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Issue 13 | JULY 2011

Money does grow on trees How going green can make your business prosper

Also inside

Energy and water Construction Green IT Eco-leisure Green business

Publication licensed by IMPZ


JULY 2011



33 News

Green IT


Worldwide carbon emissions reach record high


Going green in the UAE. BGreen approves!


Vroum... vroum. Green Gadgets presents ecofriendly toy cars.


BGreen tells you how to green your laptop

energy and water Eco-leisure




Harnessing the region’s sun power: solar experts share their views Solar cars on Sheikh Zayed Road? ESIA chairman says yes!


BGreen unveils an eco-resort in one of Egypt’s most beautiful oases


Ken dumps Barbie over deforestation. The Big Picture has the footage!





BGreen explores insulation options that are good for the planet and the wallet Stronger than steel and non-toxic: introducing graphene BGreen and Masdar City bring you a review of Jotun Jotashield’s Thermo insulation




BGreen takes a look at businesses who made big money by going green




EPIC came to the Dubai Mall and we were there! Get the first-hand report



We asked, you answered. Now we feature you!



Phillips explores lighting in motion. Don’t miss a truly unique show



Editor’s Letter

Green money rumors I

remember sitting front row at a roundtable discussion where Shaikha Ebrahim Al Mutawa, chairperson of the Government of Dubai’s Green Tourism Award, passionately declared that the media was partially responsible for propagating the myth that going green is not cost-effective for hotels. Indeed, such as is the case for all good things, there are many disparaging rumours that circulate about green initiatives. Most state that going green is simply not cost-effective. Yet, the truth is that going green is always good, not only for the environment and people’s overall well-being but also, most often, for the finances as well. This month we explore how going green can make your business money. Additionally, to prove that you always reap what you sow, we present ten international organisations that have seen their success rise and profits increased as a result of their environmental activities.

In energy, we meet some of the board members of the Emirates Solar Industry Association to discuss solar in the region. Their comments may surprise you. In construction, we cover environmentally friendly insulation, Siemen’s technology at the world cup and graphene, a new supermaterial. We also introduce the BGreen Product Review, courtesy of Masdar City’s The Future Build. For all those looking for the best green building tools to achieve their ecofriendly projects, this page is for you. In IT and eco-leisure, we explore how to green your laptop, some nifty eco-friendly toys and a unique green resort in one of Egypt’s most beautiful oases. Finally, as always, we bring you columns from the experts and our usual BGreen Presents sections. With such great features, we dispel one more commonly circulated myth: that whatever is too good to be true, probably isn’t.

Publisher Dominic De Sousa Associate Publisher Liam Williams COO Nadeem Hood

Editor Loukia Papadopoulos Contributing Editors Melanie Mingas Christine Fashugba

Director Business Development Alex Bendiouis

Designer Marlou Delaben

Group Sales Manager Rhiannon Downie

Photographer Cris Mejorada

Business Development Manager Nayab Rafiq

Webmasters Troy Maagma Elizabeth Reyes Jerus King Bation

Loukia Papadopoulos Editor

Printed by Printwell Printing Press LLC Published by

Head Office PO Box 13700 Dubai, UAE Tel: +971 4 440 9100 Fax: +971 4 447 2409 Web: © Copyright 2011 CPI. All rights reserved. While the publishers have made every effort to ensure the accuracy of all information in this magazine, they will not be held responsible for any errors therein.

July 2011


Worldwide carbon dioxide emissions reach record high International Energy Agency releases figures showing more carbon dioxide was emitted last year than ever before

Carbon dioxide emissions in 2010 are estimated to have been the highest in history.

Carbon dioxide emissions in 2010 were the highest in history, according to recent figures released by the International Energy Agency (IEA) on May 30 2011. The research showed that despite a small recession-related fall in CO2 in 2008, the subsequent global economy upturn was followed by an increase in emissions to a record 30.6 Gigatonnes (Gt), 5% higher than the previous year. Experts have confirmed the majority of fuel emissions in 2010 came from coal production (44%), while 36% came from oil and 20% from natural gases. IEA estimates 80% of projected emissions from the power sector in 2020 are already locked in, coming from power plants that are currently in place or under construction today. IEA chief economist, Dr Fatih Birol, has

reportedly called the latest predictions “another wake-up call” saying the world has “edged incredibly close” to an amount of emissions that should not be reached until 2020 if the target of 2ºC is to be reached. Birol added: “Given the shrinking room for manoeuvres in 2020, unless bold and decisive decisions are made very soon, it will be extremely challenging to succeed in achieving this global goal agreed in Cancun.” The IEA estimated 40% of the 2010 global emissions came from countries belonging to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development which promotes policies to improve the economic and social wellbeing of people around the world.

Germany and Italy commit to end nuclear power

First Germany pulls out on nuclear then Italy follows thanks to an overwhelming referendum


Under increasing pressure from the Green Party, German chancellor Angela Merkel, who leads the country’s conservative majority coalition, announced on May 30 the end of the country’s nuclear energy programme and the closure of its 17 nuclear power plants by 2022. Then in June, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was forced to accept the rejection of his nuclear ambitions due to a referendum that saw more than 94% of voters oppose his plans to resume nuclear power generation. Germany has already shut down a number of pre-1980 constructed plants saying they will never be reactivated and is in the process of closing an eighth. Six more will be decommissioned by 2021, with the three newest closing in 2022. Currently around 35% of the country’s

energy comes from nuclear and only about 14% is produced by renewables but Merkel hopes to make up the shortfall in power by cutting energy consumption by 10% per year and boosting renewables. Merkel said: “I am very pleased with what we have achieved here, this marks major progress” and added that the decision could make her country a trailblazer in renewable energy. Meanwhile, with more than 90% opposition to his policies, Berlusconi said Italians had made their opinion “clear” and government and parliament must “respond fully”. This marked the end of the prime minister’s hopes to restart a nuclear programme abandoned in the 1980s. Impressively, turnout at the referendum was around 57% despite Berlusconi’s call for

Around 35% of Germany’s energy needs come from nuclear.

voters to boycott the polls. Had turnout been less than 50%, the results would have been considered invalid.

July 2011


The sun has been used to tell time from the earliest civilisations where sun dials were the norm.

Iraq’s time to shine

The country tackles power shortage with the unveiling of the world’s largest solar powered clock

The country’s nuclear official announces a 16 nuclear reactor programme to tackle forecast energy usage growth More than US $100 billion is to be spent on 16 nuclear reactors in Saudi Arabia over a 20-year period, according to a Saudi nuclear official. Abdul Ghani bin Melaibari, coordinator of the scientific collaboration at King Abdullah City of Atomic and Renewable Energy, told the Saudi Arabia-based paper Arab News the country plans to cover 20% of its electricity needs using nuclear energy. Melaibari also confirmed the estimated cost of each reactor is around $7 billion. The Kingdom’s officials are coordinating with specialised companies in preparation for the project and international companies will be able to bid on the project. Despite Japan and Germany’s decision to stop nuclear energy production, the Kingdom officials are hoping the resource will meet the rising power demand forecast to reach

75,000MW by 2019, up from 46,000MW in 2010. “Even before the announcements, demand for new power capacity was rising, 2010 peak power demand remained high across the GCC with both Qatar and Abu Dhabi each having to contend with a rate of 11% followed by Saudi Arabia at 10%,” says Angus Hindley, research director at MEED and author of MEED Insight’s GCC Power & Desalination report series. “In the GCC alone, some $65 billion will be required in increasing generating capacity and at least the same amount in expanding the transmission and distribution network.” The forecast does not take into account King Abdullah’s February 2011 announcement that around 500,000 new housing units are to be built, which is expected to add 5,0006,000MW to the usage.

The world’s largest solar powered clock has been commissioned by Baghdad University in Iraq as part of the conflicted country’s restoration plan. The unveiling comes after Iraq’s Ministry of Electricity Ala’a Zamil recently revealed plans to eliminate power shortages by 2015 despite facing a challenge of needing about $4.5 billion a year for production, transmission and distribution. “We are aiming to reach about 20,000MW of capacity in the next four years,” Zamil said at the MEED Iraq Power & Gas Projects 2011 Conference. “The aim is to eliminate power shortages in 2015, when demand will be about 16,000MW. Our big challenge is the money,” Zamil added. Originally designed for countries that either lack or have poor access to energy sources, the Beacon Clock tells time sustainably through the use of wind or sun power. With a 3.5 m diameter and powered by integrated solar panels,the clock is just one in a range of EcoTime products that rely on nature for its power, lighting, and bell system. Management of Smith of Derby, the UK-based company, which designed the clock calling it the “community heartbeat”, confirmed the installation of the Bagdad clock is expected to be later this year after a setback due to local issues on site. The clock towers other features include four dials and backlit lighting. The clock making and servicing company had also unveiled their Islamic Prayer Clock earlier this year which chimes five times a day in tune with religious prayer rituals.

KSA’s billion dollar reaction


July 2011

Really? NEWS

BGreen presents some of the world’s strangest green news

Ken to Barbie: I don’t date girls that are into deforestation New Greenpeace campaign sees Mattel dolls break up over company’s use of packaging from Indonesia’s depleting rainforest A Greenpeace campaign launched on June 7 has Ken, Barbie’s long-term partner, breaking up with Mattel’s blond doll for using packaging created from Indonesia’s depleted rainforests. The campaign includes a mock documentary of Ken’s breakup, a dedicated website and Facebook page with the words “Barbie it’s over; I don’t date girls that are into deforestation” written next to Ken’s grimacing face. The lively Facebook page allows users to change their profile picture to ‘angry Ken’, ‘unlike Barbie’ and even send an email to the Mattel’s CEO. The campaign accuses Mattel of contributing to Indonesia’s deforestation problems through their partnership with Indonesian pulp and paper company Asia Pulp and Paper (APP). APP produces the

material for Mattel’s packaging. Mattel has responded, saying the company “is developing a sustainable procurement policy for all of Mattel’s product lines which will address the important issue of deforestation.” More information about Mattel’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts can be found on their website. Meanwhile, APP released a statement saying they meet the legal requirements for all countries to which they distribute and

Greenpeace’s Mattel campaign website.

that they follow the legal guidelines of the Government of Indonesia. Other companies involved with APP, including Disney, Hasbro and Lego, are also subject to similar accusations by Greenpeace.


Marks & Spencer launches the first commercial carbon-neutral bra as part of its new lingerie range


Marks & Spencer is to give both ladies’ figures and the environment “a boost” with the launch of its carbon-neutral lingerie range including the high street’s first ever carbonneutral bra. Autograph Leaves underwear collection’s entire footprint has been independently certified by The Carbon Trust Footprinting Certification Company and includes four styles of bras, three knickers and a set of suspenders. The company staff asserts each item’s complete life cycle is carbon free – from component manufacture to transportation, use, washing and drying. “Nature is the inspiration behind Autograph Leaves so it’s fitting that this range benefits the environment too,” Paschal Little, head of lingerie technology M&S said. “As the UK’s lingerie market leader, we think it’s right that we should lead the way in exploring new, more sustainable

Carbon-neutral undergarments for the truly greeen.

manufacturing options,” he added. The collection was manufactured at the M&S eco-model factory MAS Intimates Thurulie, Sri Lanka as part of the renewable energy features and reduced waste initiatives implemented at MAS Intimates which have helped reduce factory carbon intensity by an estimated 33%. “As a result of this project we know raw material production, such as lace manufacture, is a major contributing factor

to the bra’s footprint, so we’re now working with our suppliers to find better alternatives for the future,” Little added. Working in partnership with nine local farmers, M&S staff is planting over 6000 trees in the desolate land between the Kanneliya and Polgahakanda forest reserves. Sri Lanka’s forests are home to approximately 90% of the country’s endemic species but they are disappearing at an alarming rate of 1.6%.



July 2011

Going green in the UAE

Everywhere you turn it seems everyone is going green and we could not be happier. BGreen spreads the good news, the joy and gives our seal of approval.

Scientists to save UAE sea-life from scorching heat Scientists are attempting to repopulate the UAE’s dying treasured corals due to peak sea temperatures, according to scientists conducting a study off the coast of Abu Dhabi. The two-year research, which is one year in, is assessing which coral species still remain following an environmental disaster more than a decade ago in which extreme temperatures caused corals to bleach and expelled jellyfish-like organisms. Corals have been found to cave in under a temperature just a degree above the norm for a period of 10 weeks, or two degrees over for five weeks. At one stage, temperatures off the coast of Abu Dhabi reached 37.7°C.

First solar-powered car made in UAE unveiled The first made-in-the-UAE solar-powered car was unveiled in Dubai on World Environment Day, June 5. Designed by the Lootah Technical Centre, this sleek vehicle can travel up to 45km per hour. You won’t be taking it to work anytime soon, but it’s definitely a great move towards eco-friendly transportation!

Dubai Police to run buses on biofuel from cooking oil


Dubai Police launched an initiative to fuel its buses with biodiesel produced from used cooking oil. Dubai Police chief lieutenant general Dahi Khalfan Tamim said the launch comes as part of the organisation’s efforts to contribute to a clean, safe and healthy environment in the UAE. The used cooking oil to be turned into biodiesel will be collected from within Dubai Police’s quarters. Now that’s the kind of energy sourcing we can approve of!

HSBC employees help save the planet! On May 29, several HSBC Middle East employees embarked on a seven-day journey to environmental NGO Earthwatch’s Regional Climate Centre in Wytham Woods, near Oxford. Once there, they participated in hands-on scientific field research into the effects of climate change on temperate forests as part of the NGO’s Climate Champion Programme. Europe’s temperate forests have been heavily impacted by humans resulting in increasingly fragmented forest areas. In the UK, 75% of forest patches are smaller than four acres. Earthwatch’s research at Wytham Woods provides a comprehensive picture of the carbon cycle on fragmented forests, which is poorly understood. Under the Climate Champion programme, the volunteers worked alongside Earthwatch scientists to gather data and establish the health of the woods through measuring tree growth, collecting soil samples or ground-leaf litter and helping with data transcription and analysis. Not bad for a bunch of banking professionals!

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July 2011

Around the world

A look at some of last month’s wackier stories emerging from the world’s ‘green’ industries

Wind for worship in Germany The latest hope for an eco-friendly world has come from Nordesrstedt, Germany where the latest €2.5 million (US $3.6 million) eco mosque project will ensure the house of worship sources the majority of its power from wind. Hamburg-based architect Selcuk Ünyilmaz has designed a minaret that captures wind energy in addition to sucking up hot air and providing a natural ventilation system. Ünyilmaz will outfit the mosque’s two 22 m high minarets with wind turbines and 1.5 m glass rotor blades to capture wind energy and convert it to satisfy 1/3 of the mosque’s energy requirements. The new, mixed-use 1,300 m2 complex will include the mosque and a handful of entertainment and retail facilities.

Baby wipes upcycled in Ireland Johnson’s Baby has teamed up with Terracycle in Terracycle’s first Irish initiative: the ‘Wipe out Waste’ scheme. The programme is set to divert baby wipes packaging from landfill and upcycle them into other products such as baby bibs or mouse mats. Consumers will be encouraged to return their baby wipes packets for recycling by registering online and downloading a pre-paid label which they can attach to an envelope and send in the post. For every item sent back to Terracyle, money will be donated to a charity or school.

Sea Water to Cool Finland Data Centre Google’s new data centre in Hamina, Finland, will be cooled exclusively with sea water. The data centre, located in an old paper mill facility from the 1950s, will use the building’s existing tunnels to bring in cool sea water and run it through heat exchangers to disperse the heat from the servers. “Our team was really anxious to utilize the opportunities of it being right near the gulf to come up with an innovative and very efficient cooling system,” Joe Kava, Google’s senior director of data-centre construction and operations, said in a video posted by Google.


Bottom trawlers get the boot in Oman Bottom trawlers were forced to sail away after Oman put in effect a ban on this harmful fishing practice. Oman is renowned for its incredible coral reefs and marine diversity but the 16 large factory fishing boats that had been operating off shore had jeopardized the Sultanate’s marine health and put many fishermen out of work. The ban, put into place by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries in 2009, stipulated that licensed bottom trawlers would have to leave Oman’s waters within two years. The Sultanate is the first Gulf country to officially ban bottom trawling.





July 2011

As Emirates Solar Industry Association (ESIA) members congregate for their board meeting, BGreen sneaks in for a few questions on one of the region’s most talked about up-and-coming power sources: solar


Harnessing the Middle East’s sun power: views from the experts

Participating in the discussion: Vahid Fotuhi BP Solar Middle East director Karel De Winter ALSA Solar Systems division manager Browning Rockwell SunEdison consultant Jon Nash Vinson & Elkins partner Professor Steven Griffiths Masdar Institute Office of Institute Initiatives executive director

BG: Why have solar energy costs been traditionally so expensive? Karel: That has mainly to do with volume in the industry. There have not been sufficient incentives put into place to drive the volume up and therefore the cost down.

BG: So it’s getting cheaper? Browning: Well, cheaper on a production basis but also cheaper relative to other things. The delta between the cost of solar and the cost of traditional fossil fuels is narrowing. So more people will look at it. Whereas 5-10 years ago the PV production scale was much smaller, now you have massive production so the economies of scale are being enjoyed driving down prices and revealing new technologies. And different countries are reaching a point where they have grid parity. Karel: For example Japan. Japan is already on grid parity. Currently it is cheaper for them

Browning: With solar you have to look at the total costs of ownership over time. In this market, people look at immediate returns. When you look at solar in this region it takes

Browning: Before, when you were paying 60 cents/gallon for gas, solar was just proportionally higher. Now with energy and opportunity costs being so high, that’s not the case anymore. Take Saudi Arabia; why do they look at solar today? They have a booming population now that they did not have ten years ago and a rapidly expanding industrial base with increasing demand for power. Domestically, their energy costs are going through the roof. Meanwhile, the opportunity costs of using oil pumped out of the ground to produce electricity in the country ,when oil is underwriting under 4$ a barrel and tittering over 100$ on an international market, are being reconsidered. Solar energy in the grand scheme starts looking a lot cheaper than it was ten years ago.

to produce electricity from solar than getting it from a fossil fuel plant. But for other countries where you have your fossil fuels subsidised, or in Saudi Arabia where you have an enormous opportunity cost, it makes all the sense in the world to move toward solar. You can sell your oil on the international market at international prices and use solar at home. Even if solar is more expensive to produce then burning your own oil, in the end you’re still making more money. Also, people often have skewed comparisons of solar. The profile of solar costs is a lot of investment upfront but no operation or fuel costs for the next 20-30 years. Traditional energy has limited investment upfront but continuous operation and fuel costs thereafter. So if you compare them long-term, often it’s not expensive but people are misled into believing it is because of the upfront cost.


July 2011


a sense of projecting ahead over time to see the payback. Otherwise, there’s no perceived immediate return on investment. BG: So the fact that solar has not been more developed in the region despite the fact that we have the resources is a question of immediate returns? Browning: It’s a combination. There’s also the issue of policy. But basically, they just have not had to do it. There’s monopolised power authorities across the region that are built around being the single source

BG: Do you see that changing, especially with Saudi Arabia’s recent solar plans? Karel: Saudi Arabia is changing because they’ve realised they are leaving money of the table by not engaging in solar. In the UAE, you don’t see it that much yet because electricity generation was traditionally based on gas which was very cheap. But as international prices rise, you see more questions asked on what alternative energies are available to the country? Very slowly, the market will change. But there’s a lot of education to still be done for policymakers.

Vahid Fotuhi BP Solar Middle East

very important. In the Emirates, we have a situation where we’re looking broadly at all these different contexts to actually see what makes the most sense locally. The key theme, however, is that we need policies that will drive technology adoption until eventually certain technologies become costcompetitive on their own merits.

of energy provider. The idea of distributed power -that someone else would connect to their grid- is a foreign concept. Therefore, there is no policy, no training and no human resources for solar and as a result there is no market for solar. Whatever does get done is usually a trophy project to demonstrate it can be done but there’s no follow up system.


Browning Rockwell SunEdison .

Steve: In the Middle East, we do lack a firm set renewable energy policies. At Masdar Institute we are interested in identifying the most effective policies for solar in the UAE and the region. In Europe, you have the feedin tariffs that have been very effective. In the US, several states have adopted renewable energy quotas or portfolio standards that have attracted utility scale investment. This has led to integration across the solar supply chain because scale becomes

Jon: And following recent events in Japan, people are seriously reviewing their nuclear plans. Therefore, I think we’ll see solar development accelerating because one of the advantages of solar is that it can be installed very quickly. In Saudi in particularly, they have a huge and immediate demand for power and solar could be rolled out very quickly there. BG: So solar versus nuclear? Vahid: Both have their merits. Nuclear is very well suited to provide base-load electricity over a 40-50 year period. But it

Karel De Winter ALSA Solar Systems

takes over a decade to develop a nuclear program and the costs are going up due to the new safety measures that are set to be introduced following the Fukushima disaster. In comparison, large-scale solar systems can be deployed in a matter of months and costs are continuously going down. While they tend to be much smaller than nuclear plants in terms of capacity, they are well suited to satisfy ‘peak demand’ during the daytime. In a way, the two technologies complement each other: solar can meet your peak demand while nuclear could satisfy your base-load demand. BG: What about nuclear waste? Vahid: Nuclear waste has been a concern since day one. Companies and research institutes around the world have been working on this concern. At some point in the future we will see innovations that allow nuclear waste to be self-consumed at the plant. This is where the industry is heading.

July 2011

There is no policy, no training and no human resources for solar (in the region) and as a result there is no market for solar. Whatever does get done is usually a trophy project to demonstrate it can be done but there’s no follow up system.”

Jon Nash Vinson & Elkins

matter how it is generated. There are plenty of alternatives and governments of the region are looking at them all. And it may not be a uniform answer across the region.

BG: What’s the best incentive system to encourage solar power usage in the UAE and the region? Steven: First you need to consider whether subsidies for fossil-based power generation can be reduced in order to make renewable energy more competitive. Following this consideration I would say that a well-designed feed-in tariff is an attractive incentive system to encourage distributed solar installation. At the utility scale, however, quotas or portfolio standards can be useful for promoting large scale solar energy deployment. Within this context one can consider innovative approaches such as New Jersey’s solar renewable energy credit system (SREC), which couples specific requirements for solar energy with a market mechanism that causes the most efficient suppliers of solar energy to help meet large scale solar energy deployment.

Karel: The contribution of solar is very small but it is very visual. Therefore, it helps to create a public awareness. It makes the issue of cleaner energy very tangible engaging people to think of what they can do for the environment. Jon: I agree. The advantage of solar is that it can appear everywhere. You can put it on cars, on the side of buildings, on rooftops – anywhere. And if everyone can get used to having solar in their lives it can make a difference. But people don’t yet understand that. That’s the mission of ESIA; to encourage people to bring solar into their lives on a daily basis.

What is ESIA? ESIA is a UAE-registered non-profit, nongovernmental organization that aims to: 1. Promote solar power in the UAE and the broader GCC region 2. Organize networking opportunities for solar professionals 3. Produce reports on the latest technologies, standards, and market trends 4. Create alignment between the solar industry, academia and policy makers Who is part of ESIA? • The Founding Members of ESIA include: BP Solar, Sun Edison, Masdar Institute, Siemens, Vinson & Elkins, Schneider Electric, Chadbourne & Parke, Enviromena, Standard Chartered Bank, Alsa Tech, and Acwa Power International. • ESIA has over 400 local and international subscribers on its mailing list. • Member companies are from all segments of the value chain, such as engineering, professional services, manufacturing, and contracting companies. • Any company that is involved in the Middle East solar industry is welcome to join ESIA. Why should I get involved? Being a member of ESIA gives you access to: • Exposure to key stakeholders in both the public and private sector • High-level networking opportunities • Solar workshops, lectures and briefings • White-papers and research reports on topics related to solar technology and policies How do I get involved? To learn more, please visit our website or drop us an email. We look forward to having you on board

Jon: If you look back historically before renewables arrived in the region, a lot of the power generation base here was directly procured by the government or implemented through an IPP structure. Utility-scale renewable energy can be done in those ways as well. The key distinguishing feature is the tariff compared to that applicable for, say, gas which is cheaper. You have to find a way to bridge that gap because the offtakers want to pay the same price for electricity no

BG: Can solar power be the key to avoiding worse environmental damage than what has already been inflicted on the planet by traditional energy sources? Steve: Recently, Masdar Institute held a panel on the sidelines of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) release of the Special Report on Renewable Energy and Climate Change Mitigation (SRREN). We discussed the fact that several different clean energy technologies must be implemented to bring greenhouse gas emissions to levels that will prevent global temperature increases and related climate change that would be potentially devastating to society in the future. Solar technologies are one such set of technologies but we also have to consider the reality that we’re not going to eliminate fossil-based power. Therefore, approaches such as carbon capture and sequestration are also very relevant. Depending on geographic context, clean energy technologies for harvesting wind, hydro and other primary energy resources are also required. Solar definitely plays an important role but there’s not just one key group of technologies. Many will have to come together.

Emirates Solar  Industry  Association    


Professor Steven Griffiths Masdar Institute

“Saudi Arabia is changing because they’ve realised they are leaving money of the table by not engaging in solar.”




July 2011


Green solutions for the UAE’s fuel shortage problems


Chairman of the Emirates Solar Industry Association Vahid Fotuhi discusses solar-powered cars and how they could one day be as common as BMWs on Sheik Zayed Road


he ongoing fuel shortage problems in the UAE have time and time again left many motorists scratching their heads. How can a country with so much oil not have enough fuel for its own people? The answer is simple. Although the UAE is blessed with huge oil reserves, its ability to refine that oil into fuels, such as gasoline, has not kept up with rising demand. As a result, the country has to rely on imported fuel which costs considerably more than what you and I pay for it at the pump. Who picks up the tab? Retailers like Enoc and Eppco. Enoc expects to incur a US $735 million loss on retail sales in 2011, an 80% increase over last year. With international oil prices expected to stay high, Enoc’s losses will continue to grow, thus compromising its ability to provide sufficient fuel to motorists. The simplest solution would be to raise pump prices in line with import prices. This way, retailers wouldn’t run a loss and would be better resourced to supply us with enough fuel. This policy would also help curb harmful greenhouse gas emissions by getting people to rely more on car pooling and public transport. But given the broader political climate, we’re not likely to see a price hike anytime soon. A more sustainable solution would be to diversify our fuel options. This could be achieved through the introduction of hybrid and electric vehicles. Hybrid vehicles use a mixture of gasoline and electric energy stored in batteries whereas electric vehicles (EVs) run entirely on battery power. With hybrid and EVs, we would not need to rely as much on imported gasoline. We would “refuel” our cars with electricity drawn from the UAE grid. The concept might seem futuristic but it’s not. Over the past years, car manufacturers have invested huge sums in this technology. Today, almost every manufacturer, from Mercedes to Mitsubishi, has at least one hybrid model

in its fleet. Many of them are also getting into full electric cars. Even Rolls Royce is getting into the trend through the development of the 102EX, a fully electricpowered version of the classic Phantom. Governments around the world are following in the footsteps of manufacturers in promoting EVs and helping bring their costs closer in line with conventional cars. The US has pledged $2.4 billion in federal grants for electric cars and batteries while China has committed $15 billion to initiate a national electric car industry. Other governments have established tax credits, subsidies, and rebates to reduce the purchase price of electric cars. Denmark’s rebates are so attractive that motorists are able to buy an electric car for about half the price of a conventional car. As more and more countries introduce EV-friendly policies, prices will continue to go down. It is expected that by 2015 EVs will be on par with conventional vehicles without the need for any government support. EVs will in fact become so cheap that contract providers could give them away and make their money from the service, the way mobile phone companies do. In the UAE, we are starting to see some promising steps in that direction. Abu Dhabi’s Masdar City is running a pilot project to test whether EVs can be successfully integrated into the city’s transportation network. Their fleet of electric cars consists of five-door Mitsubishi hatchbacks with a range of 150 km. The vehicles are powered by lithiumion battery with a top speed of 130 km/h. They can be re-charged from empty to 80% in 30 minutes. Some of them even come equipped with an iPad that shows

you your battery life and exactly how many more kilometers you can go before your next ‘top-up’. It is hoped that pilot projects like this will lead to larger scale deployment of EVs across the Emirates. Going one step further, the UAE could adopt solar-friendly policies which would allow drivers to produce solar energy at their homes, offices and factories and then use that electricity to power their vehicles. The surplus energy produced by these micro-systems would be fed back into the national grid.

Vahid Fotuhi

The idea of filling up the car in our driveway with ‘fuel’ produced from a solar system on our roof might seem unimaginable. But in parts of the world, like Germany, this is exactly what is starting to happen. So why not in the UAE? Clearly, there is no shortage of sun here. For the solar-powered car network to become a viable option, there would need to be significant investments in both infrastructure and regulations. But in the long run, these investments would pay for themselves in terms of reduced fuel imports bills and lower air pollution levels. In the process, motorists would have one less thing to worry about during the daily commute to work.

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July 2011


ElectroWorld Cup BGreen’s Christine Fashugba gets an insight into the technology behind the game


mid controversy surrounding the Qatar bid team’s 2022 World Cup victory and the possibility of a FIFA ethics or solutions committee investigation, the emirate’s officials continue to forge ahead with the country’s infrastructural, hotel and eco-friendly stadia development and construction at an estimated cost of around US $55 billion. Electronics are at the forefront of the preparations with 13 companies already having registered interest in the next phase of goal-line technology tests in a bid to ensure the game’s goals are genuine. However, critics are more concerned about how the environmental issues attached to hosting the event in the desert country will be addressed. With Siemens’ staff having supplied building technology for fire safety, video surveillance and lighting to the previous World Cups in Germany and South Africa, Thomas Brodocz, vice president corporate development Siemens One, International Projects is keen to offer technical solutions for future the next hosting country. “As Qatar has a desert climate, a nonsustainable level of natural water resources and finite energy resources, the key success factors for a sustainable future and therefore important concepts for Qatar 2022 are sustainable solutions for power generation and distribution, including concepts like renewable energy such as concentrated solar power plants, photovoltaic, wind and smart grids for renewable integration, flexible tariffs and demand response incentives,” says Brodocz.

Critics are concerned with the environmental issues attached to hosting the World Cup in a desert country such as Qatar.

State-of-the-art venues are also key, as today’s fans are looking for more entertainment and information at a big sporting event.”


July 2011

Sports venues are more structurally complex than commercially used buildings.


He highlights how the combination of state-of-the-art, long-lasting building material for architectural structures with infrastructural and energy solutions could be used for the development of Qatar’s stadium and confirms efficient water technology can incorporate the reuse of condensing chiller water and grey and black water separation as well as purification using bioreactor and nano filters. Buildings can also become more sustainable with environmentally compatible chillers for district cooling coupled with solar thermal power usage stadium emissions can be reduced to almost zero. From a financial perspective Brodocz is keen to ensure each stadium does not become an “idle object” during the 340 days a year when it is not being used believing prevention of this means multipurpose usage of the stadia and its new applications and technologies in an attempt to attract and maintain high visitor numbers and secure a high return on their investment. “State-of-the-art venues are also key, as today’s fans are looking for more entertainment and information at a big sporting event,” Brodocz says. “In addition to this venues need to not just be comfortable, but also iconic, as this

creates the best conditions for the athletes to achieve top performances and thus they become emotionally attractive to the society,” he adds. Sports venues are more structurally complex than commercially used buildings due to their requirements including around 50 technical subsystems and about 80 interfaces. Brodocz is convinced the full alignment of the stadia technical concepts and mechanisms will not only considerably impact investments but also operations and Qatar’s ecological footprint. Having presented at the “Stadium Design and Development Summit 2011” in Qatar where Siemens demonstrated the latest

technology, including lighting, building and safety solutions Brodocz suggests how such electronics reflect an outlook for future social behaviour and the implications such changes will have on infrastructure and technology. “For Siemens sustainable solutions which involve advanced technology and change, the (social) behaviour are focus objectives. We believe technology and infrastructure systems are a key enabler for a sustainable society and can help to make required behavioural changes easier such as through automation and monitoring,” says Brodocz. “These technologies and solutions are so important for Qatar because they will contribute not only for the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar but beyond this event to a green and maybe even CO2 neutral state,” he concludes.

Green Environmentally Friendly ConstructionTechnology That will help to earn:

Pearl of Estidama 27 LEED points Saves:

50% of Energy 50% of construction time 10% in cost savings

July 2011

Danger in the Air Richard Reynolds, Manager – Supply Chain Consultancy at Masdar City discusses the indoor environment of green buildings




reen buildings are designed, constructed, operated, maintained (and demolished), to have a minimum impact on the environment, including -- and importantly -the indoor environment of the building. This last point is crucial because modern buildings today are still constructed containing substances potentially hazardous to our health. These range from normal dust, to major irritants, such as chemical vapour and off-gassing from newer synthetic building materials in use today. These potential health risks come not only from adhesives, paints and solvents; there are many materials that form part of a finished building – panelling, flooring, furniture, carpets, etc. – that contain toxic compounds that threaten the health and well-being of the people who live and work in these buildings. Indoor air pollution is a growing health concern and is ranked the second highest environmental risk in the UAE according to the Environmental Agency in Abu Dhabi (EAD). The most effective way to reduce exposure to indoor air pollutants is to provide ventilation design for adequate exchanges of fresh air. A well-designed building envelope keeps moisture and mould at bay. Furthermore, clean construction practices and smart materials specifications reduce dust and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Attentive maintenance emphasises non-toxic solutions. Things you can do to improve indoor air quality: Design • Let in fresh clean air, particularly in the cooler winter months; keep intake vents away from exhausts and moisture sources. • Directly vent heating equipment, ovens, bathrooms, and cleaning supply closets. • Opt for operable windows to ventilate and boost energy efficiency. Construction • Seal, seal, seal. Caulk is cheap, but energy isn’t. Seal all penetrations to

• •

the outside, and between floors and stud cavities. Establish continuous air barriers between each unit and ventilate them separately. HVAC installation. Cover ductwork during construction, then vacuum it and install new filters before turning on the central heating/cooling system. Drying time. Use a schedule to allow concrete, spray insulation, sealants, and adhesives to dry or cure so that they do not absorb water or VOCs. Clean up. Keep the construction site clean, and clean thoroughly at completion. Install insulation with care. Air it out. Paint, finish, clean, and perform preventative pest control well before occupants move in. Don’t ‘bake out’ the building, as it might cause more indoor air-quality problems.

Choose non-polluting materials • For paint, sealants, screeds, adhesives, and wallpaper choose low- or no-VOC options. • Avoid products like particleboard, fibreboard, plywood and joint compound that contain formaldehyde. • Minimise carpeted areas and use ‘Green Label’ or other internationally recognised third-party certified carpet, pad and adhesives. Avoid vinyl flooring. • Choose non-toxic cleaning products and keep Materials Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) onsite. Equipment • Verify, commission and maintain HVAC equipment to ensure air delivery to, and quality in, each room under full and partial loads. • Ductwork. Install high performance filters and ensure access to clean/ change them regularly. Insulate with non-porous duct liners, external thermal insulation or acoustical baffles. • Keep water out with rainproof louvers and lower air intake velocities.

Maintenance • Regular maintenance and calibration of HVAC systems. • Educate maintenance staff and residents regarding healthy pest control, cleaning methods, and low-VOC household options. Show residents how to operate the ventilation systems and how to incorporate natural ventilation. • Avoid water damage. Establish procedures for inspection and, in the case of leakage or other problems, mitigation. For the building industry, indoor air quality is the ‘elephant in the room’. We know something isn’t right about many of the materials we use, but the industry uses them anyway, year after year. It’s time we in the building industry address this issue head-on, through extensive education within the industry, as well as with other stakeholders such as building owners and tenants. By acting today, we’ll not only be doing the right thing, but tomorrow, we won’t have to be explaining the ‘elephant’ to government officials and other angry stakeholders! The Future Build is a trusted tool for professionals in the construction industry looking to identify and source independently assessed green building products that they can use in achieving their projects’ environmental objectives. For further information visit:

July 2011

Energysaving and green insulations: simple solutions that matter BGreen explores some eco-friendly options for insulating that make both financial and environmental sense


director for BASF Construction Chemicals Middle East, Africa and Central Asia Paul Lowndes says: “With commercial buildings contributing to about 40% of the global greenhouse gas emissions, increasing the energy efficiency of buildings plays a decisive role in terms of combating global warming and climate change.” Architect and sustainability consultant Karim Elgendy agrees: “For the last few decades, rapid urbanization in the UAE, as well as in other GCC member states, has been characterized by forms of imported western architecture which were not

ABOVE: Foamglas material.

hile the UAE government has been preparing for the 71% increase in primary energy demand by 2019 and for the US $2.2 trillion cost it is expected to incur as a result, energy saving has become a great priority in the region not only cost-wise but also for the sake of our environment. Currently, each of the emirate’s residents consume 41kW (Kilowatts) electricity on average per year, with much of this usage coming from buildings where 70% of electricity consumption goes to air conditioning. Regional marketing


July 2011


With commercial buildings contributing to about 40% of the global greenhouse gas emissions, increasing the energy efficiency of buildings plays a decisive role in terms of combating global warming and climate change.” environmentally responsive to the region’s climatic conditions.These unsustainable designs of residential and commercial buildings, besides being big consumers of energy and water, are massive contributors to GHG emissions.” “In an attempt to reverse this trend, the Government of Abu Dhabi has been developing a set of measures to deal with these issues, including the launch of the Estidama division and the  green building Pearl Rating System.” explains Elgendy. In Dubai, the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority issued the second phase of its Green Building Regulations in April 2010, aimed at reducing energy demands of new buildings by up to 40%. One way to reduce this number argues Elgendy is by improving the building envelope’s efficiency in order to reduce the need to condition its spaces (cooling, heating, and ventilating). As such, effective thermal insulation is no longer an option today; it is a must. There are five questions to ask when picking an environmentally responsible insulation option: • Does the insulating material convincingly combine economy and ecology? • Does it have a positive energy and emissions balance sheet? • Is it service life above average? • Do its insulating properties remain unchanged and can premature expensive renovations be avoided with it? • What’s the products impact on the environment during manufacture and after?

BGreen presents three eco-friendly options that meet all these criteria and then some.


Option 1: Exterior insulation: BASF Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems Exterior insulation offers many benefits. Internal comfort levels are improved year round, the cost of heating and cooling can be reduced on average by 30 to 55% and condensation on the walls and ceilings is virtually eliminated.

BASF’s Lowndes notes: “The insulation of buildings is widely seen as the most effective way to improve the energy efficiency of a structure. The external location of BASF Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems (EIFS) puts the insulation in the best place – as far toward the outside where the temperature fluctuates as possible. It can also cover the structure completely without any thermal breaks. This allows the wall structure to act like a cold/ heat sink reducing the energy needed to maintain a constant indoor temperature.” BASF EIFS are well suited for retrofit as well as new construction and have extensive design flexibility. These multilayered insulating and protective finish systems for exterior walls come in a selection of shapes, colours and textures that can replicate almost any architectural style or finish material, or stand by itself as an architectural feature. Option 2: PP insulation: Royal City Contracting Insulated Concrete Form Royal City Contracting L.L.C (RCC) management has an air tight form of construction which it says can cut energy use expenditure in half and save up to 70% of electricity usage. This monolithic system called Insulated Concrete Form (ICF) made of polystyrene and Poly Propylene (PP) is set to tackle recent statistics which confirmed Abu Dhabi is one of the cities with the highest level of electricity usage in the world. This ICF system which fits together to create what is called an “Eco Green Block” and is then built in a type of Lego system is an ideal solution to drastically decrease energy use. Indeed, RCC Dubai has used the system for four years and Nisar Ahmed Siraj, business development manager is keen to highlight the difference it can make to energy usage and financial costs. He says: “You would never be able to get this kind of saving in any other system, only the ICF or Eco Green block.” One project which RCC management successfully completed is a G plus 2 commercial building and warehouse for DAFZA Dubai Airport Free Zone Authority where instead of fixing 250 tonnes of air

RCC business development manager Nisar Ahmed Siraj.

conditioning RCC workers fixed just 50 tonnes equalling to an approximate energy and cost saving of 80%. Siraj adds: “As far as the DAFZA project is concerned we were very happy and our client’s management is very happy because the company is saving a lot of money on air conditioning so after a few years management will be able to save the entire cost of its construction. This is only with the help of electricity savings which

July 2011

purification and desalination plants and everything will be off-grid,” He says.

will privately provide amenities including internet, electricity and desalination. Siraj says: “Our target is to make off-grid houses. If my client would like to have a house on top of a hill or somewhere in the middle of the desert we can do that. “We will be inserting the solar plant, water purification and desalination plant. It’s forthcoming we are planning for it and working on it and very soon we will be able to provide a house off-grid. We won’t be using any facilities from the government. The house’s electricity will be generated with the help of solar power, water

FOAMGLAS Estidama Pearl Rating System •

PBRS SM-10: Recycled Materials

PBRS SM-1: Non-Polluting Materials

PBRS RE-1: Improved Energy Performance

PVRS SM-5: Recycled Materials

PVRS SM-1: Non-Polluting Materials

PVRS RE-1: Improved Energy Performance

PCRS SM-3: Recycled Materials

has been decreased by 80%.” As well as saving energy this process which has also been used in America, Canada, Australia and Germany decreases building dead load by 40%. Siraj says: “Normally as far as the conventional block is concerned the insulation value is R1 or R2 only but for ICF system the R value is 22. As far as a normal construction is concerned air infiltration is there and you lose energy where as with ICF construction it is air tight. You don’t lose any of the energy once you close the doors and windows.” This energy saving system has also earned recognition from the US Green Building Council for their LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Rating System and ICF users will also gain points through the Estidama Pearl Rating System which addresses sustainability as a core principle. The contracting company has also attracted management at the Urban Planning Council in Abu Dhabi which recently invited RCC management to discuss possible future projects. Not satisfied with the prospect of cutting government energy spending in half and reducing their customers’ energy usage, RCC management is now making plans to build off-grid houses which means they


Construction of a villa in Dubai using the Insulated Concrete Form system.

Option 3: Recycled glass insulation: Pittsburgh Corning Europe FOAMGLAS Pittsburgh Corning Europe’s FOAMGLAS is produced with the lowest carbon footprint possible from a minimum of 66% recycling glass content (currently from automobile windscreens and waste from the window glass industry). The material is healthier for the environment and health and is foamed without CFC, HCFC or penthan. FOAMGLAS sales director Middle East Marco Thomas Vincenz says: “We are the only thermal insulation manufacturer who can provide an EPD Environment Product Declaration according EN 14025! Not only is our FOAMGLAS produced from recycling glass, but additionally no water is used during its manufacture and renewable power is used during the entire production process.” A very low percentage of carbon is added to FOAMGLAS during manufacturing which makes the charcoal grey color of the insulation. In the cellulating furnace the soft, viscous glass is foamed through release of carbon dioxide (CO2) and forms millions of airtight glass cells enclosing the gas. This closed cell glass structure ensures full resistance to the transmission of vapour. Meanwhile, due to improvements in process engineering and in the energy supply, that now comes from hydro electric power and wind turbines, Pittsburgh Corning Europe has achieved significant progress in recent years regarding air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, consumption of energy and resources in the production of this insulation. The current demand for the material’s nonrenewable energy is 4.24 kW/hr. FOAMGLAS ’ environmental pollution score (UBP97) was reduced from 1619 to 743 points and its eco-indicator (EI99 H, A) dropped from 0.13 to 0.09 points. Its current environmental pollution score (UBP 2006) for production and waste disposal is 903 points /kg (insulation), putting FOAMGLAS into the pole position in ecobalance. Other insulation products show points between 2020 (stone wool) and 8490 (Extruded polystyrene). Finally, FOAMGLAS is non-hygroscopic, non-capillary and does not absorb water. It is free of fibres, is non-carcinogenic, does not emit toxic or mutagenic gases, is inorganic and can be recycled or deposit as inert waste after usage.


FOAMGLAS® Insulation

Ventilated Rainscreen Cladding The Museum of Islamic Art is situated on the southern part of Doha’s seafront on a manmade island about 60 meters off the coast of Doha. The external wall of the Museum is finished with 6,500 M² of natural stone work. High temperature combined with high humidity and an open joint application of the facade was asking for a high quality of the structure below, specially the thermal protection because access to the ventilation space is not provided any more. The FOAMGLAS® cellular glass insulation with the closed cell structure guarantees a life term solution because it can never absorb any humidity neither from humid air nor from rain or condensation. The lifelong constant performance is ensured and any upgrading of HVC equipment never required. FOAMGLAS® contains 66% recycling glass content and is environmentally sound in it’s manufacturing, usage and eventual disposal.

Museum of Islamic Art, Doha, Qatar


Architect I.M. Pei Construction 2007 FOAMGLAS® application behind stone cladding facade mechanically fixed. Total area of FOAMGLAS applied for facade and flat roof 22 000 m2





Facade structure 1 Solid wall (concrete / brickwork) 2 Primer coat 3 Resin anchor 4 FOAMGLAS® slabs, bonded with PC® 56 5 Large format stone slab cladding

Stable value and out-standing service life using top-quality materials. Web: Email: Dubai office Tel: +9714 434 7140 Doha office Tel: +974 465 5360

July 2011


Stronger than steel BGreen’s Christine Fashugba investigates what experts think the new non-toxic “miracle material” graphene could mean to the construction industry and the environment


graphene for electronics on medical implants due to its high bio-compatibility. “Graphene is a pure carbon material and is non-toxic to humans and animals. If graphene were to reach large-scale production there would be little issue with its disposal,” Carter says. “Total lifetime environmental costs in terms of the chemicals necessary to produce graphene nanoplatelets (GNPs) and the greenhouse emissions related to the energy necessary for graphene production, are still unknown and may not necessarily be an improvement over conventional construction materials, however graphene synthesis and processing methods are still being invented today,” he adds. Dr Yu-Ming Lin research staff member Nanometre Scale Science & Technology IBM dispersed any environmentalists’ concerns regarding the material’s use.

Lux Research’s Alex Carter

Graphene is non-toxic to humans and animals. ” “Graphene is inert and therefore, is not likely to cause negative environmental effects,” he says.

s unlikely as it is an elephant would ever sit on top of a building, potential investors and construction management may take interest in the fact James Hone, of Columbia University believes it will take that elephant “ balanced on a pencil” to break through a cling film thick sheet of the revolutionary new material graphene. According to Lux Research Inc analyst Alex Carter despite being in its early stages the non-toxic, two-dimensional, hexagonal array of sp2-bonded carbon atoms tipped to eventually replace steel could be a material for large-scale production companies to watch. However, with environmental concerns continuing to deepen the ecological impact of the product will be significant to its producers, users and promoters. According to Carter developers are currently investigating


July 2011


Graphene is highly conductive, flexible, and transparent. Therefore, one could imagine mixing graphene into construction materials to enhance their properties.” Graphene’s is mostly known for its strength which is believed to surpass that of steel, a property which is likely to attract construction industry management. However, Carter asserts it is too early for graphene to have a significant effect on the sector.

A close-up of the graphene wafer.

Devices and circuits fabricated on two inches of graphene on SiC wafer.


“Graphene has not entered into any commercial construction materials yet. The three largest graphene nanoplatelet producers in the US; XG Sciences, Vorbeck Materials, Angstron Materials or Nanotek Instruments simply do not have the production capacity built up at this stage,” Carter says. “Expect graphene to appear in specialty electronics, energy storage, and automotive composites before moving to even higher volume applications such as construction,” he adds. Electronics industry leaders Samsung and IBM are already taking advantage of the material’s string of benefits including resistance to erosion from powerful acids and alkalis, the ability to produce faster, cheaper, thinner and more flexible devices and transparent electronic digital applications.

A low-temperature prober station for measuring the electrical properties of graphene devices.

One of the biggest investors in graphene research, Samsung has demonstrated a 25-inch flexible touchscreen using the material which has a transistor believed to have limitless speed capability while IBM has created a 150 gigahertz (GHz) transistor. According to BBC News the quickest comparable silicon device runs at about 40 GHz.

Despite the material already creating an impression most notably winning its experimental researchers Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov the Nobel Prize in Physics last year much is still being said about its potential including a role a significantly sharper “reading” role in DNA sequencing. Although Lin’s research mostly focused on electronic applications showing graphene’s mechanical strength property to usually only be valid in a microscopic scale i.e. about several microns, because large area graphene generally consists of patches of small domains or flakes, he believes the use of the material within the construction industry could further develop its properties. “It remains to be seen how graphene will be used in construction industry as a replacement of steel. There are, however, other properties of graphene that may be of interest to the construction industry,” he said. “Graphene is highly conductive, flexible, and transparent. Therefore, one could imagine mixing graphene into construction materials to enhance their properties,”concludes Lin .

The Floor is Yours

DESSO AirMaster® & DESSO SoundMaster® Less fine dust in the air than hard flooring

Easy maintenance

Improvement of acoustics by + 60%

Sound reduction +10dB

Desso’s innovation strategy is concentrated in 3 key areas: Creativity, Functionality and Cradle to Cradle®. Desso develops pioneering solutions that make a difference for health, wellness and well-being. The presence and size of particulate matter (PM) or fine dust is a determining factor in indoor air quality. This is directly linked to potential health problems*1, as well as noise, which could cause stress and voice problems*2. Desso offers innovative solutions for these health issues. DESSO AirMaster® results in 8 times lower fine dust concentration in the air than with hard flooring and 4 times lower fine dust concentration in the air than with standard carpets *3. DESSO SoundMaster® offers +10dB Sound reduction to the standard value and + 60% acoustic improvement in comparison to our standard carpet designs *4. DESSO EcoBase® enabled the world’s first and only Cradle to Cradle® Silver Certification for an entire carpet tile product which is made from pure materials, are safe for people and can be recycled either biological or technically at the end of their lifetimes.

*1 Source: World Health Organisation Air quality guidelines for particulate matter, updated 2005. *2 Source: Noise in figures, European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, 2005. *3 Source: GUI test results FST 100-051-08 *4 Source: Provisional test results

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

July 2011

BGreen Product Review


When trying to find environmentally friendly products, it’s a jungle out there! BGreen brings you our monthly green review courtesy of The Future Build - an initiative by Masdar City

This month’s product: JOTUN’s Jotashield Thermo What is it? Jotashield Thermo is a solar reflective, flexible, thermal insulation as well as concrete protection coating. It is based on high quality pure acrylic binder with special glass spheres and has low VOC. • Solar Reflective Index 109 • Thermal Resistance 0.1117 m2K/W • Thermal Conductivity 0.1061 W/mk Where can it be used? Jotashield Thermo is specially recommended for exterior use on all types of renders, concrete surfaces and other substrates. It is classified as a suitable solar reflective system, specially formulated to provide thermal insulation and anti-carbonation properties. Additionally, Jotashield Thermo’s attractive texture hides and covers minor imperfections in the surface when applied with a sponge roller or trowel.

• • •

Why is it green? • VOC 0,66 lbs/gal (80 gms/ltr) USA-EPA Method 24, Semi Gloss finish. Jotashield Thermo has 66% less carbon foot print than Solvent based epoxy /Polyurethane systems • This product reduces the indoor temperature and helps to reduce electricity bills.


Test Certificates • Solar Reflectance Index (ASTM E1980-01) - Performed by Atlas Lab • Thermal Transmission Properties by Heat Flow Meter (ASTM C518-2002) - Performed by Dubai Municipality • Determination of Crack Bridging Ability - Performed by Taywood Engineering, UK. • Determination of Moisture Vapour Transmission Rate -

Performed by Taywood Engineering, UK. Determination of Carbon Dioxide Diffusion Resistance Performed by Taywood Engineering, UK. Determination of Liquid Water Transmission Rate - Performed by Taywood Engineering, UK. Determination of Chloride Ion Diffusion Resistance - Performed by Taywood Engineering, UK.

Other information This product is manufactured locally in Abu Dhabi in Musaffah, 25 km away from the Masdar City site. Final verdict? BGreen approves!

July 2011

A green profit SPECIAL FEATURE

BGreen explores how energy-saving business solutions don’t just clean up the environment, they generate a tidy gain as well

F 34

or years the relationship between capitalists and environmentalists could be likened to that of infrared rays and the earth, a division with ultimately disastrous effects. However, sustainability has inspired a wave of forward thinking closely followed by green innovation. Business schools are teaching entrepreneurs how to get rich saving the environment, a plethora of ecoproducts and items including clothes, cars, food and homes have been introduced to the market and environmentally conscious companies are generating revenue and profit from them.

Staff at Google headquarters in Mountain View, California have installed around 10,000 solar panels, expected to generate 30% of Google’s peak electricity demand, and pay for itself within eight years while Adobe invested approximately US $1.4 million for energy and environmental renovation receiving $380,000 in one-time rebates, and approximately $1.2 million in annual savings. Yet even with the birth of many successful eco-initiatives some management still haven’t caught on to the environmental revolution. An international sustainability and innovation survey by

MIT’s Sloan Management Review and Boston Consulting Group, including more than 3,100 corporate leaders from every major industry and region, revealed 82% of small companies have yet to go green, and 66% of large companies have yet to embrace sustainability. Having spoken to two environmental business experts BuildGreen noted one stark message; either adopt green business methods or lose out. So just one question remains; how do you make money doing green business? Dr. Kamal Jaafar director of engineering management University of Wollongong in

July 2011


Many large corporations are showing leadership with sustainability initiatives that both reduce the size of their footprints and decrease their long term costs. ”


Dubai believes that carefully structuring a green transformation is the key and will help establish a good reputation for the company creating the best opportunity for green products and services to be offered. “If you look closely at the best of the best within this growing greenpreneur-based economy, you should notice that the most successful green businesses are the ones that took the time to establish a plan.” “There is a powerful logic driving the growth of sustainable business. Many large corporations are showing leadership with sustainability initiatives that both reduce the size of their footprints and decrease their long term costs. Overall, a cost benefit analysis reveals the merits of sustainable practices,” he adds. Jerry Yudelson principal Yudelson Associates a sustainability company with a mission to “grow the business of green building” advises that it is important to approach the change boldly with a willingness to adapt how you view the future of your industry. Speaking about green construction, he says: “If you are the leader you can have the learning curve early particularly in the real estate and commercial property.” “If you look at a company like General Electric









they didn’t have a green sector before but they do now and it counts for about 20% of their revenue so you can either get on board or get left behind.” “Any company that wants to have a marketable business has got to think this way. That’s where the world’s going,” he adds. Initial solutions can be simple and as energy continues to be one of the top costs in many businesses, initiatives to improve lighting may be a good place to start. By replacing its traditional in-store ceiling incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs, Wal-Mart has slashed its annual electricity bill by an estimated $US 7million. The company’s staff


July 2011


estimates that instead of using 10 bulbs it now only uses one. On a larger scale construction is among the sectors being affected by the green trend and although initial green property costs vary the increasing demand for green buildings from tenants, customers, and business partners means green building investors can benefit from a decrease in operating costs. With energy prices rising and forecast to continue increasing efficient building owners are predicted to continue saving money indefinitely. The added bonus of an estimated higher re-sale value means investors could expect to make a significant profit as well as savings. Energy cost savings may come as a surprise to many conventional business managers whose main reason for shunning green choices is the belief that such decisions cost a lot more money and cut into product margins and the bottom line. However, prospective eco-entrepreneurs should be aware that an investment of both time and money is required in order to learn exactly how green business methods can be effectively applied to a sector. Yudelson says: “Eco-construction managers will reap a reward down the line. My view is if you are a serious business person you have to look at making your company environmentally friendly as an investment.” Jaafar also acknowledges that some green options will end up saving businesses money which could either add to a profit margin or enable management to offer products at a lower price than their competitors. With eco-shoppers considered the type to continue using the same eco-brand an additional budget for marketing a company as environmentally friendly may pay off by attracting loyal consumers. Jaafar confirms that not only are such shoppers and buyers on the rise but they are also willing to spend trustingly on a range of eco-friendly products with manufacturers of green products finally starting to see the big pay back on their investment. The green market is currently worth approximately US $5.27 trillion worldwide and in the next couple of decades the clean energy market alone is expected to be worth more than $13 trillion. Jaafar says: “No business owner relishes spending extra money for something that won’t pay for itself with increased revenue, and going green as a business is no different. But it doesn’t have to be that way.” “You would be amazed how many greenpreneurs have become successful riding

the new wave of social greenpreneurship. It’s not too late to take advantage of these new green business ideas. “ For any remaining sceptics Jaafar is keen to drive home the point that environmentally conscious business is simply becoming integral to society. He concludes: “I think going green is much more than a fad. I believe it is an entire new market, and a market that’s here to stay.” He adds: “I see a pattern forming here. It might take years before cars with fuel-cells become common-place, but I can definitely see a trend towards just that. We are most certainly living in exciting times when companies that restore and maintain our fragile environment can be profitable.”

July 2011

BGreen presents 10 MAJOR companies that have gone green Bank of America In 2007, the bank announced a 10-year US $20 billion business initiative to address climate change through lending, investing, products and services, as well as their own operations.

General Electric (GE) Since 2006, the company has sold over $12 billion of its Ecomagination products and has taken up an ambitious plan to clean up the Hudson River, which the company had polluted with polychlorinated biphenyls. A 2009 environmental report by GE revealed the cleanup is going great! McDonald’s Surprised? So were we. But it turns out McDonald’s gets brownie points for working in close collaboration with PETA on systematically reforming its business practices to be more humane and friendly to the environment in which they operate.

Honda Honda wants to be the world’s cleanest, most efficient manufacturer and, as such, is focusing on two alternative fuel technologies; the natural gas powered “Civic GX” and the hydrogen fuel cell “FCX.” The car manufacturer is also taking a crack at creating an infrastructure for hydrogen. Goldman Sachs Goldman Sachs was ridiculed by Wall Street insiders for announcing an official environmental policy in 2005. Since then however, the bank’s $1.5 million investment in solar, ethanol, and wind have paid off impressively, prompting companies like Kolhberg Kravis Roberts and Texas Pacific to consult Goldman on their own environmentally-focused projects. Hewlett Packard Among other green initiatives that include energy reduction, Hewlett Packard owns and operates enormous “e-waste” recycling plants that shred discarded, obsolete computer products into raw materials that can be recycled into the industrial food chain.

Starbucks A favourite of green advocates, Starbucks has impressed many with its “bean-to-cup” approach, which stresses top efficiency at each link of its global supply chain. The company’s decision to use coffee cup sleeves made of recycled paper saving roughly 78,000 trees per year since 2006 was also very popular. Additionally, Starbucks has entered into fruitful partnerships with many environmental organizations from Conservation International to the Earthwatch Institute.

Toyota Famous for offering the Prius, the world’s first mass-market hybrid vehicle now sold in over 40 countries, Toyota has been commended by the US Environmental Protection Agency for introducing the most fuel-efficient car available for purchase in the country. The car’s green qualities have also been praised worldwide.


Ceres Having defined themselves as “the largest coalition of investors, environmental and public interest organizations in North America“, this organization was the one to convince Bank of America to spend the above-mentioned $20 billion on ecofriendly practices.

Coca-Cola Coca-Cola has narrowed down three environmental goals on which to focus their efforts: water stewardship, sustainable packaging, and climate & energy protection. In just a few years, Coca-Cola has undertaken impressive green activities including a sustainability-focused overhaul of its packaging.


July 2011

They said


what? I believe that the average guy in the street will give up a great deal if he really understands the cost of not giving it up. In fact, we may find that, while we’re drastically cutting our energy consumption, we’re actually raising our standard of living. David R. Brower, American Environmentalist

What do oil company executives, vampires and NASA bureaucrats all have in common? They fear solar energy. Michio Kaku, American physicist

First, there is the power of the wind, constantly exerted over the globe… Here is an almost incalculable power at our disposal, yet how trifling the use we make of it. Henry David Thoreau, American historian and philosopher, quoted in 1834

In our region where natural resources are becoming increasingly depleted, the preservation of the environment by using electricity and water in a rational manner is becoming ever more important. HE Saeed Al Tayer, managing director and chief executive officer of the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, quoted on World Environment Day, June 5 2011

I know that nuclear is better than fossil fuels when it comes to carbon dioxide, but nuclear energy is by no means clean. We don’t know what to do with the waste we already have and it seems like a bad idea to me to make more when we have so many cleaner options such as wind and solar. Sheryl Crow, American singersongwriter and actress.

If nuclear power plants are safe, let the commercial insurance industry insure them. Until these most expert judges of risk are willing to gamble with their money, I’m not willing to gamble with the health and safety of my family. Donna Reed, American film and television actress


July 2011

Green gadgets Vroum, vroum! Boys love their toys and none more than their cars! So here’s a few green ones for the kids or just the kid in daddy.

Another great car toy from Horizon Fuel Cell, introducing the Hydrocar Education Kit. This helicopter-like vehicle runs on clean hydrogen fuel using a next generation reversible PEM fuel cell, offering a futuristic feel for what transportation could look like in the next decades. Our favourite feature? The cool blue LED lights that flash from inside the cockpit!


Scientists have been dreaming about combining hydrogen with oxygen to power electric motors for years! Now you and your little ones can do it right at home. Horizon’s Fuel Cell Car Science Kit uses a reversible Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEM) fuel cell that combines electrolysis and power conversion into one single device. Watch as oxygen and hydrogen gases are formed in two transparent water containers. Best of all, this nifty car steers independently of the user. When it hits a barrier, it will automatically find its way by reversing 90 degrees. Green and accident-free, if only we could drive it to work!

Buckle up, because the Green Toys™ Race Car is ready to roll! Built in the US from 100% recycled plastic milk containers, this sleek racer will tear up the track without harming the planet. This cool hot rod proudly displays the #2 recycled plastic symbol from which it is made on its hood. Its ultra-eco design has no metal axles and no BPA, PVC, phthalates, or external coatings. Best of all it’s available in red, blue, or pink because girls love cars too!

For the truly green-obsessed, there’s the Green Toys™ Recycling Truck that lets you sort bottles, cans and paper. Your eco-conscious little one will learn recycling basics while playing with this truck made from 100% plastic milk jugs. Because it’s never too early to build good green habits!



July 2011

Greener You, Greener Laptop

BGreen’s Anjala Gulati investigates how you can green your e-world by greening the world’s favorite e-vehicle: the laptop


Without a doubt, options for greener IT solutions are fast becoming a necessity.”


few years ago, a man’s best friend was his dog, and a woman’s best friends were her diamonds. Today, our best friends are our computers. With most of us spending our eight-hour work days on the computer and then coming home to check our personal e-mails and chat online, it is no wonder we have little time to devote to the non-virtual world, especially when it comes to efforts for greener initiatives. With the vast majority of our population moving online and becoming more and more tech-savvy, the world has seen an increased amount of energy consumption, carbon emissions and product

July 2011

It isn’t just the IT industry that needs to make the effort! Those of us who spend hours on the computer each day also contribute to energy wastage.”

Invest in environmentally-friendly laptops, computer parts and accessories. The EPEAT rating system (Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool) now covers computer equipment, which requires electronics manufacturers to provide an ecorating on their products sold in the U.S and around the world. Do a little research to learn about which items have the least impact on the environment before you purchase.

Monitor your energy use and waste There are a number of applications that you can download to monitor your energy use and manage your laptop’s power consumption. has great starter programs available for download, and even offers software that saves you from printing unwanted sections of your documents to help save paper and ink. Adjust your computer’s power settings Locate your Power Settings option under the Control Panel of your computer, and ensure you change this to the lowest power setting. Your computer will use less electricity (especially if it is plugged in), and this setting also gives the battery a longer lifespan. Try to keep your laptop on this setting when you aren’t using high performance programs such as graphics or streaming video. Adjust your screen settings Having your computer screen set to the brightest option uses a large amount of energy, especially if you leave your laptop on for long periods of time. Consider dimming the brightness of your screen, so help your computer conserve power. Your eyes will thank you for this, too!

Screen savers save energy If you have a habit of leaving your laptop or computer on when you are finished using it, adjust your screen saver settings to turn off your computer after ten minutes. This way you ensure your computer isn’t using up power unnecessarily for long periods of time. Hibernate; don’t Stand By As convenient as the Stand By mode is, it actually uses a lot of energy. Ensure you choose the hibernation mode for your computer for efficient energy conservation. Avoid program overload Our fast-paced lifestyles have led us to be professional multi-taskers, but this skill doesn’t always serve us well. Running many programs at once on your laptop causes your computer to work extra hard and consume a lot of unnecessary energy. Try to limit the number of programs you use at one time to avoid this.


waste. New governmental regulations that encourage businesses to be more environmentally friendly have led to a growing demand for sustainability-focused job roles, particularly in the IT field. BCS, the Chartered institute for IT, has even launched new courses and qualifications for IT professionals to provide them with the skill set needed to reduce the environmental impact of IT in their companies. Without a doubt, options for greener IT solutions are fast becoming a necessity. But, it isn’t just the IT industry that needs to make the effort! Those of us who spend hours on the computer each day also contribute to energy wastage. Don’t despair, though – a few, simple tips can really help green your laptop and do your part for the environment.

Avoid automatic start-up Having programs start automatically when you turn your computer on requires a lot of extra power and energy on your computer’s part. Check your programs aren’t set to start automatically through the program control center and ensure the “start at start-up” option is switched off. Unplug your computer Many of us may not realize that leaving the laptop plugged in to the wall wastes endless amounts of power. Once your laptop battery is fully charged make sure you unplug it from the electrical outlet to avoid power wastage. This will also help save your battery life, too.

Turn off When you turn off for the night, make sure your computer does, as well. Leaving it on and idle wastes electricity.


July 2011

An eco-oasis hidden in Egypt BGreen presents Adrère Amellal, a unique nature lodge where time stands still and nature is protected


bout 70km east of the Libyan border on the edge of the Qattara Depression, you will find Egypt’s Siwa Oasis, a sublime natural environment blessed with a number of archaeological sites and aweinspiring geomorphologic features. In 1997, private firm Environmental Quality International (EQI) began investing in Siwa through a series of community-based initiatives called

the Siwa Sustainable Development Initiative. This integrated sustainable development plan addressed cultural and environmental challenges covering lodging, traditional artisanship, organic agriculture and renewable energy in the area. Today, these activities have established a sustainable private-sector led development model which is both socially and environmentally responsible.

One of Siwa Sustainable Development’s initiatives is Adrère Amellal. Overlooking Lake Siwa and nestled at the foot of the White Mountain cliffs, Adrère Amellal is a unique nature lodge built with Siwan indigenous material using traditional Siwan building techniques renowned for having minimal impact on the environment. Siwa project coordinator for Environmental Quality for Touristic


Omar Hikal

Khaled Nagy


July 2011

Investments Mai Sirry says: “Kershef, a mixture of sun-dried salt rock mixed with clay, is used for Adrère Amellal’s wall building. This natural material maintains indoor temperatures at moderate levels. Meanwhile, the resort’s ceilings are made of palm beams, while its doors, windows and fixtures are made of olive wood derived from annual tree trimmings.” Contemporary plumbing is used throughout the lodge and all wastewater is naturally recycled. Sirry says: “The lodge’s wastewater is recycled and cleaned through a natural papyrus plant wastewater management system.” Food prepared at the lodge is organically grown, free of chemicals and predominantly local. Additionally, no electricity is used. Instead, lamps and beeswax candles are used for lighting and on cold nights coalfilled braziers are used for heating. Natural ventilation systems that rely

on the strategic positioning of doors and windows have been adopted, eliminating the need for air conditioning. Sirry adds: “Adrère Amellal has been designed to operate as a lowprofile structure with no electricitygenerated lighting and to produce very limited noise. We have also made minimal changes in the natural landscape of the area. As much as possible, we avoid interference with the natural habitats of the region in both the construction and operation of the ecolodge.” With so many natural qualities, it is no wonder that upon visiting the resort New York Times reporter Sharon Otterman declared: “This is a place to forget about the outside world, relax and explore some truly unique surroundings.”

Toufic Araman

Adrère Amellal has five areas featured below. For more information visit:

Shali Lodge

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July 2011

big picture The

Greenpeace’s Barbie deforestation campaign goes worldwide! Following revelations that the packaging for Mattel’s Barbie doll is produced using pulp from the depleted rainforests of Indonesia, Greenpeace undertook a guerrilla campaign that spanned the globe and saw Ken, Barbie’s on-off boyfriend, dump the blond beauty publicly!

Five Greenpeace climbers evade security and scale a building at the centre of one of London's busiest areas before unveiling a huge billboard-style banner, which has a large picture of Ken and reads: "Barbie, You‚re Dumped. Girls That Threaten Furry Animals Make Me Sick." © John Cobb / Greenpeace

An aerial view of the devastating rainforest burning and clearance in the RAPP concession (Riau Andalan Pulp & Paper) in the Giam Siak Kecil area to clear land for plantation establishments. © Greenpeace / John Novis

An orang-utan swings on a tree in an orang-utan reserve. These lively animals are victims of forest destruction in the Indonesian rainforests. © Will Rose / Greenpeace


Greenpeace orang-utans pay a visit to Mattel’s UK outpost. © John Cobb / Greenpeace

Greenpeace activists, dressed as Barbie and Sumatran tigers from Indonesia’s rainforests, protest outside a Toy’R’Us in Taipei, with a banner which reads: “Don’t Pack Away the Tiger’s Home”. © Yating Xu / Greenpeace


July 2011

Investment update


…Multi-million dollar investment in US solar...EU shipping and aviation to finance climate fund...Carbon trading insurance launched... EU sets tough targets for utilities energy consumption reduction

June sees carnage in European carbon market as prices fall to four-month low

EU plans new directive to cut energy consumption by 20% partially by forcing energy companies to offset sales with energyefficiency measures. Under the EU’s new Energy Efficiency Directive, Europe’s utilities could be obliged to save 1.5% of their energy sales by volume by installing more efficient boilers, fitting doubleglazed windows and insulating lofts for their customers. Companies may also have the option of funding programmes that generate the same results. Launching the Directive, energy commissioner Günther Oettinger said: “Our proposal aims at making the way we use energy in our daily life more efficient and at helping citizens, public authorities and the industry to better manage their energy consumption, which should also lead to a reduced energy bill. It also creates an important potential for new jobs throughout the EU.”

As a slew of bearish news took its toll on markets in mid-June, EU carbon prices slumped 8% resulting in EU allowances (EUAs) for December 2011 delivery trading at €14.98 (US $21.58) on June 22, compared with the previous week’s close at €16.25. The market finally fell to €14.56, a low not seen since February 8. Although concerns over the Greek debt crisis had hit many financial markets affecting all commodities, carbon fared far worse. The market was also said to digest the threat from the EU’s energy efficiency directive, which under some scenarios could see the carbon price falling to zero. The June 22 draft directive included language on setting aside some allowances to compensate for the reduced demand that the directive would entail. Removal of 500800 million EUAs has been previously mooted.

US to help halve solar panel costs


The US government Department of Energy has offered a conditional loan of $275 million to the management of Calisolar, a solar energy company which claims its production process will slash the cost of solar panels. Plans are for the money to be used for expanding the company’s purification of polysilicon – the key material in turning sunlight into electricity. The process is believed to be less than half as expensive as most current techniques due to use of lower grade material and significantly less energy consumption. The loan guarantee programme has so far leant $33 billion to support 34 clean energy projects – more than $10 billion of which has gone to solar generation projects.

UK Businesses bid to Prime Minister the green benefits of working on EU time Chief executives from companies including Co-Operative, Eurostar and Kingfisher have written to the Prime Minister asserting that aligning the EU and UK time zones would increase the British economy by (US $5.6 billion) £3.5 billion per year reducing electricity use. Supporters believe the move which would add three trading hours with Europe, extend business time with the Far East, benefit UK tourism industry and cut road accidents. Research revealed around 447,000 tonnes of CO2 could be saved every winter. The letter organised by Campaign group Lighter Later stated: “With the sun rising today at 4.43am in London and 4.26am in Edinburgh when most people are asleep and setting at 9.30pm when the majority are awake, valuable business hours are being lost.”


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“The INTERNATIONAL GREEN AWARDS are a genuine effort to promote positive attitudes towards biodiversity and sustainability.”

Great ideas, organisations and people deserve recognition. Recognition inspires change. It motivates and rewards people. It propagates and fertilises new thinking. Which is why, in a bid to recognise sustainability wherever it occurs, we comb the globe every year to find true influencers, leaders, entrepreneurs and innovators. To discover and showcase the genuine game-changers in a way that will educate and inspire others. So make a real difference to your sustainability journey. Enter the International Green Awards. Stand up and be recognised. Enter the leading international sustainability awards of 2011 and showcase your organisation. Are you a visionary organisation or individual looking for: An event to truly test your initiatives and achievements against the best organisations from around the globe ? An awards programme that is well respected and internationally recognised as the benchmark for global excellence ? An international platform to promote your sustainability success stories and receive the recognition you truly deserve ? An opportunity to share best practice with other influential companies and inspire them through your success ?

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July 2011

UAE’s Star car The Middle East’s first solar car shines at the EPIC Sustainable Living Expo. BGreen’s Christine Fashugba investigates


BGreen’s Rhiannon Downie clutches a magazine while enjoying the expo’s activities.


The nice thing about being here in Dubai is the government is very pro-sustainability”

ith activities ranging from live cooking to fashion shows to workshops EPIC, the sustainable living expo launched in Dubai mall with the purpose of teaching people to buy smarter. Yet the clear star of the show was the UAE’s first solar car. Except for the solar panels and engine the vehicle was almost entirely made by a team of men; from bending the metal for the frames to the moulds for the fibreglass. However the car still hasn’t been declared roadworthy by RTA and the vehicle manufacturing team admit the vehicle is still a work in progress. “First electric cars were licensed by the RTA to be on the road in Dubai. It was a considerable process to do it yet they go at a certain speed, they have the certain range, they meet all of the requirements. Solar cars have not been put through the tests and this may not be the model that is,” Denis Lefrancois general manager Sustainable Media Group, a joint venture of Globe Events and Lootah International. “We want to keep improving on our technology and what we put on the road in the end is what we think is improved to the point where we’re happy. Not that we’re not happy with these but they may or may not be

right to introduce to the road,” he adds. The team which presented the car on the first day of the exhibition after a short drive first converted a whole existing vehicle to electric before deciding to build the solar car from scratch which drives at a maximum speed of 45 miles per hour. The building of the car cost an estimated AED 25,000. “We looked at the different technologies that exist. We tried to improve on the technology. We tried to make the car lighter,” Lefrancois says. “We tried to see how we can get more power or more torch out of it, how we can go faster with the car for example if we want to go on this race with Louis Farmer we have to make a minimum speed and a minimum range. We want to make sure that we develop these as best we can to meet all of those requirements,” he adds. The team which had previously been focusing on developing renewable energy technology considered EPIC a suitable platform to showcase their creation but was very clear that the car was not designed specifically for the show. “We’re not doing this for this event we are taking this further. We started solar technology. If you look a long time ago we

July 2011

An EPIC sounds performance.

This year’s EPIC expo was the first in the UAE.

even had a solar boat that we’ve made so we’ve been experimenting with solar technology for quite some time,” Lefrancois says. “This car is not just for this event. We knew this event was a fantastic platform for us to gain exposure for the concept but this will accelerate after this event not slow down so at next year’s EPIC people will see something much more developed and different and the question will be what’s different, what’s better, why is it better?” he adds. Having launched the event in Vancouver, Canada in 2005 and run the show annually since Nancy Wright, vice president Globe Foundations and executive vice president EPIC Vancouver was pleasantly surprised the public’s overall response to the event exceeded her expectations. “We weren’t sure what this market was going to hold for us. We’re out of Vancouver,


CPI’s EPIC stand.

Canada. That’s where EPIC started five years ago so we’ve had five events there. This is our first international event and we really weren’t sure what kind of appetite there would be for it,” Wright says. “It turns out there’s been a great appetite for it so we’ve been very pleasantly surprised at how many people have actually taken an interest in this market so we’re happy,” she adds. When comparing the exhibitions in the two cities Wright confirms Dubai was easier to introduce the eco-friendly products in as while there is limited access to international brands in Vancouver and corporate offices Dubai has a wide range of both.

“There is a difference between the event in Canada and here in Dubai. Canada is further ahead. There’s no question. The knowledge level and the education level around sustainability are typically higher and they’ve been thinking green longer. Energy conservation has been happening longer and has been in the media longer,” Wright says. “The nice thing about being here in Dubai is the government is very pro-sustainability. They have a huge sustainability platform and they want to communicate that out to the public because the government recognises that we’re not going to have oil forever so they are starting to conserve energy and other resources. They’ve been behind this effort which is very fortunate for us,” she adds. Wright stressed that EPIC management is not aiming to promote consumerism by showcasing the products but ultimately hope people learn to buy smarter so when customers have a choice of two products and one is more eco-friendly than the other with all other things being equal they choose the eco-friendly product. “If they make the conscious choice to buy more eco-friendly product and let’s face it it’s not just eco-friendly to the earth it’s also health friendly because there’s less toxins in the products, then they are changing the marketplace,” Wright says. “By demanding those products more of them are going to be coming to the marketplace the price is going to come down on them and there’s going to be a shift in how products are designed and manufactured. That’s ultimately what we want to happen,” she concludes.


July 2011

BGreen Readers

Speak Out! What does the region’s sustainability industry need to succeed? We asked and you answered! Now we feature some of our favourite replies from our BGreen card applicants.

G.R. Dinesh , project manager at BK Gulf, said:

To provide the means necessary to efficiently recycle or properly dispose of consumable items, e.g. tube lights, lamps, cell batteries, plastics, chemicals and hazardous materials used in everyday life / business.


To educate and share Environmental and Sustainable information regionally to ensure that awareness of the impacts to the environment is understood and to ensure a sustainable future for all.

Kassem H. El-Saddik, senior consultant performance management The Executive Council, said:

1- Awareness to build the case for sustainability 2- options for businesses and people to explore and chose among

Muzzammil K.T. said: Full-fledged programs should be mandated in every organisation to raise awareness of climate change as the major issue of our time. Publicise the endless opportunities for individuals to choose positive environmental actions like recycling paper and plastics, using public transport or sharing a lift for a car trip, reminding people to turn off all electric appliances at the end of the day, reducing printing etc. Encourage people from all walks of life to live sustainably as our small actions add up and make significant impacts towards a cleaner and greener planet.

Rogel De Los Angeles Importado, HSE supervisor Oilfields Supply Center, said: A strong government commitment to Green Building such as providing subsidies to companies, private and public, for any pro-environment initiatives which involve funding. In this way, companies are encouraged to promote and implement measures to address environmental issues.

Ovais Hashmi said:

Awareness is the first and foremost thing to be spread among each and every individual because “everything starts within the dwelling.”


The region’s leading sustainability magazine

This planet is the only one we’ve got...

To advertise please contact: LIAM WILLIAMS Associate publisher Email: Tel: +971 4 440 9158

LOUKIA PAPADOPOULOS Editor Email: Tel: +971 4 440 9118


July 2011

Lighting in motion!

Six architects and lighting designers use Philips’ Green solutions to reflect their visions of the future of light Royal Philips Electronics staged their ‘Transitions: Light on the move’ event at the Dubai World Trade where the company invited people to experience first-hand the amazing effects of lighting in motion. The themed show featured exhibits from six architects and lighting designers who used Philips’ Green solutions to conceptualise the interior of a full sized 60-feet container to express their imaginative visions of the future of light. Exhibiting their lighting designs and themes were: • Winy Maas - Hammock • Fabio Novembre - Post digital • Lichtkunstlicht - 4 spheres • Henning Larsen Architects - I see what eye see • BDP - Life Cycle • Treush architects - Human Battery Charger Paolo Cervini, general manager of Philips Lighting Middle East, said: “‘Transitions: Light on the move’ is all about new departures, new directions and new perceptions.

in-SENSO performers deliver a movement-packed show.


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Charger. Human Battery

July 2011


Applications Senior manager Lighting Services Anissa Abbou.

General m anager Ph East Paolo Cervini. illips Lighting Mid dle

in-SENSO perform shadow fo r effect. ers use light and

Life Cycle .

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of age an im



The green spy BGreen’s top secret agent urges GCC countries to tell the truth about pollution

f you are like me, you do some traveling around to the different countries and cities in the GCC. And one thing that is pretty much always the same is the hazy or polluted quality of the air. I’ve asked around and the answers vary, from pollution from cars and factories, construction, dust, humidity and maybe a few others. The variety of answers says to me that everyone has an opinion and no one has facts (also a common trait?). My opinion is that all these factors contribute to form the Gulf version of smog, a term that is both grammatically and scientifically a contraction of smoke and fog. So my hypothesis is that we have high levels of DUMP (Dust, hUMitidy, and Pollution). Write in if you come up with a better acronym and I’ll print them in next month’s edition. After some digging and an accidental Google search, I found that there actually is some data available, at least for the UAE. Dubai Municipality has 6 air quality testing centers around the city and they publish the real time (updated every 10 minutes) results for a number of different pollutants, including Carbon Monoxide, Ozone, Particulate Matter (PM10), Sulphur Dioxide (Sox), Nitrogen Oxides (NOx). Two of the six were not providing any data however. Abu Dhabi has their own version with 10 permanent and two mobile sites around the city, testing for similar contaminants. Saudi Arabia has “discussed,” as of the middle of last year, putting 10 air quality monitoring stations in Riyadh. Qatar, by way of a United Nations document, states they have testing stations for similar pollutants but do not seem to publish the results on the web. So I will focus on the two UAE cities for now. And I am only going to look at one of the contaminants, PM10 as this is consistently the most elevated, relative to the stated air quality standard. Today, the Dubai PM10 levels are between 205 and 400 microns per meter cubed (ug/m3) and the Abu Dhabi are between 68 and 285, mostly on the higher end. Dubai lists the 205 level as “Clean Air,” the healthiest of the 5 color coded ratings they have. Abu Dhabi does not give a rating, but does post the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Environment Abu Dhabi (EAD, the emirates environmental department.) These standards are the same for PM10 as the United Stated EPA, and state that 150 ug/m3 is the upper limit. The World Health Organization is even more conservative and has a recommended level of 50 ug/m3. So, both cities are significantly over, by almost an order of magnitude, the international community’s recommended levels of PM10. And with some periodic checking on these monitoring sites, I have seen levels as high as 800. Maybe that is why the other cities are not testing, or at least releasing the results of their tests, to the public. And one more thing. Is PM10 bad for you? Yes, a number of studies have found links between cardiovascular and respiratory diseases from short term and long term exposure to elevated levels of PM. Others have found that PM 2.5 (2.5 um/m3), which is not tested for (or at least not reported on) but is likely present, is at least as bad and maybe worse than PM10. Breathe safe!!! Until next time...

The Green Spy


July 2011

JuLy 4-6 Environmental Management and Engineering

Calgary Canada

This conference will explore the challenges posed by the confluence of finite energy supplies, demographic trends, and political considerations, and discuss possible solutions to these problems

National Conference on Tourism,

B4E Business for the Environment –

Environment and Sustainable

Climate Summit 2011

Development: Strategies and Policies

September 12

July 28


Gandhigram (Tamil Nadu)

United Kingdom

India Solar Asia 2011

2011 International Conference on

July 28-30

Environment and BioScience

Institute of Fundamental Studies, Kandy 

October 21-23

Sri Lanka

Cairo Egypt

7th Australia-New Zealand Climate Change & Business conference

Energy Forum


July 11

August 1

San Diego, California



New Zealand

GSS ( Green-Safe-Smart ) Practices in

Wind Turbine Supply Chain &

Healthcare 2011


July 16

August 29

New Delhi

Berlin Germany

World Green Tourism December 5-7

Abu Dhabi UAE

Charged2020: The Global Renewable



Find out what environmental events are happening where throughout the coming months



July 2011

A look at our sustainable heritage

I 58

nsulation has been around for years with techniques ranging from paper to asbestos. Centuries ago, the ancient Egyptians added materials such as papyrus to their interior walls in order to prevent heat from escaping during the cooler months. Unfortunately, they eventually graduated to using asbestos and the trend also caught on with other ancient civilisations. But even then, asbestos’ harmful effects were quickly noticed. The Greek

geographer Strabo and Roman historian Pliny the Elder both wrote about the material’s negative impacts, noting that slaves who worked with it developed a sickness of the lungs. Today, despite worldwide proof of asbestos’ devastating effects on human life and so many eco-friendly options for insulation, the material still continues to be in use in some countries. One can’t help but wonder, when will asbestos be banned everywhere?

Protect our natural heritage.

With the help of your business, we can do ours. Make a change as corporate member with EWS-WWF and help us in our mission to conserve and protect our natural environment. Together, we can make a difference.

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