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Energy and water Construction Green IT Eco-leisure Green business

Sustainable is beautiful A look at sustainable interior design that’s even easier on the eyes than it is on the planet

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38 09

Good news! Abu Dhabi is getting greener


Going green in the UAE. BGreen approves!


Tik tok! Green Gadgets for telling time!


A green preview of GITEX




ESIA’s chairman talks energy


BGreen covers Light Middle East









BGreen’s favourite architecture firms

A look at Singapore’s Green Building industry Our favourite columnist from MASDAR tackles lighting



BGreen explores Oman’s ecotourism sector


Greenpeace turns 40. Happy Birthday!



The green investment firms you need to know


A look at EPDs





Everything you need to create beautiful sustainable interiors


Cityscape is back!

70 3

Editor’s Letter

True beauty


hey say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but I beg to disagree. True beauty lies in what is right and good. And when it comes to the planet, nothing is more right or good than what is truly sustainable. To extend respect to the environment we live in, to show care and concern for it and to ensure its survival and growth, THAT is true beauty. In light of this, we bring you sustainable interior designs. Because beauty does not have to mean cruelty to the earth, we bring you the sustainable interior solutions you need to create a space that’s both beautiful and ethical! We also pick our five favourite architecture firms in the region according to their green credentials. If you were impressed by Dubai’s

skyline, just wait to read what these companies have achieved. Next, we cover Light Middle East, preview Gitex, explore EPDs and take a tour of Oman’s ecotourism sector. All your favourite features and columns are back too. We’ve even got a new addition. BGreen Spotlight will now bring you the stories and philosophies of the great men and women who have shaped the sustainability industry. Prepare to be inspired! Finally, thinking of investing green? We bring you the two companies you need to know. We also have part two of BASF’s CSR campaign. Get ready to teach your organisation how to conserve water. Yes ! Once more, we prove that green is in and after all it makes sense. Green is ethical, good and right. And what is ethical, is beautiful!

Publisher Dominic De Sousa Associate Publisher Liam Williams COO Nadeem Hood Director Business Development Alex Bendiouis


Editor Loukia Papadopoulos

Loukia Papadopoulos Editor

Printed by Printwell Printing Press LLC Published by

Contributing Editor Melanie Mingas Designer Marlou Delaben

Group Sales Manager Rhiannon Downie

Photographer Cris Mejorada

Business Development Manager Nayab Rafiq

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.


October 2011

Abu Dhabi hosts United Nations meeting on carbon capture and sequestration UAE outlines importance of carbon capture and storage projects to be brought under Clean Development Mechanism Abu Dhabi hosted a workshop on the modalities and procedures of including carbon capture and storage in the Clean Development Mechanism organised by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Secretariat. The workshop took place from September 7 to 8.  In his opening remarks at the two-day workshop, Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Special Envoy for Energy and Climate Change and Chief Executive Officer of Masdar, outlined a robust set of modalities and procedures that will explicitly indicate how carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects can be incorporated under the existing rules of the clean development mechanism (CDM). He added that such procedures will significantly drive global standards and ensure better CCS projects. The UNFCCC workshop is co-funded by Norway and the UAE. Participants included technical, commercial and legal experts to address

specific issues in relation to the modalities and procedures for including carbon dioxide capture and storage in geological formations as CDM projects. Dr. Sultan Al Jaber said: “We understand and accept that the CDM is only part of how we can make CCS work because it can help close financing gaps, assist in the transfer of CCS technologies and know-how, improve buy-in from domestic stakeholders and provide a set of broadly accepted standards to ensure high quality projects.” The Abu Dhabi workshop follows the 34th sessions of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) and the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) that were held from June 6 to 16 in Bonn, Germany.

Future of green not in public sector Private sector key in green construction say Saudi Green Building Forum organisers

Saudi Arabia


The Private sector and citizen participation have been hailed as key factors in the innovation of green construction. Contrary to the common belief that government incentives will be key to the adoption of sustainable building practices, organisers behind the Saudi Green Building Forum. “The challenge of containing the rate of increase in Saudi Arabia’s electricity and water demands is huge, but there are a range of tools that can be used to reverse the current trend,” according to the forum organisers. “Innovative energy saving technologies in glass, lighting, thermal insulation, water reuse and building materials are in the market and currently being developed. Many of these innovations will be presented at the event from leading private sector organizations including Schneider Electric, ABB, Somfy, Jotun Paints, Phillips and KIMMCO,” they continued. Over 300 delegates are expected to attend the forum, taking place at the Intercontinental Hotel, Riyadh, October 15 to 17.

A pre-conference master class will include special training workshops hosted by the US Green Building Council, designed to educate attendees on core concepts and strategies of the council’s  green building rating system. Completion of the workshop is a pre-cursor for those looking to sit the LEED Green Associate Exam. “The private sector’s role in engaging Green Building innovations, and the Saudi urban development boom in public and private sector; and the citizens’ active participation enriches the Green Buildings idea,” said His Royal Highness Prince Dr. Mansour Bin Miteb Bin Abdulaziz, minister of Municipalities and Rural Affairs. Faisal Alfadl, secretary general of the forum, added: “What became apparent from the inaugural event in 2010 was an issue that unites Green Building interest worldwide. That issue is how new technologies use renewable resources and materials that are sensitive to the environment and the affect this has on innovation in design, construction and operations,” said Faisal Alfadl, Secretary General of the forum.

October 2011

Dubai Municipality takes on ozone depleting substances The Environment Department of Dubai Municipality has recently issued a revised technical guideline concerning the policy on the control of ozone depleting substances. Ahmed Abdulla Al Jassmi, Head of Environmental Planning & Studies Section of Environment Department at Dubai Municipality said the guideline includes the management, control and regulatory systems required by the companies to obtain prior approval from Ministry of Environment and Dubai Municipality for the importation of controlled substances to the Emirate of Dubai. The Port and Customs Authority likewise mandated to strictly control the release of ozone depleting substances (ODS) shipments from any port of entry. “All developed (i.e., non-Article 5) countries are subject to caps on their consumption

and production of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), according to the terms of the Montreal Protocol and its amendments. Under the Montreal Protocol, the U.S. and other developed nations must achieve a certain percentage of progress towards the total phaseout of production and consumption of HCFCs, by certain dates,” Ahmed said. “Environment Department had issued a circular in July 2008 requiring owners or operators of any stationary, transport airconditioning or refrigeration companies including service providers to implement adequate equipment maintenance and prevent the venting of refrigerants and use of alternative substances,” he added. Strict entry of HCFCs through issuing clearance for the importation of this substances, continuous data collection,

Abu Dhabi is becoming more environmentally aware, says survey Major survey by The Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi reveals city’s businesses and people are going green The Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD) has unveiled the results of a major three-year Environment Awareness and Behaviour Survey. Around 2000 male and female residents from across the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and from all walks of life were surveyed, comprising a broad mix of nationalities, ages and geographic location within the Emirate. EAD has conducted this survey over three years to track and monitor public awareness and behaviour levels, to understand people’s attitudes and beliefs, as well as what motivates them to live and work in a sustainable way. Amongst the survey’s key findings is the revelation that: In terms of environmental awareness, there has been a steady increase over the last 3 years, from 49% to 58.5%. There has also been an increase in

There has been a significant increase in the number of people who feel that individuals share responsibility for protecting Abu Dhabi’s Abu Dhabi environment, from 35% to 76% in the space of a year.

Residents and businesses alike want more guidance and help from the government, including education and awareness campaigns, and clear regulations and guidelines. Eduardo Gonçalves, Director of EAD’s Environmental

strategy development and inspection of establishments are very important for achieving HCFC phase-out in a systematic manner that is in line with the UAE’s commitments under the Protocol. Therefore, the refrigeration, air-conditioning and other relevant sectors need to assist in providing data and other inputs sought by Municipality in this process.

Awareness Sector, said, “EAD has a role in helping to inform the public about environmental concerns, and what each of us can do to help. However, it is critical that agencies and society work together to help reduce our environmental impact.” It is clear from this survey that Abu Dhabi residents care about our environment. There has been overwhelming support from the public for the campaign to have Bu Tinah Island voted as one of the New7Wonders of Nature. People are proud that this island has made the shortlist of 28 finalists from the 500 original candidates,” he added.

positive behaviour, but to a lesser degree, rising from 43.9% in 2008 to 45.7% in 2010.


Environment Department issues technical guideline on controlling harmful material


October 2011

Really? NEWS

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

This month we bring you more highlights from the Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi’s survey on the UAE’s capital’s environmental traits: • More people said they were taking action to save energy: 40.6% are turning off lights and ACs when no longer needed, and 37.7% said they turned off TVs and DVDs.  • More and more businesses are adopting environmental policies, and there has been a major increase in the number of companies turning off computers at the end of the day to save energy, from 59% to 90.1%. There was also a significant increase in the number that has adopted initiatives to save paper, from 18% to 62.7%.  •  More than one in four residents (26.6%) are taking active steps to reduce their consumption of plastic bags either all or most of the time, compared to only one in almost seven people a year ago. •


One in four residents is actively buying environmentallyfriendly products to use at home either all or most of the time, compared to only 8.3% this time last year - a large increase in environmentally-conscious purchasing behaviour.   On the downside, fewer people than before believe car use is a serious issue, 22% in 2010 compared to 31.1% in 2009. 45.3% of people also said they took long showers (longer than 10 minutes) most or all of the time - an increase from the previous year.   Two thirds (66%) of residents believe that the government’s involvement and support in environmental protection is vital, an increase of 12% (up from 54%) in 2009. 

 Fewer members of the public leave their tap open while brushing their teeth.

 The majority of residents said they were willing to use a bucket of water to wash their car in order to save water.

 26.86% of residents said they were willing to use less water at home (a large increase compared to 10.2% in 2009) There were also some significant findings regarding energy use:

 80.2% of residents said they were willing to use less airconditioning at home (compared to 76.9% in 2009).

 91.2% of residents said they were willing to switch to lowenergy light bulbs at home, or to at least consider doing so.

 37.7% of us now turn off our televisions and DVDs every time we have finished watching them, compared to 14.1% in 2009.

 A third of the Emirate’s population still usually or always keeps the tap running while we brush our teeth.   Almost half of us admit to taking long showers often or most of the time.   More than one in seven residents never switches off their airconditioning, even in winter.    13.9% said they would reduce their car use, down from 33.6% over the same period


October 2011

Going green in the UAE

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

Colourful lively recycling!

Touchscreen tap your waste away! Hurray! The Abu Dhabi waste management company has developed an application for the iPad and iPhone that makes it easy to touch-screen tap your waste away. Now, residents can participate in keeping their city clean by reporting any rubbish-related problems simply by logging on, taking a photo and sending it directly to averda. The application is called iaverda, a first-of-its-kind, high-tech waste management application for the UAE. For the time being, the application covers only Abu Dhabi but it will be rolled out nationwide in the future.

Averda introduced their Reverse Vending Machine (RVM) to the UAE, promoting recycling in a fun colourful way. RVMs are easy to use enabling consumers to deposit their recyclable plastic bottles and aluminium cans into the machine and in turn be rewarded with points that can be redeemed at participating retailers across the region. Malek Sukkar, chief executive officer of averda, said: “The introduction of this new and exciting initiative comes in line with averda’s vision and values for providing cleaner, greener environments in the areas which it serves. averda is raising the bar yet again in bringing innovative environmental solutions to the region. RVMs represent the newest technological recycling innovation to be added to our diverse, existing services, adding more value to the comprehensive innovative solutions that we are able to offer – such as our recently launched iaverda application.”

Can I help you?


The Environment AgencyAbu Dhabi (EAD) took the time to remind the public that its strategically located customer service centres throughout the Emirate are there to help! The centres cater to the specific needs of new and existing industrial facilities, developers, companies trading in chemicals and hazardous materials, environmental consultants, fishermen, farmers and those engaged in recreational fishing activities in the emirate.

Turtles saved on Saadiyat Beach Similarly to previous years, more than 300 hawksbill turtle eggs hatched safely on Saadiyat Beach last week, under the observation of the Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC) — the developer of Saadiyat Island. The hawksbill turtle is listed as a critically endangered species on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List. Its worldwide population has declined by more than 80% in the last three generations.


October 2011

Around the world

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

BRITISH STUDY REVEALS VEHICLE EMISSIONS CAN CAUSE HEART ATTACKS According to a recent study from the British Medical Journal, the inhalation of vehicle emissions can actually increase the likelihood of a heart attack, even up to six hours after exposure. To find a correlation between this serious medical emergency and air pollution, researchers from London’s School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine analysed nearly 80 thousand heart attack victims and compared the time and location of the attacks with records of ambient air pollution maintained by the UK National Air Quality Archive.

OIL COMPANY IN COPENHAGEN ENCOURAGES CYCLING Bike-friendly Copenhagen inspired even a giant oil company like Norway’s Statoil to be cyclist-friendly. The company set up a bicycle care station in one of its gas stations that allows cyclists to clean their bikes and tune them up. BGreen hopes such stations will soon be found everywhere in all cities.

BARCELONA HOLDS ITS LAST BULLFIGHT Barcelona finally held its final bullfight before a sold-out crowd numbering near 20,000. Centuries after Spanish-style bullfighting first emerged in the Catalonian capital of Barcelona, this brutal sport has now been banned. Many of the fight’s viewers voiced their disappointment over the new legislation. However, animal rights supporters lauded Catalonia’s parliament for being the first in mainland Spain to outlaw what many consider the blatant and unjustifiable torture of animals.

LONELY AUSTRALIAN JELLYFISH PRODUCES 200 CLONES Marine biologists at Australia’s Townsville aquarium recently discovered that an injured Cassiopea jellyfish that had been kept alone in a tank suddenly and inexplicably produced some 200 youngsters. The scientists suspect that each of the tiny new jellyfish is actually a clone of the original. “Jellyfish clone very easily. When some jellyfish are cut in half, you get two jellyfish,” explained aquarist Krystal Huff.






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The interaction with intelligent lighting control systems creates dynamic solutions providing a perfect combination of lighting quality and energy efficiency.

Intelligent lighting solutions by Zumtobel strike a perfect balance of lighting quality and energy efficiency – HUMANERGY BALANCE.

In its square model in design sizes Q140 and Q190, PANOS INFINITY boasts excellent luminaire properties.

PANOS INFINITY for a new dimension of lighting quality, efficiency and design. Design: Chris Redfern, Sottsass Associati

Impressive lighting quality, unique energy efficiency: the wallwasher illuminates vertical surfaces uniformly and efficiently.

October 2011

Emirates Solar Industry Association (ESIA) chairman Vahid Fotuhi discusses energy supply versus demand


amount. In the Northern Emirates where the diesel generators are typically older and less efficient the cost can be as high as 80 fills/kWh. As a result, each year the Abu Dhabi government has to spend huge sums on diesel fuel costs to keep power plants running during peak demand periods. And as demand continues to rise, so will this financial burden. Fortunately, there are some simple steps that can be taken to remedy this energy challenge. One option is to bring utility prices closer to the cost of production and distribution. Currently, the government subsidizes water and electricity costs up to 100% depending on the end-user. Consequently, residents in the UAE pay only a fraction of what their European counterparts pay for electricity. This naturally leads to

inefficiencies and wastage. If the electricity wasn’t so cheap (or in some cases free) people would use it more carefully. As a result, demand would stabilize, thereby putting less strain on reserves. Despite the simplicity of such a policy, it is nevertheless politically sensitive and will therefore likely take several years to roll out. Another option is to turn to renewable energy, particularly solar. This country is blessed with at least 350 sunny days. And then sun shines exactly when we need it most; during the daytime when air conditioning units are running at full capacity. With an abundance of desert land, there is no shortage of space either. Already the leadership of Abu Dhabi has taken the bold step of setting an ambitious renewable energy target: 7% by 2020. This is equivalent to roughly 1,500MW of renewable energy. In Dubai, their target is 5% by 2030. The next step is implementation. Financially, switching to solar power would for the most part be a cheaper alternative to using diesel. Large-scale solar power plants are able to produce electricity at roughly 55 fills. Moreover, the cost of solar has been dropping by roughly 10% year-on-year while diesel prices are expected to creep up in line with rising oil prices. Of course, solar has its own challenges. For one, the volume of electricity generated by even large-scale solar plants is a fraction of what conventional power plants can produce. And because of the large land requirement, power plants are often far away from urban hubs which means higher transmission costs. Despite these hurdles, solar’s future is looking bright. As solar prices continue to fall and the technology continues to improve it is going to become an increasingly viable and sustainable source of energy. Let the sun shine in.

hen we look at how much energy is being consumed in the UAE it makes us wonder whether the ongoing global economic turmoil has had any impact on the country. In 2010, peak electricity demand grew by over 10%, one of the highest in the world. And according to official government forecasts, demand is expected to continue growing rapidly until at least 2019. This surge in demand is fueled by rapid growth in the industrial sector (aluminum smelters, petrochemical plants, etc), residential and commercial megaprojects, higher requirements from ADNOC for oil and gas production, and larger transfers to the Northern Emirates. The big question is: will supply keep up with demand? The answer is not encouraging. Most of the power plants in the UAE run on natural gas. And despite sitting on the world’s fourth largest natural gas reserves, the UAE is finding it hard to get the stuff out of the ground fast enough. The problem in due to country’s sub-surface DNA. A significant portion of gas reserves are in associated oil deposits that makes gas production more challenging. It is like trying to eat Jell-O using a straw. Much of the gas is also ‘sour’, high in sulfur content, which makes it more costly to extract and process. Faced with a periodic shortage of gas domestically and an inability to source cheap gas within the region, Abu Dhabi has had to turn to diesel. The trouble with using diesel is that it costs a lot more and the CO2 emissions are higher. For example, the cost of producing electricity in Abu Dhabi using a conventional gas-fired power plant is 11 fills/kWh. Using diesel, it would cost roughly quadruple that


Solar solution for energy sustainability in the UAE



October 2011

Light Middle East shines bright! BGreen covers the Middle East’s premier conference and exhibition for lighting design and technology


et from September 12 to 14 at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre, Light Middle East 2011 featured some of the industry’s biggest names including the likes of Ruud Lighting Arabia, Thorn and Zumtobel brands from the Zumtobel Group, OSRAM, Philips Lumileds, Schreder Gulf LLC and many more. The latest technologies associated with more sustainable lighting solutions were on display with a major emphasis on LED technology. Additionally, the Green Middle East conference featured speakers from around the world who came to discuss energy-saving projects and solutions. BGreen was there and brings you the event’s highlights.


Ruud Lighting introduced the LEDway SLM IP-66, a new addition to its line of LEDway streetlight products. The LEDway SLM IP-66 (single light module) is a sleek, low profile luminaire designed to replace existing traditional cobrahead systems along residential streets. The new luminaire offers more than 90 lumens per watt delivered and uses a new generation LED chip package coupled with advanced optical design techniques from BetaLED.

According to some experts, countries in the GCC stand to save around US$ 400 million and 5.1 megatonnes of CO2 emissions annually by switching to LED lighting technology ”

October 2011

Chief executive officer of Germany’s Licht Kunst Licht AG and winner of the German lighting designer of the year 2011 award Andreas Schulz gave a presentation at Green Middle East entitled “From engineering to poetry - New technologies in architectural lighting.” His firm, Licht Kunst, has participated in over 350 projects all over Europe and overseas and has received more than 35 internationally acknowledged lighting design awards. BGreen interviewed the lighting genius on poetry and Dubai. BGreen: Where do you get your inspiration?

Lighting Products and Façade Lighting.  From 12 concepts submitted, Dr. Linda Nubani, Assistant Professor at AUD and Managing Director of Mazarii Interiors, selected two entries based on the maturity and originality of the concept. The selected concepts were then developed by the students exclusively using state-of-the-art aesthetically innovative and energy-efficient GE LED solutions. The inventive students spoke with passion about their projects, clearly excited to have been chosen as winners, and garnered many admirers, including BGreen.

60s so we are very concerned with these issues. We are also very concerned with energy-saving because energy prices are so high. In most buildings, lighting is the left over energy source. Sometimes, in a cold country such as Germany we don’t have a heating system because computers and people are already warming up the environment and you need to adjust energy use according to lighting. Therefore, lighting is a big topic for us. We are working on the headquarters for the Swiss Re insurance company which will be one of the most energy-efficient office buildings worldwide. BGreen: How environmentally We are aiming for LEED platinum certification as well concerned are you when designing your as many high ranking Swiss certifications. In this case, projects? we need to use LED light sources because with conventional ones we can’t achieve the energy-saving Andreas: In Europe, we had a lot of properties we are aiming for. environmental problems in the 50s and BGreen: Can you combine poetry and energyefficiency? Andreas: We are very much architecturally influenced. We get our inspiration out of the current architecture. We are serving the existing architecture. It’s not a question of showing up with our own ideas. Instead, we like to react on the current space and environment to find the right solution for the available system.


GE Lighting showcased the winners of its GE Lighting Best in Class Student Light Design competition. Aimed at identifying and highlighting emerging talent in light design and energy-saving lighting, the competition was organized by Messe Frankfurt, Mazarii Interiors and the American University in Dubai (AUD), and supported by the Professional Lighting Design Association (PLDA) with GE as the Exclusive Main Sponsor.  Students from the Interior Design & Architecture Department of AUD were invited to enter their designs in two competition categories - Energy Saving

Andreas: We try to do that. Even in diffused light, it’s hard to adapt lighting to poetry or scenography, qualities that are very important to the aesthetic appearance of a space. With LEDs, you can apply these ideas more easily because it’s a very directional light source. BGreen: What brings you to Dubai?

Andreas: We are interested in the Dubai lighting market because we are working on the national gallery in Qatar and the airport in Doha. I also like the environment here because Dubai is a new city so architecturally it is very interesting. So when one of our suppliers, Zumtobel, organised this conference I came. Zumtobel is one of our most trusted suppliers providing top-notch, high-end quality lighting solutions for many of our projects. My visit to the Zumtobel Light Centre in Dubai impressed me a lot and I find it a good platform to inspire and inform anyone related to the lighting industry.


October 2011

BGreen’s favourite architecture firms


The Middle East is renowned for the high number of architectural giants that have thrived in the region’s recent development. But which ones are the greenest? BGreen explores



Founded over 33 years ago, FXFOWLE is an architectural, interior design, planning, and urban design firm with offices in New York, Washington, DC, and Dubai. The firm’s diverse portfolio includes work of all types and scales across the globe, and has garnered international recognition for its design quality, technical innovation, and environmental responsibility. Long before the terms “green” and LEED became commonplace, FXFOWLE began designing environmentally responsible benchmark projects. With 85% of its professional staff LEED accredited by the U.S. Green Building Council, the firm continues its commitment to breaking new ground. It is one project in particular that caught our eye and gave this firm the number 5 place in our BGreen’s Favourite Architecture firms list. That unique building is one of the six active projects undertaken by FXFOWLE within the King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD), a new 55 million-squarefoot mixed-use urban community located in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. It is the Museum of the Built Environment, a key public building which will explore the important role that social, economical and environmental issues have played in the development of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and

The Museum of the Built Environment

the region. The museum’s vision is to provide space to exhibit works related to the symbolic interpretation of the historical development of the arts and architecture in the peninsula, and in particular how past and present trends in sustainable-thinking are shaping the future of the built environment. The museum is sited on a large plaza bisected by a sunken Wadi, a pedestrian park that flows through the KAFD development. Over 340,000 square-feet will be dedicated to museum functions, such as permanent and temporary galleries, a 150-seat auditorium, and a destination restaurant and terrace. The museum serves as a primary transportation hub for the area, housing a monorail station at its +2 level, and provides connections to neighbouring parcels through a site-wide network of public skywalks at the +1 level. The Saudi Arabian world heritage sites of Madain Saleh and At-Turaif inspired the museum’s formal concepts of erosion and chiselling of a crystal rock. The

programmatic distribution is also expressed in the massing by creating greater solidity and opacity on the museum’s upper levels while maintaining transparency on the lower public levels. The building’s façade on the upper levels are made of prismatic laminated glass panels which create a varied textural quality and allow day light at select controlled locations.


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October 2011


Burt Hill, a Stantec company

The Tawam Dialysis Centre and the Al Mafraq Hospital



s part of the Stantec group of companies with over 160 employees located in the UAE, Burt Hill provides the Gulf and MENA region with the services of a global network of integrated technical teams, crafting innovative and superior engineering and architectural solutions. Burt Hill is well established in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, having first carried out design and supervision commissions in the Gulf area a substantial number of years ago. The regional head office in Dubai

was established in 2005 and now serves Gulf and MENA clients across all market sectors, including regionally high-profile and significant projects. Burt Hill’s multi-disciplinary approach places a diverse range of architectural, engineering, planning and consultancy professionals at the service of its clients from the outset of a project, addressing the full spectrum of the natural and built environment. Among the firm’s green projects in the UAE are the multi-billion dirham Al Mafraq Hospital and the Tawam Dialysis Center.

Al Mafraq Hospital “Al Mafraq Hospital is a state-of-the-art healthcare facility that promotes sustainability and wellness as an integral part of the healing environment. The hospital’s thoughtful design incorporates key sustainable strategies including building orientation, storm water management, water conservation, reduction of annual energy consumption, and indoor environment and air quality.” Erik Hokanson, principal and practice leader at Burt Hill. Erik has led the design and management of several award winning healthcare, corporate and higher education projects in the Middle East and United States. He is a leader in Sustainable Design in the Middle East, incorporating the Estidama Pearl Rating system as evidenced by the 2010 award of Best Sustainable Hospital in the Middle East for the Al Mafraq Hospital in Abu Dhabi.

Tawam Dialysis Centre A focus on sustainability and Green design is evident in the centre’s building materials, finish selections, MEP systems, and the exterior screening that shields the sun while allowing natural light to penetrate to the all occupied spaces. The project is designed to achieve 2 Pearl Rating within the Estidama requirements as stipulated by UPC.

October 2011


X Architects

Xeritwon and Al-Nasseem

X 24

Architects is an avant-garde, culture and design group based in the UAE that operates through an in-house dedicated team of creative thinkers, urban strategists and designer architects with collaborative studios in Berlin, Zurich, Uruguay and the UK.   Their flagship green projects include Xeritown, a 60 hectare sustainable development in Dubailand, Al-Nasseem,

a 12-hectare mixed-use and hospitality project in Al Ain and a 2,400 hectare residential and mixed-use project also in Al Ain. Xeritown received international recognition in 2007 and also received the Holcim Award for Sustainable Construction in 2008. Al-Nasseem became the pilot project for Estidama in 2009 to develop sustainability guidelines for UPC (Urban Planning Council) and the Abu Dhabi Government.

X Architects is a charter member of Sheikh Khalifa SME Program of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and also winner of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Award for best Consultancy Firm of 2010. We have also most recently been honored with the Middle East Architect Award for Best Boutique Firm and for Best Principals of 2010.

October 2011


Atkins T

he UK’s Atkins has played a key role in the emirate for a number of years, most notably as designer for the iconic Burj Al-Arab, which helped define Dubai on the international stage and, more recently, for its work on the Dubai Metro. But we like Atkins for its green credentials. The firm is responsible for the Bahrain World Trade Center (BWTC), winner of the Green Building LEAF AWARD of 2006, the Building EDIE Award for Environmental Excellence 2007 and the Building Exchange 2008 Sustainability Award. The BWTC features a unique energy-saving initiative: wind turbines. The wind turbines deliver approximately 11-15% of the BWTC tower’s energy needs, eliminating around 55,000kg of carbon emissions into the environment every year. They generate 1100 to 1300 MWh per year which is equivalent to lighting 250 homes for more than a year.

Other awards won by the BWTC: PALME Middle East Awards, 2010: Best Use of Exterior Lighting. Construction Innovation Forum, Nova Award 2009: Innovation Award Winner Council of Tall Buildings and Urban Habitats 2008: Winner of 2008 ‘Best Tall Building Awards’ MENA region Building Design Awards 2008: Architect of the Year Award Winner Middle East Architectural Awards 2008: Shortlisted Best Designed Building Cityscape Dubai 2008: Shortlisted Best Commercial / Mixed Use Building Construction Week Awards 2008: Tower Project of the Year Award Winner Popular Science 2008: Best of the Year Award


Aside from the wind turbines, the BWTC includes a number of other design features that reduce carbon emissions: - Buffer spaces between the external environment and air conditioned spaces – - Deep gravel roofs in some locations that provide kinetic insulation;

- Significant proportion of projectile shading to external glass facades; - Balconies to the sloping elevations with overhangs to provide shading; - Where shading is not provided to glazing, a high quality solar glass is used with low shading co-efficient to minimise solar gains; - Low leakage, openable windows to allow mixed mode operation in winter months; - Enhanced thermal insulation for opaque fabric elements; - Dense concrete core and floor slabs presented to the internal environment in a manner that will level loads and reduce peak demand with associated reductions in air and chilled water transport systems; -Variable volume chilled water pumping that will operate with significantly less pump power at part loads than conventional constant volume pumping; - Low pressure loss distribution for primary air and water transport systems that reduces fan and pump power requirements; - Total heat energy recovery heat wheels of fresh air intake and exhausts to recover ”coolth”

The Bahrain World Trade Center

from the vitiated air and recover it to the fresh make up air; - Energy efficient, high efficacy, high frequency fluorescent lighting with zonal control. - Dual drainage systems that segregate foul and waste water and allow grey water recycling to be added at a later date; - Connection to the district cooling system that will allow an order of magnitude improvement on carbon emissions since in Bahrain efficient water cooled chiller are not allowed due to water shortage, whereas the district cooling solution will involve sea water cooling / heat rejection and much improved levels of energy conversion efficiency; - Dual flush WC and electronic taps with excess water flow restrictors; - Reflection pools at building entrances to provide local evaporative cooling; - Extensive landscaping to reduce site albedo, generate C02 and provide shading to on grade car parks; - Solar powered road and amenity lighting


Automatic Doors. Superior Operators. Undeniable Intelligent. Swiss Quality. Your competent partners:

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October 2011





DR, globally, holds many green credentials. The firm was the first architectural/engineering firm to join the United States Green Building Council in 1994, and was actively involved in the development of the first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating Tool. More recently, the firm received attention for its Sustainable Return on Investment (SROI) process, which helps clients evaluate their sustainable strategies today and into the future. In the early 1990s, HDR formally established a Sustainable Solutions Program tasked with integrating sustainability into all business practices. Today, the program has expanded to include all aspects of the architectural/engineering/consulting industry, including climatology, building design, mobility, natural resources, climate change, renewable energy, land-use planning, and economic and environmental modelling. In the Middle East, HDR is responsible for many innovative and inspirational green buildings including the National Energy and Water Research Centre, and two LEED Gold medical establishments; the Arzanah Medical Complex and the Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi Hospital

From right to left: the National Energy and Water Research Centre, the Cleveland Clinic in Abu Dhabi and the Arzanah Medical Complex

Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi Hospital Award:2010 Hospital Build Middle East Best Hospital Design (Built or Future) Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi Hospital (CCAD) is being lauded as the “hospital of the future,” and will redefine the way medical treatment is delivered. Located in the heart of Abu Dhabi on Al Sowwah Island this healthcare destination offers state-of-the-art medical technologies, high performance facility design and unprecedented levels of patient-centred care. The image of the campus, with its verdant gardens, glowing double-skinned patient tower, distinctive diamond-glazing, sleek, modern interiors and colourful massing exemplifies the best of what medical care can be. The goal for the project was to create the best of cuttingedge international healthcare delivery in a 5-plus-star world-class hospitality environment.

The design is overlaid with a suite of cultural references that ground the project firmly in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Arabesque patterns and regional colour palettes are seamlessly integrated into the modern interiors, not only for the beauty of these forms, but to also provide patients with a sense of familiarity. CCAD avoids the characteristic maze of many hospitals with each healthcare component expressed in an individual architecture form, overlaid to express the continuum of healthcare – the Cleveland Clinic model. The blocks are elegantly stacked around a central reflecting pool; the entire design literally and figuratively founded on water, a universally recognized source and symbol of serenity and healing. The straightforward innovatively detailed units create efficiencies for the staff and intuitive wayfinding for visitors.

Abundant windows with views of lush, verdant roof-top gardens and the gentle waves of the Arabian Sea provide a soothing atmosphere that advances wellness and recovery. Indoor water elements impart white noise to calm patients and provide a sense of tranquillity, while green spaces boost mental alertness and create gathering spaces which reinforce the hospital’s sense of community. The innovative double-curtain wall gives building components their own “respiratory systems” that lets in natural light while reducing mechanical costs by 30 percent, with an overall reduction of 16 percent for the entire campus. In addition, recycled grey and storm water and the use of photovoltaics to reduce energy will help the structure achieve its anticipated LEED Gold certification.




































































6,000 ,









Bee’ah, headquartered in the Emirate of Sharjah,is an integrated environmental and waste management company, founded in 2007, through an Emiri decree by His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, as a public private partnership (PPP) with the Sharjah City Municipality. Bee’ah touches and transforms thoughts, attitudes and behaviours in individuals, communities, businesses and cities enabling them to lead positive sustainable growth by providing the infrastructure, tools and support that they require to achieve their environmental goals. Bee’ah, through adopting international best practices, aims to enhance the environment and achieve added value commercial ventures, while upholding its commitments to stakeholders. In June 2011, Bee’ah received the facilities management award for “Best Waste Management Company in the Middle East”.


October 2011

BGreen Product Review


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

This month’s product: Desso’s EcoBase

What is it? This carpet tile uses structure as its primary expression. Irregular highs and lows create a hand-made, natural effect, underlining the fabric nature of the floor covering. A range of 18 colours is available for Scape.

Where can it be used? • Office • Education • Healthcare


Why is it green? This carpet tile recently achieved a silver cradle-to-cradle certificate from EPEA.

Other information By 2020 Desso expects to have a complete Cradle to Cradle product line. In addition to this long-term goal, DESSO has launched a pioneering project to take back used carpets from its business customers (open-loop recycling). Carpets are collected by a certified logistic partner and recycled in the cement industry. Final verdict? BGreen approves!

October 2011

The Floor is Yours



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

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



October 2011

BGreen New & Improved BGreen brings you the latest inventions that are redefining sustainability

Introducing BASF’s Neopor®

There’s a new insulation in town that stops heat loss so effectively that it’s already the insulation of choice for zero-energy homes. There’s no better recommendation than this and BGreen approves!


BASF’s latest insulation Neopor® contains tiny graphite particles that reflect radiant heat and give the material its unique silvergray shine. These infrared absorbers and reflectors lower the thermal conductivity so that insulating panels made of Neopor can be about 20% thinner than panels made of Styropor. These considerable raw material savings mean that fewer resources are needed, while the insulation accounts for a reduction of CO2 emissions, making a valuable contribution toward climate protection. Neopor® also benefits contractors, allowing them to work with panels that

weigh considerably less. This lowers costs, not only during the installation but also along the entire logistics chain, extending all the way from the factory to the construction site. And every kilometre less driven takes a load off the environment. Neopor® can be used in: Exterior insulation (ETICS) Pitched roof insulation Flat roof insulation Floor insulation Interior insulation Insulating concrete forms (icf )

Final Conclusion? Neopor® insulating materials offer greater insulating performance and up to 50% lower use of raw materials than conventional EPS, helping environmental conservation and saving money. Environmentally-friendly Neopor insulating materials do not contain CFCs, HCFCs, HFCs, or other halogenated cell gases. They contain air as cell gas, which guarantees the preservation of the thermal conductivity throughout the life of the construction. Products made from BASF’s Neopor® are an economic investment in the future and add to the value of a property. BGreen approves!

October 2011

Building green in Singapore


As 8000 experts, professionals and policy-makers from over 30 countries gathered at the Singapore Green Building Week 2011, BGreen headed east to cover the International Green Building Conference 2011


October 2011


the built environment and green building policies in Singapore. Singapore has set an ambitious target to green 80% of its buildings by 2030, and its current challenge is on greening its existing stock of buildings. At the conference, Singapore’s Minister of State also revealed a new pilot scheme called the Building Retrofit Energy Efficiency Financing (BREEF), which will provide loans to building owners and energy services companies to enable them to carry out energy retrofits starting from October 1 this year. BCA and participating financial institutions will commit to sharing the risk of any loan default. So

far, Standard Chartered Bank and United Overseas Bank have confirmed their participation in this pilot scheme. The event featured a total of 6 joint symposiums: 1. Second Tropical and Sub-Tropical Green Building Councils Alliance Symposium 2. Eco-Cities Symposium 3. Green Buildings Symposium 4. Sustainable Infrastructure Symposium 5. Case Studies Symposium 6. Sustainable Construction Symposium


Singapore has set an ambitious target to green 80% of its buildings by 2030”

ingapore Green Building Week (SGBW), the International Green Building Conference (IGBC) 2011, saw industry experts, practitioners and policy-makers from across the Asia-Pacific and North America gather in Singapore from September 14 to 16 2011to explore solutions in green building development, including innovative, sustainable and actionable options for the tropics and sub-tropics. The event is the second conference organised by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA), the government agency responsible for

Green winner beautiful architectural feats. The young ingénue said: “I think the jury quite liked the idea of turning something useless into good architecture.” Through his design philosophy, called “Archiotope” after the term biotope used for the elements that make up a contained living community, Cheung plans

to promote the idea of viewing architecture as an extension of its natural setting. The inaugural competition is the first-ofits-kind design competition for architecture students from institutes of higher learning in the Asia-Pacific that focuses on tropical architecture and building design solutions.


drian Lo Yee Cheung, a 26-year old architecture student from The University of Hong Kong won first prize in the IGBC 2011 Tropical Architecture Design Competition for his ideas on transforming Hong Kong’s concrete slopes into sustainable and


October 2011

The Future of Clean Lighting Gets Brighter


Richard Reynolds, Manager – Supply Chain Consultancy at Masdar City, talks lighting and energy-saving



f you never used your lights at home, you’d save 15% on your electric bill. In commercial buildings, the savings is much higher, about 25%. Cutting the lights also would have a big impact on carbon dioxide emissions, since most electricity is supplied by fossil-fuelled power plants that are a big source of CO2 emissions, a leading cause of global climate change. Since shutting off the lights isn’t really an option, the building industry and building owners have targeted lighting as a key element in sustainable design – with a global movement underway to develop and implement lighting solutions that meet people’s needs and

concerns … and address environmental concerns and regulations. Start with the bulbs The place to start is light bulbs. Standard light bulbs, known as incandescent bulbs, are known to be highly inefficient. Only 10% of the electrical energy is converted to light; 90% is wasted as heat. Halogen bulbs burn brighter, use less electricity and last twice as long as standard bulbs, but are still inefficient compared with other bulbs. CFLs are small versions of full fluorescent lights. They give off the same amount of light as incandescent bulbs but are up to 80% cooler, are four times more energy efficient (to replace a 60-watt incandescent, you only need a 15-watt CFL), last 10 times longer, and result in 70% less CO2 emissions. CFLs are suitable for all lighting purposes, and although more expensive than standard bulbs, they easily recover their costs in energy savings. On the downside, they contain trace amounts of mercury and so they should not be broken and need to be disposed of safely. One of the most promising new lighting technologies is LEDs (lightemitting diodes). LEDs don’t heat up like incandescents and they last longer and are more energy efficient than CFLs. They are called ‘solid state lighting’, because they use a solid semiconductor material, as opposed to gas (CFL) or filament (incandescent). They last up to 10 times longer than CFLs, have low heat generation, low power requirements and are highly durable. Daylighting Yet, it is still true that the most sustainable lighting is natural daylight. Not only is it a free and renewable resource, but it also has

Yet, it is still true that the most sustainable lighting is natural daylight” well-documented health benefits. Careful architectural design is required to maximise natural light in a building, while maintaining indoor temperature regulation and reducing direct light glare. One emerging technology that uses sunlight is daylighting, which collects natural sunlight on roof panels and transports it up to 15 metres into buildings via fibre optic cables. These systems can be used in combination with solar panels to integrate natural and artificial light systems, so that there is always clean-powered lighting in the building. You also can maximise light in a room by choosing light colours and reflective materials for your walls, ceilings and floors. Light-coloured and shiny flooring options like linoleum or polished wood can reflect a lot of ambient light, brightening up your space. One good place to look for such materials is The Future Build, the recently launched green building materials portal from Masdar City. With specific lighting-related sections, The Future Build makes it easy for architects, engineers and contractors to find solutions to address their green lighting requirements. While still not saving as much energy as keeping the lights off, we in the building industry can take steps, both at the design phase and later in the process, to have a big impact on how electricity our projects need for lighting. In that sense, we can celebrate that the future of sustainable lighting looks bright.. The Future Build is a trusted tool for professionals in the construction industry looking to identify and source independently assessed green building products that they can use in achieving their projects’ environmental objectives. For further information visit:

t En

i ry

5 rs ig to B bi e hi Th ex at to rs en ito op i b 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

October 2011

Sustainable is beautiful


Studies have shown that inspirational, sustainable spaces not only have a positive psychological effect, lowering absenteeism and raising productivity in offices, they even lower energy costs. BGreen explores the companies you need to know to create the spaces that will leave you, and all who visit, invigorated and renewed!


Ana Elisa Seixas, LEED AP, director of marketing Middle East, Africa & India and sustainability ambassador for InterfaceFLOR BGreen: List some of the benefits of sustainable interior design? Ana: Most people think about sustainable design mainly from an architectural perspective, but there is a lot you can do from an interior design perspective to create a sustainable space.  There is also the idea that to become sustainable one has to put in a lot of effort or spend more money. But there are a lot of little things one can do.  For instance, by using the InterfaceFLOR i2 range of carpet tiles, which was inspired by biomimicry, one can decrease the waste in installation by 4-5%, which means a lot less material sent to landfill.  If we actually compare roll carpet with i2 carpet tiles the comparison is even bigger - from 12-15% of waste down to 1% waste. On another hand, you can also choose to install the carpet tiles with Tactiles and abolish glue and all its VOCs and inconvenients from the construction

site.  Tactiles is a revolutionary adhesive system that doesn’t “glue down” the carpet to the floor, which means you will be able to re-use the carpet tiles in case you move location -  therefore increasing the product’s life cycle.  Tactiles has 90% lower environmental impact than traditional glue. But sustainable design is not only about recycled content or waste.  It is also important to create a space that promotes occupants’ wellbeing and productivity and carpet tiles definitely plays a role.  For instance, using InterfaceFLOR carpet tiles will contribute towards sound absorption and better acoustics, and the availability of different designs (more than one million colours, texture and pattern combinations to choose from) allows designers to experiment with the flooring and create different spaces within the same design promoting creativity and productivity.   BGreen: Must sustainable interior design be implemented at the early stages of a project or can it also be applied later on? Ana: It is definitely important to have sustainable interior design implemented

at the early stages of a project. But there are always elements that can be incorporated at a later stage.  Choosing the right type of lighting, furniture and obviously flooring are normally decided at a later stage and are elements that can definitely contribute toward the sustainable design effort: high recycled content, recyclability, Co2 emissions offset, etc.  Ideally, you should be able to get EPD’s from the manufacturers/ suppliers and be able to choose the most sustainable product. BGreen: How important has sustainable interior design become in the region? How prevalent is it? Is it a growing trend? Ana: There is clearly a big push towards sustainable interior design in the region.  We are working on more and more LEED projects - we carpeted 60,000 metres for KAUST University in Saudi Arabia (1st LEED in KSA) and have installed more than 10,000 sqm at Masdar.  We can see a lot of designers pushing for more sustainable design and looking for the right products that can help them.

October 2011

Roderick Wiles, American Hardwood Export Council director for Africa, Middle East, India and Oceania BGreen: What are strategic advantages and benefits of using American hardwoods in interior design projects? Roderick: Beauty, a wide range of choice, consistency, high performance in application and solid environmental credentials with a proven record of sustainability. BGreen: What is the key aesthetic value of American hardwoods? Roderick: Aesthetic values are subjective, but it would be fair to say that American hardwoods offer a natural warmth, colour and genuine feeling of well-being to any application.

When it comes to interior design, no one can deny the power of lighting. BGreen brings you two energy-saving options certain to liven up any room StyliD The StyliD range for indoor lighting provides excellent lighting quality, limitless style possibilities and increased efficiency. With the Philips StyliD LED range the designer has tremendous choice and flexibility in terms of combining different features such as size, light output, appearance, functionality and mounting. The configuration can be specified to create different memorable styles, where individual elements can also be changed at a later stage without having to replace the entire installation, creating a new different design.

BGreen: What hardwood species would you most recommend for sustainable interior design? Roderick: Any American hardwood species offers sustainability as an inherent factor. However, we must also be mindful of how the US hardwood forest is made up and of which species are more plentiful than others. To this end, the oaks (red and white), maples (hard and soft), ash and tulipwood are the most commercially-available.


BGreen: What are the environmental benefits of American hardwoods? Roderick: They are renewable, sustainable and naturally regenerating. As they grow, the trees absorb carbon and when they are cut down and turned in to products, the carbon remains locked in. They are carbon negative and this cannot be said for many other materials.

Two sustainable lighting solutions by Phillips

BGreen: Recently, AHEC worked with Samuel Creations to produce the CUBOID, a unique sustainable design project for the Festival of Interior Design. Why did AHEC decide to involve themselves with the CuBOID? Roderick: CuBOID looked to be the first cutting edge design project of its kind in the Middle East and offered AHEC the possibility to showcase American hardwoods in a high profile event, while working closely with key designers and players in the interior design community. Ultimately, we want to demonstrate how a natural and age-old materials, such as, American hardwoods, can be used in leading design and alongside high end and high tech products. CuBOID has also been designed with sustainability as a key criterion and we wanted to make sure that wood could be used in such a project and not cast aside as lacking in environmental credibility.


When it comes to lighting an office space with LED luminaires, people are willing to invest in sustainability, but only at reasonable cost. At the same time, new systems need to comply with office lighting norms to ensure a comfortable working environment. PowerBalance is an attractively priced LED luminaire specially developed to meet all office requirements. It consumes significantly less energy while offering longer life of the light source, resulting in lower operational cost compared to traditional luminaires.



October 2011

Christian:The CUBOiD was designed and conceptualized with the aim for the INDEX visitors to experience interior design in its purest form. Being set in one of the most cosmopolitan venues on the planet, we felt that the CUBOiD must embody a multi-dimensional spirit while capturing the essence of the festival. We believe, that through the usage of stark visual and stylistic contrasts, a delicate balance has been struck which gives the feature a definite sense of time and place.

BGreen: List the CuBOID’s positive environmental impacts and social benefits and explain how you achieved these qualities.


Christian At an early stage of conceptualization, we have taken a responsible design approach and thoughtfully considered the CuBOID’s environmental impact and appropriation as well as its social benefits. Materials are chosen strategically to ensure that the wood utilized are sustainable, thereby involving American Hardwood Export Council who is known for taking part in promoting responsible management of the world’s

forest. Construction methods are vigilantly studied to advocate zero wastage of materials and to use resins and adhesive with low or zero volatile organic compounds (VOC), not to mention that everything is completely reusable. The masharabiya pattern highlighting the cultural design Samuel Creations: Christian Merieau (left) Arabic element is a creative with Anil Mangalat, Design Director solution made of Honeycomb boards, which is a highly same environmental benefits to actual sustainable and durable product, made from interior design options? recycled and reused materials, developed by LuSSI Design. Furthermore, the innovative Christian Our aim with the CuBOID was to lighting feature designed by Philips demonstrate that willing interior designers, collectively adds to the efforts towards green organizations and suppliers can be brought initiative. Energy efficient LED fixtures are together for the development of a concept widely utilized to lessen energy consumption that is without concession on creativity and low requires low maintenance. The and which can remains an environmentally lighting is indirect and produces less friendly product. We as responsible design heat transfer and no gas emissions that consultants practicing in the region, must rally encourage a healthier atmosphere. to the cause and form a unified front to help facilitate this vision. We have the ability to BGreen: The CuBOID is an example of suggest ‘lifestyles’, how difficult could it be to sustainable interior design for exsuggest responsible ones? hibition purposes. How realistic and practical do you think it is to apply the

October 2011

Green gadgets Telling time has never been so green with these new watches and clocks brought to you by BGreen

The H2O water powered canshaped clock uses the latest long life H2O technology to power the clear LCD display. Simply add water to the body of the can to activate it! Best of all, it lasts six to 12 months. www. clairesecostore.

The POWERplus Seal is a state-of-the-art solar powered weather station, clock and calendar. It also features the World’s first solar powered barometer. The Seal’s highly accurate sensors can even measure weather conditions such as actual pressure, development of pressure during the day and internal temperature.


Incorporating a revolutionary H20 water-powered battery and conventional digital technology, the H20 Multifunction clock offers a range of functions such as an alarm, a timer and a temperature reader, all in an eco-friendly format. Just add water and an electrochemical reaction will power this clock for you!


Sprout watches use organic cotton, corn resin in full compliance with the American ASTM D6400 as well as the European EN13432 standards for compostable material, and a mercury-free battery. Sprout packaging is made from at least 80% post consumer fibres and is both recycled and recyclable. Additionally, all Sprout watches are in compliance with the CPSIA and are lead and phthalate free.

October 2011

A preview of Gitex’s greenest companies


Green tech has become one of the hottest topics at GITEX and has continued to garner more and more attention every year. As the expo approaches, BGreen takes a look at some of the greenest companies exhibiting this year


Dell There is a good reason why Dell garnered the top slot in Newsweek’s Green Rankings for 2010. “Dell systems are “Green by Design”. We consider the environment in all aspects of the product lifecycle, from design and engineering to packaging and recycling. Our strategy is being recognized globally as we’ve been recently named as the Greenest Company in America in the 2010 Newsweek Green Rankings,” says Basil

Ayass, enterprise product manager Middle East, Dell. Newsweek recognized the computer giant for building sustainability into their supply chain and operations, which ultimately made it easier and more cost-effective for customers to be green. Dell is already on pace for achieving their goal of recycling more than 1 billion pounds of e-waste by 2014 and thanks to the energy management features on their OptiPlex™ business computers, Dell customers have saved more than $5 billion in energy costs since 2006. Additionally, Dell uses eco-friendly bamboo for packaging its computers and now the company will be using mushrooms for packing heavy servers. The computer giant also sources 35% of the electricity it uses in the US from renewable sources. Go Dell! Go! Panasonic In October 2010, at Gitex, Panasonic announced a group-wide reorganisation aimed at making the Japanese electronics giant the number one green innovation company in the electronics industry in the Middle East. Seiji Koyanagi, managing director of Panasonic Marketing Middle East, says: “The Middle East and Africa region is a key market for Panasonic and our focus is to bring advanced technology and

products that are designed to enhance the daily lives of our customers. We are increasingly focusing on green products and solutions and we will continue to do so.” As a result consumers in the Middle East saw more green products from Panasonic and the trend is set to continue as Panasonic aims to double the regional sales of Superior Green Products by March 2013. Koyanagi adds: “For Panasonic, Green Business-styles is a business activity to achieve the ultimate environmental impact reduction. There is a general idea of “Zero Cost, Zero Time, Zero Inventory” as an ideal situation for the manufacturing industry. We also add one more idea, “Zero Emissions”. It means zero waste and zero emissions including CO2. We aim to approach this target of zero.” Panasonic, which is among the top 50 fortune 500 companies globally, is also among the top ten green companies in the world today. Samsung “Consumers are increasingly searching for simple ways to make a daily contribution to the environment,” said Anupam Birla, Business Head of Visual Display Unit at Samsung Gulf Electronics. “Samsung recognizes its environmental responsibility and has increased its R&D in developing innovative green solutions. We adopt systematic measures to make our products more energy efficient to help protect the environment.” To prove this, Samsung will be displaying their latest energy-saving products at GITEX. Samsung SA750 and SA950 monitors support a number of eco-technologies, which help save energy. Among them is the built in

October 2011

Canon “Striking a balance between achieving bottom-line targets and protecting the environment is not an easy task in a protracted global crisis. Industry needs a new kind of revolution, one that seamlessly integrates elements of sustainability into operations without compromising productivity and perhaps even raising it. While the road to environmental stewardship may be difficult, it is the only path to take for organizations as part of the global movement to save the planet. We can expect to observe more ‘green’ technologies finding their way into various businesses,” says Anurag Agrawal, managing director of Canon Middle East. As early as 1997, Canon, has been integrating various environmental approaches in all areas of its corporate activity. One of its noteworthy achievements in the environmental domain is its global certification to ISO14001, the international standard for environment management systems. More than 800 of Canon’s manufacturing and sales offices – 66 of which are in the EMEA region – are certified under the standard in 39 countries. Canon also takes pride in the fact that it has reduced its logistics CO2 emissions by around 40% globally since 2006.


eco-motion sensor, which allows the monitor to automatically detect movement, an eco-light sensor, which adjusts monitor brightness to match the ambient light, and a choice of three energy saving modes: 50%, 25% and Power Saving off. Samsung’s Full HD 3D LED Monitors TA950 and TA750 reduce energy consumption by as much as 40% over traditional displays due to the LED-backlit technology. In addition, Samsung’s LED displays are free from mercury and halogen, making them easier to recycle.


August 2011

They said



Without carbon capture and storage (CCS) the IEA estimates that the cost of halving emissions will rise by 70%. Perhaps most importantly, is that it helps give, every country and every energy sector, a potential role in reducing emissions. CCS is not the whole solution to climate change, but it has an important role to play as part of a balanced and diversified portfolio. Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, UAE Special Envoy for Energy and Climate Change and Chief Executive of Masdar

This curious faith is predicated on the notion that we will soon develop unlimited new sources of energy: domestic oil fields, shale oil, gasified coal, nuclear power, solar energy, and so on. This is fantastical because the basic cause of the energy crisis is not scarcity: it is moral ignorance and weakness of character. We don’t know how to use energy or what to use it for. And we cannot restrain ourselves. Our time is characterized as much by the Human beings should only use abuse and waste of human energy as it is by the technology which if the worst case happens abuse and waste of fossil fuel energy. it leads to an acceptable damage. Definitely Wendell Berry, American academic, nuclear energy is not in that category. I want cultural and economic critic, an industrial world where people are allowed to and farmer make errors because human creativity has to do with being allowed to make errors. We want an error-friendly environment. Hans-Peter Dßrr, German physicist

Giving society cheap, abundant energy would be the equivalent of giving an idiot child a machine gun. Paul Ehrlich, German scientist and Nobel laureate

There is no energy crisis, only a crisis of ignorance. R. Buckminster Fuller, American engineer, systems theorist and second president of Mensa International, the high IQ society


August 2011



October 2011

A look at Oman’s ecotourism BGreen explores the Sultanate’s many sanctuaries and nature reserves that protect this country’s natural habitat and make for great vacation destinations


s Oman prepares for the third Global Geotourism Conference to be held in Muscat from October 30 to November 1 2011, BGreen takes a look at some of Oman’s eco-leisure industry favourites.


Al Jabal Al Akhdhar Sanctuary for Natural Sceneries This sanctuary stands at 2980 metres and is famous for its wide plateau close to the summit and is known for its Mediterranean climate. Temperatures drop during winter to below zero Celsius and rise in summer to 22 degrees Celsius. Due to its location and unique weather, this sanctuary’s Green Mountain produces a variety of fruits, such as

apricots, plums, figs, grapes, apples and pears, as well as almonds, walnuts and saffron. The pomegranates that grow here are classified among the finest in the world. As Saleel Nature Park Spread across this mountain are many Omani villages shaped from terraces dug in the mountain by villagers for the purpose of growing crops. The Park is home to a number of rare species such as the Arabian gazelle, the Omani wild cat (Al Senmar), the red fox and the Egyptian Eagle. Al-Dimaniyat Islands Nature Reserve Al-Dimaniyat Islands Nature Reserve is composed of nine islands that feature pristine beaches with white sands and

October 2011

crystal blue waters. This reserve has a rich natural heritage and is replete with several kinds of coral reefs The Natural Living Sanctuary Located in the central region between the central desert and the coastal mountains where seasonal fog and dew deposits play a role in the formation of the environment, this sanctuary features a unique landscape ideal for the growth of some indigenous plants which support the Arabian Oryx. The reserve is considered a protected habitat for many wildlife species, including the oryx. Turtle Reserve The beaches extending from Ras Al Hadd to Masirah Island in the Ash Sharqiyah Province are part of a turtle reserve that houses the green turtle, a rare turtle that returns every year to lay its eggs on the same beach where it was born decades ago. Ras Al Jins is a quiet sanctuary where the turtles can lay their eggs, securing their continued survival and protecting them from extinction. For more options and information visit:



October 2011



Greenpeace turns



On September 15 2011, Greenpeace celebrated 40 years of inspiring action that changes the world and saves our planet. BGreen brings you some images from the organisation’s long history of passionate activism


Data Collection on Petermann Glacier An ice penetrating radar is deployed from a string of four kayaks to survey a section of the Petermann glacier in Greenland. This will reveal more of the complex nature of the ice thickness, basal melt-rates and insight into the breakup at the front section of Petermann. The team paddles the kayaks whilst running the radar, over the carefully selected 25 kilometre course along a meltwater channel which runs down the middle of the glacier’s floating ice shelf. 07/12/2009 © Nick Cobbing / Greenpeace

Brent Spar Action 2nd Occupation - North Sea (1995) Greenpeace’s second occupation of Shell’s disused oil installation Brent Spar in two months. 06/16/1995 © Greenpeace / David Sims

Nuclear Action at the Taj Mahal in India A Greenpeace balloon with the slogan ‘Nuclear Disarmament Now!’ floats above the famous Taj Mahal in India in a protest against nuclear testing in India. 06/12/1998 © Greenpeace / Steve Morgan

Bluefin Tuna Action in the Mediterranean A French purse seiner, Jean Marie Christian 7, rams a Greenpeace inflatable during a direct action. Activists from the Greenpeace ships Rainbow Warrior and the Arctic Sunrise launched high speed inflatable boats in an attempt to submerge one side of a purse seine fishing net to free the trapped bluefin tuna. As the action started on another French vessel, Jean Marie Christian 6, other tuna vessels rushed in to stop the peaceful activists. One Greenpeace activist was injured when the spike of a grappling hook was shot through his leg. Two of the seven Greenpeace inflatable boats were slashed with knives and sank when run over by purse seining vessels. 06/04/2010 © Paul Hilton / Greenpeace


October 2011

This month BGreen takes a look at the first Green Middle East exhibition The first Middle East exhibition - Green Middle East - will be held at Sharjah Expo Centre featuring environment conversation and protection related technology, equipment and products. The new platform for the region’s multi-million dollar environmental protection industry will be held from October 17 to 19, hosted by Bee’ah.

According to HE Salim Bin Mohammed Al Owais, chairman of Bee’ah, “The best countries in the world are the ones already implementing effective environmental solutions. Being at the forefront of positive environmental change, it is our vision to position the UAE as a model for an environmentally sustainable future, in the Middle East.”


Bee’ah’s Reverse Vending Machine is ideal for recycling.

Green Middle East will feature a wide variety of eco topics such as waste, pollution, recycling and alternative energy issues. It will also feature conferences, seminars and workshops on these topics. The exhibition will revolve around five areas of sustainability; solid waste, waste water, air pollution, scrap metal, alternative energy and green buildings. The exhibition will also give Bee’ah the

October 2011


BGreen New & Improved BGreen brings you the latest news and inventions that are redefining sustainability

opportunity to introduce the region’s first reverse vending machine, which will reward Sharjah residents with giveaways when they deposit aluminium cans and plastic bottles for recycling. This is Bee’ah’s first incentive scheme of its kind and the machines will be placed across the Emirate after the exhibition. Al Owais wants “Sharjah to be at the forefront of a positive environmental change, leading the way for a greener and better place to live and work”.

Along with this initiative, the company’s waste collection and city beautification division, Tandeef will showcase the current

and newest fleet of waste collection, street sweeping and cleaning vehicles. Brought especially for the occasion from Europe, the fleet will support Tandeef in the expansion of its residential recycling programme.

Finally, Green Middle East will also feature the work of students from the Bee’ah School of Environment. After successfully educating over 85,000 students in 102 schools across Sharjah, Bee’ah has inspired students to use their creativity to turn recycled materials into works of art. The result is an inspiring collection that is fun to look at and sends a positive message about recycling.

Visitors will also be able enjoy daily tours to Bee’ah’s Waste Management Complex in Al Saj’ah where they will be given the opportunity to witness first-hand the company’s prize-winning waste management

Government institutions, ministries and municipalities will also be present at Green Middle East, exhibiting their latest products, services and initiatives to demonstrate their commitment to promoting a greener nation.

Khaled Al Huraimel, chief executive officer at Bee’ah, believes that “increasing, our community’s participation in recycling is a key objective for us at Bee’ah”.

facilities including the Material Recovery Facility (MRF), the Tyre Recycling Facility (TRF), the Construction & Demolition Waste Recycling Facility (CDW) and other recycling-related facilities.



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

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September 2011

An in-depth look at the great minds changing the sustainability arena


his month BGreen spotlight brings you the late INTERFACE founder and chairman Ray Anderson, a visionary entrepreneur and champion for the environment. Ray’s story is a legendary one that began in 1994 when the entrepreneur experienced a ‘spear in the chest’ epiphany while reading Paul Hawken’s The Ecology of Commerce. Inspired by the book, Ray built an Interface task force responsible for orchestrating the company’s environmental vision. Seventeen years and a sea change later, Ray estimated that Interface is more than half-way towards the vision of “Mission Zero”, the journey no one would have imagined for the company, or for the petroleum-intensive industry of carpet manufacturing which has been forever

changed by his vision. Ray chronicled the Interface journey in two books, Mid-Course Correction (1998) and Confessions of a Radical Industrialist (2009). The latter was recently released in paperback as Business Lessons from a Radical Industrialist. An honors graduate of Georgia Institute of Technology’s school of industrial and systems engineering in 1956, Ray remained an ardent supporter of the school, which awarded him with an honorary doctorate of philosophy at the summer commencement on Friday August 5 2011. Together, he and Interface funded the creation of the Anderson-Interface Chair in Natural Systems at Georgia Tech, where Associate Professor Valerie Thomas conducts research sustainability.


Bgreen Spotlight Anderson founded Interface in 1973 to produce the first free-lay carpet tiles in America. Interface would revolutionise the commercial floor covering business, but it is for that legendary environmental epiphany in 1994 that Ray will best be remembered. Interface, Inc. is the world’s largest manufacturer of module carpet, which it markets under the InterfaceFLOR, FLOR, Heuga and Bentley Prince Street brands, and through its Bentley Prince Street brand, enjoys a leading position in the designer quality segment of the broadloom carpet market. The company is committed to the goal of sustainability and doing business in ways that minimise the impact on the environment while enhancing shareholder value.

A touching testimonial

“Interface and the world have lost a great man today,” said Dan Hendrix, president and chief executive officer of Interface, when announcing that Ray C. Anderson had lost a 20-month battle with cancer.

Hendrix went on to say, “Ray was and continues to be our company’s heart and soul. His iconic spirit and pioneering vision are not only his legacy, but our future. We will honour Ray by keeping his vision alive and the company on course.”


August 2011

Investment update


..Clean tech investments top US $1 billion..UK environmental scheme saves tax payers £6m

Scotland turns to Middle East to drive renewables investment

LG details $7 billion green investment plan

The Scottish government is targeting Middle East sovereign wealth funds as one of the main sources of investment for its renewable energy programme. The government is to host a Scottish Low Carbon Investment Conference in Edinburgh with First Minister Alex Salmond expected to announce a series of measures designed to support the country’s fast expanding low carbon economy. Speaking ahead of the conference yesterday, Salmond said:”In the area of low carbon energy generation, Scotland has secured a series of significant strategic decisions from major players in the power industry over the last 12 months which are bringing jobs and investment to Scotland, and underpinning our position as a location of choice for clean-tech development.”

LG has released fresh details confirming that it plans to invest 8 trillion won (US$6.83 billion) in ‘green new business’ sectors by 2015. The South Korean conglomerate announced yesterday that it expects to generate 10 trillion won ($8.4 billion) of revenue on the back of the new investment and create 10,000 new jobs globally. The company is attempting to position itself as a major supplier to the solar industry, announcing that 490 billion won will be targeted at the polysilicon sector, and a further 400 billion won will be invested in production facilities for solar cell wafers through to 2015. The announcement follows a commitment from the company last year to invest 20 trillion won in green product development by 2020 as part of an initiative to cut the company’s greenhouse gas emissions by 40% against 2009 levels.

Carbon Trust: Renewable energy offers 12 % returns for businesses


According to new research, the business case for installing renewable energy technologies is now stronger than ever. A new paper from Carbon Trust Advisory revealed that average returns of 11 to 12% can be achieved on investments made in onsite renewable energy systems. The paper argues that with energy bills expected to rise 37% by 2020 the financial case for investing in renewable energy technologies such as solar panels or small scale wind turbines is getting stronger. The study adds that when spiralling bills are coupled with financial incentives, such as feed-in tariffs and the renewable heat incentive (RHI), there is “a strong case and increasing requirement for businesses to produce their own renewable energy.” Both feed-in tariffs and the RHI offer fixed payments for generators of renewable energy or heat, without which returns would be around the 6% mark, the paper says.

H&M opts for green suppliers and more transparency Following a Greenpeace campaign that has already prompted Nike, Puma and Adidas to commit to the phasing out of hazardous chemicals by 2020, H&M has become the latest clothing brand to promise to ‘detox’ its supply chain. The retail giant announced the new commitment and added it will also introduce greater transparency by publishing information about chemicals being released from its suppliers’ factories. The first round of information is due to be published by the end of 2012, and will include data on H&M’s key suppliers in China.









October 2011

Investing in Oudh BGreen explores a sustainable ethical investment firm that’s also responsible for one of the region’s most valued scented oils




t might seem odd to see a forestry investment company exhibiting at cityscape but Plantation Capital is looking for investors in the UAE and they are responsible for a product greatly in demand in the region. Satish Wadhwani, sales director for Plantation Capital, says: “We are an ethical forestry investment company. We sell investments that benefit the environment and the local communities we operate in. Whilst investors can make good returns from the investments they also have peace of mind that the investment is socially responsible and is positively contributing to society as a whole.” The alternative or green investment market is in its infancy stages in the UAE and Wadhwani believes that “there is a great return on investment but the market is focused on traditional investments such as property as this is what is comfortable.” He adds: “Our goal is to educate people so investors are clear about the investment and then to promote the different options available. Our products offer returns ranging from 17% to 20% Internal Rate of Return (IRR) and investors can enter at levels as low as US $6000 with a return of approximately $25000 over the investment term.” But is it safe? In an environment fraught with insecurity about the world’s financial future, people are looking for guaranteed investments. Wadhwani says: “As a product, forestry has outperformed many other investment classes over the last hundred years and I believe that the UAE will definitely adopt this type of investment, especially with the increase in global initiatives focused on the reduction of carbon foot print and socially responsible investing. Our reception at Cityscape Dubai was fantastic and we can see a green future here.” If you need even more reassurance, Wadhani provides some other interesting facts on the industry. He says: “The tree grows biologically. Every single year it increases in value because it’s growing. 65-75% of the value of the tree is determined by the actual growth of it.”

ABOVE: Oudh oil comes from Agarwood

Our products offer returns ranging from 17% to 20% Internal Rate of Return” But what is this in-demand product that Plantation Capital is responsible for? It’s the famous and very sought-after agarwood oudh. When an agarwood tree becomes infected with a type of bacteria that occurs naturally in the wild, a dark aromatic resin forms in the aquilaria tree as a natural defence. The resulting heartwood is highly valued in many parts of the world and the resin, when extracted from the tree, is either processed into wood chips for aromatic burning or distilled in order to produce oudh oil. However, not every aquilaria tree will become naturally infected. That’s why Plantation Capital employs a system to help Mother Nature work her magic. Headed by a professor at one of Thailand’s most respected universities, a team of bio-

technical scientists have developed a commercially viable method of forming resin in plantation aquilaria trees. This innovative award winning method is protected by three patents and has been used to create oudh oil that has been independently certified as grade A+ This is great news because the growth in the population and affluence of consumer markets in Japan, Taiwan, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE has seen demand for agarwood soar over the past 30 years. This impressive demand has resulted in rapidly diminishing stocks in the wild, forcing governments to classify agarwood as an endangered species leading it to be placed on the Convention for International Trade in Endangered Species (CITIES) list. The listing makes it illegal to harvest or trade the commodity without a CITIES permit. Privately owned and CITIES approved agarwood plantations are now in high demand and prices are set to increase as oudh continues to grow in popularity. Plantation Capital, quick to identify the benefits of working with this innovation in agarwood production, tailored an exciting investment solution for clients. Not only have they got the experience in cultivating agarwood they have in-listed the services of an award winning expert in the inoculation of the tree. They are in the process of developing a large scale agarwood distillery to handle the increase in capacity set for the high levels of demand for oudh oil. The result is that Plantation Capital is set to take advantage of this buoyant global market. This is great news for agarwood investors because oudh oil does not sell cheap. “A 12ml bottle can sell anywhere from US $200 upwards and the current agarwood producing countries can only supply 35% of global demand for the product,” concludes Wadhwani. Green and profitable? That’s an investment BGreen approves of! BGreen is organising a seminar on green investments on November 1 2011 aimed at educating people on these new ethical and profitable investments. Plantation Capital will be one of the companies participating.

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October 2011

Making sense and money out of the carbon market BGreen brings you an exclusive look into the Royal Exchange Carbon Advisory and tells you why this organisation may be the key to what Barclays Capital calls the world’s soon-to-be biggest commodity market




here are impressive numbers surrounding the global carbon market today. This environmentally friendly market reached US $142 billion in 2010 and is expected to reach between $2 and $3 trillion by 2020. The voluntary carbon market grew in volume by 34% in 2010, exceeding the growth in the compliance market State of the Carbon Markets 2011 EcoSystems Marketplace & Bloomberg New Energy Finance, and is forecast to grow eight times from 2011 to 2020 But with any new investments and anything related to the latest green technologies, this promising investment sector is full of doubt and speculations. This is where the Royal Exchange Carbon Advisory (RXCA) comes to the rescue. Formed to assist plantation owners and project developers with carbon calculations and generating carbon credits throughout Asia, this unique team of highly-qualified investment specialists has the experience and latest know-how to take carbon projects from feasibility all the way through to issuance submission. Leigh Andrew Charlton, founder of the RXCA, says: “It became apparent that through increasing demand from our investor client base there was clearly an opportunity to supply and trade carbon credits for

investment. We began in the compliance market, which involved trading EUAs (European Union Allowance) credits and CERs (Certified Emission Reduction) credits. Both of which can be used to offset carbon footprints, and help achieve carbon emission reduction targets for opted in countries set by the Kyoto Protocol.” The results were more than encouraging. Over the past two years, and particularly the last 18 months, the Voluntary Emission Reduction (VER) market has become very popular with investors and shows no signs of slowing down. And the RXCA does not only offer the ideal platform for these investments, the organisation also offers their clients the advice and feedback they need to navigate this emerging sector. Charlton adds:”We advise potential investors to check current values and not to pay exaggerated rates for voluntary carbon credits, otherwise this will, as with any investment, make it difficult to make a return on the investment. Unlike the compliance market there are no set daily spot market values which are easy to identify, instead you are relying on the prices that your broker or investment advisers are quoting you.” In the voluntary market there are many different variances that dictate the price, these consist of host country from where the project is developed, to technology and vintage, as well the local social responsibility impact. Charlton continues: “What we have seen is that investors are buying credits well over what we would deem to be a fair price for certain types of voluntary credits. These generally are Indian and Chinese renewable energy credits such as hydro and wind technology, and we advise our investors not to pay over $3.50 per credit, no matter how new the project is or how good the social impact is. There are many different types of voluntary projects in varying regions, and we have seen prices ranging from $1.75 up

LEFT: Leigh Andrew Charlton

to $18.00, so we would advise investors to carry out in depth due diligence and research before investing.” There are of course other risks associated with carbon trading to consider as with any investment, however one of the key areas is exit. This is why the RXCA says carbon investment should be looked at as mid to long term investments. The organisation also warns that there could be additional costs associated with selling, which need to be understood. The market to where the credits will finally be retired also needs to be carefully considered. To see investors through this maze of information, the RXCA has a network of private and institutional contacts of investors who require credits. In addition they work with industry experts to offer carbon offsetting calculations for business and individuals, who will in turn purchase and retire those carbon credits. Investors also have the option to set up accounts with the registries to try and trade their credits on the regulated market. However, Charlton says this option should be considered with caution. He says: “We advise investors not to have this as their only option, and to maintain a good long term relationship with their brokerage who will help the investor to achieve the best value from their credits and at the right time.” Still, Charlton insists this is the market to invest in. “We expect the carbon credit market to offer fantastic investment opportunities, however our advice is to use brokers who have access to both the compliance market and voluntary market to prove their real diversity when giving investment options,” he concludes. BGreen is organising a seminar on green investments on November 1 2011 aimed at educating people on these new ethical and profitable investments. The Royal Exchange Carbon Advisory will be one of the companies participating.

October 2011

A look at EPDs Understanding a product’s true environmental qualities just became much easier with Environmental Product Declarations (EPD). BGreen explores Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) are defined by ISO Standard 14025 as being “quantified environmental data for a product with pre-set categories of parameters based on the ISO 14040 series of standards, but not excluding additional environmental information.” BGreen speaks to experts and companies using this new system on what EPDs are really all about.


Adriana Del Borghi, assistant professor faculty of engineering, University of Genoa, department of chemical and process engineering BGreen: What are the advantages of EPDs over other environmental measurements? Adriana: Among the existing tools for evaluating the environmental impact of goods and services, EPDs aim to provide objective, non selective, easily-comparable and credible information. Their objectivity is guaranteed by the use of scientifically accepted and valid methods based on international standards for life cycle assessment (LCA). When compared to Ecolabel or others Type I labels, EPDs are non-selective and neutral as they do not require that any claims of valuations or predetermined environmental performance be met. Furthermore, EPDs are applicable for all types of products and services within clearly defined product categories. There is not a pre-set list of product groups with available criteria to be followed.

BGreen: Are EPDs


internationally recognised? Adriana: EPDs are based on principles inherent in the ISO standard for Type III environmental declarations (ISO 14025) giving them a wide-spread international acceptance. Among the existing applications to Type III environmental declarations, the International EPD®system ( is offering a complete programme for any interested organisation in any country to develop and communicate EPDs according to ISO 14025. The programme also supports other environmental declaration programmes in seeking cooperation and harmonisation and helps organisations to broaden the use of their declarations on an international market. The international EPD®system is a member of the Global Type III Environmental Product Declarations Network (GEDnet) and together, they cooperate to achieve the GEDnet objectives. BGreen: Are EPD based on ISO 14025 only or do they conform to other ISO standards as well? Adriana: The international EPD®system is based on a hierarchic approach that follows the international standards ISO 9001 (Quality management systems), ISO 14001 (Environmental management systems), ISO 14040 (LCA - Principles and procedures), ISO 14044 (LCA - Requirements and guidelines), ISO 14025 (Type III environmental declarations) and ISO 21930 (Environmental declaration of building products) upon which the General Programme Instructions are included as well as instructions for developing so-called Product Category Rules (PCR) for more detailed information on data collection and calculations for the EPDs. Among the ISO Standards under development, the upcoming ISO 14067 on the Carbon Footprint of Products (at the moment in Committee Draft) takes into account the adoption of PCRs developed in accordance with ISO 14025.

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October 2011


InterfaceFLOR, a worldwide leader in the design and manufacture of environmentally responsible modular floor coverings, achieved a European first back in March 2010 with an EPD for its range of carpet tiles. Developed in consultation with the European carpet industry’s environmental association GUT, the EPD provided an unprecedented level of validated information on the environmental performance of InterfaceFLOR products. It also marked a significant step forward for transparency in the industry. InterfaceFLOR had long used Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) to measure the environmental impact of its products and processes, and currently conducts an LCA on each of its carpet tile products. However, the use of EPDs enabled the company to go even further by providing LCA information which is both European industry standard and third-party validated. InterfaceFLOR was also the first carpet manufacturer in North America to achieve a third-party verified EPD. Commenting on the achievement, GUT’s Dr Edmund Vankann said: “Environmental Product Declarations are based on clearly defined EU-wide Product Categorisation Rules and will help to provide reliable, independent information on the environmental impacts of building products. They provide the data required by green building certification systems and support architects in their attempts to create sustainable buildings.” Lindsey Parnell, president and chief executive officer, InterfaceFLOR Europe, Middle East, Africa and India added: “We live in an age of green-wash, where overclaims and manipulation of the facts have blurred the lines between truth and hype. The only solution, we believe, is complete transparency.” “We have always been open and honest about our company’s environmental performance – our Mission Zero progress – and are delighted to be able to apply the same clarity to our products. Our customers can now look at the facts, and only the facts, and draw their own conclusions. We hope that in future inauthentic claims and certifications based on proprietary systems will disappear, with an EPD the main source of information companies will use to specify their flooring products.”

Rupert Oliver, American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) environmental con- sultant. Led by AHEC, the American hardwood industry has commissioned an extensive Lifecycle Assessment programme. Developing a range of EPDs for relevant species and products will form a key part of the LCA work.

Rupert Oliver

BGreen: What is an EPD? Rupert: An Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) is a standardized way of quantifying the impact of a product, services or system towards the environment. EPDs contain vital information like raw material acquisition, energy use and efficiency, content of materials and chemical substances, emissions to air, soil and water and waste generation and are issued after a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is made. EPDs are developed in accordance with the standard ISO 14025, which establishes the principles and specifies the procedures for developing Type III environmental declaration programmes and Type III environmental declarations. BGreen: What is the concept behind an EPD standard? Rupert: Standards used for the development of EPDs are based on ISO 14025, which as earlier pointed out, establishes the principles and specifies the procedures for developing Type III environmental declaration programmes and Type III environmental declarations.

BGreen: Is it internationally acceptable? Rupert: EPDs are internationally recognized certifications, making it applicable worldwide for all interested companies and organizations. BGreen: How is it going to benefit the consumers when there are other acclaimed standards in the market already? Rupert: Products, services and systems carrying an EPD certification assures consumers that the product has minimal impact on the environment - a certification issued after a through study made on the cradle-to-grave timeline of a product. The development of EPDs is a response from the confusion that arises from the wide variety of environmental claims made by material suppliers - some being genuine while some may just be downright false. As an example, the results of the LCA that AHEC commissioned for American hardwoods can offer lessons for other suppliers to the building sector, like those coming from the concrete, paints and steel segments. The issued EPD’s, which can be defined as third party verified eco-labels showing the environmental performance of products, are similar to a nutrition label disclosing nutritional product value and can be prepared by leading industry associations for generic products (i.e. American Red Oak Lumber) or also by companies for specific product lines. BGreen: Is EPD stated in ISO 14025 only or does it conform to other ISO standards as well? Rupert: The requirements for EPDs can be found in ISO 14025 series, which requires a program of Product Category Rules (PCRs) on how to perform the LCA across specific sectors. Also, the basic requirements for PCRs for building products can be found in the ISO 21930 series. Meanwhile, the requirements for LCA have been specified in the ISO 14040 series of standards and include rules for stakeholder consultation and peer review ensuring credibility.

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October 2011

A one-stop destination for businesses looking to build CSR campaigns that truly push organisations forward

BGreen Heart, brought to you by BASF, 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 Water conservation: Preserving our precious resources. At BASF, we are well aware that water scarcity is one of our planet’s most serious future threats. In the Middle East in particular, water shortage is set to become an alarming issue much sooner rather than later. According to the Stockholm International Water Institute, less than 1% of the world’s fresh water is readily accessible for direct human use. With rapid population growth, water withdrawals have tripled over the last 50 years and are predicted to increase by 50% in developing countries by 2025. In fact by 2030, 47% of the world’s population will be living in areas of high water stress. Here, we give you everything you need to help your organisation build an effective water conservation campaign and explain how it can benefit your bottom line.


Tips and Ideas Concrete well-researched and well-document steps to building your water conservation campaign. •The first part of your water conservation campaign should be to ensure that your offices conserve as much water as possible. So first, upgrade all older toilets with water-efficient models and ensure there are water-saving aerators on all of your faucets. This will also reduce your company’s energy costs. •Next, have a water audit done for your facility to find out the recommended water use for your operations. Then, create a water conservation program to ensure that amount is respected using information from the Resources and contacts included here. •Appoint a water conservation champion within your organization who will be responsible for implementing and maintaining your water conservation program. •Create awareness posters to remind employees to implement your campaign’s water saving tips. Use your

company’s logo and colour scheme on all communications. •Include a water-saving tip in your employee newsletter featuring how much water can be saved with each action. Publish your organization’s monthly water use to show progress toward water-saving goals. •Finally, write feature articles on your employee website that highlight the best water-saving ideas and successes. Extra fun ideas Support projects that use reclaimed wastewater for irrigation and industrial uses. Come up with a list and let your employees choose which one they prefer. Expert’s comment BASF’s CSR expert explains how an effective water conservation campaign can benefit your business in terms of image, internal relations and potential financial returns. Harald Kroll, Managing Director BASF FZE says: “An effective water conservation campaign will not only see your company

October 2011

Resources and contacts All the resources your business needs to turn to for further help on conducting your water conservation CSR campaign. The Stockholm International Water Institute provides some hard-hitting statistics:


gain financial returns from reduced water usage bills, it will also send the message to your customers that you care about causes important to the region. Water shortage is a grave problem in the Middle East and any company exhibiting concern will be positively regarded as one that cares for the region in which it operates.”

Using water wisely- 100 tips National Geographic’s water conservation facts and tips environment/freshwater/water-conservation-tips/ BBC’s A to Z for saving water Treehugger’s How to Green your Water files/2006/12/how-to-go-green-water. php BASF is sustainable in its use of water: en/managementsanalysis/ environmentandsafety/water/globalgoals.html



October 2011

Cityscape back again! Tenth edition of exhibition features green Future Cities section


his year represented a decade of Cityscape events in Dubai and ran from Tuesday 27 September until Thursday 29 September at the Dubai International Exhibition and Conference Centre. The event hosted 150 exhibitors from more than 28 countries, showcasing the latest projects and upcoming developments throughout the three days. The event also featured several conference sessions, including Future Cities which aims to provide a platform for discussion on the development of a sustainable urban landscape. The special event was hosted by the Dubai Municipality and the Environmental Centre for Arab Towns (ECAT) in collaboration with Informa Exhibitions, the organisers of Cityscape Global.



INAUGURAL TRANSURBAN INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE Join us in Dubai as we explore the issues, questions


and leading industry topics surrounding urban and transport planning. Our four day conference will outline the problems with urban areas that are not properly integrated, the trends that are now changing the planning context and the solutions that are being shown to work. With international keynote speakers leading interactive debates and on-site visits to local projects, the conference is set to become the go-to event for all those in the urban and transport planning sector. Register now at: Special rates apply for payment received prior to 15th October 2011. For further information or assistance please contact

• Robert Cervero

: San Francisco

• Edward Blakely

: Sydney / New York

• Peter Newman

: Perth

• Jeff Kenworthy

: Frankfurt/ Perth

• Fritz Steiner

: Austin

Also featuring many local speakers from government and private practice


October 2011

The green spy BGreen’s spy asks himself a deep question

oes working in a “green” field in the GCC make a difference? I’ve been asking myself this question frequently in the last few months and I still cannot

really answer it. As in most things, and truer the more complicated the issue, there are two (sometimes many more) sides to the issue. One side thinks that this is one of the least hospitable places on earth for humans to live and minor improvements like recycling and energy efficiency on 100 story tall buildings, to use one of my favorite sayings, is “putting lipstick on a pig.” The UAE, Qatar and Kuwait all have some of the highest per capita water and energy use and waste generation statistics in the world. This is due to lifestyle and urban planning decisions as well, but the lack of fresh water and resources (other than oil), extreme heat and cheap desert land are all strong contributors. Depending on how it is calculated, these statistics are significantly higher than even the other highly polluting countries, because it is done here with relatively little industry. The other side can be summed up in another saying. “A penny (or in this case, a molecule of carbon dioxide) saved, is a penny earned.” The Global Climate Crisis (the other GCC) is just that, global. And partly because things are so bad here, there are huge and easily attained savings to be achieved. GCC strategists always talk about “low hanging fruit” when determining how and where to spend time and resources in addressing this issue. This is one of the only types of “fruit” “grown” in the Gulf and there is a lot of it. And the thinking continues, the things will continue to develop here, so getting this low hanging fruit is essential

Of course this just circles me back around to the first point that if all the expats “went back to their country,” something I was told a couple weeks ago actually, would the demand for new and more buildings and infrastructure be reduced? Would the demand for desalinating water and transporting food be diminished? The answer of course is yes. But would it matter with $100 per barrel of oil now being the norm? The rest of the world is guilty of supporting this region and I would be too, just less from farther away. Without these windfall profits coming to GCC Governments, they would not be able to pay the direct and indirect costs of development (real estate or human) seen for the last 20-50 years in the region. Without oil at this price, what can these countries really do? Dubai and Qatar have made an attempt to diversify but if most of the free capital in the region dried up, I do not know many people with a bright outlook on those countries. So the only green answer for me is to move back, get an apartment, use public transportation, eat local, keep working in a green business and get the price of oil to $20 a barrel. “Piece of cake.” Until next time...

The Green Spy


October 2011

Gitex October 9-13

Green Middle East October 17-19







Saudi Green Building Forum

BGreen’s “Green Business” networking event dedicated to the sustainability arena

Developed in conjunction with key governmental partners, agencies and other leading stakeholders, the Saudi Green Building Forum is a key event in the Kingdom’s on-going efforts to raise awareness and promote sustainability. Riyadh Saudi Arabia

The ‘green business’ networking event is an informal session organised to discuss ways that businesses can proactively work together to advance green, sustainability and wellness ideas, and to network with potential clients, suppliers and service providers in these fields. Dubai UAE

Power + Water Middle East 2011 October 16-18

Abu Dhabi UAE

2011 International Conference on Environment and BioScience October 21-23


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

NOVEMBER 21-24 The Big 5 Gaia Awards

The Gaia Awards has grown into the industry’s most respected awards honouring those construction products that have truly integrated the concept of green. Supported by BGreen, this year’s Gaia panel is developing the awards further opening them to not only exhibitors but also non-exhibitors whose products are distributed within the Middle East. Dubai UAE

Solar Investment Summit - Middle East 2011 October 26-27

Dubai UAE

Cairo Egypt

6th International Green Awards November 24




The Transurban International conference

World Green Tourism December 5-7

The need to integrate urban transport and planning has always made sense. If land development is scattered then expensive infrastructure need to link it to the rest of the city. It costs residents and workers time, fuel and money better spent on more productive activities. This conference tackles the important issue of integrating urban transport and land use.

Abu Dhabi UAE



October 2011

A look at our sustainable heritage


ndigenous to the coasts of the Arabian Peninsula, India, and East Africa, the earliest dhows were shellbuilt simple dugouts with teak planks sewn to their sides to form a hull. Gradually, larger vessels evolved, employing a keel to which planking was sewn. For thousands of years, Omanis used these dhows to ply a sea-trading thoroughfare stretching north to Mesopotamia, east to India, and southwest to Africa.


Taking advantage of seasonal winds, they sailed to foreign ports during the winter, returning home in the summer. Today, in a world where energy used for transportation causes such an alarming amount of pollution, it is wise to remember that, at one point, all we needed to travel was wind. Sustainable transport is still an option today and one we should all think about more seriously.

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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