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Issue 17 | NOVEMBER 2011

Also in this issue: International Green Awards

The Big 5 goes green

Solar Powered GaDgets The Green Deen The Green Spy Geothermal Energy in Iceland

The largest Middle East building and construction exhibition gears up for its greenest showcase of the most diverse products and services on the market today Please recycle after use...

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News: The latest developments world wide


Going green in the UAE. BGreen approves!

energy and water



20 22




Geothermal Iceland; a paradoxical energy solution The Green Mosque: the water saving world first Vahid Fatuhi on a changing solar landscape



The Big (green) 5


Kingdom Tower: The KSA record breaker taking green to new heights


The green revitalisation of the UAE’s oldest community


Masdar’s Future Build


Jourdan Younis on private equity and sustainablity

Green IT


Green Gadgets from the solar industry



UMI Hotel; London’s top sustainable stays


Dubai’s Marina Mall goes green




The International Green Awards; judges, categories and the verdict from Boris Johnson


Green deen Ibrahim Abdul-Matin on sustainability and Islam


Masdar’s Alan Frost




The Green Spy tackles the greenwash


Diary dates

70 3


Editor’s Letter

Standing ovation


When it comes to being green it seems everybody wants to make a noise. If a tree falls and nobody hears it, it didn’t really fall... right? While the noise this month is more banging drum than falling tree, the green and the good have plenty to shout about. November ushers in the awards season, with the International Green Awards in London, the Siemens Student Awards and The Big 5’s GAIA Awards, in association with BGreen. The theme will run into the New Year when next month the first Environmental Construction Exhibition will be held in Dubai and BGreen’s own awards ceremony, in collaboration with The Big Project magazine, also honours the industry’s finest. While so many ceremonies provide little more than an excuse for a black tie ball,

events like these incentivise the industry to continually advance the development of alternative, creative, solutions to every-day situations. They also incentivise the next generation to continually think out of the box; as Masdar director and Siemens Student Awards judge Alan Frost summed up, saying: “The awards represent a fantastic opportunity to hear what the next generation’s enquiring young minds think about the future of sustainability.” This month’s BGreen celebrates those achievements and in our special edition supplement we bring you the need to know information on the products and manufacturers leading the way. To all those nominated, congratulations from BGreen and thank you for daring to make a change.

Publisher Dominic De Sousa Associate Publisher Liam Williams COO Nadeem Hood Director Business Development Alex Bendiouis Group Sales Manager Rhiannon Downie Business Development Manager Nayab Rafiq

Contributing Editors Selina Waterman-Smith

The BGreen Editorial Team

Printed by Printwell Printing Press LLC Published by

Anoop K Menon Dan McAlister Melanie Mingas Designer/Photographer Marlou Delaben Photographer Cris Mejorada Webmasters Troy Maagma Jerus King Bation Erik Briones

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.

November 2011


Bahrain Addresses Climate Change In honour of UN World Habitat Day, HRH Prince Khalifa Bin Salman Al Khalifa addressed the world about possible risks resulting from climate change. He highlighted the need for balance between urban development and environmental protection. “We are living in an eco-system that is directly affected by the level of progress achieved and imbalance created by man in it,” His Royal Highness the Prime Minister said. “This year alone, we have witnessed several examples of the damage climate change-related natural disasters can cause,” he said. “There have been considerable physical and human losses, and billions of dollars have been spent responding to these disasters. It is time to draw attention to the effects of climate change so that we can work together on preserving the planet and providing a safe environment for all mankind.” Bahrain has been successful in identifying eight Millennium Development Goals for 2011, while continuing to address poverty, enhance human life and preserve sustainability. “Bahrain has accorded special attention to climate change, which is a global phenomenon distinct from other environmental problems,” HRH said. “This is a global and cross-border phenomenon that puts the whole world at risk. It is the role of everyone to draw attention to this problem, in the interest of preserving our planet and providing a safe environment for all mankind.”

LEED Qualified Cummins Complex Opens


Cummins has announced that their state of the art 6,000 square metres LEED silver-qualified complex that opened in May now accommodates 160 employees, including 120 from the Middle East. The facility includes offices, training centres and warehouses. Representatives from other Cummins business units are also stationed there, including individuals from Power Generation, Filtration and Business Services. The complex also houses a 3,000 square metre warehouse and customised training facility with a classroom for hands-on distributor, dealer and customer service training. The inaugural ceremony saw senior officials from Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority, American Business Council and Economic Zones World attend

alongside Cummins dealers, distributors from the Middle East, vendors and US/ UAE government officials. Pamela Carter, President of Cummins Distribution Business, said: “By 2014, Cummins worldwide expects to generate revenue of over $20bn, and we are counting on the Middle East to contribute meaningfully to this growth. We intend to work in partnership with our customers, distributors and all stakeholders to continue to grow and tap markets around the region. Our core values demand that we give back to the communities that we live and work in. Our training facility will benefit current and future employees from this community. We want to help them to grow their skills, and make sure that they have the technical and management capability for the long run.”

November 2011

KSA for Aluminium Project for the project’s alumina refinery – with an initial capacity of 1.9m metric tonnes per year. This joint project will be the only aluminium operation with a captive supply of alumina in the region. Khalid Al Mudaifer, Ma’aden’s President and CEO, says: “To reach two such major landmarks in one day illustrates the focused and collaborative approach of the project team and we all congratulate them on this noteworthy achievement.” The first phase of the project is the rolling mill and smelter which will be operational in 2013, while the mine and refinery are the second phase and will function by 2014.


The joint integrated aluminium venture between Ma’aden and Alcoa met their project teams at Ras Al Khair in Saudi Arabia to commemorate the construction of their $10.8bn collaboration. First the team poured concrete at the state of the art rolling mill which will have an initial capacity 380,000 tonnes per year, as well as being one of the most technically advanced in the world. It has the accolade of being the only one in the Gulf region capable of producing food grade can sheet which has numerous applications, for example the manufacture of beverage cans and other products. The ceremony also witnessed the first earthworks

DEWA Launches Initiative for Emirati Households

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority have launched a new initiative to cover the costs of connecting electricity to houses of low-income Emirati nationals. It was launched at the directive of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, VP and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai and aims to assist low-income nationals with their quality of life. His Excellency Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA, said, “DEWA considered launching this initiative in compliance with its social responsibility to relieve the Emirati low-income nationals of living burdens. In this regard, DEWA is going to bear AED 25,000 of the costs of connecting electricity to Emirati nationals in Dubai. However, the remaining amount of the costs (if any) will be borne by the nationals themselves according to the regulations in place.” He also advises that DEWA will cooperate with the Community Development Authority to provide this service, meaning nationals can make requests and have subsequent social investigations as per the approved terms and criteria of the CDA. DEWA will then be informed of the names of the nationals who are eligible for this. Pending confirmation of their lowincome status, DEWA will deduct AED 25,000 – the maximum aid amount – from the costs of connection, providing that the individual pays the remaining amount (if any) prior to the connecting process. His Excellency also pointed out that this deduction will ensure that UAE nationals are relieved from a financial burden, which will strengthen social ties and unity.



November 2011


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

Chinese Tree Flowers after 92 Years

The rare flowering period of the tree

Second Spring for UK


Keeping with our botany theme for this issue’s strange news, we feel obliged to comment on the bizarre weather occurring in England and the rest of the UK. After a poor summer with unusually cold August temperatures and a distinct lack of sunshine which can only exacerbate the average Brit’s unsunny mood, the country is now experiencing a second spring. With April temperatures and clear blue skies, flowers are reacting to the unseasonable warm weather and are blooming for a second time this year.

According to an ancient Chinese proverb, with patience a mulberry leaf will eventually become a silk gown. The virtue of patience is appreciated at Rowallane Garden near Saintfield County Down, UK. The gardeners have been tending to the Chinese Goat Horn Tree since 1919, hoping and waiting for the day that it would eventually show of its capricious flower. After 91 years, that day has finally arrived. After 92 summers, the day has finally arrived. “We had noticed in June that the tree was making flower bud growth which has slowly developed over the past week or so,” head gardener Averill Milligan said. “We were intrigued to see what they were going to look like and have been keeping a close eye on it.” After the

bud opened it showed a mortally pale white flower with a gentle, subtle scent. Once the flowers have opened this signifies that the long, curved and spindle-shaped fruits will soon be ripe. The shape and appearance of the fruit resembles a goat’s horn, which inspires the unusual name. The plant was originally brought to the garden by collector and botanist Ernest H Wilson from Western China in 1908. Sapling from the original seed was then planted at Rowallane country estate in 1919. The only other original Wilson seed introduction currently alive is located at Birr Castle in the Irish Republic, while sadly all other specimens died out in the 20th century. That’s what we call a late bloomer.

This unfathomable warm spot comes after reports of a drought and early Autumn leaves falling from the trees – in August. Gardeners are in a flummox, garden varieties are in a quandary and no one else knows which season to dress for in the mornings. Andy Jackson, from the Royal Botanic Garden in Wakehurst Place says: “It is a very unusual year...I’ve been gardening for 30 years and have never seen anything like this.

We are increasingly seeing that plants are not synchronised with what the weather is doing.” Before you all jump on the ‘global warming’ wagon, this is weather, not climate related. BBC meteorologist Liam Dutton attributed this warm spell to the position of the jet stream, which brings warm air from the continent. If you ask us, having two springs makes up for poor weather the rest of the year!

It’s a second spring for the UK


November 2011

Going green in the UAE

It seems everyone is going green and we could not be happier! BGreen spreads the good news, the gossip, and gives our seal of approval on intiatives in our region.

Middle East for Greener Transport

Siemens Student Award Launched only in May of this year, the Siemans Student Award is seeking answers from the young population on one of the toughest issues around: “How can you build sustainable cities in the desert?” Students from over 400 universities in Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Egypt have participated with over 630 submissions. The competition engages with the region’s best and brightest reputable universities, questioning issues surrounding four megatrends: Demographic Change, Climate Change, Urbanisation, and Globalisation. Patron of the Siemens Student Award, Erich Kaeser, CEO, Siemens Middle East, stated: “The response has been outstanding. In just two months, more than 20,000 people visited the dedicated Siemens Student Award website and over 8,500 registered as a community member. The high calibre of ideas submitted by students from all Middle East countries is a reflection of the promising intellectual capital right across the region.” Winners receive cash and internships.

Environmentalist supporters in countries throughout the Middle East joined the’s Moving Planet campaign to encourage greener forms of transport. The heat is certainly a deciding factor in the UAE’s attachment to cars, but we can still support cheaper and better public transport that’s also green. Hundreds of people joined this campaign in countries such as Lebanon, Egypt and Kuwait, and brought out their roller skates, bikes and scooters. Their actions complemented around 2,000 events taking place in over 175 countries in total that contributed to an international day of green action. We’re pleased to see such support for green initiatives in the Middle East and worldwide.

Allotments for Dummies Whether at home or at work, we’ve devised a list for green-fingered individuals of their top tips for home-growing. •

Abu Dhabi Prince Greener than the White House


It was with pride that we reported that our own Abu Dhabi Prince of an oil-rich nation crowns an official building with grid-connected solar panels – however this draws disturbing comparisons with economic superpower the US and the White House. President Obama has failed to return Jimmy Carter’s solar panelling to the government HQ, which were added in 1979 after the oil embargo and developed renewable energy programmes in the US. However, these were later removed by Ronald Reagan in 1986 and since then have never been returned to their rightful place.

Whether you have an allotment, or a real garden, or even a balcony, the key is density and compact planting. Old barrels/bpttles can be recycled into planters. Having herbs in them is an excellent idea since they are in a protected, smaller area and will grow better. Raised beds are a real favourite of ‘grow-your-own’ vegetable gardeners as they allow you to grow in otherwise unsuitable soil or locations, offer improved drainage and soil structure on shallow chalky or stony soils and the extra height of soil increases rooting. Strawberry plants are adorable, with their little red flowers and crawlers. But they are invasive: the first 2 years they are nice and by the third they are thick and choking other plants. Get some netting to keep them in check. Runner beans can get very unruly and messy looking, but simple wooden frames will allow them to grow to their full potential. They look good and the plants will get lots of sun.


November 2011

Around the world

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

Vermont Wind Turbine Opposed A wind turbine project in North Eastern Vermont was halted by opposition from wellmeaning Former Commissioner of the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department Steve Wright. The project, generated by the Kingdom Community Wind project in Lowell, planned for 21 turbines totalling 63 MW over 3 miles. The argument that the negative environmental impact of the build would be out-weighed by the positive impacts associated with the renewable energy source. However, Steve Wright says: “Erecting those turbines along more than 3 miles of ridgeline requires building roads – with segments of the ridgeline road itself nearly half as wide as one of Vermont’s interstate highways – in places where the travel lanes are now made by deer, moose, bobcat and deer.” It would also be an eye-sore.

Construction Halted of Belo Monte Dam The first plans for the hydroelectric dam along the Xingu river in the Brazilian Amazon were widely publicised. Since then the plans have been met with varying forces of opposition and support, most notably being a judge ruling that the construction and subsequent destruction of millions of acres of forest would go ahead. However, the protest has regained the upper hand as a different judge, Carlos Castro Martins, halted construction, and reinforced environmental concerns about destroying one of the most ecologically important regions in the world. Furthermore, concerns were raised over the legality of diverting the Xingu river. The 11,000 megawatt dam, if completed, would flood around 122 thousand acres of Amazonian rainforest that’s also home to 50 thousand indigenous residents.

Trago Mills Fined for Illegal Waste Disposal Several thousand tonnes of mixed waste including highly toxic asbestos was disposed of Trago Mills stores near the west country towns of Newton Abbot and Liskeard. The materials found also included soil, stone, plastic, electrical goods, plumbing pipes, broken paving, tiles, concrete, paints, wooden pallets, furniture, rubble, cardboard, chemicals and broken dustbins. They also found a landfill for an estimated 6,200 tonnes of waste, including 200 sheets of asbestos. Trago Mills had an annual turnover of £85m in 2008 and had a pre-tax profit of £4m. They have since worked with the environmental agency to remove waste, and have employed additional staff to sort the waste and amid claims the clean-up has cost the business almost £500,000. The shopping giant has since been fined a total over £185,000 after pleading guilty to five offences which also breached Section 33 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. For shame!


New Mexico Solar Power The SunEdison solar power project based in New Mexico has recorded its first Xcel Energy – the first 32.3 megawatts of 53.5 megawatt solar power. Three of the five solar power plants based in Led and Eddy Counties have been activated, including a 10.9 megawatt installation in Carlsbad and two 10.7 megawatt installations in Jal. The additional two installations include a 10.6 megawatt in Monument and a 10.6 megawatt installation in Eunice will be online in November of this of year. SunEdison, which is a subsidiary of MEMC Electronic Materials, is responsible for the maintenance and management of all five installations. More excitingly, the New Mexico project is expected to produce more than 1.9 million megawatt hours of electricity within the next 120 years.






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November 2011


Geothermal Iceland Geo (earth) + Thermos (heat) = Electricity as a Sustainable Energy Source

Iceland is one of the world’s famous eco-leisure destinations because of its hot springs in beautiful glacial surroundings.

One of the active volcanoes in the region

November 2011


celand has long been revered for its unique geographical location which means it is a hot spot – literally - for geothermal energy sources. Geothermal energy is thermal or heat energy that occurs naturally beneath the earth from tectonic plates and shows up in the form of volcanoes, hot springs and geysers. Most recently is it known for its electricity generation and as a reliable, sustainable, environmentally friendly and cost-effective energy source. BGreen takes a closer look at this natural phenomenon in Iceland and its potential as a truly green energy source.

WHY IS IT A GEOTHERMAL REGION? Iceland is an island that is essentially one large volcano, formed over millions of years from molten rock bubbling up from the sea floor. The porous rock absorbs masses of rainwater which heats below the surface. Using this energy is as simple as digging a well, withdrawing the hot fluid and building a power plant on top to process the energy. A steam turbine in the plant drives a generator producing electricity. More than 50 countries use geothermal power which can be found anywhere that magma (molten lava) and water are within a few miles of each other and within a few miles of the surface. Iceland is ranked at 14th in the world for geothermal resources but is the highest producer per capita of geothermal power. They are also renowned for their commitment to a clean power source. HOW DOES ENERGY SOURCING WORK? The process for transferring geothermal energy into electricity is performed via a process which includes drilling wells, steam turbines and transmission.

HISTORY It is a well-known legend that the first hot springs in Iceland were discovered by Ingolfur Arnarson, who was the first settler in the country after relying on the gods for direction of his first camp. He was washed ashore with his crew in a bay where ‘smoke’ rose from the ground, which resulted in the name of ‘Reykjavik’, which literally means ‘Smoky Bay’. Although this was not actually smoke, but steam, rising from one of the many hot springs, similar sources were also discovered. The first trial wells were sunk Eggert Olafsson and Bjarni Palsson, at Thvottalaugar in Reykjavik and in Krisuvik on the southwest peninsula, in 1755-1756. Further wells were sunk by Thvottalaugar in 1928 through 1930 in search of hot water for space heating. Austurbacjarskoli, in Reyakjavik, was the first building to be heated by geothermal water, after the 87degrees Centigrade was pumped

3 kilometres after producing 14 hired per second. Results were positive and other wells founded. A total of 52 wells now produces 2,400 litres per second of 62-132 degrees Centigrade water. The power from the geothermal fields amounts to 660 MWt, and its distribution system carries an annual flow of 55 million cubic metres of water.


A spot for geothermal activity



November 2011

The name ‘Reykjavik’, means ‘Smoky Bay’ after Ingolfur Arnarson saw steam rising from the ground.” Drilling Wells Drilling is done in a geothermal reservoir while simultaneously an injection well is drilled to return used geothermal fluid to the original site. Hot geothermal fluid is extracted via pipes that go to a power plant.

Steam Turbines Once inside the plant, the fluid becomes pressurised and is allowed to expand rapidly to provide rotational and/or mechanical energy for the turbine blades.


The Turbine Drives the Electric Generator This rotational energy is used to directly spin the magnets inside a large coil to create an electrical current. Both the turbine and the generator are the primary pieces of equipment

for geothermal to electricity energy conversion.

There are five major energy plants in Iceland. These are:

Transmission - Power Lines Deliver Electricity The generator’s electrical current is sent to a step-up transformer in which voltage is increased so the current can be transmitted into homes, buildings and businesses.

• Svartsengi Power Station The Svartsengi Power Station (meaning “Black Meadow”) is a geothermal power station located in Keflavik, Iceland, near the Keflavík International Airport at the Reykjanes Peninsula. In December 2007, it produced 76.5 MW of energy, and about 475 litres/second of 90 °C (194 °F) hot water (ca. 80 MWt). Surplus mineral rich water from the plant fills up the Blue Lagoon, a tourist bathing resort.

GEOTHERMAL SOURCES IN ICELAND There are two different energy types found within geothermal; low temperature and high-temperature. The low temperature (below 150 degrees C) fields can be used directly for space heating and washing. The high temperature (excess of 200 degrees C) fields are only found on the active volcanic rift zone that runs across the country, and is so rich in minerals and gasses that it cannot be used in the distribution system. It is high pressure and high in thermal energy, which make it suited to heating fresh cold water, space heating and the generation of electricity.

Nesjavellir Geothermal Power Station The second largest geothermal power station in Iceland, this facility is located 177 m (581 ft) above sea level in the southwestern part of the country, near Thingvellir and the Hengill Volcano. The station produces approximately 120MW of electrical power, and delivers around 1,800 litres (480 US gal) of hot water per second, servicing the hot water needs of the Greater Reykjavík Area.

November 2011

• Krafla Power Station This Power Station is a geothermal power station located near the Krafla Volcano. Since 1999, it produces 60 MW of energy.


• Reykjanes Power Station Located in the southwestern tip of Iceland, the plant produces 100 MW of electricity, with an expansion plan to increase this by an additional 50 MWe by the end of 2010. Major Icelandic energy company Landsvirkjun has also recently announced that they intend to build the world’s largest underwater cable through which they will sell their vast geothermal and volcanic energy to the rest of Europe. The cable will be approximately 1,180 miles, depending on the destination, and will connect to Britain, Norway, Holland and Germany.

Reykjavik area (excluding Seltjarnarnes)

because the extraction of heat it is

which is over 53% of Iceland’s population.

minor compared with the earth’s natural

temperature geothermal fields with a

earth has an internal heat content of

capacity of 460 MEW. Capacity has

1031 joules, about 20% of which is

declined at 4% annually due to extensive

residual heat from planetary accretion,

pressure drop in the reservoirs. •

The most economical alternative to

radioactive decay in the past. Human

increase the geothermal production

extraction is thus insignificant to the

capacity of Hitaveita Reykjavikur is

overall resource.


Five major geothermal power plants in

The geothermal power plant at

Iceland produce approximately 26.2%

Nesjavellir began operating in 1990 after

(2010) of the nation’s energy.

the City Council of Reykjavik authorised

In addition, geothermal heating

construction in 1986.

meets the heating and hot water

The Hitaveita utilises three low

resource of heat near the centre. The

while the remainder is from higher


• Hellisheiði Power Station The second largest geothermal power station in the world, this station is also the largest in Iceland. The facility is located in Hengill, southwest Iceland, 11 km from the Nesjavellir Geothermal Power Station. As of October 2011, the plant produces 303 MW of electricity and 133 MW of hot water, with a target capacity of 400 MW. When it reaches its capacity, it will be the largest geothermal power station in the world.

Geothermal power is sustainable

Connections to the distribution system

requirements of approximately 87% of

increase by 3-4% per annum on average.

all buildings in Iceland.

This has been equalled by increasing

Hitaveita Reykjavikur (the Reykjavik

storage capacity from 18,000 m3 to

Municipal District Heating Service)

72,000 m3 and the installation of oil-

supplies geothermal water to the greater

fired boilers.


Drilling into the earth’s core can release

plants are among the most expensive

carbon emissions and sulphur dioxide

to build in the world, due to the usually

into the atmosphere. The Renewable

hazardous environment in which they

Energy Policy Project’s report into this


highlights the large amount of sulphur

It has been found that most geothermal

at once, as it cannot be controlled easily,

energy plants usually only have stable

which could have a negative impact on

input resources for around 10 years. As a

the local environment and contribute to

result, these plants may prove inefficient

greenhouse gasses.

in the long run, especially when

International accounting and consulting

compared to the estimated 80-year life

firm Deloitte found that geothermal

of a nuclear power plant.

BGreen’s Verdict on Iceland’s Geothermal Energy While geothermal energy isn’t perfect, it is a clean, sustainable, reliable and fairly inexpensive form of energy. Potentially harmful missions produced are minor, and while the location of the plants may suffer from a loss of resources after 10 years, it still contributes a huge amount for local energy consumption. Also, if this resource is utilised throughout Europe and countries that don’t have equal access to green energy sources, this will reduce the renewable energy consumption of these regions, which is a positive step towards a greener future.

Some of the insulated piping that transports the heated water.



November 2011

The central courtyard of the Green Mosque in Syria

The Green Mosque goes Greener We’re reporting on the world’s first ‘green mosque’, based in Syria, with an update on its contribution towards preserving the world’s water resources.

T 20

he Green Mosque initiative was originally launched in the Middle East in 2009, as part of GROHE’s global WaterCare campaign. Seeking to raise awareness among the public about techniques for water conservation the campaign hopes to secure the future of this precious natural resource and save public funds. The beneficiary for this scheme was the Great Umayyad Mosque in Syria, which is one of the largest and oldest mosques in the world, and is reported by the Muslim

community to be the fourth holiest place in the world. Also, as the destination for thousands of tourists and worshippers on a daily basis, the potential conservation will have considerable impact of preserving the water. Most recently, world leader for sanitary fittings company GROHE replaced 50 mixers in the Great Umayyad Mosque with Contropress and Contromix self-closing taps to minimise the water wastage during ablution. These were integrated in the ablution rooms and the central courtyard to ensure the

economic, ecological and safe use of water. Ziad Saasaa, the Country Manager of GROHE in Syria says: “GROHE is dedicated to using its advanced technological resources first-class materials and design innovation to ensure water efficiency. It is this combination of factors that directly equates to reduced water consumption and products that deliver the best possible experience and which last a lifetime.” The 29 Contromix mixers, designed in Germany, were for the mosque ablution rooms.

November 2011

RIGHT: The ablution rooms

BGreen are always pleased to report on any green contributions, especially from within the Middle East. The Green Mosque in Syria however, is several centuries old, and while we applaud their recent efforts, there are many additional ways to ensure a fully green build with a new construction. For this, we’ve summarised our top tips below. •


BGreen’s Top Tips for Green Building

Use renewable energy sources: Aim that your building utilises passive solar, daylighting and other renewable energy techniques.

Recycling & nature: Ensure that your recycling facilities are integrated into the initial blueprints and designs.

ABOVE: Umayyad Mosque in Syria

Also ensure that you have recycling

Meanwhile the 21 Contropress wallmountable mixers were installed in the courtyard. The position of each mixer was set to ensure maximum comfort during ablution, and the mosque’s technical team were given thorough training on set up and usage of the new equipment. “The five water metres inside the ablution rooms and central courtyard to monitor the water usage for a period of one-month, before and after the mixers were installed. A report on the amount of water conserved by this initiative is expected soon.”

process for materials. •

Use sustainable wood companies.

Design strong: Durability is one of the greenest impacts. Make sure your architect has a durability plan.

Choose recycled materials: In case remodelling or deconstruction

GROHE is dedicated to using its advanced technological resources first-class materials and design innovation to ensure water efficiency.” (Ziad Saasaa, GROHE)

are ever an issue, choosing these products from the start ensures more sustainable long-term projects. •

Roofing: This makes a huge impact on your building. You could include either a solar powered attic fan, which reduces the strain on your air conditioning system, or use

GROHE AG is a global leader for sanitary products and systems, and sets standards in quality, design, technology and sustainability and providing water to perfection.

metal for the roof, while not perfect sustainable material it doesn’t decay as quickly as other materials.

About GROHE’s Initiative GROHE launched the “Green Mosque” initiative in Dubai in 2009, in partnership with the Dubai Water and Electricity Authority (DEWA) and Sesam Business Consultants. In this initiative, 20 new mixers with self-closing taps were installed for free in the Abu-Hamed Ghazali Mosque resulting in a 30% decrease in water usage. The “Green Mosque” initiative is now being rolled out in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.

facilities in place during the building



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November 2011


Let the Sun Shine In the Middle East After five US solar energy pioneers close their doors, Vahid Fotuhi looks at the implications on price, consumers and the local solar industry powered only by the sun. People began to believe that companies like Solarex would one day become among the world’s biggest energy companies. This summer, that belief was put to rest as the last of the legacy Solarex plants in the US was shut down.

Four other US solar manufacturers also threw in the towel. This included Solyndra which had received $1 billion in venture funding and over $500 million in US governmentbacked loans. As it sank 1100 jobs went down with it. The spat of bankruptcies led some observers to suggest that the solar dream would


n 1969, the hit song “Let the Sun Shine In” topped the US charts. Drawn from the musical Hair, the song was synonymous with the liberal free-loving movement that was sweeping across America. Around the same time, solar companies started to pop up. Companies like Solarex emerged, promising a future



November 2011

never become a reality. But is it all doomand-gloom for solar power? Not quite.


Whilst some companies, particularly high-cost manufacturers such as Solyndra, have collapsed other leaner companies have stepped in their shoes. As Jeremy Leggett of Solar Century, a UK solar equipment maker says: “It is the inevitable shake-out of an industry that is coming of age.” This shake-out boils down to one thing: price. American and European solar manufacturers who have historically been market leaders have failed to keep up with their Chinese competitors. Backed by strong government support and ultralow production costs, Chinese solar manufacturers like Yingli, Suntech and Trina Solar have marched into solar arena armed with cheap modules and now command a chunky slice of the market. The rise in Chinese supply coincides with a drop in demand in key European and US markets where solar subsidies are being continuously trimmed. The ensuing result has been an unprecedented collapse in prices. In the

past 12 months alone, prices have shrunk by a whopping 40%. No other industry has experienced such price volatility. Solar panels that were being sold for projects in the Gulf at $1.90 per watt last year are now available at around $1.15 per watt as suppliers search for a home for their vast inventory of panels. This downward price pressure shows no sign of relenting. A recent report by Ernst & Young suggests that prices are likely to sink by 50% from now to 2013 as global manufacturing capacity continues to ramp up. This is bad news for manufacturers. But it’s good news for consumers. Every time prices fall to a new low it opens up a new layer of demand that was previously not there. Companies and home owners who couldn’t afford solar systems last year might now find that their solar dreams are within reach. Even utilities such as DEWA are finding themselves able to push forward with large-scale projects, emboldened by the sudden influx of cheap photovoltaic panels. The shake-out is also good news for small businesses. As more and more people turn to solar there will be increased demand for local companies that have the necessary expertise to install and maintain the solar systems. Enviromena is a good example. This company started up in Abu Dhabi in

2007 and has since successfully installed several solar systems in the country, including a 10 megawatt grid-connected system at Masdar City, the largest of its kind in the Middle East. Their success is based on their ability is to marry foreign technology with local expertise. We can find similar examples across the Gulf, such as Sun + Life in Saudi Arabia and GreenGulf in Qatar. Despite the perfect storm of cheap solar panels and readily available local installers the UAE solar industry remains in its infancy. Why is that? The answer is simple: no framework. For the industry to take off there needs to be a regulatory structure that governs the rules and incentives. It is like trying to dance without music. Abu Dhabi has taken the first step by setting a target -- 7% of renewable energy by 2020. The next step is critical. Once the framework gets adopted the music will truly start flowing across the corridors of the solar industry. That’s when we will see the true magnificence of what solar power can achieve for the UAE, in terms of employment capacity, energy efficiency, and environmental sustainability. Let the sun shine in.

Vahid Fotuhi is the Chairman of the Emirates Solar Industry Association (ESIA)



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November 2011

The Big 5 26

Why The Big 5 2011 will be greener than ever before…


he Big 5 is the Middle East’s largest construction exhibition and attracts over 2500 exhibitors from over 70 countries at the annual even in Dubai. Firmly established after 30 years of successful exhibitions, in recent years the focus has shifted to incorporate green building techniques and sustainability. This explains the decision to launch the first Green Build Congress — two days of conferences and speeches by leaders in the green arena to

highlight the issues negatively impacting on the environment, from typical construction and buildings to the products that fit out each room. BGreen takes a closer look at this, as well as interviews, and our top choices for green product stands. Speakers at the congress will include Burj Khalifa and Kingdom Tower architect and sustainable design expert Adrian Smith and an opening speech from H.E. Dr. Rashid Ahmed bin Fahd, UAE minister of water and environment.

November 2011

is to avoid trading off environmental and cultural outcomes, they are synergistic. Last financial year we exceeded our energy reduction target, saving more than 2000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent. We did all this without compromising the number of shows or the quality — in fact we presented more performances than ever.


What is your background and why did you first start working in sustainability? For 17 years I have worked in the tourism and cultural sectors on projects and programmes ranging from urban leisure precinct development through to remote community cultural centres. I have always had a social and environmental element to my career, however in 2007 I completed Masters research on the impacts and implications of climate change on tourism and culture in the Pacific. From this point I realised that our environmental issues are in fact economic and social issues that need urgent attention. I am now undertaking a second Masters in sustainable development. Why have you chosen not to attend the congress in person? I have decided to present via teleconference because a flight from Sydney to Dubai return will emit more than 7 tonnes of CO2 equivalent which is equal to taking almost two Australian cars off the road for a year. However I have been to Dubai in the late 90s and enjoyed it. I shall certainly return one day.

What are the main areas affecting your business? Being one of the busiest performing arts centres in the world, energy is our most significant impact area; followed by waste and flying international acts to Sydney. The key thing for Sydney Opera House

Shelly Rowell is the manger of the sustainability and energy at the Sydney Opera House. BGreen speaks with her regarding environmental issues as social and economic problems prior to her video-link presentation at the Build Green Congress. What are the most important aspects affecting sustainability? Making it everyone’s responsibility including, staff, suppliers, clients, artists, audience and community. Our ability to become more sustainable is only limited by every individual’s will and courage to

make better choices in their everyday life. Sydney Opera House has a strategy to embed sustainability into everything we do from ordering a pen to major construction projects, everyone plays a role. Although we only launched our environmental sustainability plan in June 2010, we are already seeing results. Still it is a long road ahead and sustainability is all about continuous improvement.


November 2011

Green construction Products Danube Working closely with the public sector and also with leading building rating standards in promoting more ‘eco-friendly codes and


guidelines,’ Danube is committed to green measures. Danube works with the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), which are two of the world leaders in nongovernment organisations that promote sustainable forests via independent third party certification. Danube also features an extensive line of eco-friendly products that can be used across the region’s current batch of LEED Certified projects. These products include sanitary ware items, gypsum products and cement fiber boards. Their stand at the Big 5 will be mainly sanitary products.

Tormax The Swiss manufacturer of high-quality door drives is committed to both sustainability and using modern technology to make bespoke creations. The drive system is modular in concept; consists of long-lasting components, operates silently with minimum energy use and is practically maintenance-free. Energy-

saving technology and environmentally-


friendly, 96% recyclable components make minimum demands on the environment.

Green Build Congress – Making Sustainability Mainstream 22nd – 24th November Launching at the 2011 Big 5, the Green Build Congress is set to make sustainability mainstream and highlight the environmental impact of occupied buildings – currently around 40% of carbon emissions from this source. Speakers include Dr. Nawal Al Hosany, associate director of sustainability at Masdar City, Keith Clark, head of sustainability at Atkins, Adrian Smith, principal at Adrian Smith & Gordon Hill, Mario Seneviratne,

director of sustainability at US Green Building Council and Prof. Jean-Louis Scartezzini, Director, Solar Energy and Building Physics Laboratory EPFL. The conference aims to deliver practical advice and strategic approaches for delegates and the construction industry in general. Andy White, event director for the Big 5 says: “The need for products and solutions that make the construction process more efficient, economically and environmentally, has meant the platforms we have created to showcase this have grown significantly


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5 rs ig to B bi e hi Th ex at to rs en ito op ib d xh an n-e no d an




Give your green product the recognition it deserves

Now in its 4th year, The Big 5 Gaia Awards has established itself as the region’s most respected and credible construction awards honouring those products that make a significant sustainable and green contribution to construction projects in the Middle East. To get the recognition you deserve, enter today.

21 NOVEMBER 2011 Dubai International Exhibition & Convention Centre

To enquire about exhibiting or sponsorship at The Big 5 contact:

DEADLINE EXTENDED TO 10THt:OCTOBER, ENTER ONLINE NOW or for further details please visit e: +971 4 438 0355 w: or email us on

November 2011

to encompass every element of the event – from the conference, the exhibition as well as the increasing popularity of our environmental recognition programme, the GAIA Awards.”


Green Conferences & Talks 21st Nov Asphalt Green Technology - 14:45 - 15:15 Sustainability, Biophilia, and Illusions of Nature - 16:15 - 16:45 Designing the first 5 pearl rated building - strategies and lessons learned from the Sheikh Zayed Desert Learning Centre in Al Ain - 16:15 - 16:45 C

International vs. local Green Building Rating Systems in the Middle East - 16:15 - 16:45 Carbon Credits - An Introduction to the Carbon Market - 17:00 - 17:30 Building with Timber - Structural Use of Timber in Construction - 17:00 - 17:30 22nd Nov e-GreenPages: Green Buildings Made Easy 14:45 - 15:15

23rd Nov Low VOC products for environment friendly Green projects - 12:30 - 13:00 Transport Infrastructure - balancing comfort, safety and security - 17:00 - 17:30


The need for products and solutions that make the construction process more efficient, economically and environmentally, has meant the platforms we have created to showcase this have grown significantly”








November 2011


The Kingdom Tower of Saudi Arabia With the Middle East’s focus shifting towards a green future, green building construction is at the forefront of discussions, conferences and exhibitions. With credits like the Burj Khalifa in the Middle East, Chicago-based practice Adrian Smith & Gordon Gill have begun plans to construct the Kingdom Tower in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Derived as part of the kingdom city development, the building will be over 1000m tall and will be constructed from the fronds of a native flower that grows in the arid desert sand. The tower will accommodate a Four Seasons Hotel, apartments, offices, luxury condominiums and the world’s highest observatory overlooking the Red Sea. That’s a lot of accolades for a construction that also promises so much to the green community. BGreen speaks with architectural chief Adrian Smith about the project. What would you cite as the major contribution to ‘green’ building that will result from your Kingdom Tower design?

One of the main goals of Kingdom Tower is to attract growth and density around it. In doing so, the efficiency of all the systems involved is improved. Simply put, it’s the opposite of urban sprawl. Within a desert environment, urbanisation is even more important, given the energy and efficiency loss of all systems associated with covering large stretches of land. Building enclosures are also reduced when building tall. Imagine that a 400-metre tower of, let’s say, 100 floors will have one ground floor and one roof in addition to all of the walls. If you split this into 33 buildings of three floors, you will have to add 33 ground floors and 33 roofs where energy loads will be added. It’s pretty clear, when you think about it this way, that the energy efficiency of a super-tall building is superior to the equivalent number of low-rise buildings. If you did build those 33 low-rise buildings, think of the additional land that would be paved over in the process, and the attendant infrastructure - roads, power grids, water and sewers, and so on - that would be necessary to service that sprawl. Particularly in terms of land use, building tall makes tremendous sense.


What are the ‘greenest’ bits of the Kingdom Tower that you are most proud of? Balconies are not that common in super-tall

buildings because of issues related to quickly swirling winds at high altitudes. However, they formed part of our scheme for Kingdom Tower from the beginning, in part because we wanted them to shade a significant portion of the exterior wall and help to reduce the overall energy load. They are of course also wonderful amenities for building occupants, contributing to the project’s social sustainability. There are also many other features of Kingdom Tower that we would consider to be business as usual, but definitely serve to reduce the impact

on the environment. The performance of the MEP systems is state-of-the-art, resulting in considerable efficiencies over conventional systems. The highperformance exterior wall system, for example, maximizes natural lighting while at the same time reducing solar heat gain. It will be feature low-emissivity reflective glass that will reduce heat gain as much as possible while at the same time providing the panoramic views that building occupants want. Where the glass is not needed for viewing, we are planning an insulated “shadowbox”

November 2011

We consider water to be the most precious resource in the desert environment, and so we have condensate recovery systems - which in Kingdom Tower will collect about 14 Olympic-size pools of moisture annually that will be recycled for irrigation.”


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

panel that minimises heat gain and will have essentially the same thermal performance that a stone panel would.

What do you think of the current state of awareness of green building and sustainability in construction, especially in the Middle East? It’s hard to judge. In terms of the way that buildings are assembled or constructed, with the cost of fuel and materials ever increasing, contractors are looking to ways to be more efficient. Often this results in formwork systems being used repeatedly, reducing waste to landfill and generators being used more efficiently, resulting in less fuel use and lower emissions. Often, things that we consider to be sustainable, they consider to be plain economic common sense - and when those two come together, great things can happen. There are also government

initiatives as well pressure from ever more demanding tenants and developers to ensure that buildings meet some form of green building rating. To be able to deliver such buildings, contractors are improving very quickly. The supply chain industry is also helping, with high-performing products - from Europe in particular - making their way into the supply chain in the Middle East. What would your advice be to contractors and/or consultants who want to go green? Make a serious commitment to it. See it both as an opportunity to get on the right side of where we’re heading as a culture and, of course, an opportunity to make money. We know that tenants increasingly want to live and work in sustainably designed buildings - so be part of that supply chain. Answer the call, and it will make every kind of sense economic, scientific, moral, the works.

Of course we consider water to be the most precious resource in the desert environment, and so we have condensate recovery systems - which in Kingdom Tower will collect about 14 Olympic-size pools of moisture annually that will be recycled for irrigation and have specified highly efficient sanitary fittings to reduce water waste. In common with other tall buildings, water use in Kingdom Tower will be generally lower, as the water supply network will have a sophisticated leak detection system to ensure that all water reaching the building gets used in the building rather than wasted as nonrevenue water. Beyond that, the interior will be finished with paint that contains no VOCs. The building management system will be optimized through continued commissioning to ensure it consistently delivers the most

efficient level of performance. And from the beginning stages of construction, we will be using materials, such as rebar, with a substantial amount of recycled content.


November 2011

We can only improve as an industry if we share ideas, information and expertise.”


Department of Municipal Affairs, Abu Dhabi, Dr. Nawal Al Hosany, and Associate Director of Sustainability at Masdar City.


Green Points

Do you have a favourite green building initiative or development in the region that you can highlight? We have two buildings, Ahlamana and Hilal Tower, currently under construction in King Abdullah Financial District in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, that I think showcase sustainable design that can be accomplished using primarily passive strategies - in particular site orientation, manipulation of thermal mass, minimising solar exposure of the parts of the building with the greatest amount of sun, and so on. Hilal Tower’s sustainability features include a locally manufactured granite and glass exterior wall system that uses shading elements and high thermal mass, solar hot water cells which provide hot water for the entire building, and water conservation systems that collect and re-use greywater for landscape irrigation. The building’s overall energy performance will be about 14 percent above ASHRAE standards. Ahlamana is a two-building complex that deploys a louvered screen wall that protects the office tower’s western facade from the harshest sun. The residential tower also presents a mostly solid stone wall toward the west, minimising solar heat gain and reducing energy consumption for air-conditioning. Both projects also include district cooling, solar hot water, energyefficient lighting and equipment, a greywater collection system and highly efficient HVAC and MEP systems. I would also point to my design of United Gulf Bank, which, 25 years later, is still performing very well in the desert climate of Manama, Bahrain. The high thermal mass of the exterior wall system, site orientation, with heat-gain-reducing louvers and light scoops (which bounce diffused light up onto interior

The asymmetrical vertical arrangement is formed from three converging ‘petals’ which reduce the wind forces generated from the building’s extreme height. This will reduce damage from

ceilings to maximize daylighting). Why do you think it is important for the industry to participate at the Green Build Congress at the Big 5 Exhibition? We can only improve as an industry if we share ideas, information and expertise. And frankly we have a lot of improving to do if we’re going to meet the challenge of climate change, which we must, for ourselves and future generations. What do you think would be the benefit of attending, partnering or speaking at a green build focused conference? Change, of course, is hard. We’re used to doing things one way, but if we see how others are taking different approaches, and succeeding, we’re going to increase our knowledge and the toolbox of solutions at our disposal. Attending a Green Build conference is a great way to do that.

Adrian Smith will speak at the first Green Build Conference, part of The Big 5, November 22-24 at Dubai International Exhibition and Convention Centre. Other speakers will include H.E Dr. Rashid Ahmed bin Fahad, Minister of Water and Environment, UAE, H.E Majed Al Mansouri, Chairman of the

the elements to the exterior of the tower. •

The state of the art MEP system within the exterior walls maximises natural lighting while reducing solar heat gain.

The glass will be low-emissivity and reflective to reduce heat gain while providing the panoramic views occupants desire. A shadowbox panel will also minimise heat gain and have the same thermal performance of a stone panel.

The tower features condensate recovery systems - which will collect about 14 Olympic-size pools of moisture annually that will be recycled for irrigation - and have specified highly efficient sanitary fittings to reduce water waste.

The interior will be finished with paint that contains no VOCs.

Construction will use materials, such as rebar, with a substantial amount of recycled content.

November 2011


Designed for life


Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council’s Humaid Al Marzougi talks about the revitalisation of the UAE’s oldest community, Baniyas-South Wathba


eveloped as part of Plan Capital 2030, the revitalisation of BaniyasSouth Wathba aims to manage urban growth within the mainland subregion. Through the plan, the Emirate’s Urban Planning Council (UPC) says the area will be strengthened as an “identifiable place with a unique character”. The plan incorporates the existing urban communities of Baniyas, South Wathba and Al Nahda, 30 kilometres east of Abu Dhabi’s central business district at the eastern gateway planned under Capital 2030. The 6,500 hectare area is already home to 69,000 residents and UPC says the revitalisation is one of the “most ambitious opportunities for sustainable redevelopment” in the UAE. “Within the Baniyas-South Wathba revitalisation masterplan, environmental sustainability is the main objective, with the focus on the overall viability and health of living systems,” explains UPC planner Humaid Al Marzougi. “Some of the guidelines include the protection of natural environment, and ensuring that the community has many open areas which can be developed and enhanced to connect residential and commercial areas, and provide residents with a pleasant and healthy living space. The guidelines also include the enhancement groundwater and drainage systems, so that they minimise damage to building foundations and natural environments around them,” he continues. Adding the plan will be “sensitive to the environment” Al Marzougi says measures will be taken to ensure energy, water, waste and transport are “dealt with in a sustainable manner”. In addition agricultural and natural

November 2011

“One of the central pillars of the Estidama guidelines is the preservation of local communities in order to encourage Emirati communities to grow and prosper while maintaining their culture and heritage”


resources will be managed to ensure the preservation of significant land resources and to minimise reliance on natural and man-made water and energy resources. The achievements will be made in line with the Emirate’s Estidama Pearl Rating System; to be implemented in the urban structures as the project progresses, with Al Marzougi explaining: “At this stage, the performance of communities and buildings with respect to environmental sustainability will be evaluated in relation to the overarching objectives of the revitalisation plan. Then, as the plan moves towards implementation, the urban structures will implement the mandatory Pearl Rating System.”

Environment With ‘sustainability’ retaining its position as the buzzword de jour, one of two primary focuses of the revitalisation plan will see the preservation and development of the surrounding environment; an area that already boasts diverse natural features from open desert to wetlands. They achieve the objectives in the

built environment, Estidama will be adopted in phases with the aim of meeting minimum requirements under the Pearl Rating System (PRS) across the entire development by the time it’s completed. Supporting PRS, the newly built and revitalised houses will be developed in the traditional ‘fareej’ style; both an environmentally and culturally sustainable technique incorporating naturally shaded streets and walking and cycling routes, extended from the courtyard style homes to the wider neighbourhoods. “This type of urban fabric provides the community with a new sense of place and restores and promotes the richness of traditional Arab living in a contemporary form,” Al Marzougi comments. Incorporating sustainability and environmental preservation in the natural environment will see the surrounding land developed to form public parks and educational facilities for residents and visitors. The cultivation of these areas will also enhance the biodiversity of the area and the UPC says infrastructure will be



November 2011

Aerial view of an Emirati neighbourhood.

A map of the revitalisation area.

Aerial view of an Emirati neighbourhood.

constructed in an “efficient and optimal” way as to prevent disturbing this process. Investigation into the area over the years has found Baniyas to have high groundwater levels, both near the coast and on higher ground, which could pose hazards to building foundations and infrastructure. To protect the new developments on higher ground new drainage systems will be developed and older systems retrofitted to preserve existing developments.


Cultivating culture The second focus of the revitalisation plan addresses sustainability as an abstract concept to enhance the ‘sense of community’ among residents. Historically, Baniyas was a staging post between Abu Dhabi Island and Al Ain and during the 1960s the Emirate’s first asphalt road was constructed here. It is also one of the oldest Emirati communities in the country.

“The area was established in the early 1970s in accordance with the instruction of His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan to construct 5,000 new houses in Baniyas, building some of the UAE’s earliest examples of modern Emirati housing,” Al Marzougi explains. “The new settlements were designed in accordance with the social and economic needs of the Bedouin residents, with an aim of retaining elements of traditional life, while adopting modern standards and innovation,” he continues. Yet it appears that in modernisation of the UAE, the community focus was eroded. “The sense of community has been something that was carefully implemented into the guidelines of modern development. In fact, one of the central pillars of the Estidama guidelines is the preservation of local communities, in order to encourage Emirati communities to grow and prosper

while maintaining their culture and heritage,” Al Marzougi explains. He continues to say the objectives will be met by developing a “hierarchy or district, neighbourhood and local centres to provide services for existing and future residents” In essence, the centres will be focal point for community services on a local, neighbourhood and district level, providing amenities such as mosques, clinics and sports clubs respectively. “A sense of community is vital to the continuing prosperity of areas and for their sustainable growth. Residents need to feel a sense of belonging and a sense of pride in where they live,” Al Marzougi adds.

Development Objectives: Enhancing Community Identity Housing and Neighborhood Revitalisation Public Involvement

The Floor is Yours


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

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November 2011

BGreen Product Review CONSTRUCTION

Trying to find the right environmentally friendly products in today’s market can be tough. BGreen brings you our monthly green review courtesy of the Future Build – an initiative by Masdar City.

This month’s product:

xD Sustainability Manager

Keeping track of the credits With the introduction of a number of global building rating systems such as LEED (US Green Building Council) and Estidama (Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council), new internet-based project management and assessment products are becoming available to the construction industry. Such tools facilitate better communication of assessment requirements to the project team, as well as allow direct upload of the supporting information required for assessment. Through the use of such tools, data can be collected and shared, with the potential to assist developers and project teams in identifying the most beneficial and cost-effective route to achieving the required building rating. The Future Build team recently had the opportunity to evaluate one such tool: xD Sustainability Manager (xDSM), developed by Objective World Sdn Bhd. Objective World Sdn Bhd (OW), a Malaysian Multimedia Super Corridorstatus company, was formed specifically to develop solutions for whole-lifecycle Building Information Management (BIM) tools. The unique solutions that OW have developed capitalise on more than 20 years of experience that the founding partners, Dr Peter Key and Thomas Cheah have, respectively, in the fields

November 2011

Historically, the building rating assessment has been spreadsheet based with both progress and final reporting via text reports and submission of hard copy evidence to the certifying body. Recently the submission process has begun to move toward an electronic submission format. However, the process, collection and collation of submission-ready data still remains difficult and time consuming. Designed for LEED and Estidama sustainability professionals, xDSM streamlines the process and improves communication, collaboration and workflow, collecting and disseminating information throughout the lifecycle of building rating system assessment.

Key advantages for LEED AP or Estidama PQP: • •

• • •

Key benefits for clients and project teams: • •

No need to review lengthy reports, as all information can be viewed online. Every credit requirement has an “owner” showing responsibility and progress. Guidance on how to comply with credit requirements and other useful information can be downloaded whenever required. Real-time display of progress and percentage complete can be seen

Key differentiators: •

Requirements Management: xDSM is flexible enough to manage more general project requirements than just sustainability requirements, since it is based on Objective World’s xD Requirements Management framework. • Company Domain Knowledge: Since xDSM can manage other requirements, firms can introduce their own specialist requirements as “templates” or “kits”, reflecting their domain knowledge. • Linkage to Concept Design: xDSM has been designed to optionally link to Objective World’s xD Conceptualizer product, which allows the physical building to be modeled in 3D to a level of detail sufficient to establish and monitor many of the KPIs that are used to measure the building sustainability against the relevant building rating system. • Linkage to Building Information Modeling: Significantly, xD Conceptualizer can integrate with Building Information Modeling (BIM), thereby linking sustainability management firmly into the BIM process chain. Having tested the product on of the Masdar City projects, we have seen the impact it can make to project management and the assessment process. xDSM is reasonably priced, with excellent technical and user support, so why not contact them for a demonstration.

The tool aims to make the LEED or Estidama process quicker, more efficient and transparent to all parties. This makes it easier and more cost effective for the project team to achieve the desired building rating certification. xDSM is an innovative webbased project management and assessment delivery system that provides the LEED AP or Estidama PQP and project team with instant access to their building rating assessment, progress tracking and status reporting, both on a per-credit and per-user basis. The tool has a document library where “evidence” can be uploaded and linked to any credit. The system has been populated with placeholder and template submission documents, making it easy for users to update to actual project documents. Guidance documents may be linked to relevant credits, for complete flexibility for the company or individual users to input their domain knowledge for use by team members.

Access to all your projects in one place. Easy to set up projects and transfer information from one assessment stage to the next. Configured with both “Design Rating” and “Construction Rating” frameworks, making it as simple as turning one off and the other on, and with the bonus that all design data is available when moving from design to construction mode. Assessment progress can be updated quickly and easily – one button changes status on any credit requirement. Automatic generation of progress reports. Online review, reference and storage of supporting evidence. Fully referenced documentation for issue to LEED or Estidama, meeting their spreadsheet/document structure and certification requirements.

at any time with drill down configured both on per-credit and per-user basis. Evidence can be submitted online for review as it becomes available.


of building design/construction and 3D software visualisation.


November 2011

Green gadgets Call yourself a green geek? This issue BGreen brings you the hottest solar powered gizmos.


This issue we’re harnessing our most abundant energy source – the sun – for some solar-powered gadgets.


Quirky Ray Solar Powered Charger The Quirky Company, famous for highlighting independent inventors, has the Ray charger in their catalogue. Different from most chargers, it has a suction cup to attach it to where the sun shines the most – from a car, house or even plane window. The tilting kickstand supports multiple positions to engage the best angle from the sun. Its compact battery can store enough energy to fully charge a mobile phone and with a USB port for easy charging, this makes being green easy! Check out for more details.

Wireless Keyboard Free your keyboard from its bonds and constraints! The new Logitech keyboard is completely wireless and solar powered from indoor and outdoor light – you can even do your computing under the stars. Check out www. for more information.

Solar Powered Boat Had your eye on that yacht recently? Why don’t you buy the world’s first solar powered boat instead! Not only does it look like a space ship, but its solar power ensures speeds of up to 15 MPH – slow, we know, but it is the greenest electronic boat and the first of its kind. Named TURANOR after the Lord of the Rings trilogy, it means “victory” and “the power of the sun”. It is a fitting name, as this 101 foot long and 49 foot wide craft can go for three days without the sun thanks to its giant lithium-ion battery. Not sure what the retail price for these is yet, but it’s definitely a future that we should look forward to.

“Help your city save costs and the environment.” (City of Lyon, France)

By simply refurbishing the Guillotière’s bridge with Philips CitySoul luminaires including CosmoPolis lamps and gear, the city of Lyon saved more than 50% energy and reduced their CO2 emissions. So, choosing responsible lighting has never been easier. It’s a simple switch.

November 2011

A Global Perspective Private Equity and Sustainability

are demanding. Many of these projects which deliver public service benefits such as transportation (roads/rail), water (supply/ treatment/distribution), and waste (collection/ storage/recycling).




s you may have noticed, the past month has taken us on wild adventure in the financial markets of the world. We witnessed a large amount of volatility in the equities markets and have seen a risk-on/risk-off attitude to investing, with a recent strong bias towards less risky investments. One of the investment classes which is seen to have a low level of risk, with stable long-term cash flows, is that of the renewable energy infrastructure sector. Last month, private equity giant, Blackstone, announced the largest deal in the renewable energy sector with a $3.5bn investment into the construction of Germany’s biggest ever off-shore wind farm. The first phase of the wind-farm project, named “Meerwind” is set to produce enough power to service 400,000 households and is due to come online in 2013. The project was made possible (less risky) by the German government’s decision to jointly establish an aggressive feed-in tariff of $160/ Mwh and to phase out nuclear power by 2022. The actions of which ensure a steady flow of income to the private equity group and also an increased demand in alternative forms of energy. The Blackstone investment follows on the heels of a 1.1bn investment in a wind power farm by two of Denmark’s largest pension funds in early April 2011. Why may this be of interest to you? As a market sector, investments in renewable wind energy

Current annual investment in wind infrastructure is approximately $15bn and is expected to reach a total cumulative investment of $390bn by 2030.”

ABOVE: Jourdan Younis

infrastructure projects have been growing at 25-35%/annum and are forecast to continue growing in the medium term at a conservative rate of 15-20%/annum. Current annual investment in wind infrastructure is approximately $15bn and is expected to reach a total cumulative investment of $390bn by 2030. With the guarantee of generous feed-in tariffs as set by the host state (a set revenue rate for the sale of energy produced by the wind farms), investors are assured a stable return on their investment for a fixed duration often in the range of 5-15%/annum; this is favorable when compared to the current rate of less than 2%/ annum for 10 year US treasuries. Large pension and investment funds with long-term investment horizons are often mandated to seek out stable investments and due to the yield premiums offered, wind energy projects are being actively sought after for investment. In addition to the renewable energy projects, several other sustainable investments are being made in the spirit of Public Private Partnerships (PPP). The PPP projects with long-term concessions develop cash-strapped public treasuries to finance the projects which their citizens

For the private investor looking to take part in this growing and stable opportunity, several funds have recently been set up by institutions such as Macquarie Bank, KfW bankengruppe and Rabobank. Given stable global population/consumption vectors, if governments continue to guarantee levels of concession rates which offer investors reasonable rates of return, yields on lowrisk government bonds stay depressed and demand for electricity from consumers stays strong, the demand for sustainable infrastructure investments is expected to continue to be robust for the foreseeable future. Contact Jourdan: Jourdan Younis is the Technical Director for Oger International Abu Dhabi, an instructor for LEED at American University of Sharjah and an instructor for Estidama at the Urban Planning Council, Abu Dhabi. His background spans London Business School, California Polytechnic University, and several international sustainability consulting operations including Sowwah Square in Abu Dhabi and the Energy Foundation in San Francisco.

November 2011




“What we are doing to the forests of the world is but a mirror reflection of what we are doing to ourselves and to one another.” Gandhi


“I have spent the better part of this tour trying to come up with easy ways for us all to become a part of the solution to global warming. Although my ideas are in the earliest stages of development, they are, in my mind, worth investigating. I propose a limitation be put on how many squares of toilet paper can be used in any one sitting—only one square per restroom visit, except, of course, on those pesky occasions where two to three could be required” Sheryl Crow

“The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way. Some see nature all ridicule and deformity... and some scarcely see nature at all. But to the eyes of the man of imagination, nature is imagination itself.” William Blake “It isn’t pollution that’s harming the environment. It’s the impurities in our air and water that are doing it.” Dan Quayle

“Today’s mighty oak is just yesterday’s nut that held its ground.” - Anonymous

“The environment is where we all meet; where we all have a mutual interest; it is the one thing that all of us share. It is not only a mirror of ourselves, but  a focusing lens on what we can become...” Claudia Alta Johnson

“I take a three-minute shower. I even—brush my teeth while in the shower.” Jennifer Anniston

November 2011


I think that it is really important for us all to do a bit. Being green is to understand the environmental issues of a hotel, and trying as much as possible to negate those effects,�


November 2011

umi Hotel, London BGreen’s 1st Choice for Sustainable Stays in England’s Capital


and bedrooms. - Central heating is turned off in summer and during the day in winter. - The central heating is also on a timer so it doesn’t turn on unnecessarily. - Guests are asked to turn off their TV sockets to reduce energy consumption.

Water Efficiency - umi does laundry only twice a week, only otherwise requested. - Toilets in the office and the lobby only flush on a timer.

Purchasing - Cleaning products are environmentally friendly and concentrated. - Guest bedrooms are provided with Fairtrade coffee and sugar. - Our cafe has Fair-trade coffee, tea and sugar Where possible, the food in our restaurant is locally grown and sourced.

Reuse and Recycling - Housekeeping keep their cleaning products in reusable containers to reduce plastic wastage. - Bin bags are made of recycled materials Housekeeping wash their own dusters instead of buying new ones. - Cooking oil from the kitchen is collected and converted into environmentally friendly biodiesel.

Communication - umi provide information for their guests about the Oyster card, which they can use on greener forms of transport like the Tube. - They inform guests about their ‘green’ policy, mainly relating to the points mentioned above.

Mr. Lowry also champions the 3* stay as a 5* experience, and hopes to change perceptions and expectations of what would be classed as a ‘budget’ hotel. “I travelled around south-east Asia as a backpacker and felt that I received better quality service in $1 a night guesthouses than I did in many 3 star hotels in the western world. Therefore, I wanted to create a 3 star hotel brand where value and service where equally important,” he says. The hotel is currently making plans to install low-energy usage LED lighting, in addition to being aware of energy wastage concerns.

- Low energy light bulbs for main hallways


hile maintaining a dedication for fair priced accommodation, the umi Hotel manages to be appropriately located in London’s trendy Notting Hill and supports green and sustainable living. This is another examples of how being green doesn’t have to mean a compromise on style or quality. “At umi we like guests to feel special so we have extended our services and facilities to include, amongst others, wi-fi, breakfast until midday and a concierge. Continental breakfast is included in the rate for every guest” says umi founder and owner Steve Lowy. Steve is a director of the British Education Travel Association (BETA) and STAYWYSE, and has won several awards, including a prestigious Caterer & Hotelkeeper’s Acorn Award (2010) and being named the ‘One to Watch in Tourism’ in the Courvoisier The Future 500 Network.



November 2011

Green Friends Puro supplies the Yumi cafe with the Fair-trade products, which ensures the South American suppliers are paid fairly. Puro also invests in the preservation of the rainforest.

MK Energy provides the hotel’s boiler systems and are made to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions by up to 40%.

Uptown Oil is London’s first biodiesel manufacturer, and convert used cooking oils into carbon neutral, environmentally friendly biodiesel which is sold then taxi companies. These taxis have much lower carbon emissions.

Alliance provide cleaning products manufacturer by companies with environmental policies. Their stores also distribute products as efficiently as possible.

Brakes provides the hotel with vegetables and frozen products, and they do so whilst also reducing their food


miles by responsible and local sourcing.


David Crest provides the dairy food goods and as a company track their carbon emissions which have recently been reduced by 20%. Their water use has also been

“As a hotel uses so much energy, energy wastage is a concern, and also responsibility in regards F & B items bought to be used in the hotel. I am a big believer in using fresh produce, but making an effort in regards that. We support fair-trade where we can.” In fact, the Yumi coffee shop serve fair-trade tea and coffee, in addition to sandwiches and homemade pastries as well as a hearty English breakfast every morning. As BGreen’s preferred hotel choice in London, it was important to us to find a hotelier concerned with the environment. “I do think there are many travellers who are environmentally aware and therefore I feel it is very important to have a green policy and show that you are trying to do things to make things better,” says Steve.

umi strives to bridge the gulf between Britain’s budget and luxury hotels and takes it names from the Japanese word ‘umi’ meaning ‘sea’. “The ‘umi’ interlinking logotype expresses the fusion of cultures, ideas and people. The name ‘umi’ has a huge Asian influence. The name itself acts as our synapse – joining staff, guests and nationalities, breaking down boundaries and allowing for a continual flow of communication with everyone who comes into contact with the umi Brand.”

reduced by 10% since 2002.

Barbican Supplies provides the meat, and tries to source local suppliers to reduce food miles.

Simson’s Fisheries provides the quality fresh, frozen and live fish and shellfish. While the fish is sourced worldwide, they are conscious of their carbon footprint and aim to reduce it wherever possible.

Turnells of London is one of the oldest independent fresh fruit and vegetable distributors and use suppliers based in

With a secondary green hotel in sunny Brighton and plans to make the Petrovka Loft Hotel in Moscow underway, the umi brand will continue to maintain service levels and a dedication to being green.

London, so distribution is with low carbon emissions.

Le Pain Noveau offers an extensive range of freshly baked products and commit to having low food miles.

‘The industries leading waterless urinal’

Mr. Vidyuth Kini Mobile: +971 50450 8356 OFFICE Mobile: +971 50 450 8356 Tel: +971 4 8816750 Fax: +971 4 8816250

November 2011

Other Sustainable Stays in London Zetter Hotel This boutique hotel in Clerkenwell us a converted five story 19th century warehouse with original features and unusual styles and designs in different rooms. They have their own Green Team that meets once a month to ensure that their sustainability measures are effective.

Some of these include: •

Using their own borehole beneath the building for spring water that flushes bedroom loos and cools the fridges.

Occupancy detection system which senses when rooms are empty and uses the minimum energy.

Timber from the hotel is all from sustainable sources and all the paints are environmentally friendly.

Their bath and shower products contain no parabens, phthalates, petrol-derived ingredients, mineral oil, urea, DEA, TEA or propylene glycol.

The Zetter is also a founder member of the Sustainable Restaurant Association which supports restaurants in their quest to purchase from sustainable and local suppliers as well as advising on waste


reduction, energy efficiency and fair trade suppliers.

Visit for more information.

The Rafayel Hotel This Battersea-based hotel has an impressive water view of the Left Bank the structure is constructed from steel, glass and timber by architect James Burland.

Their commitments to planet care include: •

Philips LED lighting systems which are 80% more efficient than

traditional halogen bulbs.


“If people really understood what a little change could make it regards the bigger picture then maybe they would do something more proactive. There are places in the UK like the Strattons Boutique Hotel, where they make every effort possible to reduce their impact and for a relatively small business, it shows that everyone should be putting in more effort in regards their environmental footprint.”

umi London has 117 rooms and is situated in the heart of Notting Hill, close to Hyde Park and the Heathrow Express rail from Paddington. The conference rooms, 1356 grill restaurant and bar are all available for private hire. Facilities at both hotels include public computers, 24 hour reception, wifi, restaurant and bar. Please visit www.

An air-conditioning system that allows excess heat to heat one part of the building while another is being cooled.

Rainwater in the garden is used for plant irrigation, while bamboo is planted because it produces 35% more oxygen than other trees.

‘Hypos’ beds in every room are made from 100% recycled materials to increase sustainability.

For more information please visit

November 2011




The ‘Eye of the Tiger’ takes Indonesia by storm...


The Greenpeace ‘Tigers’ in Indonesia have been working hard on their tour to expose greenwashing by companies in the Indonesian rainforests. Apparently despite APP (Asia Pulp and Paper) inviting a select panel of journalists to review their responsible initiatives to the local environment, their plans were scuppered by the tigers. For APP and their slick PR agency Wolfe and Cohn were surprised when 5 activists, dressed as tigers, not only checked into the same hotel with their guests, but also slipped them all a document detailing the information that APP wouldn’t be divulging. This included proof of illegal pulpwood plantations on protected areas. © Ulet Ifansasti

A mother bear and her cub are watched by observation teams in the Arctic. Polar bears are naturally curious and fearless, and will often approach ships that are breaking through ice. They have also been known to approach camps where people are staying. © Nick Cobbing/Greenpeace

The Rainbow Warrior III with sails undergoes sea trials around Helgoland, North Sea. The Rainbow Warrior is Greenpeace’s first purpose-built vessel and will be officially launched in Autumn 2011. © Oliver Tjaden/Greenpeace

The crew of the Greenpeace icebreaker Arctic Sunrise helped artist John Quigley recreate da Vinci’s sketch The Vitruvian Man, from copper on the Arctic sea ice. © Nick Cobbing/Greenpeace


Sir David Attenborough CBE Broadcaster & Environmentalist

24th November 2011 The Natural History Museum - London - UK

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

Great ideas, organizations and people deserve recognition. 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. Winners across our 20 categories will be showcased on our glittering green gala on the 24th November 2011 at the iconic Natural History Museum, London. The INTERNATIONAL GREEN AWARDS™ ceremony is the perfect opportunity to connect with an international community of global leaders, change-agents and entrepreneurs in the areas of business, the environment and sustainability. From world-class winners across our 20 categories to our second Lifetime Achievement Award honouree, to our announcement of our inaugural Best Green Celebrity Awardee – there is nothing to miss ! Ticket bookings are now open for this year’s green gala, so don’t miss your chance to be part of an influential and international gathering !

For more information on this year’s ceremony and to book tickets: please visit

or e-mail



NGO Partner




Exclusive Print Partner in the ME


November 2011

Shopping Green

Dubai Marina Mall introduces new eco-friendly measures and hosts the Future Green exhibition to prove that green shopping is the only way to shop in the UAE.



Green caught up with Nasser Rafi, Emaar Malls Group CEO, about the recent introduction of green initiatives at Dubai Marina Mall outlet. Emaar are concerned with environmental conservation and sustainable development and they encourage these practices

in their overall development approach. The unique location of the mall, near the Arabian Sea, seems appropriate for the customers and visitors who enjoy the natural habitat to also appreciate the green initiatives. “Emaar Malls Group has been taking

November 2011

Building further on these initiatives is the Future Green 2011 exhibition to be held at the mall in partnership with Goumbook on November 1” More specifically, the Marina Mall has achieved a 25% reduction in electricity usage and 30% water conservation compared with figures from 2010. The mall also uses 100% environmentally friendly cleaning products (inclusive of biodegradable packaging) and recycle bins for glass, clothing, plastic and paper have been installed. Meanwhile they only use greywater for irrigation and landscaping purposes.

“Building further on these initiatives is the Future Green 2011 exhibition to be held at the mall in partnership with Goumbook on November 1, 2011,” says Nasser. “So, while we have undertaken a wide range

The exhibition itself features a range of workshops on recycling, water scarcity and energy efficiency. The focus is for retailers to learn more about profitability both as an environmentally responsible measure but also in terms of its profitability. “We believe that it served as a perfect complement to the green initiatives we have undertaken already, and will further encourage our visitors and all stakeholders interested in promoting environmental sustainability to partner in the ‘green vision’ of Dubai,” says Nasser. Partners for the mall’s green initiatives include Johnson Diversey, Orpro, Glasfilm and Toshiba. Open for free to the public, Future Green is expected to host exhibitors representing various sectors such as Green Awareness and Education, Beauty and Health, Clothing and Accessories, Organic Food and Green Living, Energy and Water Efficiency, Recycling and more. Participants will sell their products, services and solutions, thus encouraging visitors to become active partners in the green movement. The event will also introduce a new green DMM shopping bad which visitors can purchase for AED 20, and a portion of the sales from this will go to a Marina Conservation Charity.


concerted initiatives to promote energy and water use efficiency, and to strengthen awareness on the environment. We believe that protecting the environment is part of our responsibility towards our communities and future generations,” says Nasser, who adds the initiatives also support the Dubai Government’s ‘green vision’ aiming to implement eco-friendly approaches.

Nasser says: “Setting new trends in green mall management, Dubai Marina Mall has set up a roof garden to reduce heat transmission and improve absorption; and the windows have been tinted to reduce heat transmission, in turn lowering cooling costs.” The mall is also easily accessed on foot and has a metro station nearby, while bike paths are currently been made for cyclists. Electric taxis also feature along the promenade to transport shoppers along the Marina canal. “We have ambitious ‘green’ plans for the mall. Currently 70% of the mall’s common areas depend on natural daylight when possible; and by 2012, all fluorescent lighting in the common areas will be phased out, replaced with efficient LED lighting. We will continue to introduce new initiatives in the coming months to promote environmental awareness and enhance energy and water use efficiency,” Nasser says.

of initiatives on an operational level, this is the first event dedicated to promote environmental awareness hosted by the mall.” Environmental issues are important to the Emaar group and those of their customers, thus supporting the exhibition was a natural fit and was in synergy with the company’s green vision.



November 2011

The International Green Awards 2011

Hosted this year at London’s Museum of Natural History, the 2011 International Green Awards™ have categories for environmentally friendly business, lifetime achievement and greenest celebrity. BGreen Magazine will be there to represent the UAE and Middle East, but in the meantime here is the lowdown on what to expect...


What are the International Green Awards™? The International Green Awards™, now in its 6th year, is an initiative aimed at showcasing the surest examples creativity in business, citizen and government initiatives that lead to sustainable growth. Having received critical success worldwide, an international category was introduced in 2009, the response to which was so overwhelming that organisers have opened every category for global participation in 2011.

Thus, our very own Middle Eastern region will be represented for the very first time in 2011. The 2011 event has seen entries from every corner of the world, including Greece, Romania, Australia, Singapore, India, Canada and USA and many more. This year, the aim is to acknowledge and reward sustainable achievement across Business, Government & Citizen initiatives that influence positive change.

November 2011

Who are the judges? The International Green Awards™ select their judges from a talent pool of respected professionals within the fields of communications, business and sustainability. Every year, judges representing different nationalities, cultures and sectors are sought to ensure a fresh yet informed perspective on entrants. They represent government, business and third sector initiatives aimed at promoting sustainability in the global arena. KENYA Nick Nuttall – Acting Communications Director and Spokesperson; UNEP, (Chair of the 2011 Judging Panel) CANADA Ahmed Djoghlaf – Executive Secretary; UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)

UAE Richard Reynolds – Manager, Supply Chain; Masdar City SINGAPORE Daryl Arnold – CEO, Newton Circus AUSTRALIA Dr. Malcolm McIntosh FRSA – Professor of Sustainable Enterprise; Griffith University, Queensland USA Lance Hosey – President & CEO; GreenBlue Arianna Huffington – President & Editorin-Chief; AOL Huffington Post Media Group David de Rothschild, Environmentalist & Explorer & ‘Plastiki’ Expedition Leader Bonnie Nixon – Executive Director, Sustainability Consortium BRAZIL Marina Silva – Environmentalist & Politician; Green Party

INDIA Malini Mehra – Founder and CEO, Centre for Social Markets SWITZERLAND Peter Paul van de Wijs - Managing Director, Communications & Business Role Focus Area, World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) Adam Koniuszewski – Chief Operating Officer; Green Cross International Julia Marton-Lefevre – Director General; IUCN UNITED KINGDOM Richard Guy – Senior Strategy & Operations Manager, Innovation, Carbon Trust David Mason – Communications Director, Forum for the Future Aniol Esteban – Head of Environmental Economics; New Economics Foundation (nef) Baroness Barbara Young – Chancellor; Cranfield University Brendan May – UK Chairman; Rainforest Alliance Cheryl Campbell – Executive Director; tve Sir Crispin Tickell – Director, Policy Foresight Programme; Oxford University Gabrielle Lovering – Head of Design; BBC Worldwide Jane Davidson – Minister of Environment & Sustainability; Wales Jilly Forster – CEO; Forster Leonora Oppenheim – Designer and Writer/Journalist; Treehugger Mark Lynas – Environmental Author & Commentator Michael Gidney – Deputy Executive Director; Fairtrade Foundation Peter Head – Director; ARUP Rick Stathers – Head of Responsible Investment; Schroders Rosie Boycott – Chair of London Food; Mayor of London/GLA Steven Gray – Vice President Carbon Finance; Climate Change Capital Tim Smit – Chief Executive & Co-Founder; Eden Project

That’s why I’m excited to see the Green Awards celebrating creative responses to the challenges of sustainability. Championing exciting innovative projects and campaigns will inspire many more creative minds to dedicate their skills to positive change.”

Leonora Oppenheim, Designer and writer

“Innovation is the key to an improved quality of life and it’s only right that the pioneers who are driving this agenda forward are recognised. My vision of putting the “village” back into the city is all about creating a cleaner, greener and more civilised capital and it is wholly fitting that these fantastic International Green Awards are celebrating new initiatives that will help make this happen.”

Boris Johnson, Mayor of London

DENMARK Professor Jacqueline McGlade – Executive Director; European Environment Agency

CHINA Liu Jianqiang – Journalist and Environmentalist

“Tackling the enormity of our environmental impact is surely the greatest creative opportunity of our times. It requires brilliant minds not only to redesign services, products and systems, but also communications. When green business and lifestyles are made personal, relevant and dynamic that is when people really get engaged.


GERMANY Prof. Dr. Claudia Kemfert – Head of the Department of Energy, Transportation, Environment; German Institute of Economic Research (DIW Berlin)

NEW ZEALAND Vicki Buck – Former Mayor of Christchurch


s November 2011

Sustainability needs to be at the heart of how we do business, we cannot continue to use more resources than our one planet can support”


Categories/ Shortlists 2011


Best Green International Business Award (Large) The Co-operative Group (UK) DNV Sustainability (Norway) Iberdrola (Spain) Interface Flor (USA/Global) Puma SE (Germany) Unilever plc (UK)


Best Green International Business Award (Medium) Barbican Centre (UK) Kebony ASA (UK) Lal Pir Thermal Power Station (Pakistan) Wellman International (Ireland) The Yalumba Wine Company (Australia) Best Green Government Award The Carbon Trust - “Carbon Trust & Sysdoc Green Project” (UK) CityWest Homes –“Solar PV Project” (UK) Dublin Fire Brigade – “Kilbarrack Fire Station” (Ireland) Peterborough City Council – “Peterborough City Council” (UK) Public Commission for the Protection of Marine Resources, Environment and Wildlife (Bahrain) Best Green Entrepreneur Award (or Start-up) Double Helix Tracking Technologies (Singapore) Dale Vince (UK) Kampala Jellitone Suppliers/Fuel from Wastes Research Centre (Uganda) KiWi Power (UK) Reel Gardening (South Africa)

Best Sustainable Investment AGT – “VCS-approved Carbon Credits” (Dubai) The Environmental Investment Partnership LLP “Environmental Alpha Fund” (UK) F&C – “F&C” (UK) Global Environmental and Social Business – “Revolving Retrofit Guarantee Fund” (UK) Sindicatum Sustainable Resources – “Sindicatum Sustainable Resources” (Singapore) Best Green Energy Efficiency Initiative Award BBC/Arup - “BBC low energy lighting programme” (UK) Hewlett-Packard –“HP Wynyard Data Centre” (Germany) Marks & Spencer – “Plan A” (UK) On365 –“Telstra Energy Efficiency” (UK) OPower -“Leading the Way Towards Taking Cities off the Grid” (USA) Best Green Technology Award Acclimatise – “Aware for Investments” (UK) Flexenclosure - “E-site Modular” (Sweden) Infinergy EU - “Infinergy EU” (UK) Pavegen Systems Ltd. – “Pavegen” (UK) NYLTE/ Johnson King – “NYLTE Software 6.0” (UK) Best Green 4R’s Award (Reduction, Reuse, Recycling, Recovery) Actavis Bulgaria - “Solvent Reduction in Pharmaceutical Manufacturing” (Bulgaria) Ecologic Brands – “Ecologic Brands” (USA) Insource Energy – “Insource Energy” (UK) LSE – “LSE Rethink” (UK) Reliance Industries Limited – “PTA Plant, Hazira Manufacturing Division” (India)

Best Green Intelligent Buildings Award Balfour Beatty Construction – “Net Zero School: a lesson in sustainability”(USA) Beijing Chyau Fwu Properties Co Ltd – “Parkview Green FangCaoDi” (Hong Kong) BSkyB/ARUP – BskyB Studios (UK) Deutsche Bank - “Deutsche Bank Towers” (Germany) PWC – “7 More London” (UK) Best Green Product Innovation Herman Miller – “SAYL Chair” (USA) Jablite – “Jablite Insulation” (UK) Nissan International SA – “Nissan Leaf” (International) Puma SE – “Clever Little Bag”

The need for a fearless approach to the environmental issues facing our world - and the world our children will inherit – is now greater than ever. This is the International Green Awards’ ™ great service: leading the way by celebrating the talents, passions, and wisdom of the innovators and organizations that are working toward solutions.” Arianna Huffington, CEO Huffinton Post

(USA) Samsung Electronics – “Ecobubble Washing Machine” (UK) Solvatten AB – “Solvatten” (Sweden) Best Green Service Innovation Award Clipper Logistics Group Ltd – “Freight Consolidation Centres” (UK)

Ecospecifier Pty. Ltd – “GreenTag Certification” (Australia) Onzo Ltd. – “Domestic Appliance Detection” (UK) Ricoh Europe - “Sustainability Optimisation programme” (Netherlands) Southfacing Services Ltd. – “Tracker Plus” (UK) Best Green Educational and Sustainability Awareness Award Convention on Biological Diversity – “The Green Wave for Biodiversity” (Canada) Ezinkulu Productions –“The Green Line TV Show” (S. Africa) Groundwork Pennine Lancashire –“Offshoots Permaculture Project” (UK) Neal’s Yard – “Neal’s Yard” (UK) South West College –“SWC Sustainability” (N. Ireland) Best Green Employee Engagement Award

November 2011

The International Green Awards™ exist to recognise and reward companies who demonstrate best practise sustainability. At a time where we need best practice in every field to become the norm, this couldn’t be more important”

RAPP – “Meet Us Don’t Eat Us Campaign” (Iceland) Best Green Audio-Visual Award Do The Green Thing – “Climate Kid” (UK) IUCN – “Love, not Loss” (Switzerland) Joel Tauber Productions – “SickAmour” (USA) O Domhnaill - “Pipe The Film” (Ireland) Peterborough City Council “Gillian’s Footprint Counts” (UK) UNEP – “International Year of Forests” (Kenya)

Baroness Barbara Young

Earthwatch – “Engaging HSBC Employees in Sustainability” (UK) Marks & Spencer – “Plan An Employee Engagement” (UK) Deutsche Bank – “Earth Week” (Germany) Carillion PLC – “Carillion Sustainability Week” (UK) National Union of Students – “Green Impact Universities and Colleges” (UK)

Best Green Conservation and Biodiversity Award Blue Marine Foundation – “Blue Marine Foundation” (UK) Conservation Volunteers Australia – “Wild Futures Program” (Australia) Coral Cay Conservation – “Coral Cay Conservation” (UK) De Beers Group – “The Diamond Route” (UK) Iberdrola – “Iberdrola Biodiversity Strategy” (Spain) Seram Canopy Safaris (Indonesia) Best Green Water Stewardship Award Coca Cola South Pacific Pty

Limited – “Project Catalyst” (Australia) Environment Support Group – “Wise Use, Conservation and Protection of Lakes” (India) Wessex Water – “Wessex Water Catchment Management” (UK) Best Green Advertising & PR Award British Gas – “British Gas Green Streets” (UK) The Danish Transport Authority – “Drive Green” (Denmark) Greater London Authority – “Capital Bee - Saving London’s Bees” (UK) P&G – “Future Friendly 4 2010” (UK) Republic of Everyone – “The Garage Sale Trail” (Australia)

INTERNATIONAL GREEN AWARDS Lifetime Achievement Award (Results will be revealed at the event.) INTERNATIONAL GREEN AWARDS Grand Prix Winner (Results will be revealed at the event.)

Best Green Not for Profit Organisation BTCV (UK) Global Action Plan (UK) The Nottingham Energy Partnership (UK) Sandbag Climate Campaign (UK)

Tap Water Ltd. (UK)

Best Green Collaborative Initiative Award Brakes Group – “Brakes Group and the FairShare partnership” (UK) Coca Cola South Pacific Pty Ltd. – “Project Catalyst” (Australia) EcoArki SRC - “AGRORURAL The 230 Million Tree Campaign” (Peru) The Forest Trust – “Nestle TFT Partnership” (UK) TTXGP Limited – “TTXGP World Championship” (UK) University of La Punta – “Balance Zero” (Spain)


There is only one planet. We must honour those who sustain its resources and create opportunities and businesses. That’s what the International Green Awards™ can achieve.”

Best Green Cross Platform Digital Media Solution Award Everything Everywhere – “Do Some Good” (UK) Farming First – “The Story of Agriculture & the Green Economy” (UK) – “Times Square Takeover” (USA) Lucid Design Group Inc – “Building Dashboard” (USA) UNEP – “World Environment Day Challenge” (Kenya)


November 2011

In a world of imploding certainties and deepest doom and gloom, we need more than ever to be celebrating the work of those who are already building that better, more sustainable world”


Nominees for 2011 Best Green Celebrity This is a new category to commemorate or reward those famous people we know and love for their contribution in the green arena. Yann Arthus-Bertrand – French photographer Cameron Diaz – American actress Leonardo Di Caprio – American actor Li Bing Bing – Chinese actress Helena Christensen – Danish supermodel and Oxfam Ambassador Gisele Bundchen – Brazilian supermodel Angélique Kidjo – African singing icon Don Cheadle – American actor Gael Garcia Bernal – Mexican actor Iruka – Japanese musician Miguel Bosé – Spanish musician Rahul - Indian actor and rugby player Sir Paul McCartney – former Beatle and singing legend Abdul Aziz bin Ali Al Nuaimi – otherwise known as the ‘Green Sheikh’ of Ajman, UAE Sting – British singer and musician, formerly from band The Police

He currently serves as environmental advisor to the Ajman Government, and the CEO of Al Ihsan Charity Centre, he is also Chairman of the International Steering Committee for the Global Initiative Towards a Sustainable Iraq (GITSI), UAE. He is educated in Chemical & Petroleum Engineering, Cleaner Production & EcoSystems and Science in Environmental Management. He has won awards and achieved recognition on an international level for his contribution towards sustainability, the environment and humanity. His nomination for this award highlights the progress that the Middle East, in particular the UAE, is making towards a greener and more sustainable future.

Entertainment at the International Green Awards The Green Poet Martin Kiszko is a composer and

other environment-themed entertainment and music throughout the night, as well as the awards and speeches.

Shortlist for 2011 Best Green Celebrity Gisele Bundchen Paul McCartney Miguel Bosé


the Green Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Ali Al Nuaimi is a member of the ruling family of the Emirate of Ajman in the United Arab Emirates and infamously known as the “Green Sheikh.”

screen writer. He has composed over 200 scores for film and television and released eight albums with major European orchestras. As the UK’s Green Poet, Martin’s extremely theatrical and physical performances have

been featured on BBC programs, while recent appearances include the Eden Project and the 10:10 Environmental Awards Ceremony. There will also be a host of

BGreen are the official media partners for the International Green Awards (2001). We will be attending the event at the London Natural History Museum on November 24th and you can find copies of our latest issue in the venue. For more information please visit www.greenawards. com

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

RHIANNON DOWNIE Group sales manager Email: Tel: +971 4 440 9156


November 2011

A Meeting of Minds:

BGreen meets the author of the ‘Green Deen’

The Brooklyn-based Muslim, media personality and policy advisor to Mayor Bloomberg’s office in New York, Ibrahim Adbul-Matin, spoke at Bee’ah’s Forum for Environmental Change as part of the Green Middle East Exhibition in Sharjah. Having been taught by his father that “the earth is a mosque, and everything in it is sacred,” the author believes firmly in demonstrating that the Islamic faith supports protecting the earth. His latest book, titled the ‘Green Deen’, is about this theme and the changing the current perception of Muslims. “I use ‘Green Deen’ to (also) mean finding inspiration in one’s faith to become more conscious about humanity’s effects on the planet. Islam is a ‘Green Deen’ in many ways. First and foremost, Islam recognises that while God is all-powerful, humans can and do impact the Earth.” BGreen interviewed Ibrahim after his speech at the exhibition.


What is the message behind your latest book, ‘Green Deen’? If someone asks you about terrorism just start talking about the weather. Just change the conversation. That’s really what the essence of the ‘Green Deen’ is all about. In places where Muslims are the minority and even in Muslim countries, I ask the question: what have you done for us? How can you get on board with our plans, ideas and issues? How could we be the best people? How can we give back in general and be part of the human project? ABOVE: Ibrahim Adbul-Matin

And that project is to protect the planet and that has to be because we are actually part of the problem. What was your inspiration for writing this book? Inspiration came from being around so much of environmental movement that was hyper-secular and noticing that human beings are organised through their faith or orientation. If you want to find how people are motivated - go to a church or mosque. People are organised in a specific way and they come to these places to pray or worship.

November 2011

How do you hope to change the perception of Muslim people? I think that being green is both a trend and a concern. There’s validity from a marketing perspective but there is a lot of natural movement towards making things more sustainable because they have to be. It’s almost as though we’re shifting from paradigms; from this post-modernist paradigm where everything was disposable and a throwaway society to where we want things to be more sustainable or a ‘sustainist’ paradigm where people are thinking more about making the best use of what they have. How can I share what I have, how can I think cooperatively? It’s thinking of how we can do a system better than we have done before.

Have you encountered anything specifically in the Koran that supports your views about conservation and sustaining the planet? There’s a section where it says: “Corruption has appeared in the land and in the sea because of what the hands of people have brought”, and commentators and scholars say this word ‘corruption’ can also mean pollution. People around the world have related this to the issue of climate change. This is evidence that humans have a negative impact on the earth. This conflicts with other religious groups that say this is just God’s

Which negative environmental impacts are you most concerned about? The lack of clean water! For any business, their first investor is going to need to go to the local government. They’re going to need roads, water and energy. There is a lack of understanding of the roles of different sectors of the economy – not just the roles - but the responsibilities of each sector in this conversation around protecting the planet. I literally pick decisions based on where to live based on what the quality and cleanliness of the water is like. It’s such a major part of religion, prayer and worship – Judaism, Islamic and Christian - and it is critical to all of our faiths. Most countries are pulling back the water regulations to the interests of industry because there is contraction of production so they loosen regulations so that the government and businesses become more active. I think it’s the exact opposite; create regulation so businesses can adjust to the new regulation and create business based on this. It is totally wrong to think that having dirty water can make businesses more money, but actually this situation causes more ill effects to health which is then a strain on the medical service. The whole logic of it is completely wrong. I also have an issue with mountaintop removal. In China they do it egregiously. In the old days people were coal mining with a canary

Do you think the Islamic religion supports the views of an environmentalist? Yes, without a doubt. The only place where there might be confusion is around science and the premise of science be within an environmental is around science and data. The beauty of a psalm is a question, from a Judaist or Christian perspective there’s always a dichotomy between religion and science.

But with Muslims there’s no dichotomy because as Muslims, with regards to science and the rest of the world, it’s a form of worship because you’re learning about what God created, so the real question is: what is your intention? As a Muslim, you always have to examine your intentions when you’re approaching everything. You could be the greenest person in the world but approach things differently and your intentions are bad. But if you ask yourself ‘how could I take a small step towards being green?’ – then the intention is there.

will and we have to accept it. No; we have a responsibility. We created this mess and we have to find our way out of it - and there’s evidence of this in Koran.


Corruption has appeared in the land and in the sea because of what the hands of people have brought”


November 2011


and there was a culture around it and it was very respectable. Now what we do is blow up an entire mountain to get one strip of coal. What happens is all of that mountain slides down into streams and lakes and rivers and it destroys the entire ecosystem. There’s also offshore turbine potential but it is opposed because it’s ugly. You’re going to have to accept that there’s some negative externalities. You want natural gas but you don’t want to use hydrofracking to get, but where are you going to get the natural gas from? If you come to the UAE you have to travel all over the way over here in a huge tanker to get it so your carbon emissions are higher. You really have to look at it from a cost benefit analysis and figure out what level

of risk you’re willing to deal with. For lack of a better word, look at it both spiritually and economically. What personal activities do you undertake to protect the earth? We have compost. We freeze it and then we take it to a drop off centre. Wherever we go we get our CSA (Community Shared Agriculture) and we have a share in a farm. You buy into shares with a farmer and whatever is fresh that week we get from the farm and drop off our compost in exchange. That’s our every day. I take the train, I take my bike, I walk. I always go hiking and snow-shoeing – we’re real outdoors people.

Green Words of Wisdom

Do you think that protecting the earth though is a typical concern amongst the Muslim community? I think it’s more of a concern than people think it is, and it’s becoming more, without a doubt. What do you hope to achieve with your speech at the Green Middle East exhibition? I wanted to show that there are a lot of parallels between what’s happening here and what’s happening in the West. And that there are places of real sincere cooperation and although the solutions may not be cookiecutter, I think there’s a lot of ways we can grow by exchanging views consistently.

“The planet is my home and yours too. Together, we can protect, maintain, and respect it. How we treat the planet is a reflection of how we treat ourselves. And that's why I'm a pedestrian. There's nothing better than walking on the Earth as God intended."

“If everyone has a chance they should pray outside, just pray on a beach, at least one prayer a day for 40 days outside – it will transform your perception of the natural world.”

“First and foremost, Islam recognises that while God is all-powerful, humans can and do impact the Earth.”


November 2011


How Can we Build Sustainable Cities in the Desert?


This is the question the Siemans Students Awards 2011 has asked for its competition. BGreen speaks with Masdar director and judge for the awards, Alan Frost.


he Siemans Students Awards was launched in May of this year with the question about sustainable cities in the desert. The competition was opened to students from over 400 universities in Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt with over 630 submissions. Alan Frost is the Director of Masdar City and one of several judges for the applicants. He is responsible for the development of the low-carbon city that encourages renewable energy and clean technology. It is one of the most complex, integrated supply-anddemand networks in the world, and is considered a dynamic hub for growth, innovation and creativity in the green and renewable energy arena. BGreen speaks with Alan about his thoughts on sustainability, his top tips, and his thoughts on the Siemans candidates. Why did you agree to participate in the Student Awards? I am pleased to be involved with the Siemens Students Awards 2011. As a strong believer in knowledge transfer, this award provides an ideal opportunity to bring Masdar’s sustainability values to a broader audience.

The Awards asked students from over 400 universities their views on sustainable cities in the desert

November 2011

The challenge – to build a sustainable city in the desert – mirrors what we are doing here at Masdar City and as such I’m looking forward to learning what today’s youth think of this issue and hearing their solutions to current global challenges such as this. BELOW: Alan Frost

Do you have any comments on the ideas/submissions you have seen on the Siemens Student Award portal? The calibre of entries to date has been both impressive and inspiring and gives me great confidence in the achievements that our talented youth may create in the future to make our world a more sustainable place. What innovation or creativity are you looking for? We hope to be inspired by new ideas and creative thinking which may provide possible solutions to help further sustainability in the future. We are excited for students to “think outside the box” to develop applications and submissions which can be implemented to make a real difference.

What do you hope to see from entrants of the competition? The awards represent a fantastic opportunity to hear what the next generation’s enquiring young minds think about the future of sustainability and learn more about their attitudes to climate change and possible solutions.

Are there any initiatives in the green or sustainable field that you particularly support? I believe that demand side management can be a key contributor to long term sustainable development. Encouraging individuals and companies to reduce their energy consumption is the first step towards achieving long term energy saving goals and represents a cheaper alternative than looking at additional energy production.

The inaugural ceremony for the Siemans Student Awards 2011 is in the presence of Her Excellency Sheikha Hanadi Bint Nasser Al Thani, on Tuesday 1st November at the Four Seasons Hotel, Doha, Qatar. For more information please visit

I believe sustainability should play an integral role in both our personal and professional lives ”


What is your view on sustainability in general and sustainability in the region? As the Director of Masdar City, I believe sustainability should play an integral role in both our personal and professional lives. Here at Masdar City, we are providing know how in sustainable best practices, promoting techniques for maximum waste and carbon reduction. Masdar City provides a test bed for wide scale sustainable urban planning and development through collaboration and partnerships and we hope this will inspire others to do the same.

How do you think the Middle East can become a sustainable area? Give us your top 5 tips for sustainability. - Reduce, reuse, recycle. - Take active steps to reduce your water consumption by installing low flow water saving devices. - Walk, carpool or use public transport wherever possible to help establish a more sustainable transport system. - Help to change the status quo by educating children on the importance of renewable energy and changing habits at home so that sustainability becomes ingrained from an early age. - Use energy efficient light bulbs at home and at work.


August 2011

Investment update ...Investment banking at a low...Burma dam on hold again...Farmland becomes best for investment...Kuwait Air selling stake...


Investment Banking Fees at 2-year Low Investment banking fees from mergers and acquisitions and capital raising have hit a low in the third quarter, the likes of which haven’t been seen since the aftermath of the Lehman Brothers’ collapse. “If turbulent markets continue, corporate finance activity for the full year may fall from last year’s levels,” said Stephan Leithner, global co-head of investment banking at Deutsche Bank. The third quarter will be the slowest for investment banking fees since Jan-March in 2009 (Thomson Reuters and Freeman Consulting). These fees are around 15% of overall investment banking revenues, and fell 43% from the second quarter. Full-year fees were up 5% to $57.6bn this year.

$3.6 billion Burma Dam Plan on Hold Head honchos in Beijing, China, have cracked down on Burma to protect the rights of Chinese companies involved in constructing the $3.6bn Myitsone dam in the Kachin region, which has recently been put on hold. Many major enterprises are financially involved in the contract, including China Power Investment Corporate, which is one of the country’s largest power produces, and Asia World Company, which is a Burmese group. This adds to the controversy of China’s state-owned groups’ involvement in infrastructure and power projects which are often in high-risk developing countries. Around $8,000bn in investments are expected to be committed between 2011 and 2020 (reference: Asian Development Bank and McKinsey). China has allocated around $15bn for projects in Burma and other member countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN).

Good News for Farmers


It’s not all doom and gloom in the UK property market, as reports show that English farmland has become one of the country’s best performing assests, even outranking London’s poshest residential areas. Farming areas have increased in value in 204% in the last 10 years, according to property agent Frank Knight, and competition between farmers increases as highquality land becomes less available. However, due to the agricultural quality of the land this is still a tough area for international investors to engage with. “So many funds from around the world have tried to get into the market for UK farmland, but it is so hard for them to get the scale they need as a lot of this stuff doesn’t trade, but is handed down generation to generation,” said Liam Bailey, Knight Frank’s head of residential research.

Kuwait Airways to Sell $280m Stake The Gulf state’s struggling national airline has put up a $280m stake for international carriers and investors, which is the initial stage of a first airline privatisation. The wealthy oil nation will hold talks with potential investors for a management contract and 35% of the privatised entity’s KD220m ($802m) share capital. The country’s sovereign wealth fund, the Kuwait Investment Authority, will subscribe to a fifth of the share capital with the balance to be offered to employees and investors as an initial public offering. Rivals in the region include Qatar Airways, Etihad and Emirates and are believed to be among the potential suitors. These competitors and their better run, more luxurious airline services could also be the reason why Kuwait Airlines has lost money over the last two decades and has lost its position in the market. Despite being the Gulf’s oldest national carrier, net losses of $556m on revenues of $771m last year were recorded, although this was also largely due to a large number of the company’s well-paid Kuwaiti executives.

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November 2011

Is the ideal tool to help your business build strong and result-oriented CSR strategies that lead to financial gains and growth. This month we bring you Climate Protection: Responding to the challenge of global warming.


There is little doubt that climate change is the most serious environmental threat faced by our planet. Increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases (GHG) in the atmosphere are raising global temperatures and affecting climate and weather patterns. If the world is to avert the worst consequences of global warming, massive reductions in emissions to the extent of 85% if not more needs to be achieved by 2050 against a 2000 baseline. From a business perspective, companies will be vulnerable to weather-related impacts such as droughts or floods or storms or even loss of biodiversity. Policy measures directed at limiting GHG emissions is already forcing them to re-think activities, business models and strategies. Investors are also scrutinising how companies handle the risks and opportunities of climate change while making investment decisions. At the other end, companies have the potential (or the responsibility) to contribute towards reducing GHG emissions. We tell you how to make a start.v

TIPS & IDEAS • Develop a plan. Think long-term. Set goals. Get everyone in the company involved. • Aim for the low hanging fruits, mainly energy efficiency, water conservation and waste recycling in your corporate facilities and processes. In office buildings, for example, basic measures like switching to energy-efficient lighting, switching off air-conditioning during nonworking hours, turning off unused office equipment at source can address 84% of energy usage. Use stickers or signs to induce behavioural transformation. • Business travel contributes to a company’s total GHG emissions. Much travel can be reduced with the use of technologies such as videoconferencing. Transportation of goods and documents is another area where you can set emission reductions goals. • Building up employee awareness is crucial to the success of any climate

protection programme. Explain why change is necessary, and show them how to change. Inform and educate employees on the benefits of energy efficiency, the 3Rs (reduce, reuse and recycle), water conservation and green transportation achievable inside their office or factory or homes. If needed, hold events where climate protection experts can come in and speak. Encourage employees at all levels to rethink products and processes to eliminate waste; institute rewards and incentives for targets or goals achieved. Keep the entire organisation up-todate on climate protection goals and achievements through e-mails, the Intranet, dedicated notice boards or newsletters. Develop climate-friendly value chains. Start by engaging your suppliers and customers on green issues. Adopt sustainable or ‘green’ procurement. For example, buy products

November 2011


An effective climate protection strategy can give your business a new competitive edge”

ENERGY STAR is a joint programme of the US Environmental Protection Agency and the US Department of Energy. The website has excellent tutorials on energy efficient products and practices.

Expert Comment BASF’s CSR expert explains how an effective climate protection campaign can benefit your business in terms of image, internal relations and potential financial returns. Harald Kroll, Managing Director, BASF FZE says, “An effective climate protection strategy can give your business a new competitive edge in terms of internal efficiencies and new revenue opportunities and more importantly, send the message to your customers that you are committed to sustainability and environment.” Resources Greenhouse Gas Protocol Initiative is an international GHG accounting and reporting standards to ensure consistent approach to GHG accounting

energyXchange identifies a wide range of awareness materials used in proven successful campaigns (staff and public) to save energy and cut emissions. awarenessmat.php Business Link is the UK government’s online resource for businesses with an exhaustive environment & efficiency resources section covering energy efficiency, water conservation and waste recycling, among numerous things.

World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) offers free tools to support the implementation of sustainable development into business strategy and operations. tools.aspx Climate protection is an integral part of BASF’s sustainability strategy. The link below tells you how. sustainability/environment/climate-protection/ index

that when used avoid at least twice as much CO2 emitted during their production and disposal. Ask suppliers for their GHG emission report or sustainability reports. Set specific GHG emission goals; come up with metrics to measure those goals, like for example, reduction per metric tonne of sales product. While crafting a climate protection strategy for your organisation, use the life cycle or ‘cradle-to-grave’ approach, which evaluates environmental aspects and impacts associated with products, processes, or services. Such an approach encourages organisations to rethink basic assumptions of how products are made or services provided, what energy to use, what opportunities exist for creating net energy-positive processes. Organise your own annual climate day event or use public events like Earth Day or Earth Hour to showcase what your

company is doing or has achieved in terms of climate protection. Celebrate the small, incremental steps as well as the big leaps forward. Ensure management oversight through a direct reporting mechanism. For example, the programme could be championed by Climate Protection Officer reporting directly to the board and co-ordinating all activities in this area.



November 2011

Bringing you the round-up of the latest green events in the Middle East. InterfaceFLOR Once Upon a Tile Event @ Trilogy Nightclub

As part of their marketing campaign of the same name, InterfaceFLOR held a cocktail soiree at Dubai’s trendy Trilogy club. With red-riding-hood style hostesses, aerial entertainment and delectable cocktails, the event also highlighted the capabilities of their carpet tiles and other products. The company uses a life cycle assessment to evaluate the environmental footprint of its products and attempt to eliminate the impacts. The processing of virgin, oil-rich yarn is responsible for around 50% of a carpet tile’s total environmental footprint. There were samples and information on their products on stands around the venue which were examined by guests of the event.


Green Middle East Exhibition


At the medium-sized exhibition in the emirate of Sharjah saw heavy duty waste removal vehicles feature next to recycling machines while pioneering international SMEs and government entities promoted their own initiatives and projects. Also in-situ was author of the Green Deen, Ibrahim Abdul-Matin, who was signing autographed copies of his book and kindly agreed to an interview with BGreen.

The 2011 GITEX exhibition saw an increase in IT and Technology companies promoting their green initiatives and energy saving solutions. Panasonic in particular had a spectacular stand, showcasing their ‘Eco Ideas’ strategy, amongst their latest innovative products.’


November 2011

The green spy The Greenwashing of our Generation

ow ridiculous. A large energy and petrochemicals company depicting power station chimneys with flowers coming out of them. Huge billboards decorating the streetscape of various cities worldwide with imagery of dainty, colourful blossoms playfully billowing out of dark, silhouetted smokestacks absurdly smaller than the flowers they spew. The copy reads: ‘Don’t Throw Anything Away. There Is No Away’, in curly, flower-power-esque font; 60s hippie-style typesetting reminiscent of carefree days when the earth was breathing easy. Hmm. Well this energy company received a rollicking with the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority, taking them to task for such baseless and absurd metaphorical claims of the company’s overtures in environmentalism let alone its green credentials. Labels, symbols and pictures after all can be more effective at suggesting greenness than mere words. It does beggar belief: Flowers. Out of smokestacks? But let’s rewind. The greenwashing of our generation began when our collective eyes were opened to this practice, and by the application of the term, coined back in 1986 by New York environmentalist Jay Westervelt. He was driven to action, incensed by the hotel industry’s practice of placing placards in each room promoting reuse of towels, in order to reduce water use, lower energy consumption and for us all to be jolted into doing our bit to “save the planet”. He noticed that quite to the contrary, these establishments were making little or no effort to reduce energy use. So is this term correctly applied in the energy company scenario depicted above? Definitely. The description greenwash applies when significantly more money or time is spent advertising and promoting being green (and by green we mean operating with consideration for the environment), rather than spending resources on actual sound practices. Untestable claims like products being “eco-“ or “environmentally friendly” have been applied to everything from restaurants that source local produce for their dishes, to bottled water. Shame about the gargantuan carbon footprint involved in trucking, shipping, and then carting said water from The Pyrenees to your local grocer in Dubai. But the truth remains that greening a corporate image is, today, paramount for industry at large. And understandably so. But don’t attempt to greenwash us all by mixing a couple of heavily marketed green goods into a range of many more thoroughly ungreen products. The welcome opposite to all of this is the creation of relevant, trustworthy and verifiable claims of a company’s involvement, and investment in, green energy. Double-page spreads and billboards are certainly effective ways of conveying messages to the populous; all the Green Spy asks is that these green declarations provide sensible balance, and allow the reader/viewer to get to grips with the relative truth. For example, there are agreed energy efficiency standards for white goods – dishwashers, dryers, microwaves and the like. Cars in the European Union have to undergo a standard test to demonstrate how many grams of carbon dioxide they emit for every kilometer driven. How wonderful for the consumer! Trust is developed in that critical nexus woven by government, industry, agency (whether advertising or PR), retailer and consumer. Australia is at the vanguard of greenwash regulation. The Trade Practices Act has been modified to include punishment of companies that provide misleading environmental claims. Heavy fines are levied on entities found guilty of consumer deception. Moreover, the guilty party must pay for all expenses incurred while setting the record straight about their product or company’s actual environmental impact. How’s that for engendering trust between all stakeholders. The significance of corporates the world over embracing the green movement cannot be denied. An unrelenting commitment to sustainability, either for economic efficiencies, shareholder investment or to reach out to a public whose goals and values are more and more aligning to ‘saving the planet” is indeed newsworthy. The Green Spy merely asks that the assertions companies choose to broadcast to the public be truthful and backed up by measured fact; the polar opposite of greenwashing.

Signing off,


Your Green Spy at Large.


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

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

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Diary dates


November 2011

GREEN BUSINESS networking event, by BGreen Magazine 15TH November 2011 BGreen is committed to educating businesses about green, sustainable and wellness initiatives. Our “Green Business” Networking Event is an informal session devised to initiate discussion for businesses to work together proactively in achieving these shared goals. We want to open channels of communication with our readership, clients, suppliers and service providers whilst encouraging networking between attendees.

GAIA Awards 21st November - Dubai

Now in its fourth year, the awards are held during The Big 5 Dubai and focus on construction companies that have exceptional integration of green processes and standards. Now also open to non-exhibitors from the Big 5 whose products are distributed throughout the Middle East. The Catchment Based Approach 23rd November – London Defra, The Environment Agency, Natural England and the Forestry Commission meet to discuss a number of catchment management pilots.

The Big 5 21st-24th November - Dubai

The largest building and construction in the Middle East attracts the world’s leading innovators in this sector to display and demonstrate their products in Dubai. The infamous GAIA Awards are held during the exhibition.


International Green Awards 24th November - London

Held at the Natural History Museum in London, the awards recognises true influencers, leaders, entrepreneurs and innovators, identifying worldwide sustainability success stories that inspire and motivate others.

Worldwide Environmental Dates for your Diary

Buy Nothing Day 26th November - London The UK based initiative encourages a 24 hour spending detox to highlight the environmental and ethical consequences of consumerism. Climate Change Convention 28th November – 9th December – SA The South African city of Durban hosts the 17th UN session on climate change.

The BGreen and THE Big Project Awards 6th December - Dubai

This is the first ceremony in the region to recognise the companies and individuals that have contributed to the construction and sustainability industries across the GCC. Winners will receive a commemorative trophy, plus print and online coverage in The Big Project and BGreen. For details on how to enter or to be a guest, please visit

SmarTech@WETEX 2012 13 – 15 March 2012 Introduced as a new segment within WETEX The Water, Energy, Technology & Environment Exhibition organized by DEWA in cooperation with The Supreme Council of Energy, SmarTech is the international exhibition in the Middle East to help showcase, promote and market green technologies, goods and services.


November 2011


A look at our sustainable heritage


n today’s world we take for granted the availability, quality and choice of food. People are not self-sufficient and focus on convenience as opposed to sustainability. However, during the WW2 food shortages and import restrictions, people were digging in parks and public areas to grow food in compact spaces. By 1945 nearly 1.5 million allotments were in use in the UK, which supplied around 10% of general food needs. Brits were also encouraged to rear livestock, especially chickens, or join a pig or rabbit club. Rationing meant people cooked with leftovers and wasted far less food, clothing or materials. These wartime enforced principles of consuming seasonal and organic, locally grown produce have relevance

for us today. While temperatures in the region can hinder some garden grown varieties, this method of sustainability, reuse and a lack of wastage can be instilled elsewhere. Did you know that leather can be buffed with sour milk and a cloth? Or that old men’s shoes can be rejuvenated with a banana skin? That raincoats can be water-proofed again by rubbing beeswax over the inside, then ironing? Or that old clothes can be tailored to suit a new look or style? Areas of the Middle East have a ‘throw-away’ mentality, but you can do your bit by making minor lifestyle changes. Definitely an opportunity to try this at home!

Rapunzel on Structural, strong, and yet intricately formed. Concrete Mix progresses the idea by means of geometrical shapes, softened through subtle shading. Reflections of the built environment, brought indoors, with a sustainable twist. Concrete Mix has an overall recycled content 47% and contributes towards LEED and BREEAM certification.

For more information on the design capabilities and sustainability features of this product please contact us on: or 04 3996934 A Type III EPD (Environmental Product Declaration) is also available for Concrete Mix.

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