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Issue 18 | DECEMBER 2011



Energy and water




green it




green business

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News: The latest developments world wide


Really? The stories that are too good to be true

energy and water


Wastewater management re-worked


Energy and water saving gadgets


COP17 — Resource use under the microscope



Qatar’s $5.5 b Msheireb Downtown project


Masdar’s Richard Reynolds on integrating profits


The Big 5’s inaugural Green Build Congress

Waste management in hospitality and hospitals

Green IT


Sustainable ICT Awards



Sustainable Arabian nights



Irony home: the start up that sells green furniture


Can business be ethical? BGreen invites the experts to discuss


BASF give their tips on educating the next generation








The Green Spy asks: how green is your wallet?


Diary dates



44 3

Sustainable Retail Lighting Trends - Zumtobel Lights up first SPAR store in ME Zumtobel the world authority in sustainable lighting has created lighting solutions for the first SPAR supermarkets in the Middle East. The opening of the first SPAR supermarket in the Middle East is part of the global expansion strategy of SPAR International. This first SPAR supermarket in Abu Dhabi has a sales area of 2,200m2 and operates on one floor. It is located in the important Khalidiya business district behind the Prestige building. The SPAR supermarket offers a range of over 20,000 products to meet the needs of quality conscious customers and families. The key focus of the store is on freshness, quality, value and service. Zumtobel’s international network and experience together with the SPAR management have created the most innovative lighting solutions for the first SPAR market in the Middle East. It is notable that Zumtobel has signed a contract worth 50 million euros with the retail supermarket giant SPAR in the European regions. SPAR currently operates over 13,000 stores in 35 countries.

Fish areas displaying excellent quality of light with a cool color temperature presenting naturalness of the fishes.

Today we consider presentation and selling a creative process in which we seek to deliberately set the stage setting and influence the customers’ decision to enter a shop as well as their behaviour and length of stay. The Zumtobel strategy to design the new SPAR solutions where based on the current trends in lighting along with SPAR’s specific requirements. Centre Stage Setting: Modern retail spaces are like a stage where products and brands are presented. People and architecture play a major role where lighting addresses people’s emotions. Stimulating Desires through shop windows and facades are used as a stage for entertaining and passers-by and communicating messages. Authenticity: The type of presentation must match the product. Customers will appreciate it if a product’s appearance corresponds with its actual use. Today, to ‘be authentic and honest’ is required in many areas, even for presenting goods and brands. What is meant by authenticity here is noticeable congruence of content and intent. Naturalness: As a counter movement to industrialisation, people increasingly long for some family atmosphere, appreciating an ambience that addresses their cultural values and addresses their emotions and be inspired by the brand. Sustainability: Sustainability remains a growing trend as it continues to gain more and more importance in terms of environmental, economic and social aspects. The lighting solutions for SPAR demanded specific designs for various zones within the store. The fresh food departments are indeed exceptional with a wide choice of fruit, vegetables, delicacies, meat and fish products. A special feature of the store is a comprehensive range of food to go including European, Arabic and Indian cuisine. It therefore required specialist recommendations around the store especially for the meat, fish and bakery areas. The sophisticated modular design of Tecton trunking system for the general areas offered a uniform and authentic presentation of the goods with a pleasant appearance around the shelf areas. The meat, fish and bakery zones were implemented with the Vivo semi recessed spotlights with varying color temperatures based on the nature of display items in each zone. FD1000 S spotlights were used for the fresh food area that presented the goods with a natural and fresh appeal to the customers. The impulse purchase areas were implemented with COPA D luminaires that is known for its design with an excellent lighting quality and inviting for the customers. Mellow Light V gently lights the cash counter areas for the well being of the employees working long hours and a mellow, harmonious feeling for the customers as they exit the store.

Meat areas with high color rendering enhancing the impulse purchase appeal with very warm color temperatures.

Bakery areas emphasizing freshness of the bread, complimenting the aroma of the environment with very warm color temperatures

Creating a mellow light distribution with excellent lighting quality for the well being of employees and a pleasant exit for the customers.

The ‘Humanergy Balance’ philosophy of Zumtobel that focuses on creating lighting solutions for the well being of humans with energy efficiency complimented the values of SPAR of effectively addressing social, economic and environmental issues. SPAR’s ‘Strategy2Sustain’ is a strong differentiator within the supermarket chains in the world. From building eco-friendly stores, ‘Buy green Policy’, ‘Eco Purchasing Policy’, for customers & ‘Green Code of Conduct’ for employees, SPAR’s main pillars for ‘Strategy2Sustain’ revolve around people, products, community and climate. SPAR plans to plant several stores across the ME in the next two years with a keen eye on sustainable design and operations. Zumtobel offers its customers expertise on lighting trends and technologies through its recently opened Light Centre in Dubai. This caters as a live platform to demonstrate lighting solutions across various application areas. For more information on specialist lighting solutions contact


Mellow Light V Recessed luminaire – A piece of sky: a perfect combination of design, lighting quality and efficiency

Editor’s letter


All together

Happy New Year!

Publisher Dominic De Sousa

Editor Melanie Mingas

Associate Publisher Liam Williams

Writers Alice Hartley

COO Nadeem Hood Director Business Development Alex Bendiouis Group Sales Manager Rhiannon Downie Business Development Manager Nayab Rafiq

DeCeMB eR 2011

after use...

Issue 18 |


saying in the run up to Cop17, a preview of the Msheireb project and in depth look at how waste management businesses in the hospitality and medical sectors are contributing to our sustainable future. In our last issue of the year we also round up our recent events; an ethical business panel discussion and green business networking evening. While the panel discussion raised many complicated issues, the sentiment at our networking event was overwhelmingly positive as commercially minded green advocates spoke to each other about the problems posed by the market place and how they overcome them. Next on our calendar is The Big Project + BGreen awards, to be held December 6. With a number of green categories, those who are doing their part won’t go unnoticed.



he world is changing but it’s increasingly clear that we still don’t have everybody on board. As the Middle East – ironically home of the bulk of the world’s fossil fuel resources – pioneers sustainable city developments such as Qatar’s Msheireb and Abu Dhabi’s Masdar, world leaders are currently gathered in Durban, South Africa, trying to formulate the legislation that will bind nations to effective CO2 reduction targets in a post-Kyoto world. And as BGreen has heard over the last few weeks, the outlook isn’t entirely positive. Speaking to our interviewees, readers and advertisers this month there is little doubt in their minds that meeting these targets in the most effective and timely way, will be a grassroots movement. By the people, for the people. This issue looks at the two sides of the fight, with an analysis of what the world was



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BGreen Presents


The Gold Standard of Wireless Building Automation Technology Award-winning self-powered wireless EnOcean technology offers long-term cost and energy savings while adding value contractors and property owners in the region flexible, low-cost and maintenance-free wireless solutions for home and building automation, security and entertainment. Nuuon’s wireless systems and range of products feature awardwinning self-powered technology from EnOcean. Applied in over 200,000 buildings around the world, EnOcean’s wireless building automation standard is the most pervasive and fieldtested in the world.

Bianca Rohde of Nuuon takes Gold at the 2011 Gaia Awards

Nuuon’s wireless systems can add value to a project by future proofing it with advanced technology that is many years away from becoming mainstream December2011


ith the maturing of the real estate market in the region, especially in the UAE, contractors and developers are increasingly paying attention to build quality, cost and energy savings as well as features that differentiate their projects. Residents, meanwhile, are demanding properties that add long-term value, offer convenience and a higher quality of life. Nuuon – the winner of the Gold award at the 2011 Gaia Awards, the Middle East’s most respected construction awards for products making green and sustainable contributions to projects in the region – offers architects,

Offering an unmatched level of flexibility, Nuuon’s wireless systems can be easily installed in locations where it isn’t practical to connect wires or batteries, and can be easily retrofitted without breaking walls or ceilings for wiring. The systems can also be controlled by touch from a central unit or remotely by mobile phone or Internet.

to install, Nuuon’s wireless systems provide long-run operational cost and energy savings. This is because the systems are self-powered, harvesting ambient energy from changes in heat or lighting, making them relatively maintenance-free, and do not require batteries. Cost savings for both commercial and residential projects are 15% for new construction, 70% on retrofits along with 40% on energy use. On top of flexibility, convenience, cost and energy savings, Nuuon’s wireless systems can add value to a project by future proofing it with advanced technology that is many years away from becoming mainstream - an attractive option for both contractors and residents alike in a maturing market.

The system controls every facet of the indoor environment with switches for lighting, shading, temperature, humidity and media devices such as a television or stereo. Because they are wireless, the switches can be freely positioned on materials like glass, stone, wood and even furniture, and since they are slim, can integrate more seamlessly into their environment. In addition to being inexpensive

Nuuon’s wireless systems can be controlled remotely by mobile phone or Internet



Racing to gold McLaren Group International announces LEED certification in Dubai The McLaren Group International recently announced the completion of LEED Gold certified 65,000 sqm industrial and office facility in Jafza South, Dubai. The project, delivered 50% faster than an equivalent project, will reduce annual water consumption by 1.16 billion litres, equating to savings of AED 883,530 per year. The project also achieved the Trakhees EHS Green Building approval. “We are very proud to have played our part in enabling these efficiencies for our client and winning this prestigious award,” commented MD for construction and UAE, Phil Pringle. “Commitment to sustainable development is integral within our CSR objectives, and as a group, McLaren has a strong track record in the delivery of best practice sustainable

projects in the UK and internationally,” Pringle added. The targets included a 22% saving in annual energy consumption, a 35% reduction in overall annual fresh water consumption and a reduction in the carbon emissions generated by on-site power plants by a minimum of 1300 tonnes per annum. To meet these standards, McLaren implemented a sustainable construction management plan which covered erosion, sedimentation and dust control management, as well as an excavated soil and storm water management plan. Collection and segregation of waste was prioritised to minimise environmental impact during the construction process and recycled materials were used in construction.

Praise for Msheireb Downtown from British royalty Duke of York attends senior executive’s meeting HRH Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, has attended a high level meeting and presentation with senior executives from Msheireb Properties at the Msheireb Enrichment Centre. The Duke’s second visit to the site, developer Msheireb Properties says he is

keen to promote bilaterial trade between Qatar and the UK, naming Arup, Allies and Morrison, Adjaye Associates, John McAslan and Partners, Mossessian and Partners, Jovin Manko Studio, David Collins Studio, Drake and Scull, and Gensler, as being among the “British interests” represented in the project. Msheireb, which aims to transform the old Doha into a “vibrant, cohesive and culturally active city centre” will combine traditional principles of design and urban planning to create a pedestrian neighbourhood with minimal “distinctive Qatari contemporary culture”. “We are delighted by the Duke of York’s keen interest in the project and vision of Her Highness Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser for a sustainable community,” commented Msheireb Properties CEO, Eng. Issa M. Al Mohannadi.

“It makes us proud that the project is gaining international recognition and garnering active interest from the global community, including UK. Msheireb is committed to the principle of knowledge sharing, sustainability and community development, which we see as essential to achieving the Qatar 2030 Vision of creating a truly sustainable economy,” he added. The British press reported earlier this year that government-level talks had cast doubt on the future role of Prince Andrew as an unpaid ambassador for British trade. According to the Palace, he seeks “to enhance businesses ability to create prosperity for the UK”, working with charities, patronages and initiatives to enhance “social entrepreneurial activity”. Turn to page 28 for an in-depth analysis of the Msheireb Downtown project December2011



GE and Iraqi Government drive sustainable growth PPP to drive localisation and knowledge transfer


raq’s National Investment Commission (NIC) and power generation specialists GE last month hosted a panel discussion on how public private partnerships can paving the way for sustainable growth. The discussion underlined commitment to localisation and knowledge transfer and also included plans to recruit more than 200 Iraqi nationals to the initiative. “GE is committed to partnering with Iraq in meeting and driving its developmental goals,” said vice chairman John Rice. “The opening of three new offices in the country, where we have a history of over 40 years of operation, complements the Iraqi government’s strategic development plan to make a meaningful improvement in the lives of the Iraqis. In all our areas of operation – from energy to healthcare, oil and gas, healthcare and aviation – we have emphasised on bringing cutting edge technologies, the result of our sustained focus on innovation and R&D” he added. Currently, GE is delivering power generation technology, which when installed, is capable of generating over nine gigawatts of electricity to the country; GE is also providing modern diagnostic technologies to a number of hospitals. GE’s engines power a significant fleet of Iraqi Airways, while its energy solutions drive the efficiencies of oilfields. The company is also promoting the skills of its Iraqi workforce by providing extensive training programs and through knowledge sharing initiatives. GE has opened three new offices in Iraq, which is says marks its commitment to public private partnerships to drive the country’s sustainable growth Rice said: “We will support the country’s economic diversification and partner in infrastructure development through public and private partnerships. We believe that building skills and transferring our December2011

knowledge base are extremely important in building long-term partnerships.” The discussion on PPP marked the opening of the new Baghdad office, and Salar Amin, VC of NIC; Ziad Bader, Iraq country manager for International Finance Corporation; Anwar Buni, DG for the Ministry of Planning; Simona Marinescu, UNDP; and John Rice, participated. According to governmental estimates, peak demand for electricity in Iraq, excluding the Kurdistan region, will rise to 12,500 MW, and the Ministry of Electricity is taking concerted efforts to increase the

country’s power generation capacity more than four-fold in the next four years to meet the growing demand. GE supports the country’s power sector, having already installed more than 130 gas turbines that help meet the electricity demand. GE has also signed an agreement to deliver 56 new heavy-duty frame 9E gas turbines capable of supplying 7000 megawatts (MW) of electricity. Another eight GE turbines are being installed in Baghdad, which will add over 650 megawatts to support the electricity needs of greater Baghdad.



News Flash! Carbon tax becomes law in Australia Confident handshakes and a pat on the back marked the passage of legislation through Australian Senate this month – Australia’s Labor government fulfilling its promise to get its carbon price plan approved. However it was from the public gallery that boisterous applause was heard when Senate leader Chris Evans and Greens leader, Bob Brown shook hands on the legislation; Australia’s green-loving, environmentallyaware community bearing witness to the passing of this landmark law. In a nutshell, the carbon price begins with a tax, starting July 2012 and will move later to a trading scheme, with the nation’s government aiming to secure a clean energy future for Australia. A major reason for becoming green is that currently, Australia is not. When it comes to producing greenhouse gases, it is almost in a class by itself; only the United Arab Emirates gives off more per person. Three-quarters

of the emissions come from producing and using energy, especially electricity, which is largely generated from coal, most of it dirty, brown lignite. Coal is plentiful and therefore cheap, which tells you why, in the main, Australia is prosperous. However affluent the nation may be, individual Australians feel vulnerable to climate change and believe a carbon policy will see the next generation, and the one thereafter, in a stronger position to safeguard the environment. As such, a sensible policy would raise the price of coal-fired electricity generation enough to make cleaner, plentiful natural gas a sustainable economic alternative. Indeed, Australia will soon require more electricity, but no one wants to invest in new plants or other forms of energy without knowing just how much carbon will be taxed. Enter, the new legislation.

Carbon facts: how the package will roll out This is how Australia’s clean-energy package will roll out. We begin with the government’s aim to cut pollution by 80% by 2050 by applying the following: • Carbon emissions tax for the 500 biggest polluters starts on July 1, 2012 • Tax moves to an emissions trading scheme in 2015 • Tax begins at a fixed price of AUD $23 a tonne and rise by 2.5 per cent a year until 2015 • Tax will not apply to agricultural emissions or light on-road vehicles Electricity generation, stationary energy, some business transport, waste, industrial processes and fugitive emissions will be covered by the initial tax • Average households will see a AUD $9.90 weekly cost rise • Average households will receive assistance of AUD $10.10 weekly • Free carbon permits will be the given to the most emissions-intensive and trade-exposed industries Both households and industry alike will be called upon to cut nine out of every ten tonnes of carbon pollution the nation would otherwise release into the atmosphere. It must be said that coal-fired electricity generators would still be running in Australia in the middle of the century, despite the carbon price, but Australia’s energy-production mix would change with the carbon price expected to help create $100 billion in renewable energy projects. Australia’s 500 biggest polluters will be fined the AUD $23-a-tonne carbonemissions starting price. As a comparison, the price in Europe’s carbon market has recently fallen to between $10 and $13 from $23 in June, the volatility and instability of European markets (think Greece) contributing to the fluctuations. Now that the carbon tax has become law, what remains to be seen is how Australia’s small and medium businesses as well as households take to the legislation and the admirable objective of carbon reduction is measured and achieved into the medium term.




Going green in the UAE du agrees CSR drive with Heliocentris subsidiary Pledge to reduce C02 in mobile network base stations Telecoms provider du last month announced a framework agreement with German company P21 GmbH, a subsidiary of Heliocentris Energy Solutions AG, to help reduce carbon dioxide emissions from mobile network base stations. The drive – in line with the telecom’s Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives – will see P21 supply, install and commission smart energy management systems to control diesel generators in selected mobile network base stations in 2011and 2012. The company will also provide maintenance support on a five year contract. “We place a high emphasis on operating in as eco-friendly a way as possible,” said Hatem Bamatraf, senior vice president of network development and operations for du. “Our Corporate Social Responsibility is not only geared towards developing our nation and promoting our heritage in numerous ways, but in improving the environment by taking steps towards becoming more green across all aspects of our business operations. We chose to partner with P21 on this initiative because we believe it will allow us to significantly decrease our carbon footprint, thereby contributing to our overall environmental friendliness,” Bamatraf added. Tests conducted prior to the agreement saw the technology decrease diesel consumption by 54%, reducing run times by up to 74%. Combined this cuts operating costs and carbon emissions.

Hatem Bamatraf, Senior VP, Network Development and Operations, du

Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan

Jordanian queen praises Masdar Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan sings praises on official visit Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan has praised Masdar for pioneering efforts and national long-term dedication to developing and implementing renewable energy solutions to answer growing energy demands during an official visit to the city and institute last month. “Sustainable development lies at the heart of supporting our upcoming generations. What Abu Dhabi is doing through Masdar and the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology is not only admirable but a testament to what true and clear vision can achieve in such a short period of time,” Her Majesty said while touring the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology. The event, held in collaboration with the King Hussein Foundation’s (KHF) National Centre for Culture and Arts and the Family Development Foundation (FDF) in Abu Dhabi, concludes on November 20, 2011. “This was only made possible through the wise vision of our leaders,” said Masdar CEO Dr Sultan Al Jaber. “It is their foresight that has led to the creation of the highly strategic Masdar initiative, with a mandate to make Abu Dhabi a pre-eminent source of knowledge, development and implementation in the field of advanced energy and has allowed our progress at Masdar to contribute to the economic diversification and human capital development the Emirate that will help meet the future energy challenges,” Al Jaber added.



Around the world news

BP’s out of court settlement

Up, Up and Away! Biofuels Take Off KLM and Lufthansa will be burning bio-based jet fuel on regular routes.

Conclusion reached for deepwater rig disaster — Alice Hartley

Anadarko Petroleum has agreed to pay BP US$4 billion to settle all claims between the companies related to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon rig accident. The cash payment will go into BP’s $20 billion trust being used to repay claims and damages. Anadarko – which had a 25% interest in the “Macondo” prospect – and BP believe that by entering into a settlement, pending disputes can be resolved. BP has already negotiated settlements with MOEX, which had a 10% interest in the Macondo well, and Weatherford, which provided drilling equipment. Official investigation reports concluded that the accident was the result of multiple causes, involving multiple parties. BP is therefore working to ensure the other parties contribute accordingly. BP is also fulfilling obligations to the Gulf Coast communities under the Oil Pollutions Act, with payments made to date of $7 billion. The Gulf of Mexico disaster saw the deaths of 11 rig crew and 5 million barrels of crude oil devastate the environment. BP was forced to write off $41 billion.


History is made! For the first time, a jumbo jet using a blend of biofuel and kerosene has taken off bound on a commercial transatlantic flight. KLM Royal Dutch Airlines announced a biofuel supply agreement to commence regular flights on a biofuel-petroleum blend on 200 Amsterdam-to-Paris runs. Lufthansa too announced plans to launch a six-month test on Frankfurt-Hamburg flights. Experimental one-off biofuel flights have been conducted since 2009. Pressure to cap and ultimately reduce greenhouse-gas emissions is driving the developments. The European Commission is making flights within, into, and out of Europe

subject to its carbon-trading scheme starting in 2012. Biofuels make sense for aviation; they are the sector’s only alternative to petroleum. What has enabled aviation biofuels to shift to limited commercial service is the certification earlier this month of biofuels derived from animal and vegetable oils by standards body ASTM International, which covers aviation biofuels produced from oils via hydroprocessing—a catalytic process used in petroleum refining. Hydroprocessed oil from camelina, a biofuels crop, powered Boeing’s historic transatlantic flight; all four engines of this commercial flight worked on a biofuel blend. Best news is that Camelina can be grown on wheat fields during periods when the fields would otherwise be left fallow, and thus shouldn’t drive up food prices. And because the crop can be grown on existing fields, it can also avoid undesirable land use changes, such as the deforestation associated with palm oil cultivation in Southeast Asia. Moreover, KLM’s biofuel source will be waste cooking oil by Dynamic Fuels, the Geismar, Louisiana-based joint venture of Tyson Foods and process developer Syntroleum. Finnish refiner Neste Oil will supply Lufthansa’s biofuel blend.

MoEW and LG Electronics Address Carbon Reduction Greenomics conference looks to carbon reduction in energy The UAE Ministry of Environment and Water and LG Electronics hosted their fourth annual Greenomics conference. The theme of this year’s event was carbon reduction in the energy sector. Government officials, representatives of NGOs and heads of business came together for the half-day conference to discuss the role of both the public and private sectors in reducing their carbon footprint. Public officials discussed the policies they formulate, the national standards they draft and enforce and the practices implemented in their departments to reduce carbon emissions. Private sector representatives focused on investment strategies, energy solutions and best practices. The challenge articulated

was in balancing the increasing demand for energy in a developing region with growing populations with carbon emissions resulting from unsustainable energy production. “Commercial and government entities have a dual responsibility to recognise the impact they have on the UAE’s environment and must come together to explore ways to reduce carbon emissions without limiting production or sacrificing revenue,” said Ki Wan Kim, President of LG Electronics Middle East and Africa. The event featured keynote addresses from H.E. Dr. Rashi Ahmad bin Fahad, Minister, Minsitry of Environment and Water, as well as Jae-Yong Song, Deputy Minister, Environmental Policy Department.



Really? BGreen presents some of the world’s most surprising green news

A Road Bridge Made From Rubbish? Yes!


often imagine where all those plastic bottles I send off for recycling may end up. Another bottle perhaps? Well one innovative Welsh company has just completed a European first - by turning 50 tonnes of waste plastic into a record 90ft thermoplastic road bridge suitable for heavy goods vehicles. This landmark bridge built over the river Tweed, at Easter Dawyck in Peeblesshire, is the first recycled thermoplastic road bridge to be built outside the United States. Designed to carry heavy goods vehicles of up to 44 tonnes, its individual spans, at over 9 metres, are the longest ever constructed from recycled plastic. And being manufactured from plastic, it will not rot or rust, nor does it require painting, treating or regular maintenance.


But where did the 50 tonnes of waste plastic needed for the bridge’s construction come from? Household bottles and plastic waste collected from the curbside and from end of life vehicle recycling, all of which would have been sent to landfill. The bridge is also 100% recyclable. Vertech Composites is the UK-based firm that designed and built the bridge. It has an expected lifespan of 50 years, and yields a savings of $300 per-square-foot during its lifecycle compared with bridges made of standard building materials. The bridge was built off-site and assembled in just 4 days. What a terrific way to make excellent use of our plastic waste and avoid sending it to landfill or shipping it abroad. Environmental targets can be achieved and local communities can live on a daily basis

what it means to reduce waste, and reuse material, benefits of which should be far reaching both economically, socially and environmentally. The stringent European construction industry is demanding: engineering quality and durability of materials being paramount. More and more however is the necessity to demonstrate environmental sound practices and manufacturing methodologies. As a replacement for resource-heavy timber and laminated products, thermoplastic composite materials demonstrate the significant engineering properties that can be realised through the use of recycled materials. May we one day here in the UAE merrily walk over bridges constructed from such recycled material and be proud to take the environmentally-astute lead in our region.

The Floor is Yours


Digital Desso Carpets. Our four core brand values of creativity, ambition, flexibility and Cradle to Cradle ® have brought us to our newest innovation. DESSO, as a carpet manufacturer, introduces the DESSO Dialogue App. The brand new application for the Apple’s iPhone and iPad devices enables to choose and order from 1.000 business carpet samples from over 60 product ranges together with technical specifications. Arranged by colour, up-to-date and always within reach. New introductions are instantly displayed when using the app, enabling users to be continuously inspired by new designs. The DESSO Dialogue App is the sample card of 2011. In line with our Cradle to Cradle ® philosophy we are trying to remake the way we make things. With this DESSO Dialogue App customers get the chance to search threw our entire collection leaving the current hardcopy sample cards behind. This way we bring our products one step closer to being truly good. The app can be downloaded for free in the App Store.

DESSO Sultan Ali Al – Owais Building - Satwa Dubai T: +97143985900 F: +97143985908 E:


Energy & Water

Waste not Anoop Menon examines how looking at wastewater as a renewable resource is the first step to incorporating sustainability into wastewater management


ustainability is defined as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs,� (Brundtland, 1987). Sustainability can be described as the process of meeting the triple bottom line, in terms of being socially acceptable, environmentally effective and economically affordable. So what does sustainability mean in wastewater management? Sustainable wastewater management involves the collection, treatment, and reuse of water in a way that does not adversely impact the health of humans or other species, preserves environmental quality and the integrity of ecological systems, recovers energy and nutrients present in waste and utilises resources efficiently. Further, it should be socially, technically and financially viable, within the constraints of our present education and implementation institutions. Conventional wastewater management, on the other hand, had protection of human health as its primary objective. Society’s expectations for wastewater management evolve over time. While protecting public health and the environment remain paramount concerns, the need to consider solutions that meet the growing demand for water


Al Khazna Tannery: Tannery wastewater is among the most polluted industrial wastewaters in the world. EMCO Engineering has executed a wastewater re-use project for the Al Khazna Tannery in Abu Dhabi wherein the wastewater is treated and re-used as process water in the same plant. The only waste coming out is one per cent of what they otherwise were discharging. While 50% of treated water is re-used in the process, 49% is discharged into the network as clean water because it cannot be re-used in the process due to high salinity. The remaining one per cent, which is basically sludge and contaminants, is caked up and disposed safely.

Bauer: In Oman, the BAUER Environment Group constructed the world’s largest commercial reed-bed treatment plant. Covering an area of some 235 hectares, it can treat 47,000 m3/ day of oil-contaminated water. Reeds grow almost anywhere and the energy consumption for the effluent is almost zero. As a result, the project is path breaking one for the management of production water in the region’s oil industry.


Energy & Water

is also driving policy making. The environmental impact aspect addresses the need to protect sources of drinking water, marine life, and recreational use of water bodies. In recent years, the sector’s green house gas emissions (methane and nitrogen), its consumption of energy and chemicals have also come under the environmental scanner. The economic affordability yardstick is being applied to all decision-making, whether it about achieving effluent quality requirements, planning for add-ons that will meet future effluent requirements or optimising the use of chemicals and electricity. Sustainable wastewater management also takes into consideration a sound fiscal programme where the true costs of treating water and capital expenditure are accounted for. The major opportunities for sustainable wastewater management lie in the treatment and discharge stages. The main purpose of wastewater treatment is to remove pollutants and other impurities from wastewater so the water can be safely discharged into the environment or reused for non-potable applications such as irrigation. While obtaining higher water quality goals is desirable, and in some cases required by law, advanced technologies used to meet very low limits for pollutants tend to increase energy consumption significantly. In contrast to drinking water supply systems, where pumping accounts for most of the energy use, wastewater system energy use is dominated by the treatment process itself. As sustainability concerns grow, wastewater treatment processes must be improved to increase energy efficiency while still being affordable and meeting more stringent standard. There is growing emphasis on processes and technologies that improve energy and treatment efficiency and eliminate, reduce or re-use discharges, releases and by-products. Increasingly, GHG emissions and life cycle analyses are being incorporated early into the design process. At the discharge end, the value drivers of cost savings associated with reduction of waste, recovery of valuable resources (water, energy and nutrients) and related revenue streams is coming into focus. The various ways of approaching sustainable wastewater management are listed below:



Energy & Water

Al Ain Dairy: A herd of 2,500 cows spend the country’s hottest months at a cool 25-30ºC thanks to a bracing spray of clean and fresh recycled wastewater. In a unique project that reflects its sustainable approach to dairy farming, Al Ain Dairy, the UAE’s leading dairy producer, is using state-of-the-art recycling technology from to re-use 300,000 cubic litres of treated wastewater per day. The technology, from Dow Water, filters and purifies the treated wastewater, which is then sprayed through an automated cooling system designed to keep the herd cool and comfortable during the summer season, thereby maintaining optimal dairy production levels.

Dubai Sports City: For long the largest operating membrane bioreactor (MBR) wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) in the Middle East, 25,000 m3/day Dubai Sports City WWTP is designed, built and operated by Eagle Electromechanical Company. The plant’s tasks, among several, are to receive and treat raw sewage collected by Dubai Sports City sewerage network, treat rejected canal filtration plant backwash waste stream, supply high-quality TSE for irrigation and fire fighting systems within the Sports City development and polished treated effluent to DEWA drinking water quality standards using Reverse Osmosis (RO) to top up the sports canal.

• • •

• •

Reduce the quantity of wastewater generated and sent to centralised treatment systems. Decentralised wastewater treatment and re-use. Decentralisation minimises material and energy requirements through reduced wastewater infrastructure and transport distances, and allows adaptability to local conditions. Target energy efficiency in treatment processes. Common energy efficiency technologies applied to the wastewater sector include high efficiency motors, variable frequency drives, high efficiency pumps and blowers, etc. Tap


• •

renewable energy like solar or wind to serve the facility’s electrical load. Energy recovery from treatment process residuals through direct incineration; residuals can also be re-used to augment or replace chemical fertilisers. Enable extraction and reuse of constituents. Recovery of nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorous) and organic matter from wastewater not only provides a renewable source of these valuable resources, but also reduces their potential negative environmental impacts, such as eutrophication. Use low-energy treatment methods such as ponds and wetlands where feasible Value treated wastewater as a renewable water source, as a substitute for potable water in irrigation of agriculture and landscapes, industrial applications. Integrate sustainable practices into operating principles and capital improvement plans Tapping Clean Development Mechanism

(CDM) opportunities in wastewater treatment projects can provide a revenue stream. For sustainable wastewater management system to deliver on its promise in the Middle East, it is important to ensure: Maximisation of collection of wastewater Upgrading the existing wastewater collection systems. Rehabilitation or upgrading of existing wastewater treatment plants or the construction of new treatment plants Establishment of proper standards for influent and effluent wastewater quality Education of stakeholders - public, health officials, government, farmers, water and wastewater industry

Countries in the region should reclassify wastewater as a renewable water resource rather than as waste and second, integrate wastewater reuse within water resources management. Use of treated wastewater accomplishes two functions: first, the treated effluent is used as a water resource for beneficial purposes and second, prevents the effluent from pollution of surface water. Wastewater is a valuable resource, however without a properly developed framework policy, safe and efficient management of this resource cannot be achieved. The development of appropriate technical and policy options for sustainable wastewater management in waterscarce Middle East & North Africa (MENA) region offers great promise for the foreseeable future.

‘The industries leading waterless urinal’

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Energy & Water

Waste noT A round up of the top energy and water saving appliances on the market

Flushing toilets uses 160 gallons of water is in the average home every day

Each dry using virgin paper towels accounts for up to 15.45g of CO2 – equivalent to driving onetwentieth of a mile or 80 meters in an average diesel car

MENA’s energyrelated CO2 emissions are set to double by 2030, primarily from water desalination and power generation

Laufen Mimo wall-hung WC

Dyson Airblade

The WC has long been one of the main culprits when it comes to water wastage in buildings, with far more water than is actually necessary being simply flushed away with every use. Now times have moved on dual flush cisterns enable homeowners to make significant savings on their water usage, without compromising on the overall performance of the product.

A leading Massachusetts-based research university study has proven that the Dyson Airblade™ hand dryer is the most sustainable way to completely dry hands. Paper towels and warm air hand dryers have the highest environmental toll according to this comprehensive lifecycle analysis (LCA). Rather than warm air, the Dyson Airblade™ hand dryer uses sheets of cool, clean air to literally scrape water from hands.

Saving: up to 3 litres of water per flush


Saving: Generation of 70% carbon emissions compared to other methods



HP Moonshot servers HP’s new program, dubbed Project Moonshot, combines with HP Converged Infrastructure technology to allow the sharing of resources – including storage, networking, management, power and cooling – across thousands of servers. It paves the way to the future of low-energy computing for emerging web, cloud and massive scale environments. Project Moonshot is designed to fuel the advancement of low-energy server technology, while promoting industry collaboration to break new ground in “hyperscale” computing environments such as cloud services and on-demand computing.

Duravit McDry In the 1980s Duravit reduced the amount of flushing water from between 9 and 14 litres to 6 litres. Today, Duravit is already offering WCs that flush hygienically with just 4.5 litres of water. The dual-flush button also saves valuable water. The manufacturer’s McDry urinal even demonstrates that water can be done away with altogether. In recognition of its commitment to the environment, Duravit AG has been certified as an eco-friendly enterprise in accordance with ISO 14001. Saving: 100%

Hansgrohe AG EcoSmart Mixers and showerheads fitted with EcoSmart consume up to 60% less water than conventional products without any loss of comfort. Lower hot water consumption also means a reduced energy requirement, resulting in lower CO2 emissions and lower costs. This is an essential product for the Middle East and in particular the UAE, with Abu Dhabi claiming the highest per capita water consumption rate in the world last year at 525 – 600 gallons per day. The emirate‘s total consumption of water resources exceeds its natural recharge capacity by 24 times. This increasing water usage across the Middle East leads to the extensive use of desalination and the high costs and energy requirements associated with the process. Middle East and North Africa energyrelated CO2 emissions are set to double by 2030, primarily from water desalination and power generation.


1 4 7


2 5 8 0

3 6 9


W+W has arisen from Roca’s ambition upon incorporating new, unique and innovative solutions into bathrooms. This solution combines design and sustainability as it brings the toilet together with the washbasin in a single piece. An eye-catching design makes it ideal for compact spaces, although its most innovative feature is technology that allows water from the washbasin to be reused to fill the toilet’s cistern. A unique product that Roca has made a reality.

Bahrain: SAYYAR TRADING AGENCIES W.L.L. Tel.: +973.17.290.111, E-mail: · Iran: BANA BUILDING IMPORTS, Tel.: +98.21.2613.1223, E-mail: · Jordan: A. KAYYALI & CO., Tel.: +962.656.90016, E-mail: · Kuwait: ABDUL AZIZ IBRAHIM ALRUMAIH & CO., Tel.: +965.484.88.80, E-mail: · Lebanon: O-TEC CO. FOR SANITARY WARES & TILES S.A.L., Tel: +961.1.868.529, E-mail: · Oman: KHIMJI RAMDAS, Tel: +968.24.705.133, E-mail: · Pakistan: ABDULLA & CO., Tel: + 92.21.585.04.90, · Qatar: SAYYAR TRADING Co. W.L.L., Tel: +974.469.69.23, E-mail: · Saudi Arabia: MUHAMMAD SALEH BAHARETH CO. (MSB CO.), Tel: +, E-mail: · Syria: TRANS MEDITERRANEAN TRADING CO., Tel: +963.11.661.70.48, E-mail: · UAE (Abu Dhabi): SANITARY MATERIALS CO., Tel: +971.2.677.13.63, E-mail: · UAE (Dubai): HAMAD RAHMA ABDULLA ALSHAMSI GENERAL TRADING, Tel: 971., E-mail: · Yemen: ABUALREJAL Trading Corporation, Tel: 967.1.272.519, E-mail: ROCA SANITARIO S.A. (Middle East Representation Office) Gold & Diamond Park, Building 5, Offi ce 111 · Sheikh Zayed Road, 4th interchange, next to Bur Dbai Trffi c Department · P.O. Box 282337, Al Quoz branch, Dubai, UAE · Tel. +971.4.347.64.00 · Fax +971.4.347.64.08 Mobile: +971.50.465.93.24 · Website:


Energy & Water


save the planet


The advancement of the implementation of the Convention and the Kyoto Protocol as well as the Bali Action Plan agreed at COP 13 2007 and the Cancun Agreements reached at COP 16 2010 MATCH:


Current Date:

November 28 – December 9



With COP17 currently underway in Durban, Melanie Mingas looks at what the world has been saying about the next round of climate talks


ighting a combination of scepticism and recession, hopes for this year’s UN Climate Change Convention, COP17, aren’t high. Despite the commitment of those countries the UN identifies as being at risk – Africa, small island countries and developing states – The US has failed to conclude its recommendations to provide aid for developing countries and China’s drive to ensure large developing countries to demonstrate more commitment to reducing emissions has been met with “scepticism and caution”,

according to the press. Raising the stakes, the first Kyoto Protocol (KP) commitment period expires next year and as of yet there are no legally binding targets to reduce emissions. During an address given in Serbia in September, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, minister of international relations and cooperation for the Republic of South Africa, said that in addition to the KP discussions to take place



Energy & Water

This begs the question, should these parties come to Durban where they will make it a conference of the polluters, or will we be able to ask all of the world’s people to work together to ensure those doing the deals are really committed to the planet, not to continuing the emissions”

the international community responds to climate change, all in the interest of safeguarding our planet for future generations,” a statement from NkoanaMashabane reads, continuing to say that “the low level of ambition is a serious concern”. With global economics predicted to be the scape-goat de jour for many nations, UN secretary general Ban Ki-Moon has publically stated that global economies are “no excuse” to delay the establishment of an international fund to help countries combat the effects of climate change. At the Copenhagen climate talks in 2009, rich countries pledged a total of US$ 30bn between 2010 and 2012, and $100bn a year by 2020, to help poor countries adapt to climate change and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. It is expected this sums will also be heavily debated. China – a country it is said could create 9.5 million jobs by adopting renewable energy and ‘green technology’ – backs the establishment of a second period of commitment following the expiration of KP, yet fails to bind itself to anything other than “continuing” its current work, according

during the conference, the 17 parties will also discuss the Bali Action Plan, agreed at COP 13 in 2007, and the Cancun Agreements, reached at COP 16 last December. South Africa will play a key role in the conference assuming the role of state party to the UNFCC and Kyoto Protocol, co-chair to the committee working on the Green Climate Fund – as led by national planning minister Trevor Manuel – and of course, taking presidency of the discussions. “We have a huge responsibility as a country to host an important meeting of the UN whose outcomes will influence how


to a white paper released last month. Despite this, commentary from The Climate Group’s local representative is favourable. “As Minister Xie stated, China has never had any financial and technological support from other industrialised countries, but has committed its efforts to achieve green and low carbon economic transformation, and will continue to do so,” says Changhua Wu, Greater China director, The Climate Group. “It is obvious that Durban won’t be an easy journey, with a most critical disagreement around

the future of the second commitment period of Kyoto. China and other developing countries have restated their insistency on this leading up to Durban. But overall China is in a relatively more favourable situation compared to Copenhagen, in particular with its clear track record of domestic efforts and progress made so far, and more importantly the 12th five-year plan’s green and low carbon growth strategy being adopted and implemented now domestically,” he added.

Saving tomorrow today There is hope. In the run up to COP17, bloggers and commentators from around the world have joined a conversation that doesn’t paint an entirely bleak picture. Jake Schmidt’s of the Natural Resources Defence Council, wrote last month that “action on the ground” has brought about two important dynamics this year. Firstly, in 2011 more countries


Energy & Water

“Each one of them goes to negotiate for the ability to do more to pollute and for each of the countries it’s a case of how much more of the carbon space can they occupy before it runs out. For the World Bank it’s how much can they finance in a commodity nature. Because the structure is so adverse at a global scale we have to do more locally, and right now we can’t have any illusion that the UN is going to make the changes needed to save the planet,” he continues saying he hopes we can move from the protest sites to a meeting of the people that could lead to “direct action”. “The big question is will people like Canada send delegates? The politicians and delegates that are sent will sabotage it – Canada especially because of its role in the Kyoto Protocol and dropping out. This begs the question, should these parties come to Durban where they will make it a conference of the polluters, or will we be able to ask all of the world’s people to work together to ensure those doing the deals are really committed to the planet, not to continuing the emissions,” he adds saying it will be the activists who make Durban “really unforgettable.

The long road than ever before have implemented policies to reduce their emissions including Australia, America and even China. Secondly, he reports there is significance in the fact that last year saw investments in clean energy increase 30% to reach US $243 billion. Inspired by the “occupy” demonstrations currently sweeping the west, diplomats from some developing countries are considering “staging sit-ins and boycotts over the lack of urgency in the talks”, according to a freelance journalist writing under the by-line David Le Page. Patrick Bond, co-author of Climate Change, Carbon Trading and Civil Society says it takes no more than “a few committed people” to change the balance of forces. “We’re not going to change the balance of forces on the climate on a global scale because of the structures and those are these countries and the World Bank and other big corporations coming in to Copenhagen and Cancun and Durban, with an agenda of business as usual,” he begins in an online video.

“We have said repeatedly that the outcome in Durban should be balanced, fair and credible and that it should seek to preserve and strengthen the multilateral rules-based response to climate change,” NkoanaMashabane declares. She adds that the approach to reach this balanced, fair and credible outcome, must be built on the foundations of the UNFCCC climate change negotiations, which include multilateralism, environmental integrity, fairness (common but differentiated responsibility and respective capabilities, equity,) and “honouring of all international commitments and undertakings made in the climate change process.” “For Durban to be successful, we have to do more than making the Cancun Agreements operational. We have no option but to deal with the outstanding political issues remaining from the Bali Roadmap. This means finding a resolution to the issue of the second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol and agreeing on the legal nature of a future climate change system,” Nkoana-Mashabane says. What happens next is anybody’s guess.

The low level of ambition is a serious concern” 16 000 officials at ministerial, negotiator and officials level to take part in the conference 1,500 members of media 20,000 civil society representatives expected

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) The first step in the fight to stop climate change, UNFCC came into force on March 24 1994. With an ultimate objective to “stabilise greenhouse gas concentrations at a level that will prevent dangerous human interference with the climate system”, Under the Convention, membership governments commit to: • gather and share information on greenhouse gas emissions, national policies and best practices; • launch national strategies for addressing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to expected impacts, including the provision of financial and technological support to developing countries; and • cooperate in preparing for adaptation to the impacts of climate change. The annual meeting under which members come together is called Conference of the Parties (COP), the supreme body of the convention




Msheireb Downtown Project The second in our series of updates on sustainable community developments, Dan McAlister takes a look at Doha’s $5.5 billion Msheireb Downtown project


eaturing more than 100 buildings with a combination of commercial and residential properties, retail, cultural and entertainment areas, the Msheireb Downtown project , located in Doha, will blend traditional Qatari heritage and aesthetics with modern technology while incorporating sustainability and harmony with the environment. Qatar – the world’s fastest growing economy – is setting a global benchmark in sustainable urban development with the US $5.5 billion commitment to regenerate the centre of its capital city, Doha. The Msheireb Downtown project will use building techniques and materials


which comply with local environmental and climate regulations. Developed by Msheireb Properties, the company’s name not only translates as ‘a place to drink water’ but is the historical name of the downtown area of Doha. Also known as the heart of Doha, the area to be regenerated will take in more than 30 hectares of central Doha and incorporate modern sustainable infrastructure utilities with many sikkas and sehans. At the heart of the site lies Barahat Al Naseem the city’s ‘grand sehan’, surrounded by exclusive residential Fireejs, a traditional neighbourhood system stressing a “complete community”.

Construction started 18 months ago at the mixed-use development site adjacent to the Emiri Diwan, the redeveloped Souk Waqif and the historical Al Koot Fort



Aiming to be “like nothing else in the world”, the project aims to achieve a “genuine and contemporary life experience while harnessing the natural benefits of site orientation and prevailing winds of change”, according to the developer. The framework of new urban blocks build on the historic street pattern that is interwoven by a grid of new streets taking in leisure arts and religion. The concrete and glass towers with the associated carbon footprints, that have been the hallmark of Middle East construction, are to be replaced says Msheireb, in favour of techniques and materials compatible with the local environment and climate.

People in Qatar will no longer need to be in the car to travel to places that they need as all these will be housed in the project. That is the plan anyway and the vision can be seen online on the company’s Youtube Channel. Recreational and community facilities will include a museum and Eid Prayer Grounds, designed to facilitate community interaction and social exchange. Project highlights Approximately 900 residential units, including nearly 30 standalone villas, intended for both Qataris and expatriates, are among the highlights of the project, which aims for a Gold rating under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental

Design (LEED) certification system of the US Green Building Council. “Several buildings” aim for Platinum rating. The first phase (phase 1A) consists of the Emiri Diwan Quarter, which in turn comprises the Diwan Annex, Emiri Guard building, the Qatar National Archive and four heritage houses (Bin Julmood House, Company House, Mohamed Bin Jassim House and Al Radwani House) that are to be restored and turned into museums. Phase 2, scheduled for completion in early 2015, mainly comprises retail, offices, apartments, amenities, cinemas, departmental store and hotels. Phase 3, set for late 2015 completion, mainly consists of retail, offices, apartments, amenities, urban spa, day-care centre and hotels. Phase 4,

which is the final phase, is expected to be completed in 2016. The main features are retail, offices, apartments, amenities, post office, medical clinic and hotels. Kharaba Street – the first in Doha to have electricity – will be a major focus for restoration, with aims to create a lively retail and recreation hub. A proposed tram circuit will lead from here to the new Metro Station on Mushereib Street and onto Souk Waqif. New Ukas Street will be the central spine of the commercial quarter. Sikkat al Wadi Street will have a stream running through with coloured shades reflecting the sun. All elements are on track according to Mushereib Properties. “Construction started 18 months ago at the mixed-use development site adjacent to the Emiri Diwan, the redeveloped Souk Waqif and the historical Al Koot Fort,” project’s director Mohammad Al-Mari told newspaper Gulf News, who tells The Big Project that the regeneration was planned closely with the local community, who requested more commercial buildings. Developer Msheireb Properties is a real estate company and a subsidiary of Qatar Foundation. The company was established as a commercial venture to support the Foundation’s aims, as well as the goals of Qatar’s 2030 Vision.




In phases Phase 1A Emiri Diwan Quarter, comprising Diwan Annex, Emiri Guard building, the Qatar National Archive and four heritage houses to be converted into museums. Completion due Q4 2014

Phase 2 Scheduled for completion in early 2015, mainly comprises retail, offices, apartments, amenities, cinemas, departmental store and hotels.

Phase 3 Set for late 2015 completion, mainly consists of retail, offices, apartments, amenities, urban spa, day-care centre and hotels.

Phase 4 The final phase expected to be completed 2016. The main features are retail, offices, apartments, amenities, post office, medical clinic and hotels.


Safe as houses There can be anything up to 5000 workers on site 24 hours a day, six days a week and that figure is expected to reach 20,000 by next year when the project gains even greater pace. Yet Msheireb has registered ten million hours work on its flagship site without a lost time incident or injury on Phase 1A – an accomplishment regarded as a safety milestone. Lost Time Incident/Injury (LTI) is an important measure of on-site safety, indicating the total man hours worked on the project without any downtime that is the result of an accident or injury. A result of the adherence to strict local and international health and safety regulations there has also been site-wide adoption of strict inspection and reporting standards, backed up by third party audits and rigorous training programmes. The accomplishment goes hand in hand with an initiative launched by Msheireb to reward workers and contractors for excellence in on-site safety. Under the Msheireb Properties Safety Awards Program, workers receive a collective achievement award on passing pre-set milestones, and individual achievement awards to recognize a single worker’s strict adherence to safety instructions. Prizes include pre-paid phone cards, shopping vouchers, cinema tickets and household goods. The contractors’ award, audited by the Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) Department is presented to one contractor each quarter in the form of a specially commissioned Msheireb Properties safety trophy and certificate. “This milestone is a reflection of the strict local and international standards that we have applied throughout the project and emphasises our commitment to the highest standards of

safety management and the welfare of all our workers, contractors and associates on the project,” says Mohammad Al Marri, project director of Msheireb Properties. “This achievement is also a reinforcement of the care and attention taken by Msheireb Properties on all works and planning, with a health and safety policy that is amongst the most strict in the world,” he adds. “The HSE commitment at Msheireb Properties extends not only to those employed directly by Msheireb, but those employed by contractors. We are keen on ensuring that all new hires go through an induction training prior to their involvement in the project. The procedures in place include daily toolbox talks by the supervisors and weekly ones by the HSE staff, risk assessment conducted by each contractor, daily inspection of the work area carried out by the HSE staff to identify unsafe conditions and acts, and the undertaking of external audit on a quarterly basis,” concluded Al Marri.

This milestone is a reflection of the strict local and international standards that we have applied throughout the project

Commercial and governmental offices 280,000sqm Retail 94,000sqm Hotels 117,000sqm Residential properties 222,000sqm Community and cultural areas, schools, mosques and museums 47,000sqm Parks and open spaces will cover an area of more than 120,000sqm.


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Construction | COMMENT

FAR LEFT: The Kingdom Tower will stand at over 1,000m tall. LEFT: The world’s highest observation deck. ABOVE: Architect Adrian Smith.

Green Supply Chain: Improving competitiveness and your eco-footprint Supply chain consultancy manager for Masdar, Richard Reynolds, explains how to integrate environmental criteria into supply chain management without affecting the bottom line December2011


ot since the emergence of supply chain management (SCM) in the late 1970s has a concept captured the imagination of the public, corporate management and policy makers as much as green supply chain management. This is driven by a range of factors that appeal to each of these constituencies in different ways. Green supply chain management (GSCM), which has emerged as a key approach for enterprises seeking to make their businesses environmentally sustainable, means inserting

environmental criteria into the decision-making matrix of traditional supply chain management.

Positively impacting profits It’s a common belief among many organisations that moving toward environmentally friendly practices will hurt the bottom line. In forums, workshops and conferences, I’m regularly asked the question, “Will customers pay the extra costs associated with going green?” The questioner is often surprised to hear that


COMMENT | Construction

Being green is not just the right thing to do, it’s the profitable thing to do too.” of disposing of scrap – hauling it away, processing it – and the costs associated with regulatory compliance. Companies have developed new revenue sources on the by-products they used to throw away! Many companies are using green supply chain as a competitive advantage to grow market share within their industry.

Underestimated benefits, overestimated costs

GSCM can have a positive impact on profits. Many forward-thinking companies are using environmental issues to their advantage. Through innovation and cuttingedge solutions, they are becoming more profitable while also helping the environment. GE, for example, has an ecomagination programme focused on growing its revenue streams from environmentally friendly products. They recognise the opportunity associated with saving the environment. Many utility companies are offering customers sustainably produced power and charging a premium for that offering. Grocery stores are charging higher prices for organic foods because people are willing to pay a premium for healthier, sustainably grown food. Operationally, developing a green supply chain can generate cost savings by not having to dispose of harmful by-products, by reducing obsolescence, and by reducing the money spent on traditional methods

Nowhere in the business world is the cost-benefit ratio of going green as little understood as in the construction industry, a crucial information mismatch given that the total greenhouse gases emitted by all the buildings in the world are a startling 40% of the world’s total greenhouse gas emissions. While one may not expect construction professionals to know the actual greenhouse gas savings from green buildings, one would expect the majority of them to accurately understand the additional costs incurred for green buildings. However, it turns out they overestimate the additional costs by more than 200%. While costs are in reality 5% higher, the professionals thought costs were 17% higher. Meanwhile, savings from green building design over the structure’s lifetime and the increased energy efficiency can reduce HVAC costs by up to 80% in an average building. It is estimated that implementing end-to-end green supply chain principles in the construction industry could increase profitability by up to 10%. The additional costs of green design, substitution of inputs, and green processes are more than offset by cost savings and additional revenues from green procurement and energy efficiencies.

Unleashing innovation The perceived barriers in people’s minds, or the barriers being erected, appear to be driven by the narrow self-interest of special interest groups. While senior executives may have started to acknowledge the need for a green change, most remain committed to their existing business models and supply chains, largely for want of a clear alternative

methodology or impetus. It is for the business leaders in the developed world to show the way, not only to safeguard the environment for future generations, but also to unleash a new wave and burst of innovation that will ensure continued economic growth. In the developing world, with its rapid transformations, urbanisation and industrialisation, the “blind” practice of adopting archaic developmental models largely from Western political, industrial and thought leaders is detrimental from a development perspective, as much as from an environmental one. Surely a new thinking style is very much needed. The harsh reality is that we need to change what we are doing from a supply chain standpoint in order to ensure that future generations will have resources available to them to use in their lifetime. The benefits of implementing a sustainable supply chain can be seen in the improved competitiveness of your company and in the protection of your environment. Being green is not just the right thing to do, it’s the profitable thing to do too.

Many forwardthinking companies are using environmental issues to their advantage.” December2011



Building Green Cities and Connections When the Green Build Congress debuted at this year’s The Big 5, Marwan Noueihed rubbed shoulders with the leading players to hear about the issues facing our cities CENTRE: H.H Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, deputy ruler of Dubai.


fter more than 30 years of successful shows the Big 5, the Middle East’s largest construction exhibition – with over 2500 exhibitors from over 70 countries –hosted the first Green Build Congress, in Dubai. The event saw more than 40 speakers and leading players from the private and public sectors come together to exchange ideas in lively round tables discussions, workshops and


over 100 free to attend seminars and product showcases over three days. The Green Build Congress opened with an address by H.E. Dr. Rashed Ahmed bin Fahad, Minister of Environment and Water, UAE. In his speech he highlighted the steps the UAE has taken to reduce its ecological footprint in light of the fact that the country has the world’s highest per capita ecological footprint.

One key step was the launching of the Al Basma Al Beeiyah Initiative in October 2007, which allowed the UAE to monitor consumption patterns in the country and address its footprint. The UAE is only the third country to embark on such in-depth research, after Switzerland and Japan. Other proactive initiatives highlighted included the development of the Estidama Pearl Rating System and Abu Dhabi’s Masdar City. However, the minister said the most pressing need is to change people’s habits and behaviours, which will require education and take time. Across the panels, there was a general consensus that building sustainably is no longer an option, and that it should not be more expensive than non-sustainable building if it is planned for in the design stage. Mario Seneviratne, who as Director of Sustainability at Green Technologies, has designed many net zero carbon buildings, takes an inside-out approach to design, with more open spaces and materials that reduce heating, cooling and

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lighting costs. Adrian Smith, the architect behind iconic structures such as the Burj Khalifa and Kingdom Tower in Saudi Arabia, in his keynote speech stressed that the key to sustainable cities would be in retrofitting old buildings so they comply with new green standards. This is because new buildings only account for 1% of the world’s total building stock. “A green building by itself does not create a sustainable community. But a sustainable community needs green buildings,” Paul Bierman Lytle, director of sustainability, IMCC Green said in summary of the conundrum. However, on a more fundamental level, Andrew Olszewski, AO director, International Urban Strategies, said: “While buildings are important, it is the system that has to be sustainable.” For cities to become more sustainable, planning cities has to move from an administrative planning model, which includes the master plan – a method that is popular in the UAE – to an urban management model, which encourages interconnectedness, transparency and constructive public-private partnerships. A case in point is Melbourne in Australia, which turned itself around when faced with an economic crisis and has been ranked The Economist’s most


A green building by itself does not create a sustainable community. But a sustainable community needs green buildings” Rewarding Sustainability The fourth annual Gaia Awards, supported by Build Green, recognised construction products that have successfully demonstrated exceptional sustainable and energy efficient features This year’s Gaia Awards were more intense than ever, because for the first time nominations were open to non-exhibitors at The Big 5. There are also no categories – only one gold, two silver, four bronze and 13 Andy White, Big 5 Event Director

finalist awards. Presenting the awards were Burj Khalifa and Kingdom Tower architect

livable city of 2011. Convincing businesses that operating sustainably is not more expensive, remains a big challenge. “ Sustainability is not a cost, it’s an opportunity,” said Dr. Nawal Al Hosany, associate director of sustainability, Masdar City. Continuing to point out that the top companies are also the most sustainable, she referred to Johnson & Johnson, the international consumer health and medical devices company, which placed sixth according to Newsweek’s 2011 green rankings of sustainable US companies. Even though participants at the Green Build Congress might have had different approaches to sustainability, they did agree that building and living sustainably is no longer an option, and that the UAE is taking bold actions in this direction.

Adrian Smith and The Big 5 show director Andy White. Nuuon Trading LLC was rewarded with gold for its EnOcean wireless technology, while Blade Room Group Ltd and Red Engineering along with Carlisle HVAC/Trimac Inc took silver. Bronze was awarded to Waterpro S.A., Enolgas Bonomi S.p.A., Cocomosaic Indonesia and Smart Box Industries LLC, while 13 finalists were also recognised.


Special Feature

The Business of Waste BGreen investigates how companies in the UAE are stepping up to the challenge of responsibly managing waste. With a focus on the medical and hospitality industries, Marwan Noueihed looks at the methods used by Averda, Rotana and Dubai’s Welcare Hospital


s a trading hub hosting some of the region’s largest infrastructure projects and the regional headquarters of many multinational companies, the urgency of responsible waste management is pronounced in the UAE. The good news is that managing waste is becoming a financial and environmental challenge that governments, and more importantly companies, in the UAE are increasingly choosing to face. A study conducted by the Abu Dhabi-based Center for Waste Management (CWM) in April said that the emirate generates more than 10 million tonnes of waste per year. Statistics show that in 2010 Dubai generated approximately 13.9 million tonnes of waste, mainly from the domestic, horticulture, construction and demolition sectors.

TOP: The Kingdom Tower will stand at over 1,000m tall


According to Hamad Al Ameri, General Manager of the CWM, 80% of the waste in Abu Dhabi is generated by businesses, and the UAE as a whole is losing AED 1.5 billion a year due to inadequate recycling of waste. However, the centre says the Abu Dhabi government has set some ambitious targets to stem the tide of waste. The goal is to reduce waste in the emirate by 80% over the next eight years, beginning with a 45% reduction by next year and 70% in the next five years. With efforts like these, John Irvine, managing director of Averda, a waste management company with over 1000 vehicles managed by a workforce of over 6000 in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman and Lebanon, says that waste management in the region has come a long way. “Waste management has moved from being a problem to becoming a solution. Waste management traditionally involved transporting waste from point A to point B in a landfill. Over the past ten years however, we have increasingly been moving from managing waste to providing environment solutions,” he says. There is still a long way to go. The major challenges in managing waste responsibly are in raising awareness about the issue, incentivizing organisations to manage their waste and in

upgrading the waste management infrastructure, according to Irvine. He estimates that 70% of organisations involved in responsible waste management around the region are SME’s, while the remaining 30% are government affiliated organisations. Therefore, a major target for education campaigns needs to be businesses. Larger enterprises that produce large volumes of waste have been quick to take advantage of the secondary revenue stream generated by recycling their waste. However, even if aware, small businesses that do not produce the necessary volumes of waste to make waste management economically feasible have yet to be motivated. Irvine recommends a mix of legislation and financial incentives. He suggests governments should pass legislation to make responsible waste management mandatory by law, and for governments to motivate small businesses by offering subsidies on government services, for example renewing work visas. Businesses can also be encouraged to reduce waste by imposing higher dumping fees. Dubai currently charges companies AED 10 per lorry to dump waste at landfills. In comparison, Sharjah charges

AED 50 per tonne; Abu Dhabi AED 225 per tonne, while in Europe, where landfills are designed to meet stricter environmental standards, these charges average AED 286 (€60). This is important because while the UAE does have vast tracts of desert land that can host landfills, they run the risk of soil and groundwater contamination, the generation gas from the breakdown of waste and are unpopular with residents. However, to manage the anticipated increase in demand for waste management, the government would have to upgrade the current infrastructure. To divert waste from landfills, Irvine recommends the development of waste to energy plants, which incinerate waste and use the gas generated to produce energy. Governments may be reluctant to fund capital intensive waste to energy facilities, so to encourage private sector development Irvine recommends that the government guarantee 25 year energy contracts with businesses to help them recoup their investment. In spite of the limited waste management infrastructure, Irvine is confident in the longterm potential of the UAE market, and Averda is scheduled to open two recycling plants in Dubai by mid-2012.


Special Feature

Reserving Waste for Recovery With tourism playing a key role in the UAE’s economy, the sector is fast contributing to the country’s mounting trash. BGreen talks to Muhammad Ishsanullah, Director of Environment, Health and Safety at the Al Bustan Rotana in Dubai about how they are responsibly managing their waste.

Does Rotana use the same waste management company across all its hotels? Rotana deals with two different companies for the waste management of our properties in the UAE.

TOP: The Kingdom Tower will stand at over 1,000m tall

What is the waste management process? We do the waste segregation ourselves, and categorise waste into hazardous waste, nonhazardous waste and other waste (occasional waste). The waste is segregated at the point of generation using different colour coded bins. Bins are emptied on a daily basis and waste and recyclables are then held in a controlled temperature, again in color coded skips or allocated dry areas. Mixed waste is collected daily by the contractor for disposal while recyclables are weighed and collected by the contractor for recycling. Initially, we started waste segregation from production and F&B outlets, while continuously adding resources and increasing the covered areas. We then moved to guest rooms and we are expanding it to offices. Finally, we will include our employee’s accommodation. The contractor’s part includes collection, disposal and/ or recycling or delivering to the concerned industry for recycling.

Are there any special challenges in managing waste due to the nature of the hospitality industry? In general, waste management is not complicated as long as

you have an excellent system in place and the employees are well briefed. However, I must say that glass has emerged so far as a challenge as we don’t have many recycling units here. Hence, contractors are not very interested in buying glass.

How is this challenge met? At present, glass is being disposed of, but the future for glass recycling looks very promising, so we look forward to the establishment of glass recycling plants so we can help save the environment while making revenue.

How many tonnes of waste does the Al Bustan Rotana produce a year? It is directly proportional to the business – more business means more waste. On average, the volume of waste that we produce is around nine tonnes daily. Out of this nine tonnes, 30-35% is recyclable. The approximate percentage of major recyclables is as follows: cartons and paper: 30-35%, plastic: 15-20%, aluminum: 5-10%, glass: 5-10%.

What are the main components of the hotel’s waste? The main components of waste fall into two categories – for disposal and for reuse or recycling. Most waste for disposal is organic waste, grease, hazardous chemicals, wood

(furniture), construction related waste and glass. Waste that is reused or recycled is cardboard, paper, plastic, aluminum (cans), glass, used oil and electronic waste (batteries, cartridges).

How much of Al Bustan Rotana’s yearly waste has been recycled? Except glass, all other recyclables are recycled fully.

How much money has the hotel made from recycling per year? I must say it is a considerable amount of money as our contractor is paying us competitive rates. Compared to the rate and volume two years back, we have a rate hike of 45% and expect the trend to continue. Does the hotel make money as a result of waste management processes other than recycling? Yes we do. A lot is saved if we calculate on a daily basis. If an establishment doesn’t segregate recyclables, they might produce an average of 18 skips of 1.1 cubic metres daily at AED 15. A hotel of the same size that segregates recyclables will reduce up to 9 skips of the same size at the same rate. This alone will save the establishment AED 49,275 per year, apart from recyclables. This is just one example. There are many more that could add up to millions.



Special Feature

Diagnosing Biomedical Waste Recovery Disposing of biomedical waste presents challenges that are unique to the medical industry. BGreen talks to Abraham Kuruvila, Engineering Manager and Diana Grobler, Nursing Director, at Welcare Hospital in Dubai about how they are responsibly managing their waste. What is Welcare’s waste management process?

Diana Grobler, Nursing Director

Two types of waste are generate in the hospital - medical and general. General waste goes to the garbage room via a closed trolley, medical waste is collected in yellow or red bags and sent to the medical waste room. Both groups are collected by our waste management company.

Are there any special challenges in managing waste due to the nature of the hospitality industry?

Abraham Kuruvila, Engineering Manager


The medical waste room needs to be maintained at 2o - 8o Celsius. Sharp instruments such as needles and surgical blades also need to be disposed of. The disposal of contaminated

surgical dressings requires specialised handling such as incineration to prevent contamination and the spread of disease in the community.

How are these challenges met? Housekeeping staff are trained and educated on the different waste segregation methods, and are overseen by supervisors. An international colour coding system is implemented and waste is handled accordingly. Units are issued with spill kits which are used in cases where chemical and body fluids are spilled.

Have you realised any benefits from contracting the management of your waste?

benefit of having our waste products dealt with in an organised manner.

How many tonnes of waste does Welcare Hospital produce a year? Welcare Hospital produces approximately 84 tonnes of medical waste, or 7000 kg per month. The hospital’s general waste is calculated in number of containers (1.1 cubic metres) and is approximately 4000 containers per year or 333 containers per month.

What are the main components of your waste? A mix of all medical and general waste.

Outsourcing provides the




AVERDA SETS UP A WASTEWATER RECYCLING FACILITY AT FIRST SCURITY GROUP — D U BA I When the management of First Security Group’s staff accommodation realized that they were spending more than AED 4 million a year on sewage tankers, they knew something had to be done, and fast. For one, it was a fairly expensive endeavor to have twenty sewage tankers haul sewage away every day. Secondly, organising the logistics of these tankers was proving to be tedious. Finally, since this problem surfaced at the peak of Dubai’s construction (and traffic) boom, oftentimes, tankers would not arrive at all, resulting in leakage, spillage, and septic sewage. All of this could easily be managed by installing an onsite sewage treatment plant, aside for small issue: space. The staff accommodation was situated in an industrial

area in Dubai, and comprised of many buildings which left little room for a sewage treatment plant, however necessary. The problem was solved using a packaged sewage treatment technology, with a somewhat unconventional mode of installation: the modules of the sewage treatment plants were installed in an empty walkway between the site buildings, thus making good use of existing space. The treated water is being currently used for irrigation within the facility and also for vehicles washing, resulting in reduced water consumption. Averda water using package sewage treatment solutions, like the one at First Security Group, can provide financial as well as environmental benefits to its clients.

THE BENEFITS • • • • • •

Major savings on sewage disposal and transportation Major savings on water consumption bill Leasing opportunities of packaged STP’s Low maintenance costs (no mechanical parts) Low operation costs (no sludge, no chemicals) Quick return on investment

• • • •

Preservation of water resources through reuse Reduce of groundwater contamination from illegal dumping Elimination of health hazards caused by sewage odors Decrease of fuel emissions, traffic jam and noise pollution caused by sewage tankers


Expenses on Water, Before STP (AED/year)

Expenses on Water, After STP (AED/year)

Toilets Laundry Irrigation Kitchens & Shower Discharge of wastewater by Tanker

875,448 125,064 156,330 2,219,886 4,380,000

0 125,064 0 2,219,886 0

Discharge of treated water Total consumed per year Savings

0 7,756,728

1,022,000 3,366,950 AED 4,389,778





Green IT

Environmental technology: the urgently-needed revolution Canon Middle East MD, Anurag Agrawal, asks why the world was so slow to react to the industrialisation of the 1800s


he Industrial Revolution saw machinery replace manual labour and fossil fuels take over wind, water and wood, as primary energy sources. The full impact began being felt in the 1800s, when machine-powered labour swept Europe, North America and the rest of the world. Global industrialisation exponentially increased production capacities, enabling society to make things quicker and better. Unfortunately, the unwanted effects of this historic period on natural resources, public health, sanitation, and energy usage, would escape international public scrutiny for 200 years. Only in the early 1960s did concerned groups and individuals come together to seriously address the ecological burden posed by industrial activities.

Green solution The dawning of the information age during the last half of the 20th century, introduced revolutions in writing, printing, mass media, entertainment, the home and the information highway. Over the past


few decades, this new phase has been heightening global interest in technology and its ability to heal the planet from the hurts of its industrial roots. ‘Green’ and environmental technology in particular is gaining a firmer foothold in the corporate consciousness, as organisations race to find more sustainable ways to run their businesses. Striking a balance between achieving bottom-line targets and protecting the environment is not an easy task in a protracted global crisis. Industry needs a new kind of revolution; one that seamlessly integrates elements of sustainability into operations without compromising productivity – perhaps even raising it. While the road to environmental stewardship may be difficult, it is the only path to take for organisations as part of the global movement to save the planet. We can expect to observe more ‘green’ technologies finding their way into various businesses. Green technology refers to the creation and use of technology in a manner that conserves natural resources and does not significantly damage the environment. Although still in the early stages of development, this alternative type of technology offers great potential in reducing dependence on fossil fuels and lessening risks to human, animal and plant health. Many leading companies have reported reductions in energy costs and increased efficiencies due to their successful adoption of green technology.

Eco-tech Since as early as 1997, Canon has been integrating various environmental approaches in all areas of its corporate activity, from products to conduct, with achievements including the reduction of logistics CO2 emissions by around 40% globally since 2006 and corporate

Companies are understandably committed to ringing in profits, but this does not give them a license to compromise the environment. sustainability efforts covering procurement functions. Canon upholds strict criteria for the origin of pulp and paper products and the environmental track record of suppliers and our green procurement programme ensures that priority items bought from suppliers and third parties comply with all legal requirements regarding the chemical substances contained in them. In addition, up to 30% of the company’s printer housings are made with recycled plastic. All of Canon’s sustainability initiatives echo its corporate philosophy of ‘kyosei,’ a Japanese word that means living and working together for the common good. Canon is fully committed to taking responsibility for the consequences of its activities and respecting the communities and environments it operates in. Companies are understandably committed to ringing in profits, but this does not give them a license to compromise the environment. Green technologies offer a bridge between assured organizational productivity and high levels of sustainability. Green-conscious industry leaders such as Canon are making sure that this new business revolution gains full momentum.




Green IT

Green with IT Envy The inaugural Green Champion Awards, held by CPI’s Computer News Middle East, saw the leading producers and adopters of green IT solutions rewarded for their innovation. Marwan Noueihed attended the event

There are a lot of green IT solutions available in the market. However, the truth is that there are very few independent assessments of how green a solution actually is. Most vendors claim that their systems are 50% greener, but there is no test to confirm this” Dr Fabrice Saffre, chief researcher at the Etisalat BT Innovation Centre



ven when companies want to go green with their IT, they often choose the safest solutions. That’s why The Green Champion Awards recognised organisations in end user and vendor categories that went beyond the standard IT practices to deliver exceptionally “green” results Winners in the end user categories Data Centre Roads and Transport Authority – Dubai The RTA expanded its internal green IT initiatives to cover external interactions with its customers and public. This includes tracking, monitoring and controlling all aspects of IT from the end user device to the data centre. This initiative has resulted in significant energy consumption reductions and bottom line savings.

Desktop/Printing General Civil Aviation Authority – UAE The General Civil Aviation Authority optimised its web services to provide its base users with an enhanced experience, while delivering ecological benefits. Innovation Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi The agency has saved nearly 32 tonnes of CO2 emissions by reducing the number of printers from 100 to less than 20 and doing away with fax machines. It has also implemented policies to ensure that energy is saved at every point. Operations Masdar (Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company) Masdar has virtualised 50% of its servers and aims to increase this to 80%by 2012. Its print


Green IT

Companies have to understand the objective of why they are going green before they choose any solutions in the market” Oussama Bachour, systems engineering manager at Juniper Networks MEA

management solution has already resulted in 75% print savings and is expected to reduce costs of consumables by 55%, with paper consumption expected to decrease by 20%. E-Waste Consciousness Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority The Authority stood out for the extensive work it has conducted with vendors around the region to manage end-of-lifecycle IT and electronics equipment. Winners of the vendor categories Hardware Dell Dell was rewarded for the IT solutions it created to reduce power consumption, especially for efficiency with highly energy intensive data centres.

Management Software Oracle Oracle’s expertise as a hardware manufacturer and software developer positioned it to deliver sustainability solutions integrated with core business activities across the value chain. Innovation IBM IBM developed software designed to deliver energy savings of 15-35% for a client that launched a web-based lighting management system. This software is part of IBM’s US $1 billion a year green energy investment that the company announced back in May 2008.

E-Waste Disposal/Recycling EnviroServe EnviroServe was recognised for the e-waste campaigns it has launched in Qatar with QTel; Bahrain with Zain; Kuwait with Wataniya; and Afghanistan with Rosha. EnviroServe is looking to extend its e-waste campaigns to Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Oman, and has signed contracts with Etisalat for campaigns in 18 countries. Market Education HP HP was rewarded for its extensive work across the region to spread green awareness and encourage the adoption of green solutions and best practices in IT – from initial procurement to the disposal of investments.



Green IT

Corporate and green – the perfect festive gifts ‘Tis the Season to be Jolly, Fa-La-La-La-Laaa, Tra-La-La-La! By Alice Hartley


h, the Silly Season! Festive Tidings, Holy Days, National Days, Diwali, Eid and Christmas. With such an abundance of reasons to give unto others, its time we at BGreen spread the word on what gifts would befit the green credentials of a reader like yourself during this season. Smart green gifts promote alternate gift giving philosophies and a more conscious professional consumption. As a giver of gifts, allow the receiver to comprehend the conscious choice you have made when you decided upon an earth-friendly item. Really, all products should fall into one or more of the following categories: • Recycled - made of recycled materials, reused parts or scraps. • Organic - made of sustainable and / or natural materials and / or grown in pesticide-free environments. • Non-Toxic - not harmful to humans or animals during production, use or disposal. • Locally made / Artisan - products made by locals. Emissions from shipping are greatly reduced by using regional suppliers. • Fairly Traded - made by workers who receive fair pay and are treated with dignity during the production and sales process. • Tools of Change - products that help us adopt ongoing behaviours that reduce waste, are reuseable, sustainable, and lessen the impact upon the environment around us. E.g. tote bags. Gifts can be unique and meet as a minimum one of the above standards. Your clients will appreciate the efforts you make in sourcing a gift that spreads bon homie as well as awareness around sustainability concepts and what better way than a gift that bellows I have a light carbon footprint! Treasure me, for I love the Earth!  


Interactive and multifunctional gifts of advanced technology such as those that incorporate alternative energy ideas such as solar Powered iPod and Cell Phone Chargers, Manual/Wind Up Power Products, and LED Lighting are also a great idea. Smart and intelligent designs that may match the aesthetic you wish to achieve in your choice of gift. Pitched to the corporate client who has a social conscience and who wishes to bring his own customers along the sustainability road, here is a selection of gifts which represent your brand in a way that shouts “I CARE!” • The “Garden in a Bag”, a flower that will sprout right in the bag without the need for planting. Just mix the seeds and soil, and add water. Hey Presto! • House shaped “Recyclopad” cardboard box in recycled material, containing 100pages of recycled paper and colourful memo stickers on roof. • Black or natural brown covered “Bloquero Plus” notebook with 70 pages of blank recycled paper including a biodegradable, recycled ball pen. Blue ink. • Pocket size “Cartopad” notebook with 80 pages of blank recycled paper and recycled ball pen with biodegradable plastic parts. Blue ink. • “LightCap 300” Solar Powered LED Bottle Cap • “La Vela” Candles handmade from pure Soywax: in festive fragrance ‘Red Hot Cinnamon’ - a blend of cinnamon spice, clove and nutmeg

• •

Now, where to source these selections • For elegant, recycled corporateappropriate promotional items and stationary - contact C P Link General Trading LLC owner Lena Tarakjian;

For pure soy candles that ooze style and will make an office smell delicious contact La Vela Candles owner Lakshmi Sukumaran on +971507945659; For tech-heavy gifts, check out; For earth friendly products, that are both practical and high quality, visit

You need not be an expert on sustainability in gift-giving. You just need to care. A lot. Happy Holidays!



The story behind the facade Paul Kinsey of facade pioneers Trimo, gives a preview of the science behind a revolutionary new products and talks about the importance of embracing green


uildings and the construction industry are responsible for some of the worst pollution on the planet, yet the innovations of one company could be about to create shockwaves in the industry. Next year will see the launch of QBiss Air, a product that incorporates energy efficiency and thermal insulation, while reducing the building materials used and maintaining the contemporary design aesthetics demanded by the market. “We have already built our first case study project in Slovenia very close to our head quarters factory, to monitor the installation and how the product works. It’s in what I would call its soft launch phase” says Dubai branch director Paul Kinsey. Traditionally, Trimo has manufactured its facades from certified steel and rockwool under the ‘cradle to cradle’ concept, which see all materials recycled to their original state for re-use. What will happen next is something Kinsey describes as “very radical for the sector”. Removing the rockwool insulation that usually sits between the steel and glass, QBiss Air will see CO2 injected into the space in the facade to produce the ultimate insulator. The CO2 is bottled at a gas capture facility and pumped directly into the spaces


between – fully recyclable – steel. The external face can be constructed from any of the standard materials currently used in design and construction, including glass, laminate, stone and metal. “We are saying that you don’t need all this supporting and extra insulation material, so we are really having to re-educate the market place to say the way you build traditionally doesn’t need to be that way. “This is the new way to build your facilities,” Kinsey asserts. 100% certified While the finer details of QBiss Air are closely guarded, products from Trimo’s current catalogue are promoted to contractors and architects through certified CPD (continued professional development)

programmes, endorsed by the likes of RIBA. While the innovation in these products may pale in comparison to QBIss, they have still increased the efficiency of buildings, design and procurement, and have earned the right to boast properties such as 100% recycled and recyclable, carbon neutral and even carbon positive. Explaining the concept between Trimo’s



CLOCKWISE: Projects supplied by Trimo include Munsters Staalbouw, McLaren UK and Jodrell Bank. The firm has been in operation for 50 years and is head quartered in Slovenia.

current best seller, Kinsey says: “Usually there will be structure, concrete wall with a support system, there’s insulation, a breather membrane then the external facade. That’s five layers. “The internal steel liner acts as the internal wall and the rockwool is the insulation. Therefore we don’t need the supporting steel and our external sheet is the external facade. So instead of individual elements, it comes as one. It’s also a single product under guarantee,” he continues adding that the shift from accepted methods sees Trimo’s own engineers supervising the early stages of installation. “As a group Trimo has always been very sustainable and environmentally friendly. It’s not a case of ‘we want to be’ we take it down to the local community of where our factory is based. One day each year

CEO instigates an environmental day where everybody from the CEO to the people who clear the floors in the factory canteen and do community service in the local area,” says Kinsey. Moving to the UAE from Trimo’s UK office last year, Kinsey has worked to ensure that Trimo doesn’t just create an illusion of sustainability but actually contributes to the overall wellbeing of the local environment. Certified by a handful of international bodies, Trimo’s product sales span 54 countries and fifty years of R&D from the Slovenia-based head quarters. All the materials used to make the facades – primarily steel and rockwool – boast certified environmental credentials, in addition to the internal operations of the company and the carbon emissions created

by its production plants. Pioneers of the cradle to cradle concept, which sees all materials recycled to their original state for re-use, Trimo also conducts lifecycle assessments. Working with Planet Positive, Trimo was responsible for the first carbon positive warehouse in the UK, which not only reduced what it took from the environment, but actually gave something back. Owned by Prologis and operated by British supermarket chain J. Sainsbury, the warehouse was constructed to be carbon neutral but then advanced its credentials by offsetting additional carbon, with credits invested into local schemes. “It’s not necessarily about investing in a local wind farm, yes you can do that, but the way Prologis wanted to do that was how they could reduce the impact on the local community of where this facility is as well,” Kinsey explains. “We want to create a brand that is synonymous with being environmentally friendly. It’s a bit of a personal quest as well, but from past experience I can see the benefits it gives at the end,” he adds.




Much Ado About Sustainable Tourism Marwan Noueihed previews the different players coming together at World Green Tourism to confront the challenges in creating a sustainable tourism industry in the Middle East


he World Green Tourism conference, from December 5- 7 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), will see more than 60 of the region’s leading tourism players take part in a series of seminars, workshops and roundtables to discuss the role of industry, government and society in creating a sustainable tourism sector. The importance of developing a sustainable tourism industry is pronounced in the Middle East where, according to the UN Arab Human Development Report, over 50% of the population is under the age of 24. Among the youth, 30% are unemployed and the economy is being challenged to absorb an expanding labour force. However, governments around the region are drafting and implementing long-term plans to diversify their economies, as well as working with industries and NGOs to build a more sustainable tourism industry that will develop skills and create jobs.

governments are drafting and implementing plans to diversify their economies to build a more sustainable tourism industry that will develop skills and create jobs”

Day 1 – December 5th Industry Day The opening day of the conference will focus on practical steps the travel and tourism industries can take to make their businesses more sustainable. Panel 1: How can large scale tourism ever be made sustainable? Questions: Has sustainable tourism moved beyond niches? How can destinations manage large numbers of tourists? Are international operators giving back enough to local communities? Can a high volume tourism industry ever be sustainable? Keynote introduction: Amr Abdel Ghaffer, Regional Director for the Middle East, UNWTO Panelists Ruth Holroyd, Group Head of Sustainability, Thomas Cook Group


Prof. Harold Goodwin, Director, International Centre for Responsible Tourism Hisham Zaazou, Senior Assistant Minister of Tourism, Egypt Shaikha Ebrahim Al Mutawa, Director of Business Development, Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, Government of Dubai

How important are Internet peer reviews in educating consumers? Do global certification standards help or hinder sustainable travel? With so many different standards, how can consumers know if a package is really green? Panelists Justin Francis, Chief Executive and Co-Founder,

Moderator Prof. Geoffrey Lipman, Director and Associate, and Schuman Associates, Belgium

Brad Cox, Director of Communications, Green Globe

Panel 2: Empowering consumers to make a responsible choice: What steps should the travel industry take?

Alexander Barder, Regional Director of Business Development, Middle East & Africa, Sabre Hospitality Solutions

Questions: How much weight to business and consumer travelers put on sustainability?

Moderator Dr. Tom Selänniemi, Sustainable Solutions Director, Fairtourist Ltd.

Erika Harms, Executive Director, Global Sustainable Tourism Council



Panel 3: Who is responsible for “greening” the tourism industry? Questions: Can the industry self regulate or is legislation necessary? In sharing the burden, whose role is it to green the supply chain? How can tour operators and travel agents monitor the environmental impact of the products they sell? How can hotels green their supply chain? Panelists Dr. Rebecca Hawkins, Consultant and Associate, Travelwatch Ltd Niranjan Khatri, General Manager, WelcomEnviron Initiatives, ITC Hotels Joseph Dolan, Managing Director, The Bush Hotel Raki Phillips, Area Director - Sales & Marketing, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts Majid Saqer Al-Marri, Director, Classification, Licensing and Classification, Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, Government of Dubai Moderator Ibrahim Awad, Managing Director, Seventh Sense Panel 4: Green branding and marketing: making sure values are consistent with message Panelists Justin Francis, Chief Executive and Co-Founder, Brad Cox, Director of Communications, Green Globe Moderator Valere Tjolle, Sustainable Tourism Editor, Day 2 – December 6th Society Day The second day of the conference will focus on how governments are pursuing a sustainable future for tourism and the implications of their policies. Panel 5: Youth employment in the Arab world: tourism and the environment Questions: Is the tourism industry doing enough to motivate young people to take up careers in tourism?

Is enough importance being placed on promoting jobs within the environmental sector? How can the negative perception of tourism as a career choice be changed in the UAE? What about joint partnerships between colleges and industry? What is the role of government in helping industry employ a local workforce? Panelists Ali Al Saloom, Cultural Expert, Owner and Founder, ‘Ask Ali’ and Embrace Arabia

Co-ordination Department, Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi Moderator Gopinath Parayil, Founder and CEO, the Blue Yonder Panel 7: Regenerating and developing new destinations using sustainable tourism principles

John Mowatt, Training Specialist and Consultant in Emiratisation, Jebel Ali International Hotels

Questions Why should tourism destinations adopt sustainable management practices? What does sustainable tourism mean to different stakeholders? How can we put sustainable tourism practices in place? A presentation of damaged tourism destinations after regeneration attempts

Prof. Dr. Edith M Szivas, Director of Research and Consultancy, The Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management

Panelists Amy Carter James, Managing Director, Guludo Beach Lodge & Thin Cats Thinking

Moderator Prof. Harold Goodwin, Director, International Centre for Responsible Tourism

Jennifer Seif, Executive Director, Fair Trade Tourism South Africa

Ghanim Al Marri, Emiratisation Director, Jebel Ali International Hotels

Panel 6: Too much of a good thing: should there be limits on tourists? Questions: Should some areas be off limits to tourists? When does protecting local culture take precedence over providing local jobs? How far can educating tourists limit the damage they can cause? Panelists Chris Johnson, Director, Wild Jordan Animesh K Ghatak, Operations Manager Hospitality Asset Management, Omran Dr. Tom Selanniemi, Sustainable Solutions Director, Fairtourist Ltd. Dr. Mohamed Yousef Al Madfaei, Deputy Manager, Environmental Strategy & Policy

H.E. Marwan Bin Jassim Al Sarkal, CEO, Shurooq Nicolas Dubrocard, Green Key International Coordinator, Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE: Green Key, Blue Flag) Moderator Darryl Lew, Director, Environment Management Sector –The Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi Panel 8: Is the tourism industry effectively preparing for a water and energy constrained future? Questions Why can’t the tourism industry afford to turn its back on water conservation? Is it really the end of cheap energy for the tourism industry? Who should take the lead in conserving our




Workshops, Briefings and Field Trip Breakfast workshop How to green your hotel: practical steps to making your hotel or attraction more sustainable Panelists John Beveridge, General Manager, Area Director, Grand Hyatt Dubai Inge Huijbrechts, Director Responsible Business, The Rezidor Hotel Group Biya Levy, Regional Responsible Business Co-ordinator Middle East, The Rezidor Hotel Group Prof. Geoffrey Lipman, Director and Associate, and Schuman Associates Ruth Holroyd, Group Head of Sustainability, The Thomas Cook Group Vijay Poonoosamy, Vice President, International & Public Affairs, Etihad Airways Dr. Susanne Becken, Associate Professor, Lincoln University, New Zealand Seminars and Workshops Young people and tourism (in Arabic) freshwater reservoirs and coasts? What is the tourism industry in the Middle East doing to harness and utilise natural energy sources? How are innovations in renewable energy and technology changing the landscape and is the industry investing enough in this area? Panelists Dr. Susanne Becken, Associate Professor, Lincoln University, New Zealand Inge Huijbrechts , Director Responsible for Business, The Rezidor Hotel Group Linden Coppell, Head of Environmental Affairs, Etihad Airways Moderator Chris Johnson, Director, Wild Jordan Panel 9: How can airlines do better? Questions: Should airlines do more to help the communities they profit from? What are airlines doing to reduce the detrimental effects of carbon emissions? Is airline tax the solution and is it fair to concentrate this on air travel only? Panelists


Panelists Ibrahim Yaqoot Salmin, Executive Director, Corporate Support, Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, Government of Dubai Sharifa Al Maawali, Community Engagement Manager, Jumeirah Group Moderator Manal Kelig, Advisory Board Member, Adventure Travel and Trade Association Abu Dhabi Environment Health and Safety Centre Panelist Carl Sall, Occupational Health Advisor, AD EHS Centre Adventure tourism, conservation and supporting local communities Panelists Gopinath Parayil, Founder and CEO, the Blue Yonder Amy Carter James, Managing Director, Guludo Beach Lodge & Thin Cats Thinking Moderator Manal Kelig, Advisory

Shelendra Singh, Environment, Health and Safety Manager, Fairmont Dubai Moderator Louise Oakley, Editor, The Hotelier - Middle East Breakfast workshop Green meetings – five ways to increase sustainability in meetings Facilitator Rebecca Saunders, Education Facilitator, Positive Impact Carbon neutral hotels: implementing carbon neutrality in your hotel Panelists Brad Cox, Director of Communications, Green Globe, USA Markus Oberlin, General Manager, Avireal Middle East LLC, UAE Ramakrishna Bhadhya, Senior Consultant, Avireal Middle East LLC, UAE Product demonstration – JetPad (green personal watercraft) Boardroom briefing Sustainable tourism and the green economy: the infinite opportunity Panelists Prof Geoffrey Lipman, Director and Associate, and Schuman Associates Valere Tjolle, Sustainable Tourism Editor, Al Ain Field Trip A visit to sustainable tourism projects in Al Ain



Many hands… Paolo Cervini, general manager of Philips Lighting Middle East and Turkey, explains why he believes that it takes a flare for innovation and demand from clients to truly turn the (green) light on

Hotels are looking for partners that can take them into the future at the pace they choose.” economically, technically, and socially. While times are tough, we still see these challenges as opportunities – opportunities to work together and improve the quality of people’s lives.

What are some of the products supplied by Philips?

What are Philips’ main drivers for providing efficient lighting solutions to the hospitality industry? The interplay between humans, technology and cost is complex and ever-changing. At the moment, Philips sees these relationships guiding four major trends in the hospitality market – offering new, exciting and ground-breaking changes (see box). These collective realisations have reminded us of just how closely we are connected to the experiences we create –


Hotels need partners. With technology becoming more complex and integrated, hotels are looking for sparring partners that have a holistic view on what this technology can mean for a hotel. Hotels are looking for partners that can take them into the future at the pace they choose. They also want partners that have a global presence to service the individual hotels that are part of their chain, and look for partners that simplify doing business. Philips provides a dedicated team of lighting designers, researchers and key account managers, who all simplify the process and listen to our customers, while delivering the latest innovations in LEDs to them and the different markets. For example, facility managers in the hospitality industry have long had to balance the creation of a warm and inviting atmosphere in spaces such as bars, restaurants, lobbies and conference rooms with demands to reduce energy consumption and

implement financial savings. Philips’ 7W GU10 MASTER LED lamp with DimTone, a new dimming feature that not only reduces the amount of light when dimmed, but also reduces the colour temperature, has been developed to address these requirements, ensuring more than 80% of energy savings, and mindful of the need to provide a solution for spaces with high daily light burning hours while also retaining a natural, inviting, intimate and cozy atmosphere for guests to enjoy. Another example would be the StyliD range for indoor lighting, which provide excellent lighting quality, limitless style possibilities and increased efficiency. With the Philips StyliD LED range the designer has tremendous choice and flexibility in terms of combining different features such as size, light output, appearance, functionality and mounting. The configuration can be specified to create different memorable styles, where individual elements can also be changed at a later stage without having to replace the entire installation, creating a new different design.

How were these products developed? At Philips, we believe that a good partner is hard

Light that

FEELS RIGHT Elegance and luxury are a desirable part of hotel life. But it’s also important that guests are able to relax and feel at ease during their stay. Philips personalised lighting solutions can help to make your hotel feel like a home from home. Philips can help you make the switch to more sustainable lighting or LED easier than you could possibly imagine, enhancing life in your hotel, bar or restaurant with the power of light.

Grand Hotel, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Hospitality expertise Philips meaningful lighting solutions can provide you and your guests with the ultimate hospitality ambience. To find out how to transform the lighting in your hotel contact your local Philips representative or go to



The changes hospitality clients are demanding •

Hotels want to differentiate their brands from others

High costs and government restrictions are impacting the hospitality industry’s large CO2 footprint

Travelers are looking for a home-away-fromhome experience

Partnership is the key

to find. That’s why we’re determined to go the extra mile. We help hotels build their business by offering best-in-class products, solutions, services and support, and we don’t stop there. At the heart of it all, we are focused on people. We begin everything we do by observing and listening, to ensure that we address people’s real life needs and aspirations. Because light touches our lives like nothing else, it has the ability to energise and stimulate our hearts and minds. Just like sunlight, it can make us feel vital and optimistic. It creates ambience, helping us to express who we are and what we value. We know that making use of the biological benefits of light can result in lighting solutions that keep people alert at work, reduce winter depression or simply generate a sense of mental and physical well-being in stressful environments, like hospitals, or the enjoyable places, like restaurants, where we go to relax. More and more, lighting is becoming a vital element in people’s lives.

Which hotels are supplied to and how do you sell these products to them? Philips’ global footprint allows us to serve global and regional hotel chains with ever improving solutions and services. We cherish our relationships with leading brands like Hilton and Accor internationally. One of our most respected lighting references in the U.A.E. is the façade of InterContinental and Crowne Plaza Dubai Festival City, which is now equipped with Philips’ dynamic architectural LED lighting solutions that helps the hotels save almost 2,000,000 kg of CO2 emissions annually. With a strong logistics team, warehousing facility and presence of our Sales team and partners across the region, helps us to deliver our solutions at the customers’ site.

What kind of reaction do you receive from clients?

our customers. With the help of post project execution evaluation process, we often hear from the clients that our solutions not only help in achieving tangible benefits like energy savings, but also attract more guests and help increase the productivity levels of their employees.

Why is it important for private corporations to lead the way in terms of providing cost effective energy efficient solutions and is there any more governments could be doing to support such work? With government restrictions on CO2 emissions and an industry focus on reducing costs, energy saving is crucial. The hospitality industry is one of the industries with the highest CO2 footprint, and governments are creating more and more energy restrictions. Of course, air flight is an important driver, but hotels have a lot of processes that involve high energy consumption. Think laundry, airconditioning, etc., 80% of a hotel’s energy use is related to lighting and electrical supplies (including Heating & Ventilation Contractors Association). The market trend is to cut back energy usage, but with one important boundary condition: the guest experience should not suffer from it. So it’s about achieving energy savings without concessions in guest experience, and while implementing cost-saving processes, hotels see an opportunity to use this to differentiate their corporate brand and strive for green leadership. Governments are helping the industry to move faster with specific regulations for the hospitality industry.

What are the new products / initiatives Philips will pioneer in 2012? Lighting industry is going through a remarkable transformation. Philips’ solutions and offerings in the coming years will be based on LEDs and innovative technologies that will not only save on energy, but will also help our customers create differentiation.

It’s always encouraging to hear back from


The region’s leading sustainability magazine

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Sustainable Arabian Nights With the growth of ecotourism worldwide, the Arab world is increasingly attracting eco-conscious travelers with its unique destinations. BGreen takes a look at two getaways that were highly commended in the Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Awards 2011

The ecolodge runs on solar power The ecolodge is lit at night by candles produced by local Bedouin women Each of the 26 guest rooms has a different view of the surrounding mountains and a rooftop terrace with panoramic vistas of Wadi Feynan.

Reserved for Nature Four different bio-geographical zones, over 800 plants and 4000 year-old copper mines intersect in Jordan’s Dana Biosphere Reserve, home to the Feynan Ecolodge


ighly commended in the Best Poverty Reduction category at the Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Awards 2011 and rated one of the world’s 50 Top EcoLodges by National Geographic Adventure magazine, the solar powered Feynan Ecolodge in Jordan is unique for its integration of environmental conservation and socioeconomic development. Developed and owned by the Royal Society for Conservation of Nature (RSCN), a non-governmental organisation devoted to the preservation of Jordan’s natural resources, the Feynan

Ecolodge’s secret is its location in the Dana Biosphere Reserve. At 320km², the Dana Biosphere Reserve is Jordan’s largest nature reserve, and is the country’s only reserve to include its four different bio-geographical zones; Mediterranean, Irano-Turanian, Saharo Arabian and Sudanian. As such, it is Jordan’s most diverse nature reserve in terms of habitats and species, with more than 800 plant species, three of which are found only in Dana. This environment is a treat for the outdoors type traveler, with activities including hiking over unspoiled terrain, mountain biking past ancient ruins, and navigating through 4000 year-old copper mines. The Feynan Ecolodge reduces its carbon footprint and impact on the surrounding environment by generating its own power – it’s not even connected to the grid. Water is sourced from a nearby spring and is heated using power from the solar panels. Water placed in guest rooms is stored in clay jars that naturally keep the water cool. Laundry is air dried, and extra food is composted and reused as organic fertiliser, while most other waste is recycled. In total, over 400 people,

including 80 families, benefit from the Feynan Ecolodge. The candles that are used to light the ecolodge at night are produced by Bedouin women, who also produce leather and other art and foods. The entire team is recruited locally, and Bedouins work as guides for guests to tour the Dana Bioshphere reserve and surrounding areas. Revenues generated from the ecolodge also go toward protecting endangered species and conservation efforts in the bioshpere. RSCN sites attracted more than 166,000 visitors in 2010, with revenues contributing over 47.5% of annual conservation costs and supporting hundreds of local community jobs, according to Wild Jordan, the socioeconomic development and eco-tourism division of the RSCN. Some 120 Jordanian tour operators are involved in promoting RSCN products, usually as mixed tour programs involving eco-tourism sites and traditional historical sites, thus extending the average visitor stay, which currently stands at 4.2 days. You can visit the Feynan Ecolodge’s website at www.

Feynan Ecolodge © Feynan




Gently Rocking the Kasbah The Kasbah du Toubkal is slowly helping the surrounding community come out of its historical isolation and improve their quality of life

H The Kasbah has panoramic views of the mountains, valleys and waterfalls

ighly commended in the Best Accommodation for the Environment category at the Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Awards 2011, as well as a winner of The 2012 Conde Nast Knight Frank Awards for Outstanding Excellence and Innovation, Europe and the Mediterranean, the Kasbah du Toubkal in Morocco is focused on improving the quality of life

for the local community while preserving their traditions. The High Atlas mountain range of North Africa is home to the Berbers, descendents of the pre-Arab inhabitants of North Africa, and has been fairly isolated up until recent decades with villages remaining fairly unchanged to this day. This is especially true for the villages that benefit from the Kasbah du Toubkal, which is nestled on a rocky outcrop at the foot of Jebel Toubkal in Toubkal National Park. However, the Kasbah is slowly coming out of its seclusion by encouraging sustainable tourism, and is delivering benefits to the local community. Local inhabitants are trained to staff the Kasbah, conduct any building, operate the mule transportation system (there are over 100 local muleteers), and provide locally produced meat and vegetables as well as other services. The community also benefits from a 5% service charge levied at the Kasbah that

goes toward maintaining an ambulance service, facilities for providing safe water to outlying villages, accommodation in Asni for school children, rubbish clearance and disposal, a community hammam, a téléboutique and internet café and measures to preserve architecture. For a physical experience, guests can trek on foot or on mule, whether a short hike through surrounding villages to more demanding “http://www. overnight.html” multi-day treks, or take the ultimate challenge and go on a guided ascent to the top of Mount Toubkal, which at 4,165 metres is the highest peak in North Africa. However, to get a better understanding of how the Kasbah is benefiting the community, visitors can go on field study trips, participate in community service and take part in educational tours. You can visit their website at:



Green Business

Being green doesn’t have to mean making a style sacrifice

Irony Home: Environmentally Friendly Furniture When most of us think of being ‘eco-friendly’, the major culprits spring to mind like cars, pollution, light bulbs, energy wastage and oil burners. Rarely do we consider the harm impacting the environment caused by tables, chairs or cabinets. But manufacturers can make their processes eco-friendly, whether by use of certain solvents – paint, glue and stains – that cause pollution, or sourcing materials from sustainable forests, or recycling materials. We spoke with Managing Director Rima Dardenne from Irony Home about their efforts to go green.


61 The wood for Irony Home’s furniture is sourced from sustainable forests

When I was going through the process of identifying the right furniture manufacturers, my priority was to ensure that the quality, craftsmanship and sustainability of the products were guaranteed,” (Rima Dardenne, Irony Home.)


t is possible to have outstanding quality, beauty and class in addition to being environmentally friendly – as proven by lifestyle and home accessories company Irony Home. Founded by Oregon-native Rima Dardenne in 2003, it is famous for its beautiful signature pieces and commitment to eco-friendly methods. “Growing up in Oregon State in the US made me environmentally aware, people there are very “green” and influenced me in a very good way,” she says. Some of the eclectic Irony Home pieces are made out of wood, which originates from especially grown trees to manufacture that furniture out of it; this process is known as the Sustainable Forestry Initiative. All of the solid wood frames are FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) & SFI (Sustainable Forestry Initiative) certified and have water based finishes on them. They also use soy based

cushions, with recycled fibre pillows and upholstery made from organic and natural fabrics. Irony Home upholstery is made using a unique technique called ‘eight way hand tied springs’. In the construction of this system, the craftsman individually ties heavy-gauge coils from front to back, side to side and diagonally (eight ways) which provides freedom of movement for the springs in any direction and also helps in preventing the furniture from sinking, guaranteeing durability. “When I was going through the process of identifying the right furniture manufacturers, my priority was to ensure that the quality, craftsmanship and sustainability of the products were guaranteed,” she says. “The result of a good choice resulted in unsurpassed quality, environmentally friendly and absolutely beautiful furnishings that were created



Green Business

Eco-friendly Furniture Companies

Get Green Furniture

Homes r Us (UAE)

Sustainable Forests

Homes r Us have a range of bamboo

Sourcing wood that is FSC (Forest

furniture, which is completely eco-friendly,

Stewardship Council) or from the

besides providing high-functionality and

Rainforest Alliance means using

classical styles to make your abode an

wood that is planted, managed and

exquisite home. “The strong effect of global

felled responsibly and with specific

warming in our lives has brought in a need


to balance our lifestyle and make changes that will help in reducing its cruel impact. At

Reclaimed Materials

Homes r Us, we are attempting to do this

Designers and manufacturers are

with our bamboo range. The bamboo range

now using wood from old houses or

is inspired from nature and is completely

furniture as a way of sustaining their

conservational. The range is cozy, timeless

usage. This is part of the Rainforest

and high quality and at the same time in

Alliances Rediscovered Wood

equilibrium with the planet we live in,” says

Certification initiative.

Mr. Viraf Raimalwala, General Manager.

Use Bamboo

individually like a work of art.” Other furniture companies in the Middle East can take note that being green does not have to mean a concession to quality. Irony Home’s branding is strictly high-end luxury pieces that offer timeless elegance, in addition to ticking points on the green scale. “We pride ourselves in the quality and style of our furniture and the fact that it is eco-friendly is an amazing added value,” she says. Since their green initiative began, the company they use to make their furniture has saved over 10,000 gallons of crude oil and has eliminated 54,000 pounds of CO2 emissions. “We can only hope that our competitors will be encouraged to follow and go green,” Rima says.

The Total Office

We mentioned this earlier as Homes

The Total Office LLC Abu Dhabi, recently

R Us have realised the potential

gained the distinction of becoming the

for using this material source. It is

first facility of becoming LEED’s certified for

actually a range of grass, but the

commercial interiors. The Total Office is a

benefits can include LEEDs points for

leading provider of Greenguard Certified

architects and builders.

workstation furniture in UAE, and has played an instrumental role in paving the way for

Non-toxic Materials

energy efficient, low-emitting and recyclable

Man-made chemicals used to

materials in office environments across UAE.

treat furniture ‘offgas’ into the atmosphere of your home and can

Interiors R Us

be damaging to our health. Look

Interiors R Us has extensive experience in

for naturally treated furniture, or

creating themed environments for corporate,

something that is second hand to

residential, yacht and hospitality sectors, with

reduce the potential for this.

a growing focus on hotel and commercial

Irony Home was founded in 2003, producing elegant and chic fixtures and lifestyle accessories. Rima Dardenne has a wealth of interior design experience, from luxury Emirates hotel weddings, festival occasions and other events. This is demonstrated in her passion for transforming any living space into a celebration of colour and form. Visit


projects. They aim to use sustainable products

Buy Local

that reduce the carbon footprint, energy

Reduce the harmful emissions

efficient products, recycle, enhance natural

from lorries and trucks transporting

light, utilise design to reduce environmental

your furniture by buying from

impact and use eco-friendly furniture and

local suppliers and support your

materials with LEED rating.



Green Business

Ethical Green Investment Seminar Dan McAlister speaks to delegates at BGreen’s ethical green investment seminar held at Dubai’s Address Hotel last month. Here is what they had to say

I am new to the industry and I came here to learn mostly. I have no idea about green investment. I work in the industry but not this specific one. It was a really good introduction for me for the industry on the investment side of things. None of these companies work with my company and it was really interesting to see how they were doing and what they were doing. I’m really happy with the overall event.” “The event was very interesting. New markets, new ideas and I believe in the concept overall. There was a good gathering.” When there’s money involved it’s hard to see where the ethical part is, because you try to make money no matter what right? So to feel good about investment I think there’s a limit, and it is difficult to see where exactly that is,” said Sébastien Aguilar Technical Support Officer Dubai Carbon Centre of Excellence.

It’s good to have here in Dubai. We should do more of these events for me especially as I’m in Carbon Credit so I think for smaller investors who interested in more liquid assets especially now that we are going in to another crisis who knows?” Elen Mukarker Director of Finance Clear Cut Electrical Works


This is something that is interesting to us but also in terms of our clients in terms of providing projects and ethical environment opportunities for people so it was very informative on that level,” Tesia Walsky Assistant Manager of Strategy and Growth Global Engineering Systems. Tesia Walsky Assistant Manager of Strategy and Growth Globa l Engineering Systems Definitely not. I think they mentioned the world ‘cloning’. You have to be very careful when you use terms like that because I think that that’s a negative connotation and so there are a lot of different aspects that you have to make out so it’s not just so easy to be green.”


Green Business

It all depends on the shareholders and the management. It’s possible that you have to look at the commercial impact following the change in the market but I think most businesses would be able to afford to be ethical. “When I ran a farm in Saudi Arabia, which was about 200 times bigger than the largest farm in Sweden, we produced electricity from the methane and manufactured fertilizer to minimise the carbon impact, because having people stop eating milk and drinking milk could be a political bomb. So for example for me I don’t think it’s wrong to make money out of carbon footprints,” Pär Söderlund.

The event was very interesting, new markets, new ideas and I believe in the concept overall. There was a good gathering. Event speaker and Sales Director at Plantation Capital Satish Wadhwani was extremely happy with the event and said: “It was a fantastic presentation. To be honest our main focus was on education to give across how ethical investments should be made. I think the market in Dubai is just about ready but they don’t totally understand the product and I think it will take time to build up that education and then they will start to invest.” “More and more people have to become more ethical. I’m not saying it’s easy but there’s a lot of framework in place to make sure they are being ethical. You can become carbon neutral, for example, from a forestry side people replant trees when they want to become carbon neutral and more and more companies are looking to achieve that,” concluded Wadhwani.

It’s been interesting. It’s good to hear that these things are going on. Especially the forestry thing I think there’s a lot of future in forestry but as an engineer I’m waiting to hear what the carbon advisory guys are going to say,” stated Heath Andersen Director of Building Services with Romboll.

We also asked if it is easy to be green and ethical today? “You can of course. I’m sure you can achieve what you want. The only problem is there are various other factors which need to be looked. Normally when you invest, you make sure about the risk factors and insure the safety

of your investment. We know the future is green so investing needs to be a solid investment. Our hope is you can guarantee investments and the safety of investment,” said M.P. Arunachalam General Manager Vima Middle East FZE.

No. I think it’s a fundamental choice you have to make. It’s not necessarily an easy choice to make. I think it’s difficult,” Heath Andersen.



Green Business | COMMENT

Exploiting the Middle East’s solar potential Senior associate with Taylor Wessing Middle East, Dr. Michael Krämer, reflects on the ever changing economics of solar power


hernobyl and Fukushima got many people thinking. Following the latest nuclear disaster in Japan the Germans have committed themselves to stopping nuclear power generation (not for the first time I may add) and the Japanese are now thinking loudly about phasing out their nuclear reactors as well. Energy generation from renewable sources is yet again witnessing a boost.

This milestone is a reflection of the strict local and international standards that we have applied throughout the project December2011

Incredibly ambitious projects like the Desertec initiative have started to leave the sphere of being the project of dreamers and are now seen as something that, although still highly ambitious, may actually just be worth looking at in more detail. The power of the sun is supposed to be harnessed in regions where the sun actually shines, following which the generated electricity is exported, against payment of course, to Europe which is less blessed with sun, but consumes vast amounts of energy instead. It is no secret that large parts of the Middle East with its seemingly infinite amounts of sunshine offer an almost ideal potential for solar energy generation. Living in the Middle East without harvesting the power of the sun, it seems, is a bit like sitting behind the wheel of a classic sports car without having a license. The sun is shining down on us here in the Middle East. It does so every day. It rises every morning and sets every night with surprising consistency. It has been this way for the last couple of billion years and there is a fairly good chance that this is not going to change in, say, the next couple of billion years. The sun gives us light, an incredible amount of energy, and is powerful enough to turn entire mountains into rubble. The summer sun turns our cars into metal melting heat boxes, it burns our lawns, and yet its immense power remains virtually untapped to do much simpler things like providing us with light during the night or running our refrigerators.

The Gulf region is a true solar power wonderland that has the potential of doing much more than just satisfying its own electricity needs. In fact, with all its virtually unlimited solar resources the region could be at the forefront of many trends in the field of sustainability. Solar thermal installations could take care of both cooling and heating. Solar charging stations would not only bring well needed shade to the UAE’s many car parks, but also make it easy for users of electric cars to charge their vehicles while being parked. And solar panels on public and private roofs could be integrated in smart grids in order to shave off peak loads when they occur, during the day, and thus substantially decrease the load on existing power plants, particularly during the hot and electricity demanding summer months. The opportunities, which the Middle East and particularly the Gulf region offers did not remain unnoticed. Quite a large number of companies, global as well as local players, have set up shop here in the UAE or elsewhere in the region and are waiting for their chance to be part of the region’s true potential unfolding. So where do we stand at present? How does the solar paradise use its resources? There is quite a number of projects that have either been completed or are in the planning phase. In the UAE alone we have Shams 1 and Noor 1 in Abu Dhabi, and Dubai has just recently announced that it is also looking at installing a solar plant that is supposed to contribute to Dubai’s aim of generating 5% of electricity from renewable sources by 2030. Saudi Arabia is looking into renewable energy generation as well. Some projects like the solar roof at the King Abdullah University for Science and Technology have been completed and rumor has it that the Kingdom aims to generate up to 20% of its energy needs from renewable sources by 2030. All this is a good start. On a larger scale, however, one cannot help but wonder whether these projects are not much less ambitious than they could and maybe should be. A renewables share of 5% or even 20% in the solar wonderland is not as much as many would expect it to be. In comparison Germany, a country with a population of over


Green Business

It would take dozens of massive solar plants to satisfy the region’s ever growing hunger” 80 million and lots of heavy, energy consuming industries today manages to satisfy more than 20% of its energy needs from renewable sources and aims to increase this share to 35% by 2020 and 80-100% by 2050. Admittedly, wind accounts for about one third of the current renewable energy mix in Germany, but solar still accounts for another 17%, which is interesting for a country that is not particularly blessed with an abundance of sunshine. So how did Germany achieve a massive increase in energy generation from renewable sources in a relatively short period of time? Would this model work in this region as well and assist the region in utilising its full potential? Germany is one of the steadily growing number of countries that has opted to involve the general public in the energy generation process. It has done so by providing feed-in tariffs and hence, a financial incentive to those who choose to generate electricity from renewable sources. Instead of the utility companies building large, centralized power facilities, everybody from commercial entity to small home owner gets the opportunity to invest into the production of

renewable energy and generate a profit from it. In all countries where such financial incentives are provided the generation of electricity from renewable sources has witnessed a boom, which has led to a substantial amount of electricity being contributed by private households (currently about 10% in Germany). Tapping the mass-market has had further positive side effects. Instead of the renewable industry depending on only a few utility providers the market has steadily grown into a multi-billion Euro business. More and more companies have entered the market, created considerable amounts of jobs and are now competing with another, thus driving further research and development in the field and lowering costs. This could not only happen in Europe. In fact, if anywhere it should have happened here in our region. And it could most certainly still happen, if power generation is not left to utility companies alone and the mass-market is being tapped instead. The situation at present is such that the local utility companies do not support individual generation of renewable energy. Although citizens are free (once licensed) to install solar arrays, such installation must not be connected to the public grid. Off-grid solar arrays do not provide electricity at night, however, which makes them unsuitable as sole energy source for private households. Furthermore, at the current (heavily subsidised) prices for electricity in this part of the world the investment into a private solar array is unlikely to ever pay off. Hence, in the current circumstances all those who are interested in living a more sustainable lifestyle by generating their own electricity needs from renewable sources are facing numerous obstacles. Not only does an investment into renewable energy generation not make any financial sense.

In addition the utility companies are presently taking a somewhat reluctant approach to private electricity generation from renewable sources. This, in turn, keeps the mass-market from participating in the electricity generation process and leaves the entire production of renewable energy to the utility companies. Without the general public participating, however, the generation of renewable energy will never actually experience a breakthrough. Restructuring an economy’s power supply from fossile to renewable will not work without the support of the general public. One reason is cost. It would take dozens of massive solar plants like Shams 1 or Noor 1 to satisfy the region’s ever growing hunger for electricity. Even the best funded utility enterprise will shy away from the associated cost. If, however, the general public becomes involved the required investment is split between many parties, each of which will incur only a comparatively small financial burden. If then, as has happened in countries like Germany, financial incentives are given to those who invest into renewable energy generation and such incentives are ultimately paid for by the general public, the financial burden on each individual citizen is very small (German families, for example, pay now about AED 20 per month more for electricity than they did prior to the introduction of feed-in tariffs). So why not nurture and feed the appetite of the general public to do what is the right thing to do anyway? Would cities like Dubai and Abu Dhabi not be even more attractive without the pollution? Would citizens not be willing to pay slightly more for their electricity if this would help them and their children breathing cleaner air? This is not all. As mentioned above, the region could and should be at the forefront of sustainable technological developments. The general public, not only the utility companies, should get a chance to participate in creating a more sustainable living environment. Living in a solar paradise offers almost ideal parametres for a more sustainable lifestyle. There is no shortage of (solar) energy, which makes it comparatively easy to develop ways to harness and use this kind of energy, not only for primary energy generation, but also for cooling, desalination and transportation purposes. The solar radiation that we here in the Middle East receive every day and free of charge offers a vast potential. It is time for us to start making use of it. And “us” in this sense means the general public, not utility companies alone.


Tuesday 6th December 2011 Armani Hotel, Burj Khalifa

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Green Business

InvestmentUpdate The gains take into account the loss of 950,000 jobs and 100bn yuan (US$ 15.75 billion) in output from the elimination of the dirtier sectors of the economy Bill Gates urges US to triple spending on green research Microsoft founder Bill Gates has called on the US government to triple its research spending on clean-energy technology. Market incentives on their own will not generate the funds needed to finance the long-term development of alternative energy sources, said Gates. The United States spends close to US$ 1 billion (AED 3.67 billion) a day on foreign oil. Citing major investments in the sector by countries like China, Germany, Japan and Korea, Gates is urging the US government to boost its spending on energy research from the current US$ 5 billion (AED 18.35 billion) to US$ 16 billion (AED 58.72 billion) a year.

Carbon now world’s fastest growing traded commodity With growth of 26% since July 2011, rising from $10 per carbon credit in July to $12.64 by end October, the carbon market is the world’s fastest growing commodities market according to Steve Graham, senior consultant at Advanced Global Trading, a carbon trading company with offices in Dubai, London and other international markets. “We opened our Dubai office in April of this year after recognising the Middle East’s awareness of carbon credits as an investment

opportunity. Apart from the high margins, regional investors who had previously invested in asset classes like property and equities are now interested in the carbon market because it represents a relatively lowrisk short-term investment,” said Graham. The World Bank has estimated that the global carbon trading market is now worth US$144 billion, and expects the market to grow to over $1 trillion by 2025.

Supermarkets and food industry improve palm oil sourcing While retailers and food companies are improving the way they source palm oil, the World Wildlife Fund says it is not enough to prevent increased environmental damage. The WWF’s 2011 Palm Oil Buyers’ Scorecard rated 132 European companies, of which only 29 received full marks. This is an improvement over the last report in 2009, in which no company scored full marks. Unilever, the world’s largest buyer of palm oil, scored 8 out of 9 in this year’s report.

A major ingredient in half of all packaged food, palm oil is sourced from palm trees growing in tropical forests that are cleared to meet the demand of export markets. An estimated third of all forests have been cleared in key the producing countries of Indonesia and Malaysia, to meet export demand for palm oil. According to the WWF, demand is only set to grow; up from some 50 million tonnes in 2011 to 77 million tonnes in 2050.

China could create 9.5 million jobs with “green” measures China could potentially create a net total of 9.5 million jobs in the next five years by eliminating the dirtier, energy intensive sectors of the economy and supporting the creation of “green” businesses, according to the latest report from the China Council of International Co-operation on Environment and Development. The council advises the government to spend 5.8 trillion yuan (US$ 913.59 billion) on energy conservation measures, protecting the December2011

environment and replacing polluting industries with hi-tech firms. It estimates this would create 10.6m jobs, boost GDP by 8 trillion yuan (US$ 1.26 trilllion) and result in energy savings worth another 1.4 trillion yuan (US$ 220.52 billion). The gains take into account the loss of 950,000 jobs and 100bn yuan (US$ 15.75 billion) in output from the elimination of the dirtier sectors of the economy.



Sponsor eco-friendly programmes that involve the whole school like waste recycling, water conservation, transportation� December2011



Is the ideal tool to help your business build strong and result-oriented CSR strategies that lead to financial gains and growth. This month we bring you Education in Sustainability: Catching ‘em young


rom over-fishing to global warming, our way of life is placing an increasing burden on the planet, which cannot be sustained. Things which were once taken for granted such as a secure supply of energy or a stable climate do not look so permanent now. Upcoming generations have the most to gain or lose by our action or inaction on sustainable development. To contribute their bit to embedding sustainability in the psyche of the next generation, businesses should incorporate sustainability education that targets the young as part of their CSR.

Tips & Ideas •

Before starting on sustainability education for the young, identify the age groups you want to engage with – what works with school children may not work with college students. The approach you want to take - formal, informal or a hybrid - also matters. Start with schools. Focus on activities where you can incorporate your company’s core competencies and experience. For elementary school children, you could develop simple experimentation kits where they can immerse themselves in the learning experience. For example, BASF’s Kids’ Lab is among the company’s important sustainable projects, where children can conduct small chemical experiments on their own and learn about the world of chemistry in a fun-filled and safe environment. To sensitise the older children in middle and high schools, organise projects, workshops, competitions and field visits revolving around sustainability-related topics or themes. Organise competitions where students can propose ways to make their school or homes more sustainable or list the

top three things individuals should do for a sustainable UAE. Sponsor eco-friendly programmes that involve the whole school like waste recycling, water conservation, transportation. Work with a faculty to incorporate sustainability themes and issues within the student curriculum. Use the power of the web to reach out to the student community at large. Develop and post online sustainability education materials, interactive tools and games and even courseware to supplement the class room and be accessible to students and teachers alike. To reach to the youth in colleges and universities, you could set up special scholarships, fellowships, awards or even endow chairs that encourage the pursuit of excellence in the field of sustainability, and all these could be linked back to your business. For example, if you are associated with the construction business, the scholarships or awards could focus on sustainable construction. Tap employees in your organisation to volunteer time, energy and expertise for engaging the young on sustainability topics. For example, specially trained employees could conduct lessons or experiments to enhance children’s awareness of environmental issues using products or technologies developed by your company.

Expert Comment BASF’s CSR expert explains how an effective climate protection campaign can benefit your business in terms of image, internal relations and potential financial returns. Harald Kroll, Managing Director,

BASF FZE says, “The young are the best ambassadors for social habits supporting change, sustainability included. It is our shared responsibility to educate the young on sustainable development, so that we, as businesses, positively contribute to the emergence of socially and environmentally conscious citizens and entrepreneurs and workforce of tomorrow. Such initiatives also strengthen the present generation’s trust in your organisation as someone who cares for their future.”

Resources Teaching Green: 100 Tips, Tools, & Resources for Every Kind of Classroom blog/2010/teaching-green-100-tips-toolsresources-for-every-kind-of-classroom/ Education for sustainable development (ESD) is an initiative by UNESCO themes/leading-the-international-agenda/ education-for-sustainable-development/ UNEP Web site with a library of interactive maps and hundreds of illustrations on sustainable development issues Quarterly magazine featuring ideas for rethinking education in light of environmental and global challenges. Includes practical articles, ready-to-use activities, and evaluations of books, kits, games, and other resources. Sustainability education is an integral part of BASF’s sustainability strategy. The link below tells you how. en/index



Society Society BGreen Event

Bringing you the round-up of the latest green events in the Middle East.

Alice Hartley rounds up the highlight from BGreen’s green business networking event, at Zumtobel Lighting, Al Quoz, Dubai Environmental awareness and sustainable business practices are relegated no longer to the theory books. Regional businesses are doing it for themselves these days and the month of November saw the first of a series of networking events hosted by BGreen, aiming to bring together business drivers, companies, decision-makers in public and private sectors, governmental figures, and key influencers from media, all of whom share a vision of a greener, cleaner future as well as a proven track record in making tactical inroads to sustainable business practices, now.  Its through the platforms of open discussion and collaboration that the success of networking events are measured, and this event played host to a diverse and eager crowd literally willing each other on to share their means


of environmental and business successes. Keynote speaker was the charismatic and passionate environmentalist and TV Show Host Ali Alsaloom, of “Ask Ali” fame. Explaining the roots of his passion for the environment, Ali said it is the responsibility of all Emiratis to preserve their environment, and that they can only do this by learning from the expat population. When his father died, Ali quit his government job to take on a role with Abu Dhabi’s Environment Agency, raising awareness of environmental issues. Explaining how it was Sheikh Zayed’s vision to preserve the country’s environment, Ali urged everybody to engage with the local population to help educate them on the issues affecting the country today.


Society BGreen Event

BELOW: TV Show Host Ali Alsaloom and Alice Hartley

ABOVE: Harry Moses

The venue itself was testament to the cause: Zumtobel Lighting, located in Dubai’s Al Quoz area, was represented by Harry Moses — Marketing manager for the Middle East whose aim in staging the event at the premises was to build a common regional business platform and increase awareness of sustainability in local business. With architects and designers Zumtobel’s main business drivers, bespoke lighting solutions are created collaboratively, utilizing technology and product choices that cut running and maintenance costs. Top priority is assigned to sustainability and energy efficiency in products and their application.  Chicago Management Training Institute was inundated with requests for information on their Project Management Professional (PMP) course as well as the topical LEED-

GREEN ASSOCIATE program. Green building expertise is sought in the fields of green design, construction and operations, among others. Managing director of Summertown, Marcos Bish, explained how going green on interiors and fit-outs and implementing innovative workspace solutions that provide a healthy environment for staff are two areas clients seek Summertown expertise. Conversion to a green project need not be expensive, depending on the level of certification required. By applying simple initiatives a company can improve its carbon foot print. For example, reduced water consumption, improving indoor air quality and staff productivity, reduced building lighting energy.



Society BGreen Event

Rishi Kohli represented innovative business Waterwise Car Washing, which, delegates learned, has developed an all new car wash system that requires no water whatsoever and saves several millions of litres per year. Moreover the product exerts zero effluent impact on the environment and comes from a natural food/flora source. With the biggest challenge being how to explain that a car can be effectively, efficiently and thoroughly cleaned and protected from the elements without the use of  water, WaterWise took the opportunity to share its business acumen on the night.  WWF was represented and its Living Planet Report 2010 was eagerly snapped up by delegates. With businesses mandated by owners and shareholders alike to grow and be profitable, year on year, it is time to declare that in this perfectly acceptable pursuit, the environment need not suffer. This is the message from WWF; that in a green economy, economic thinking embraces people and the planet. We look forward to your attendance in the next BuildGreen Networking Event. Stay Tuned.



Creating a Nature Friendly Environment Sustainable Solutions Dammam, KSA P.O. Box: 2897 T:  +966 3 812 0995 F:   +966 3 812 1029

Riyadh, KSA P.O. Box: 7819 T:   +966 1 291 8351       +966 1 291 8923 F:   +966 1 291 8894

Jeddah, KSA T:  +966 2 639 2172      +966 2 691 0251 F:  +966 2 682 3711

Beirut, Lebanon P.O. Box: 11-4841 T: +961 1 360888      +961 1 365309 F:  +961 1 365280

Dubai, U.A.E P.O. Box: 125473 T:  +971 4 295 4443 F   +971 4 295 4566

Manama, Bahrain P.O. Box: 31615 T:  +973 17 581596 F:  +973 17 581597

Doha, Qatar P.O. Box: 32522 T:  +974 44 231 146 F:  +974 44 231 100


The Green SPY

How green is your wallet? I

s it just me or am I the only pervertedly green-withenvy bystander watching a new generation of millionaire clean-technology entrepreneurs clean up? This enthusiastic mob is enhancing the environment and making money. These fellas have discovered clean energy. Green power. Clean technology, in the forms of wind farms and solar parks, carbon trades too; ventures that barely existed afew years ago.


Their ranks quietly mushroom - you do not hear them beating their own drums, do you? with the global clean energy sector that in 2010 attracted $243 billion in new investment. Each year this number swells and swells. As do their entrepreneur’s pockets. It is their firm belief that eventually, the world is going to go entirely to clean energy. The potential is there. A difficult prospect for the medium term given forecasts that fossil fuels will continue to be the prevailing source of global energy until, many analysts agree, at least 2035.  However for the here and now, inside today’s clean energy world, the sectors doing a brisk trade are the US solar giants, the German wind barons, the Brazilian biofuel tycoons and the Chinese battery tzars. Which to the Green Spy means one thing: successful green business is not limited to geography, political framework or playing the underdog to capitalistic corporate imperatives. Case in point (and great dinner party conversation starter): did you know that the founder of Paypal, Elon Musk, helped set up Telsa Motors, an electric sports car company that can boast Google’s founders among its investors? And what about that clever geek, Vinod Khosla, who once upon a time founded the Sun Microsystems computer system company? Well this latter-day Einstein now puts his money into everything from lowemission engines to two-bladed wind turbines (the former with Bill Gates; and Goldman Sachs co-investing in the latter),    sun and wind. And lets not forget carbon. Carbon markets are creating wealth for the astute. The carbon offset principle - the mechanism that in effect lets people compensate for their pollution by paying for emissions to be cut somewhere else in the world, has made a few do very well indeed. The dominant carbon trading spring board in Europe is Climate Exchange, founded by a 70 year old

Chicago-based economist. Well this baby was scooped up by a large US group last year in a transaction valued at $630 million. Now that is what I call forecasting!  So where did it all begin? This modern day love story with alternate energy was born on the stage of international drama. The 1970s oil crisis “encouraged” shall we say, widespread interest in surrogate fuel sources. US President Jimmy Carter installed solar panels on the roof of the White House and governments started dispensing subsidies for non-fossil fuel. But then oil prices dropped...and interest in alternate energy faded. No surprise there. A very different scenario now, today, with an entire generation of global villagers linked through social media, and a collective unconscious, willing the powers that be to invest wisely. This time, clean energy’s permanency is almost assured by the groundswell of demand, not only from the West but also from emerging economies and global care about climate change; sense of real guardianship of what is rightfully “ours” - air, atmosphere, earth, waterways, beaches, trees and forests is provoking thought and action by the individual punter, the conglomerate and government heads. And there are fiscal numbers to back up this prediction. The global market for solar and wind power rose from $6.5 billion to $132 billion in the decade to 2010. What about cars? The number of hybrid electric car models jumped from two to thirty over the same period. Choice for the fussy environmentalist! And the market is positively pleading for green buildings which today nears 10,000 worldwide. As long as people can create revenue from green ventures, green investment will grow. Underpinning sustainability must be an inviolable platform of profitability; this alone will spur innovation; creative thinking into the future. And a little padding of the Green Spy’s wallet!  

Breathe easy...


Diary Diary

Build Green rounds up environmental events to sustain you for the next couple of months

BGreen + The Big Project Awards 2011 6th December The first of their kind in the region, the BGreen and The Big Project Awards will recognise the outstanding companies and individuals that have contributed to the construction and sustainability industries in the GCC. World Green Tourism Abu Dhabi 5th – 7th December – Abu Dhabi Held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), it is the first dedicated eco-tourism event in the region. A global conference and supporting exhibition bring together key industry leaders who share their experience and expertise to ensure a sustainable future for tourism. Business in the Community’s National Environment Conference 2011 9th December – Leeds, England With a theme of “Business Unusual – Making it Happen” this event aspires to inspire and enable business leaders, future leaders and environment experts to understand, construct and deliver the business case for sustainability in their own organisation. 4th International Congress of Environmental Research 15th – 17th December – Surat, India Covering environmental research, planning and management, abstracts and research papers in disciplines including technology, physical sciences, social and life sciences, law and management will be read, presented and discussed, with two awards presented.


International Seminar on Global Environmental Issues: Challenges to Industry, Ecology and Society 24th – 25th December - Kalyani, Nadia West Bengal, India Papers from academics, research scholars, students, practitioners and industry representatives from various disciplines will be invited to present papers. Accepted full papers will be published in the conference volume. One paper will be selected for the Best Paper Award in each technical session. World Future Energy Summit 2012 16th – 19th January – Abu Dhabi The summit is the world’s foremost annual meeting committed to advancing future energy, energy efficiency and clean technologies by engaging political, business, finance, academic and industry leaders to drive innovation, business and investment opportunities. Gulf CIO Summit 2012 25th – 26th January – Doha An exclusive gathering of C-level ICT executives from some of the region’s leading companies, and is designed to stimulate interaction, education and provide business opportunities. It focuses on breakthrough technologies, the challenges of implementing them and the priorities of today’s CIOs. SmarTech@WETEX 2012 13 – 15 March 2012- Dubai Introduced as a new segment within WETEX to tackle critical issues on energy conservation, water and electricity, including environmental protection and preservation.

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Sustainable Past

Vernacular Housing S

ettlements before the discovery of oil in 1966 were small and primitive. Located close to intersections of trading routes and strategic coastal areas, they possessed characteristics influenced by the natural environment. Al Ain for example was an oasis rich with water and palm trees, its dry weather attracting coastal settlers during the humid summer season. And due to its location on the entrance of the curving creek (Khoor), Dubai acquired its role as a trading center. Residential areas were spread apart allowing different tribal clans to cluster together and expand their territory as needed. Amid each cluster were designated public areas allowing for social activities to take place. It is the private dwellings known as vernacular houses that are testament to (then) progressive architecture showcasing environmental-awareness and sustainable use of materials. Built from readily available stone, mud brick, wood and palm tree reeds (for walls and roofs), coral stone, lime and plaster the houses contained rectangular rooms with many niches and their construction was specially designed for effective ventilation and cooling. The results worked with the environment, not in opposition to it; constructing shelter according to man’s circumstance. Such simple sustainable traditions may be regarded as parochial; backward even, having of course been replaced by wildly inappropriate energy-guzzling architectural values. However


due to the twin blessings of rising energy costs and a global collective embracing sustainable living, the housing trend has swung sensibly to vernacular architecture. The method adheres to basic green architectural principles and such housing capitalises on the native knowledge of resource usage in an age where materials are available well beyond the region. Over the course of its life, the effectiveness of climate responsive architecture is evident. For instance, a structure with large windows on the south façade in a hot, arid climate would lose most of its air conditioning efforts to the pervading sun. A well-thought out dwelling can potentially achieve net zero energy use, and be a wholly self-sufficient building. Such housing provides a vital connection between humans and the environment. It re-establishes us in our particular part of the world and forces us to think in terms of survival – architecture before the architect. These structures present a climateresponsive approach to dwelling, and are resource-conscious solutions to regional housing needs. Could the measurable benefits of vernacular architecture be making a return among green architects? Could we all not see fit to employ these strategies as a well-balanced, methodical whole to achieving optimum energy efficiency as a means of living? The vernacular house stands as a reminder of our rich heritage; the traditional design, architecture and culture of the Gulf and indeed around the globe.

BuildGreen Magazine  

BuildGreen Magazine is the first magazine of its kind in the Middle East to exclusively cover issues relating to sustainability and environm...

BuildGreen Magazine  

BuildGreen Magazine is the first magazine of its kind in the Middle East to exclusively cover issues relating to sustainability and environm...