photograph Courtesy of Prescott & MECSD
TLM International FZE BENEFITS 46.40% Savings on energy use 24.28% Offset by on-site renewable energy 36.40% Savings on potable water use TLM International FZE TLM is a new office and warehouse building located in Jebel Ali Free Zone, Dubai. It has a total built-up area of 98,868 sq ft, consists of; warehouse with an area 89,215 sq ft and office with an area of 9,653 sq ft. The project has in-house infrastructure to manage all imports, logistics, clearances and associated services to support sales and distribution in GCC and Africa region. The TLM International is part of a diversified group of companies engaged in renewable energy solutions that includes, but not limited to: Solar PV, Solar Thermal, PV Inverters and Charge Controllers, AGM Batteries and Wind Energy Solutions. ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND RENEWABLE ENERGY MECSD as a sustainability consultant for TLM International, created an energy model to evaluate the effectiveness of the building’s energy conservation measures, in compliance with ASHRAE 90.1-2004 Appendix G methodology. ENERGY CONSERVATION MEASURES • Improved thermal envelope • High efficiency glazing • Reduced interior lighting power density • Reduced exterior lighting power • Solar water heating system • Solar external lighting TLM installed 88 solar PV panels on-site to generate 123,552 Kwh/year of renewable energy that offset energy costs considerably wherein it has a bigger impact in reducing the carbon footprint in the Middle East Region. MATERIALS & RESOURCES 75.01% of on-site generated construction waste diverted from landfill 11.04% materials is recycled content 68.83% materials is manufactured locally
Provide appropriately sized dedicated areas for the collection and storage of recycling materials OTHER GREEN FEATURES INCLUDE Exemplary performance for Site Development, maximise open space Exemplary performance for on-site renewable energy
LEED Certification: Platinum, New Construction (NC) V2.2 Square Feet: 98,868 sq ft / Office & Warehouse Neighborhood: Jebel Ali Free Zone, Dubai, UAE Construction Cost: $38 / square foot Completed: January 2011 Date of Certification: 20 July 2011
Exemplary performance for heat island effect: Non-Roof. 100% of non-roof hardscape paved with reflective materials Exemplary performance for regional materials use THE TEAM Owner: TLM International FZE Design Consultant: MAS Engineering Consultants Contractor: Roshan Construction LLC Green Building Consultant: Middle East Centre for Sustainable Development (MECSD), Dubai, UAE Chief Technical Officer: Thom Bohlen, Architect, LEED AP BD +C LEED AP: Sheila Mateo & Loveleen Raval Commissioning Authority: Pacific Control Systems Photograph Courtesy of TLM & MECSD
Special Feature|CASE STUDY
Case-in-point: Corporate Environmental Responsibility initiatives Some companies partner with NGOs with a history in community outreach programmes or recycling initiatives. Others, realising the financial advantage of going green, adopt internally driven CER programmes. Regardless of the means, the end result remains clear: CER has evolved into more than just an addon competitive advantage for businesses; it is now a necessary element in any forward-thinking company’s corporate strategy. BGreen highlights the most popular CER campaigns in the UAE across categories.
Operational changes Dubai Airport Dubai Airport reported the results of their 2011 energy and fuel saving initiatives that reduced carbon emissions by 72,793 tonnes, saved 131.9 million gallons of water and achieved Dh15.9 million in fuel savings. According to Dubai Airports CEO, Paul Griffiths, “it’s becoming increasingly clear that green business is good business,” suggesting the need for a shift in the corporate vision of expanding companies in the region. By installing energy-saving lamps and occupancy sensors, re-setting air conditioning by three degrees (from 21 degrees Celsius to 24 degrees) and implementing chiller management systems, Dubai Airports managed to save over 21.4 million kilowatt-hours of electricity worth Dh8.13 million, equivalent to 9,993 tonnes of carbon. At Dubai World Central, water savers were introduced in all facilities, resulting
in the conservation of 696,000 gallons of water worth Dh27,840. Additionally the use of treated sewage effluent water for irrigation has resulted in the saving of 4.75 million gallons of potable water worth Dh190,000. The company also installed the largest solar panel array for any airport in the Middle East, owing to the support of Dubai Airport’s partner, Air BP. The array consists of 92 panels of high efficiency photovoltaic cells providing 21.6-kilowatt capacity. Located above the airport’s Car Park B, it provides enough power to fully offset the energy consumed by the lighting and plasma displays in the airport’s historical photo exhibition. The installation has a lifespan of 25 years, and will continue to provide free, clean energy to Dubai International during its lifetime. Another successful initiative, which continues to yield substantive fuel and emission savings, is the airport’s stand hold policy that limits the number of aircraft taxiing and queuing at the runway.
The intention is to absorb any delay time on the stand while the aircraft engines are shut down, adding to fuel savings and freeing the airfield of congestion. In 2011, this policy generated 530,621 minutes of reduced engine run time and saved 19,332 tonnes of fuel and reduced CO2 emissions by 60,894 tonnes. For Earth Hour this year, Dubai Airports turned off all non-essential lights across all three terminals and at Dubai World Central. “Our ultimate goal is to contribute to the development of a clean, sustainable future in which airports, aircraft and all ancillary services are carbon-neutral,” as stated by Griffiths. “Aviation’s sustainability is of vital importance to Dubai. Currently it supports over 250,000 jobs and contributes some US$22 billion in economic activity. By 2020 that contribution will increase to 320,000 jobs and US$44 billion. As an industry we still have a long way to go to achieve our environmental goals, but each
incremental step forward we take is a step in the right direction.” Union National Bank Union National Bank (UNB) is the first commercial bank in the world to be certified with the Integrated Management System, comprising of three standards, ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001, which factors in environmental impact and health and safety management. Environmental Management Systems signify the importance of preservation of natural resources through recycling and conservation, effective waste management
(including e-waste), promoting green initiatives such as paper saving, efficient water and energy management, and process automation. In terms of operational sustainability, UNB has implemented the usage of recycled paper at all its premises in the UAE in efforts to reduce its carbon footprint. In addition to the bank’s annual participation in the Earth Hour movement, UNB also switches off nonessential lights at its premises after 8.00 pm on daily basis. According to Mohammad Ali, SVP & Head of Group Communications & Strategic Relations at UNB, “preserving the environment isn’t just good for the bottom line. We all have a stake in the future of our planet and must learn to operate in ways that don’t deplete our world’s limited natural resources. We at UNB take a close look at ways where we can operate more efficiently, waste less and reduce our environmental footprint, not only in our own operations, but
through our supply chain and employees as well.” As a strategic partner with the Ministry of Environment and Water, UNB has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the government body to support their various environmental activities. Dnata Led by the Department of Economic Development (DED), FreightGate-5 airport cargo terminal was made the first carbon neutral warehouse in the Middle East, acting as a green template for sustainable warehousing in the region. According to the estimates made during the study, this can save 1.9 million tonnes of carbon dioxide annually by 2020, equivalent to the current annual carbon footprint of roughly 60,000 UAE residents. This initiative is part of the agreement signed between DED and DHL earlier last year to develop logistics innovation initiatives that drive efficiencies within the sector through better policy management. Carbon reduction is one of the targets. Supported by Pacific Controls and Philips, Dnata was able to initiate the carbon reduction project at FreightGate-5 in energy reduction, translating to large cost savings that can subsequently be passed on to the supply chain, boosting operational efficiency. Another key stage in the carbon reduction plan includes a follow up project reducing carbon emissions in warehousing and vehicles in the logistics sector. An initiative was also launched to conduct a carbon footprint assessment of the Emirate’s logistics sector and drive general awareness amongst businesses in Dubai. FreightGate-5 is located near the centre of the city, allowing for efficient transit of freight. Spanning 13,000 square-metres, the facility was upgraded through an investment of Dh 600,000, with return of investment projected within the next two to four years. The upgrade was managed by DHL Energy Performance & Management, resulting in electricity savings of 40 per cent, or roughly 450-megawatt hours a year, equivalent to 167 tonnes of carbon dioxide. “The initiative necessitates government leadership, like the support extended by the Department of Economic Development and Dnata to drive a requirement for change in energy efficiency. The changes brought about at
preserving the environment isn’t just good for the bottom line. We all have a stake in the future of our planet” FreightGate-5 are achievable across the whole of Dubai’s logistics sector and can be done on a commercial basis without financial subsidy. Similar projects can achieve up to 50 per cent energy savings with payback windows of two to four years,” according to Chief Operations Officer of DHL Energy Performance and Management, Peter Rusy. Community Outreach Panasonic Among the many environmentally driven initiatives undertaken by Panasonic Middle East, two awareness campaigns specifically target the younger generation. The Panasonic Eco Picture Diary competition encouraged children between the ages of six to 15 years to pitch ideas on how to preserve the environment in a five-day photographic journal, launched in commemoration of World Environment Day last year. Another awareness campaign is the Panasonic Eco Scholarship programme that provides scholarships to graduate students under the Environmental Science Bachelor Degree Program from UAE’s prestigious Abu Dhabi University. The scholarship is aimed at encouraging local talent to take up this subject to further environmental research in the region. Last year Panasonic selected four students for the programme. “We strongly believe that we need to graduate more students who can contribute towards the preservation of our environment. Here in the Middle East the need for more environmental sciences students remains critical given the delicate and fragile ecosystem, and the fast pace development the region is witnessing,” according to Seiji Koyanagi, Managing Director of Panasonic Marketing Middle East. Other initiatives launched under the company’s ‘Eco Ideas Declaration’ are the Panasonic - WWF partnership project, which is designed to empower catchment
communities, schools and regional partners with the knowledge, motivation and abilities for sustainable use and management of natural resources. One school each from Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya were transformed into model schools where students are taught to be environmentally responsible. They will be encouraged to form a discussion forum among children in the region over the Internet. Other awareness campaigns include Panasonic’s plan to educate 100,000 of its customers in the next three years by celebrating Green day on the first Friday of every month. By installing ‘eco kiosks’ in its showrooms across the region, Panasonic will address issues such as energy and water conservation, and waste management. Canon One of the CER-driven activities being supported by Canon Middle East is the Wild Arabia Photographic Exhibition and Competition, which is currently on display in Emaar Boulevard, Downtown Dubai until 12 May. The large scale awareness campaign launched by Univers K, in partnership with National Geographic Al Arabiya and sponsored by Dolphin Energy, was initially on display at Abu Dhabi Corniche from 11 to 21 April. The exhibition will be accompanied by the launch of a photo competition designed to raise awareness about the Middle East’s rich ecology. The competition will run for a whole year from April 2012 to April 2013 and Canon Middle East will distribute prizes to winners on a bi-monthly basis. Starbucks Starbucks’ Community Connections programme is an expansive CSR strategy that targets various sectors of society. One of their CER initiatives that aims to raise awareness among children include their summer partnership with the Dubai British School and Abu Dhabi Community School. The employees of Starbucks UAE partnered with students from the Dubai British School (DBS) and collected over 2500 cans with the help of EEG’s can collection campaign. The used cans were collected in
recycling bins surrounding the stores in an effort to reduce environmental impact. Children from DBS also collaborated with Starbucks in a planting activity to encourage care for the environment among students. They were taught how to plant indoor and outdoor plants using Starbucks coffee grounds as an additional nutrient. Tree planting Abu Dhabi Ports Company (ADPC) ADPC’s tree planting initiative aimed at adding to the diverse ecosystem of the UAE’s Western Region. More than 1,500 trees were planted at Mugharrag Port, led by ADPC’s Ports Unit and their community partners, including Delma Fishermen’s Club, the Critical National Infrastructure Authority (CNIA), the Western Region Municipality, TDIC, Department of Transport (DoT), Abu Dhabi Police, as well as school students from Al Ruwais School. In a bid to increase awareness on the importance of planting trees, ADPC ensured that every tree at the port carries the name of the person who planted it. Al Hilal Bank Partnering with Emirates Environmental Group (EEG), Al Hilal Bank launched a CER initiative that ensures that a tree is planted under the name of every child opening a ‘Seghaar’ savings account at the bank. Children and their parents will be able to follow the growth of their tree in person and through updated pictures to
fully appreciate the contribution they have made to the environment. Desert clean-up drives Siemens, Volkswagen, Rotana Banding together as part of the ‘Clean the Desert’ initiative, 260 volunteers from Siemens, Volkswagen and Rotana, as well as members of the public who had registered on Volkswagen Middle East’s Think Blue Facebook page, collected 1000kg of trash from the desert along the outskirts of Dubai. Commercial Bank of Dubai Roughly 20,000 volunteers gathered to clean up over 100 desert sites across all seven emirates at a clean up drive sponsored primarily by CBD. Volunteers were equipped with biodegradable trash bags for the task. Deutsche Bank AG Working with Averda, Goumbook, and The Emirates Industry for Camel Milk, Deutsche Bank participated in a desert clean up drive off Dubai-Al Ain road where many camels are said to graze. The Emirates Industry for Camel Milk supplied gloves, bags and all waste material collection tools. The team aimed to collect at least 1,000 kg of waste from the desert in one day. Setting out at 11 am, over 200 volunteers raked a kilometre of sand, collecting and separating over 1,160 kg of waste. Averda, the largest environmental solutions provider in the region, transported the waste to their facilities.
Dishwashers Consumption per load/place setting 1997: 12 place settings 2012: 13 place settings Energy consumption*
–50 % up to
–60 % *Based on a normal program setting in accordance with EU regulation 1059/2010 (guideline 2010/30/EU), comparison of consumption values for Siemens dishwasher SN 26U893EU/ SN 56U593EU from 2012 with values for a comparable standard Siemens appliance from 1997 based on a standard economy 50°C cycle.
Introducing super efficient dishwashers from Siemens. www.siemens-home.com/ae Energy efficiency is more than just a passing trend; it is critical to protecting our environment. Technical innovation allows Siemens to offer you the highest efficiency with continuously improving performance and maximum convenience. In the last 15 years we have been able to substantially decrease energy consumption in all categories, while continuing to be Germany’s number 1 choice.
Siemens. The future moving in.
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The Green Renaissance As part of what is known as the “triple bottom line,” Corporate Environmental Responsibility has secured itself as a requisite in successful business models
t has been proven that a customercompetitive marketplace can propel change. As consumers, investors and shareholders increasingly challenge corporations for transparency and clear environmental strategies, there has been a noticeable shift in the benchmarking companies on more than just stock performance and return of investments. This calls for companies to set CER strategies that make good business sense. Why bother? A solid CER strategy can create business value by solidifying the company’s brand. By adding to its competitive advantage, CER can open up new revenue streams leading to increased profitability. Apart from branding, modifying business practices to account for the company’s environmental impact can directly drive the costs down. Adopting sustainable practices in behaviour, operations, product design, manufacturing and sourcing can be measured in cost savings, while enabling innovation in each of these stages. The most important role sustainable practices can play in the corporate realm is in the transparency of operations. Integrated disclosure can boost the company’s profile among shareholders, customers, employees and policy makers.
The process • Defining a clear vision CER loosely applies to any initiative that suggests the company’s commitment to the environment, either in mitigating its direct impact or by ‘offsetting’ initiatives that raise environmental awareness by reaching out to the community. Choosing causes that most closely matches the existing vision and core values of the company is imperative to ensure credibility and success. This can be achieved by tweaking the company’s operational efficiency in terms of energy, water, waste and carbon emission levels; manufacturing process; supply chain and logistics; or by tying up with respected organisations that have the skills and infrastructure by essentially ‘outsourcing’ the company’s CSR department. • Collecting and managing data Depending on the vision of the company, the next step for defining a CER strategy is to choose the environmental metrics for documentation (energy, water, greenhouse gas emissions, or waste). In the Middle East, keeping tabs on these indicators may need to be delegated to sustainability consultants who can employ globally recognised metrics in an objective manner. Once base values and targets have been determined, the next step lies in assessing performance at regular intervals. • Developing a strategy After assessing where the company is at present and where it plans to go in its vision for sustainability, the next important step in the process is performing a thorough market review. It is crucial to determine what competitors are doing, what customers expect from businesses within the industry, what strategies drive market leaders. Ultimately, this analysis
will allow you to form a solid conclusion on what the company should be doing, helping you set achievable goals for a sustainable future from top to bottom. Measuring impact Regulatory reporting in Europe and North America allow for a streamlined process in performing ‘environmental audits,’ measuring the impact of CER initiatives and sustainable business practices. In the UAE, international bodies like the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and the Carbon Disclosure Project can fill that reporting vacuum. Arabia CSR Network, headed by EEG’s Habiba Al Marashi, has been certified by GRI as a training body for corporations in the UAE. The extensive Arabia CSR Awards, held annually in Dubai, provide companies a platform for sharing their achievements and learning from their limitations at training sessions featuring internationally acclaimed trainers and previous years’ winners outlining success strategies that can be adopted and customised for any organisation. Reporting Results Transparency in sustainability reporting may take a while to establish itself as a norm in the UAE. Even though most companies adopt CER measures with vigour, and make it a point to publicise their efforts, only a handful of organisations take the effort to collate and publish annual sustainability reports. Informed investors and consumers are increasingly demanding for more than just announcements of corporate environmental data; they require companies to reveal results, reductions, and tangible impact of their CER drives. Market intelligence and key reports and resources need to be made public for a truly sustainable future.
Protect our natural heritage.
With the help of your business, we can do ours. Make a change as corporate member with EWS-WWF and help us in our mission to conserve and protect our natural environment. Together, we can make a difference. www.ewswwf.ae
Comment | LAI
Sustainability Consulting 101 Allison Lai explains how to break into the highly lucrative and rewarding field of sustainability consulting
ustainability and CSR consulting is an emerging field with optimistic prospects for growth due to the increasing realisation that there is a huge business opportunity in leveraging social and environmental strategy to drive financial objectives. According to the 2012 Global Sustainability Consultant Survey conducted by David Schatsky at Green Research, 60% of sustainability consultants entered the field within the last 5 years. There is also a growing number of new boutique consultancies focusing on sustainability strategy. And concurrently, many existing consultants are moving from their prior field of expertise and gaining the education needed to reinvent themselves as sustainability strategy specialists. Perhaps even more telling of the maturation of this industry is that all of the major management, accounting, and strategy consulting firms -- Deloitte, Ernst & Young, KPMG, PwC, Accenture, Boston Consultings22, McKinsey -- have each created their own division for sustainability consulting. Such firms can have tremendous influence on big clients whose operations have far reaching social and environmental impacts. The fact that these firms have realised the value to be gained from sustainability strategy is an indicator that the private sector will be the
most probable leader in driving the global shift toward sustainability. This, of course, appears to be ever more true as we witness, in frustration, slow global -- and seemingly stagnant in the US -- legislative action to mandate corporate responsibility. Here is some great advice I’ve gotten on how to strategically enter the field of sustainability consulting: Paul Bozzo -- Entrepreneurial Finance professor at Dominican University of California’s Green MBA and Founding Principal of the 10X Group, a consultancy for entrepreneurial strategy – said this of common career paths of sustainability consultants: You can start with a big firm to get broad experience with management consulting, client relationships, strategy development, and implementation. From there, you can spend years moving up within the firm to eventually, and hopefully, become a partner. Or, what is more common is to take that broad experience and move to smaller, more focused firms. Eventually, as a final route, some establish themselves as independent consultants with enough expertise developed over the years to market their personal brand and take on solo projects. According to the Sustainability Consultant Survey, 61% of sustainability consultants work alone or in firms with 10 or less consultants in the practice. Of course, it’s important to keep in mind that sustainability consultants have varying career paths within this framework as well as completely different paths altogether. Navin Ramachandran -- Vice President of Products at Amyris Inc, and a former Associate Principal at McKinsey -provided this advice on important factors to consider when preparing to enter the sustainability division of a large firm: 1. Identify which office has the greatest focus on sustainability. The global scale of these companies means multiple offices around the world. Different offices encounter a different number of clients seeking sustainability strategy development. For example, European
offices may see a higher demand than U.S. offices, and San Francisco offices will see more than Atlanta offices. 2. Ask associate-level consultants at those offices how much they actually work on sustainability projects. If there are few active clients for a firm’s sustainability division, associates are often placed on other projects, whatever they may be. Developing expertise in the sustainability field means working specifically on those projects as much as possible. Lastly, I have my own approach to help sharpen skills in developing and evaluating corporate sustainability strategies: • Find a company with an established CSR strategy and get their annual CSR report as well as the 10-K for that same year • Identify the key social and environmental issues addressed in the CSR report • Articulate how and where the company’s sustainability strategy had an impact on financial performance reflected in the 10-K To get clients onboard, there must always be financial gain because the bottom line of the triple bottom line, ultimately, is the bottom line. Of course, many efforts that are part of a company’s sustainability strategy provide intangible, non-financial benefit. It is also equally important to address these gains and translate them into an argument for how the company can leverage that value as a tangible asset. Allison Lai is a current MBA student studying Sustainable Business Management at Dominican University of California in San Rafael, USA. Her experience includes consulting with small businesses to achieve Bay Area Green Business Certification. Most recently, she has developed sustainability initiatives for a leading biofuels company. Her specialty is in data management for sustainability strategy.
Printing Green even though most corporations are moving towards digital documentation, we’re still far from a paperless work environment. BGreen looks at environmentally responsible options for printing at the workplace
Digital Printing Digital printing uses 100 per cent non-toxic toner, which produces less chemical waste at the end of its lifecycle. For short-run, four-colour projects, digital printing is the most cost-effective solution. Business cards, letterheads, and other print work less than 1,000 sheets would benefit from digital printing. Alternative paper Tree-free paper of many varieties is now increasingly available for commercial use. These varieties are made of agricultural residues, or textile waste. Denim Blues, for example, is made of 100 per cent reclaimed jean material. Synthetic paper made from Kenaf and hemp is also gaining popularity, as is a new type known as TerraSkin, which is made from ground stone that has a high tensile strength ideal for packaging. Ink Petroleum-based inks, when disposed in landfills either as cartridges or printed paper, can leak Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) into the soil that is harmful for the human health. Alternatives to petroleum-based inks include soy ink, which uses soybean oil naturally low in VOCs.
Bleach White paper is made that way through extensive bleaching processes. Elemental chlorine, an extremely strong chemical, was the go-to product for paper beaching, but now chlorine dioxide is used as a milder substitute. While chlorine compounds are safer than pure chlorine, better options include Processed Chlorine-Free (PCF) and Totally Chlorine-Free (TCF) bleaching, which substitute chlorine compounds with oxygenbased compounds. These symbols can be found when purchasing recycled paper. Educate consumers A vital part of making the shift towards green business practices includes ensuring that print materials and packaging are made from sustainable resources. Companies like IBM and CocaCola are just a few international businesses making an effort to publicise their move from decades
ago on their use of 100 per cent recycled paper and toxic-free inks. A major obstacle for businesses going green in the Middle East lies in educating their customers in green design and printing processes. Operational transparency through annual consumer reports could be a useful way to facilitate a private sector-led green revolution.
Operational changes • Reduce ink use by determining whether all print projects need to be in colour. In many cases, a twocolour design could be just as effective. • Metallic inks degrade much faster than Pantone colours, and have larger VOC emissions. Making the switch could lead to a longer lifespan for printed projects, while cutting down on toxic residue. • Adhering to Standard press
available here. New innovations around the world include waterless presses, washable inks, paper made from mills that are fuelled by alternative energy sources and more. On the plus side, by the time these options are viable in the Middle East, any technical kinks they may have had would have been addressed, while driving the product cost down.
sheet sizes, such as 23 x 35, or 28 x 40, can minimise paper wastage. Special large-scale projects can be custom printed from the source, especially since paper is sold by weight, this can be a cost-effective choice.
Industry standards In the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) mandates that federal agencies must use uncoated printing. Writing papers must contain at least 30 per cent post-consumer content, while coated and commodity papers must contain a minimum of 10 per cent. In the UAE, there is still no federal law stipulating minimum requirements, but using the EPA standards as a rough guideline can be a starting point for printing guidelines. Important stamps of approval include the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and Chlorine Free Product Association (CFPA). For these symbols to appear on products, they must meet specific standards determined by the International Standards Organisation (ISO). Client-led projects For those in the publishing and design industry, the priority remains creating an aesthetically appealing piece of work that meets client requirements. Paper and ink choices come with a cost, and if an environmental cost is factored in, clients may be persuaded to choice greener options. If a client refuses to switch to paper with a higher percentage of postconsumer recycled content, for example, reducing the total number of pages might help reduce wastage instead. Different paper types can be used to reduce waste as well. For example, many publications opt for high-gloss coated paper for advertisements and uncoated paper with recycled content for editorial pages. Evolving technology Most of the time, staying up-to-date on new printing processes and solutions that may not be available in our region can be wearisome. Still, keeping tabs on green technologies around the world is a good way to figure out corporate printing strategies with the resources that are
In the UAE, there is still no federal law stipulating minimum requirements, but using the EPA standards as a rough guideline can be a starting point for printing guidelinesâ€?
Sustainable symbols and common terms The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) works with businesses to promote responsible forestry practices. Use of this trademark is restricted to those who comply with current standards and regulations. The Soy Seal appears on products that are certifiably printed with soy inks. The Processed Chlorine Free symbol denotes that no chlorine or chlorine compounds were used during the paper manufacturing process, and that paper choices contain at least 30 per cent postconsumer content. VOCs are Volatile organic compounds found most commonly in petroleum-based printing ink. These organic chemicals have a high vapour pressure at roomtemperature conditions. They are notoriously harmful for the environment and human health.
Corporate Profits versus the Environment Anurag Agrawal, Managing Director of Canon Middle East, outlines the immediate need for a green bottom line through investments in sustainable technology
ompanies around the world understandably make every effort to secure sizable profits, but this should not be at the expense of the environment. To avoid a “major planetary catastrophe” it is estimated that up to US$1.9 trillion needs to be invested in green technology each year for the next 40 years. Green or environmentally friendly technology has become the new tool for human development and economic progress, as people and companies worldwide are increasingly recognising the harmful effects of unsustainable technologies and practices that adversely impact the environment and the overall quality of life. At the core of green technology is the concept of sustainable development, or the act of adequately providing for the needs of the society without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. According to last year’s World Economic and Social Survey released by the UN, the earth may be on course for a “major planetary catastrophe” as a result of unsustainable technologies and practices. According to the report, approximately half of the planet’s forests are gone, while groundwater resources are increasingly being depleted and contaminated. Subtitled
as “The Great Green Technological Transformation”, the report also suggests that up to US$1.9 trillion needs to be invested each year into green technology for the next 40 years to avoid extreme repercussions for the planet’s survival. Here in the Middle East, the environmental movement has been gaining momentum over the past years with a growing number of public and private sector institutions coming together to try and address this issue. In addition, strategic socio-economic growth plans being introduced by governments in the region such as the Dubai Strategic Plan 2015, Plan Abu Dhabi 2030 and the Qatar National Vision 2030, have further accelerated the adoption of sustainable development concepts. Nonetheless, there is scope for the private sector to take a more active role in developing greener technologies, and encourage all stakeholders to support the green cause in their own capacities. Embracing ‘Kyosei’ At Canon, our commitment towards sustainable development is referred to as ‘kyosei,’ a Japanese word that means living and working together for the common good. ‘Kyosei’ is not just a slogan for us – it infuses everything that we do, from product to process development. Nearly 100 per cent of Canon’s products in Europe, Middle East and Africa qualify for the EU ENERGY STAR® Programme. The company has also been constantly enhancing its environmental management systems (EMS) and has achieved global certification to ISO14001, the international standard for environment management systems. Canon uses bio-based plastics - an environmentally conscious material that incorporates plant-based and organic components - in the several toner recycling
and collection programs it adopts. Interestingly, up to 30 per cent of the company’s printer housings are made from recycled plastic as part of a comprehensive Produce-Use-Recycle product lifecycle approach. Plastics recovered from returned Canon machines or from waste generated during manufacturing are re-used in new products such as the X MARK 1 mousecalculator-keypad and the imageRUNNER ADVANCE C5000 series. In 2010, Canon also initiated programs to reduce fixed CO2 emissions and those associated with industrial production by improving the efficiency of facilities at its operational sites in various countries, including the Middle East region. For instance, in line with its “closer to customers” strategy, Canon has established a dedicated consultancy team that helps enterprises in Qatar and other countries to achieve substantial energy savings and environmental benefits. By switching to duplex printing, for example, an organization could save an amount of energy equivalent to powering 19 homes for a whole year. Canon Middle East has launched a series of environmentally-focused activities under the theme “Power of Environment” to celebrate its 10th anniversary in the region. In March 2012, Canon participated in “Earth Hour”, shut down all non-essential lights at its offices located in Dubai Internet City for an hour. Moreover, in collaboration with Dubai Internet City, Canon’s employees and their families gathered outside the office building with lamps as a sign of solidarity for Earth Hour and made a pledge that they will take long term actions towards environmental conservation. In addition, Canon has announced a public photo competition entitled “My Earth, My Lens”. Accordingly, people will be required to take a photograph that best symbolises what the environment means to them.
The BIG picture
With more than 4,400 hotels in 90 countries, Accor’s latest commitment to the environment, PLANET 21, was globally launched in April in efforts to bring standardised green practices across the board
he Middle East’s thriving hospitality sector is ripe with green possibilities. As hotels vie for green certifications and invest in energy and water-efficient technologies, the core values governing the industry are constantly evolving. 40,000 new rooms are created every year at hotels under Accor, which explains why the group intends to combine development with growth that acknowledges local communities while looking holistically at the environment in a way that goes beyond just CSR. PLANET 21 The fast approaching Rio+20 climate change summit is a reminder for those in the know of the UNFCCC’s multilateral declaration signed 20 years ago. PLANET 21 is named in honour of
this declaration, Agenda 21, while recommitting to the need to change methods of production and consumption in the 21st century. PLANET 21 consists of 21 commitments and the same number of quantified goals adopted by Accor looking to 2015, including employee training for disease prevention in 95% of hotels, the promotion of balanced dishes in 80% of establishments, the use of ecolabelled products in 85% of hotels, the reduction in water and energy use in 15% of owned, and 10% of leased hotels. “At a time when the Group is embarking on a phase of brisk expansion, with the aim of becoming the global reference in hotel industry, we are reaffirming our choice of responsible growth capable of generating shared value for all. With the PLANET 21 program, we are putting sustainable hospitality at the core of the Group’s strategy, development and innovation. I am convinced that sustainable development will lead us towards a new business model. PLANET 21 gives us a fantastic driver of competitiveness for our brands, attractiveness for our customers and
Today, 70% of our major account customers integrate sustainability in their supplier policy, and one in two customers take this criterion into account when choosing a hotel”
Pullman Mall of the Emirates
Worldâ€™s first: LCA for Hotels Accor is the first international hotel Group to run an in-depth assessment following the life-cycle analysis (LCA) method, to assess a productâ€™s full environmental impact from extracting raw materials to end-of-life disposal. This study involved nearly a year of groundwork with PwC, a consulting and auditing firm and a sustainable development specialist and pioneer.
Christophe Landais, Managing Director of Accor Middle East
Eco-leisure BELOW: Sofitel JBR RIGHT: Sanabel reception
presented with messages along the way alerting them of potential savings and achievements their eco-friendly choices could lead to. “The tone of the messages will be friendly and thoughtful, aimed at encouraging customers to participate without ever making them feel guilty. For example, giving them the option of separating waste in their rooms, would be a good way to encourage behavioural change,” Christophe Landais, Managing Director of Accor Middle East tells BGreen. To guarantee the credibility of this program, hotels can only use the PLANET 21 messages if they comply with a certain level of performance in terms of sustainable development, assessed according to a list of 65 check points or recognised external certification. Accor has conducted two international surveys to obtain comprehensive and objective information on where the hotels currently stand, and consumer behaviour. To establish a baseline, the Group carried out a study in 2011 on its environmental footprint that enabled it to measure accurately the main impacts, define priorities for action and identify new challenges. This work was preceded by a survey on the expectations of international hotel customers on this point, and showed that sustainable development is a growing criterion of choice for both leisure and business customers. “Today, 70% of our major account customers integrate sustainable development criteria in their supplier policy, and one out of two customers claims to take this criterion into account when choosing a hotel! We used these findings to implement PLANET 21: a social, societal and environmental program with precise goals that unite our employees and offer our customers an opportunity to participate,” according to Executive Vice President Sustainable Development and Academies for Accor, Sophie Flak.
The eventual roll-out of the programme Of all the actions in Charter21, 10 are compulsory across all Accor hotels. They have been identified as the easiest to implement, the ones guests most expect or the most profitable. 1. Be familiar with environmental regulations 2. Train employees to adopt the right eco-friendly gestures 3. Monitor and analyse energy consumption every month 4. Use low-consumption lamps for 24 hour lighting 5. Monitor and analyse water consumption every month 6. Install water flow regulators on showers and faucets 7. Recycle ink cartridges 8. Recycle hotel batteries 9. Use eco-friendly cleaning products 10. Offer balanced meals in the restaurant
ROAD TO DOHA | Comment
Nuclear Power Where do we stand? Lebanon National Coordinator, Guy El Khoury, presents the third installment of the Carboun Initiative’s Road to Doha project on the potential for nuclear power in the MENA region
n the aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan, populations across the world expressed their concern with the safety of nuclear power plants. Questions were raised both in countries with an established civilian nuclear programme and in neighbouring countries (worried by the impacts of nuclear fallout following a potential accident). The debate is ongoing in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region where a number of countries have been exploring the nuclear power option (some such as Egypt for decades now). The lack of technical capabilities, fears of nuclear proliferation and the lack of sufficient financial resources put a lid on the ambitions
of many of the governments in the region. However, the recent move by the UAE to develop a civilian nuclear programme has revived interests. Nuclear power: cheap and green Proponents of nuclear power argue that it offers a scalable and affordable solution to reduce the carbon footprint of electricity generation. In 2009, France’s power sector (which produces roughly 80% of its electricity from nuclear power plants) had a carbon intensity (emissions per unit of electricity produced) of around 80 kg CO2/MWh, one of the lowest in the world. France’s carbon intensity compares to approximately 400 kg CO2/MWh for
Comment | ROAD TO DOHA
California ( where 11% of electricity was produced from non-hydro renewables and 46% from natural gas) and an outstanding 790 kg CO2/MWh for Kuwait where 70% of electricity was derived from burning oil and refined products. French government officials also regularly emphasise lower electricity tariffs in their country compared to their European neighbours. For MENA countries, other arguments further support the case for nuclear power: - resource-rich countries such as Saudi Arabia could build reactors to free up natural resources for exports and generate additional revenues - resource-poor countries such as Jordan could develop nuclear power to reduce their dependence on fossil fuel imports as they strive to meet growing demand of electricity UAE LEADS the way, Saudi Arabia and Jordan seriously considering to follow In 2009, the UAE became the first country of the region to embark on the development of a large scale civilian nuclear power programme as it awarded a
Both Saudi Arabia and Jordan now stand as the most serious countries considering the development of nuclear power assetsâ€?
US$20 billion contract to a South Korean consortium to build four reactors with a total capacity of 5.6 GWe, with one 1.4 GWe power plant coming online every year starting in 2017. Both Saudi Arabia and Jordan now stand as the most serious countries considering the development of nuclear power assets. In Saudi Arabia, the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (KA-CARE) was set up by a 2010 royal decree and entrusted with the development of the kingdomâ€™s long-term power mix. Nuclear power is currently being considered, and could play major role in the power mix of the country. Plans were announced to build 16 reactors or 22 GWe of powerâ€” about half of Saudi Arabiaâ€™s current
electricity production capacity. Saudi Arabia is faced with a strong growth of electricity demand; and insufficient gas volumes have recently forced utilities to increasingly rely on crude oil to fuel their turbines. The country now generates about half of its electricity using from oil according to officials. Officials announced that the country burned an average of 730,000 barrels a day of crude in its power plants from July to the end of September 2011. Between 2004 and 2010, the consumption of crude oil in power plants rose by an estimated 260 percent. The debate around nuclear power recently accelerated in Jordan as disruptions of gas supply from Egypt exposed the countryâ€™s reliance on imports
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ROAD TO DOHA | Comment
removed from reactors; underground storage options have also been subject to contentious relations between central governments and local communities.
of hydrocarbons. In its approach to secure energy supply, the government considered LNG terminals as well as nuclear power. Jordan’s Atomic Energy Commission replaced the Nuclear Energy Commission in 2008 and is in charge of executing the country’s nuclear power plans. The government is currently considering bids for the Engineering Procurement and Construction of its first nuclear reactors and has entered in talks with different potential suppliers, indicating its desire to push forward its programme. Other countries in the region have formed institutions to oversee the potential development of a civilian nuclear programme, yet are not as advanced in the implementation process. Egypt established a set of organisations starting in the 1950s to oversee the use of nuclear fuel for power generation; several plans were commissioned to develop a nuclear fleet but none materialised. Every year, Tunisian engineers are trained on nuclear power in French institutions. Algeria operates two research reactors and has regularly discussed options to diversify its fuel mix including nuclear power. Opposition and concerns Governments’ enthusiasm for nuclear power, however, is not always matched with support from citizens. Kuwait recently dropped plans to develop nuclear power and disbanded its National Nuclear Energy Committee. The Kuwaiti government had faced strong opposition from civil society when it was considering the prospects of a civilian nuclear
programme. Not surprisingly, concerns were mainly about potential dangers of an accident in power plants. The Iranian plant of Bushehr (built on the other side of the Gulf) regularly surfaced in news articles reflecting fears of nuclear fallout from an accident at that plant. In Jordan, opposition to government plans recently rose as the country got closer to commissioning nuclear reactors. Opponents to nuclear power often put forth the renewables alternative. Renewables, they argue, would ensure higher levels of energy security by removing the need to import the resource, provide clean electricity, and most importantly entail no risks to humans or to the environment. The final disposal of radioactive material is also central to the debate. Spent nuclear fuel, which is regularly removed from the heart of reactors and replaced with new rods, is first cooled down in pools usually part of on-site facilities. Long-lived radioactive material must be stored for thousands of years before it reaches natural background levels of radioactivity. Although other options that could accelerate the decay of radioactive material are being researched, storage remains the main solution currently considered to deal with existing stocks of spent fuel in Western countries with an existing civilian nuclear programme. The responsibility for the final disposal of spent fuel typically lies within the hands of the country that produced the waste. It requires long-term planning to ensure sufficient financing is available decades after the fuel rods are
Lessons from Fukushima The development of civilian nuclear programmes in industrialised countries took decades to mature, and was supported by strong national scientific institutions. Current activities of nuclear power plants are governed by tight laws and standards enforced by empowered and independent regulators. Handling nuclear material requires high levels of safety and accurate accounting to ensure every single gram of fuel is tracked and kept in the right hands. The approach in Arab countries tends to be mostly geared to the acceleration of development plans and rapid execution. In many countries, it clearly relies on third parties for the implementation of programmes, with a parallel track for the development of national capabilities. The Fukushima accident provides one key learning to governments across the MENA that are contemplating plans of nuclear power: developing a civilian nuclear programme entails high requirements. Countries need institutions capable of maintaining adequate levels of safety from the licensing of nuclear plants, to their decommissioning, and all the way to the final disposal of spent nuclear fuel. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) standards suggest 10 to 15 years between the moment a government decides to launch a nuclear power plant and the day the first nuclear plant is connected to the grid. Implementing these setups does require time, and maturity. Guy El Khoury is a management consultant based in Beirut with a focus on energy practice in the Middle East region. Guy received an engineering diploma from Ecole Centrale Paris and a master’s degree from Stanford University. In his graduate studies he focused on energy policy and the electricity sector with emphasis on renewables and nuclear energy. His current work covers several aspects of the energy sector including fossil fuels, utilities and energy-intensive industries. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
sir david Attenborough CBe Broadcaster & environmentalist
“The InTeRnATIOnAl GReen AwARds are a genuine effort to promote positive attitudes towards biodiversity and sustainability.”
Take your place in the INTERNATIONAL GREEN AWARDS™ hall of fame. Great ideas, organisations and people deserve recognition. Recognition inspires change. It motivates and rewards people. It propagates and fertilizes new thinking. Which is why, in a bid to recognise sustainability wherever it occurs, we comb the globe every year to find true influencers, leaders, entrepreneurs and innovators. To discover and showcase the genuine game-changers in a way that will educate and inspire others. So make a real difference to your sustainability journey by entering the 7th INTERNATIONAL GREEN AWARDS™. enter the leading international sustainability awards of 2012 and showcase your organisation. Are you a visionary organisation or individual looking for: An event to truly test your initiatives and achievements against the best organisations from around the globe ? An awards programme that is well respected and internationally recognised as the benchmark for global excellence ? An international platform to promote your sustainability success stories and receive the recognition you truly deserve ? An opportunity to share best practice with other influential companies and inspire them through your success ?
To enter the 2012 INTERNATIONAL GREEN AWARDS™ PHOTOGRAPH: © Julian Hanford 2010
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Eyes skyward As part of the EU Directive 2008/10/101/EC, the aviation carbon tax has been effective for all air travel to or from the EU as of 1 January 2012. Following closely in its wake is the possibility of the EU issuing a similar maritime carbon tax, which could cause a second wave of outrage across the world. BGreen examines the Middle Eastâ€™s stance in this global debate
tâ€™s been a long time coming. The controversial aviation carbon tax imposed by the European Union on all flights entering or leaving the zone has been in the pipeline for more than 4 years. Still, four months since its imposition, countries around the world dependent on the aviation and logistics sector have been voicing their protest vehemently. Launched in 2005 to combat climate change, the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU-ETS) expects large emitters of carbon dioxide within their
region to monitor and report their yearly CO2 emissions, returning an amount of allowance equal to their emissions to the government. By monetising emissions, in theory, the EU-ETS serves as a pivotal model encouraging heavy polluting industries to behave responsibly, making them accountable for their role in climate change. While this regional model may have a strong case for mitigating climate change, many international air carriers believe that imposing the same unwavering demands on interdependent developing economies may not be fair.
By monetising emissions, in theory, the EU-ETS serves as a pivotal model encouraging heavy polluting industries to behave responsiblyâ€?
developments in IMO (International Maritime Organisation) and ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organisation) and previous work by AGF (UN Secretary-General’s High Level Panel on Climate Change Financing) and by the World Bank and other international organisations for the G20.”
The rationale By 2020, it is estimated that a total of 183 million tonnes of CO2 will be saved per year on the flights covered, a 46% reduction compared with business as usual levels. The environmental impact of including aviation in the EU-ETS is based on the need to curb the industry’s exponential emissions to remain below its 2004 to 2006 level. Under the scheme, airlines are encouraged to make reductions through their emission-controlling innovations, and are given the option of buying additional allowances on the market or investing in emission-saving projects under the Kyoto Protocol’s mechanisms. Following this line of reasoning, the European Commission forecasts that the aviation industry will be the second largest sector in terms of emissions, after electricity generation. According to the EC, direct emissions from aviation account for about 3% of the EU’s total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. “For example, someone flying from London to New York and back generates roughly the same level of emissions as the average person in the EU does by heating their home for a whole year. Emissions are forecast to continue growing for the foreseeable future,” the EC quotes. The large majority of these emissions comes from international
Opposition to the scheme also purports that it aims to tackle the region’s internal debt crises” flights. As this figure does not include indirect warming effects, such as those from NOx emissions, contrails and cirrus cloud effects, the actual impact of the aviation industry is estimated to be about 2 to 4 times higher than the effect of its past emissions, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The EU Council of Economic and Finance Ministers asserts that “the carbon pricing of global aviation and maritime transportation would generate the necessary price signal to efficiently achieve more emission reductions from these sectors and that carbon pricing of global aviation and maritime transportation have as well the potential to generate large financial flows.” The Council invites “the (European) Commission to prepare a reflection paper by June (2012) on carbon pricing of global aviation and maritime transportation taking into account the
Negative reactions Objections centre on the unilateral and mandatory nature of the scheme, as well as the belief that since the current situation regarding climate change is the result of the accumulated GHG emissions of developed countries over the past two centuries, it is not justifiable to impose the same rules on developing countries through the payment of carbon taxes. The argument against the scheme suggests that in addition to championing environmental change, the EU could use this programme to expand its export capacity in global low-carbon technologies and up-and-coming green aviation strategies. Opposition to the scheme also purports that it aims to tackle the region’s internal debt crises. On 1 March, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson, Hong Lei, expressed China’s opposition to the EU’s imperative. “The issues of international aviation and maritime transport emission have to be dealt with in the multilateral framework,(and) cannot break away from the basic legal framework of UNFCCC and KP (Kyoto Protocol), and cannot violate the principles of CBDR (common but differentiated responsibilities) and equity,” she stated on the Ministry’s website. International discontent A multinational discussion on the scheme was held in late September last year at New Delhi, India. The countries present from the Middle East included Egypt, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. The consensus at the meeting seemed to be that the EU-ETS was violating the Chicago Convention, as outlined by the World Trade Organisation on international aviation. A Joint Delhi Declaration was adopted after the discussion, on the basis of collaboration and mutual agreement to
address aviation emissions. It called upon ICAO to continue to undertake efforts to reduce aviation emissions contribution to climate change, while strongly opposing the EU’s plan to include all flights by non-EU carriers to and from their territories in its emissions trading system. More recently, in February this year, a second meeting took place in Moscow with participation from 29 countries. The subsequent declaration stated that the inclusion of international civil aviation in the EU-ETS leads to serious market misrepresentation and unfair competition. Among a series of actions suggested in the declaration was the possible imposition of additional levies or charges on EU carriers as a form of countermeasure. Akbar Al Baker, CEO of Qatar Airways
The Arab Air Carriers Organisation (AACO) Representing the interests of commercial airlines in the Arab world, The Arab Air Carriers Organisation (AACO), has opposed the EU-ETS as well, on the grounds that it violates international conventions and would lead to trade wars. At a meeting held in Doha, the AACO passed a declaration calling on the EU to work with the ICAO on a global rather than Europe-wide solution, according to a statement issued by member carrier, Qatar Airways. Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker called the ETS as a flatout unnecessary tax on aviation, which will undoubtedly affect the Middle East the most. “ETS is going to be the most important thing in the future, especially for Middle Eastern carriers, because we are...emitting more C02 compared to our peers in Europe and other places because we are introducing more aircraft,” he stated at the recently held Global Aerospace Summit in Abu Dhabi. Citing efficient engines issued by GE, Pratt and Rolls Royce, Al Baker called out the scheme for being an environmental front. “This is just unfortunately a cover up for the inefficiencies of the European Union and management of their finances,” he said. “This I think is only an indirect way of collecting more taxes - but I don’t know what they will do with all this money and to cover up the mismanagement they have been having in their finances for the last couple of decades.”
About a quarter of Emirates’ global operations are in Europe, and as a result, the airlines has valued its expenses at almost US$52 million this year for additional emission allowances, while Etihad has projected US$394 million for the next nine years of its European legs. A spokesperson from Etihad Airways voiced the company’s position in a statement: “Etihad Airways remains opposed to this scheme. We consider it to be more an anti-competitive tax on non-European airlines than an attempt to promote environmentally sustainable practice by the aviation industry.” Georges Hannouche, CEO of Bayanat Airports Engineering and Supplies, warned the direct effect the ETS could have on our region, considering the fact that the number of commercial aircrafts will increase from the present 950 to 2440 by the year 2029. The Middle East will record a 7.1% increase in passenger transport numbers annually until the year 2029, while it will be 6.8% annual growth for the freight segment. “The aviation industry is doing a great deal to limit its environmental impact, although it is not the major contributor to the problem. There are not many industries like the aviation which is operating 20% more efficiently now than 10 years ago with ambitious plans to improve further by the year 2020. Implementing green technologies, developing new initiatives in the bio-fuel field, using modern and fuel efficient fleet will certainly have a big impact on limiting the greenhouse
gas emissions,” he said, confident of the UAE’s move towards green aviation. Passing the buck Both UAE-based airlines, Emirates and Etihad, warn of potential ticket price hikes in the future. According to Hannouche, Etihad Airways will increase the fuel surcharge by US$3 (AED11) per passenger and $0.03 per kg for cargo shipments. “Additional costs per passenger are estimated at €1.50 - €3.50. Whether this can be passed on to the customers depends upon the competitive position of the airlines,” he said. The European Commission’s stance on this is clear: including aviation in the
Declarations in Doha
The number of commercial aircrafts will increase from the present 950 to 2440 by the year 2029 and the Middle East will record a 7.1% increase in passenger transport numbers annually until the year 2029, while it will be 6.8% annual growth for the freight segment”
EU ETS is not meant to directly affect or regulate air transport tickets. They speculate that “the impact on ticket prices will probably be minor. Assuming airlines fully pass on these extra costs to customers, by 2020 the ticket price for a return flight within the EU could rise by between €1.8 and €9.” Still, the body justifies this as being no different to the extra costs airlines have passed on to consumers due to rising world oil prices in recent years. Implications Global aviation trade body the International Air Transport Association (IATA) estimates the ruling will cost
airlines $1.17 billion this year, inflating to $3.5 billion by 2020. According to IATA, aviation has made global commitments to improve fuel efficiency by 1.5% annually to 2020, to cap net emissions from 2020 and to cut net emissions in half by 2050 compared to 2005 levels. Hypothetically, this could mean more foot traffic in strategically located airports in the Middle East, which could break up long haul flights as carbon tax is calculated on the shorter leg of flights. In light of all these loopholes, the effectives of the carbon trading scheme may be seriously undercut.
The AACO meeting in Qatar resulted in the following declarations: • A unilateral application of the EU ETS is violating the essence of the Chicago convention, which stipulates that the Air Transport relations between states need to be regulated by mutual consent. • The resolutions of the ICAO have explicitly called upon states that wish to introduce initiatives in the environmental footprint of aviation, to do that in agreement with the other states whose institutions might be impacted by such initiatives. • The fact that the ETS holds airlines of the world responsible for their emissions before the European authorities, contradicts with the principles of sovereignty of states over their national aerospace, and that national institutions of states are responsible before its own authorities and not the authorities of other countries. • The EU’s attempts to impose its own policies on other states will only lead to conflicts and trade wars which will not help the environment, the customer nor will it help the airlines. On the contrary, these attempts will negatively impact those stakeholders thus negatively impacting as well the global economic activity. • The environmental cause is a global one and any solution thereof should also be global arrived at under the auspices of the concerned United nations agency: ICAO • The Arab Air Carriers Organisation is quite aware of the necessity to mitigate the environmental footprint of aviation and it supports taking global measures agreed upon within ICAO.
the BGreen online Directory This month, the BGreen Website is getting a major overhaul
BGreen Magazineâ€™s comprehensive online directory, serves as a one-stop resource featuring corporations who offer sustainable solutions and services in the MENA region and beyond. The directory also lists government bodies, media sources, NGOs and Charities that embody the green values that drive our magazine. To ensure your company stands out within our directory of thousands, please contact a member of the BGreen Sales team, rhiannon@cpidubai or email@example.com, who will assist you with costing and duration for a featured listing.
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Investment Roundup million jobs could be created in developed economies in Australia, Germany, Spain and the USA over five years. The International Trade Union Confederation and the Millennium Institute have established the first ‘green job creation benchmark’ providing a guide to the job creation potential of selected industries, with the number of jobs per million dollars invested. The findings have urged the International Trade Union Confederation to encourage governments to drive investment of at least two per cent of gross domestic product (GDP), forecasting the potential for the growth of green jobs.
UAE power sector capacity to surpass 30 GW by 2013 The power sector installed capacity in UAE is expected to witness phenomenal growth in coming years according to upcoming research report “UAE Power Sector Analysis” by KuicK Research. The increasing economic activity along with per capita consumption will continue to drive the power sector installed capacity in UAE. The cumulative installed capacity in the country is anticipated to surpass 30 GW by 2013. The electricity consumption in the UAE region is slated to cross 100 TWh by the end of 2012, putting pressure on the supply side as the power demand is expected to increase at one of the highest rates in the Middle East region till 2020. Investments are on the rise throughout UAE for both renewable and non-renewable energy sectors, to cater to the increasing demand for power. It is expected that UAE will witness more than US$ 100 billion of investment in the power sector between 2011 and 2015. The majority of these investments will be directed towards the growth for alternative and sustainable energy projects.
Green investments for job creation For the first time, economists have used the number of jobs that can be directly created from investments as the key indicator to analyse the impact of green economy in 12 countries and seven industries –– energy, construction, transport, manufacturing, agriculture, forestry and water. Economists have shown how public and private investment in green economy can create hundreds of millions of decent green jobs, general secretary of International Trade Union Confederation Sharan Burrow said, adding governments must set targets for green jobs and provide legislative and regulatory conditions so workers can have secure jobs and living wages, thus creating a healthy society and environment. The Millennium Institute green investment model shows how new investments of two per cent of GDP in each of the next five years in 12 countries could create up to 48 million new jobs. “Middle income economies including Brazil, Indonesia, South Africa, Bulgaria could create up to 19 million jobs over five years,” it said, adding that some 28
Waste sector first to receive capital from GIB Barely a month in operation, Green Investment Bank (GIB) based in Scotland, has confirmed its first approved funding project in small scale waste infrastructure, according to a statement issued by Business Secretary, Vince Cable. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has appointed two specialist fund managers who will oversee the £80 million investment. This could include recycling and reprocessing facilities, pre-treatment plants and energy-from-waste projects. All BIS investments made by the fund managers will be match-funded, leveraging in at least £80m more to the projects. Cable said the announcement represented a “landmark investment” in green infrastructure by the Government. “They represent a great opportunity to unlock substantial commercial investment in green technologies and infrastructure... Investing directly now shows that we are not just sitting on our hands while we wait for the bank to receive state aid approval,” he added. An initial fund of £50m will be managed by Foresight Group and an initial fund of £30m by Greensphere Capital. The maximum amount of individual investments is not likely to exceed £15m.
Comment | Al Jaddou
Bumpy skies ahead Omar Al Jaddou, Director of Special Projects at Advanced Global Trading, examines the European Union’s Emission Trading Scheme, weighing its impact on the global economy
n perhaps one of the most ambitious attempts to curtail carbon emissions, the European Union has unilaterally sought to widen the scope of its Emission Trading Scheme (EU ETS) to cover the Aviation industry. The scheme consists of a cap-and-trade policy, whereby all airlines would have their annual emissions capped at a stated limit, which if exceeded would obligate the purchase of carbon credits from other organisations whose emissions have been below the capped amount, creating an economic incentive to reduce emissions. The furor this measure has engendered among developing and developed countries has signaled something of a watershed moment for climate change policy-making. It is clearly obvious that the EU ETS would punish pollutants in one of the worst CO2 emitting industries on our planet today, whilst encouraging greater focus on cutting emissions and being environmentally friendly. Global politics and the new realities emerging from the ongoing economic crisis has helped to shape the context of this
“Understandably, unilateral decision making doesn’t make you many friends, and this is no different with the EU’s attempt to be on the fore-front of the climate change issue.
debate, there are never any black and white arguments in international trade agreements, only shades of grey. A recent analysis of the potential impact of the EU ETS carried out by Thomson Reuters Point Carbon, found that airlines would be forced to pay around 500m Euros for the carbon emissions they cause. This figure might seem steep but when put in the context that according to the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation, 9.7 million
flights are expected to fly in European airspace in 2012 it does beg for a more pragmatic analysis of the slight disparity between the Public Relations campaign being forcefully engaged in by the airline industry and reality. Understandably, unilateral decision making doesn’t make you many friends, and this is no different with the EU’s attempt to be on the fore-front of the climate change issue. Engaging with stakeholders, creating a consensus and moving forward in a group, something which world leaders have tried and failed to do at almost every single climate change summit in recent history, is a more favorable option. The EU, known to be more left-leaning and welfare conscious, appears motivated by this lack of concerted action in dealing with the continued increase in pollution. Whilst environmentalists look with horror at the associated and expected increases in emissions from economic development in the developing world, the developing world can perceive an unjust hypocrisy in these same environmental measures - as stalling the economic growth they may see as a key to lifting their people out of poverty and into prosperity. With key states such as the United States, Russia, China and India banning their airlines from taking part in the EU ETS, it is clear that this unilateral approach which the EU has adopted may have an utterly negative affect on consensus building for environmental and climate change policy globally. Potential scenarios in the event of nonadherence have been said to include the impounding of aircraft, withdrawal from Open Skies agreements and other measures that may degenerate into an unprecedented 21st Century ‘trade war’, where ironically the biggest loss will be felt in areas supposedly championed by the most vocal supporters on either side - international trade and the environment.
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District cooling is a better solution for the environment and district cooling combined with individual BTU metering and exact billing is even better. At Kamstrup we work to develop solutions that make a difference, for the energy supplier, the consumer and the environment. It has been proven that accurate and visible energy metering reduces energy consumption, merely as a psychological effect. People are already aware that energy is an expensive resource, and if they are made aware of their consumption habits, they will automatically seek to adjust to a more energy savvy behavior. European experience states that almost 30% energy savings can be achieved when using individual BTU metering for cooling energy if compared to bulk metering where cooling charge is included into the rent. There is a clear difference in the consumption pattern of energy and water in measured and non-measured apartments. As 1°C in indoor temperature represents 5% of the energy bill a tenant can actually save 10% by increasing the indoor temperature from 20°C to just 22°C. This very concrete economic benefit of individual metering is followed by the important educational aspect that people get used to have a critical eye on their consumption as energy prices are in a steep rise. Kamstrup can provide all needed metering HW and SW to establish BTU metering into new and also existing buildings as retrofit metering.
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Kickstart your career at the BGreen Career Section, where you can find the latest job listings across sustainable industries. Visit www.buildgreen.ae and click on Careers Section
Green Spy | Society
Waste not, want not This month, our Green Spy investigates yet another source of renewable energy
erhaps this topic won’t qualify for dinner conversation in polite society, but it is definitely something discussed at length at research laboratories interested in exploring all possible avenues of renewable energy. US researchers have developed an efficient way of extracting hydrogen from urine - a move that could not only fuel the cars, but could also take care of wastewater. The notion of hydrogen-powered cars has been a long-savoured dream for scientist around the world, as the only emission in that scenario is water. However, finding a cheap, renewable source of hydrogen has put research on hold. Ohio University’s Gerardine Botte may have found the most cost effective solution, using electrolysis to produce hydrogen from urine at a fraction of the cost of producing hydrogen from water. Urine’s major component is urea, which incorporates four hydrogen atoms per molecule that are less tightly bonded than the hydrogen atoms in water molecules. Electrolysis breaks these molecules apart by oxidising urea. A voltage of 0.37V needs to be applied across the cell - much less than the 1.23V needed for water.
Pure hydrogen is formed at the cathode, while nitrogen plus a trace of oxygen and hydrogen are collected at the anode. The carbon dioxide generated during the reaction reacts with the potassium hydroxide in the solution to form potassium carbonate, effectively removing it as an emission. The group initially tested their process with faux urine made of dissolved urea while waiting for health and safety clearance to use real human urine. According to Botte, currently available processes that remove urine from water are expensive and inefficient. Urea naturally hydrolyses into ammonia before generating gas phase ammonia emissions. These emissions lead to the formation of ammonium sulphate and nitrate particulates in the air, which cause a variety of health problems including chronic bronchitis, asthma attacks and premature death. The research team are currently conducting long-term stability studies on their electrolysis systems, as well as conducting computational experiments to better understand the mechanisms at work. Since electrolysis
has been used for decades for various purposes, Botte believes the technology could be easily scaled-up to generate hydrogen while cleaning up the effluent from sewage plants. Another use for urine is its phosphorus content. According to other scientists, phosphorus reserves globally are running low. An essential component in the agricultural industry, phosphorus is found in fertilisers, and may need to be extracted from alternative sources in the near future. Till next month, go green and prosper.
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DIARY DATES | Society
Save the Date BGreen highlights events and conferences taking place in the coming months
Project Qatar 30 April -3 May, Doha This show is in its 9th year, presenting the latest in trade construction, building, environmental technology and materials. EGBC TECHNICAL WORKSHOP 2 May, Dubai Hosted at Emirates Green Building Councilâ€™s office on Sheikh Zayed Road, the technical workshop will focus on Retrofitting HVAC Systems. EGBC NETWORKING 6 May, dubai Emirates Green Building Council, along with Gerab Energy Solutions, are hosting a neworking event at the Media Rotana for those in the field of energy efficient air-conditioning and refrigeration systems. EGBC NETWORKING 13 May, Dubai Emirates Green Building Councilâ€™s 14th networking session is to be held at the Pullman Mall of the Emirates, jointly organised with Majid Al Futaim. The topic of the session will be on the Star rating system as a fit-out guide. The Office Exhibition 15-17 May, Dubai The 11th edition of this exhibition will feature a series of workshops on sustainable design and build, as well as on other pressing issues in commercial interior design
SUSTAINABLE SOLUTIONS: ECO-COMMERCIAL BUILDINGS 15 May, Dubai Jointly organised by BGreen and the Emirates Green Building Council, Sustainable Solutions is a series of focussed roundtable sessions, featuring industry experts. This installment will focus on Eco-commercial buildings.
MENASOL 2012 16-17 May, Abu Dhabi The 4th edition of this event provides industry networking experience for the MENA Solar industry with over 300 VIP attendees involved in the CSP and PV sector. Green Awards Summit 22 May, Dubai Held in the UAE for the first time, the Green Awards Summit will tackle a wide range of environmental issues, from climate change to the role of renewables in the global economy. Global Water: Oil and Gas 22-23 May, Dubai This summit aims to bring together senior experts in oil and gas engineering, geology, logistics, construction, refining and project management together with senior executives from the water industry. The event will provide a platform to discuss the role and demand of water in the oil and gas industry. SmartCities World MENA 4-6 June, Dubai This event addresses strategic and technology master planning for smart urban infrastructure, aimed at those seeking ICT solutions and strategies to design, build and manage future cities.
Society | SUSTAINABLE PAST
Floor heating Koreans of the Choson Dynasty kept warm during bracing winters thanks to an ingenious indoor heating system, similar to that employed by the ancient Greeks
odern Korean architecture still retains a lot of its traditional accents. Even now, almost every house uses an ancient kind of floor heating system called ondol. The word ‘ondol’ means warm stone. Traditionally, the source of heat for the ondol was a fireplace, usually located in the kitchen. Thus, the fire used for cooking rice or soup was also used to heat the rooms next to the kitchen. The kitchen was built a metre or so lower
than the neighbouring rooms that were to be heated. The difference in level was to facilitate pipes carrying hot air and smoke to run under the flooring of the rooms. Horizontal flue passageways for heat and smoke were installed beneath the room’s floor, connecting the fireplace and the chimney. To heat the floor, hot air had to stay in the flues as long as possible, while smoke had to be expelled out of the chimney. Flues that were straight and short were used to channel smoke, while
long flues that covered the area under the whole floor were used to channel hot air. This system prevented hot air from escaping too quickly, allowing rooms to be heated all night from a fire that lasted only a couple of hours. Ondol has had a great impact on the Korean lifestyle, encouraging people to sit, eat, and sleep on the warm floors, rather than on colder furniture. To keep the floor even warmer, many opt to cover it with a thick quilt called ibul.
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Published on May 5, 2012
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