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Sustainability in the Middle East Issue 42 | february 2014


Review: Abu dhabi Sustainability week Two hotel chains reveal their eco business plan sixty golden minutes — what earth hour means to you

Blueprint for a green future

Four green building councils explain their mission

Publication licensed by IMPZ

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A glimpse of the future... today As I write the team here at BGreen is recovering from Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week including the the World Future Energy Summit, which was the biggest ever attracting 30,000 people from more than 170 countries. From luxury hybrid cars to super-efficient solar panels, there were thousands of energy-saving products and in addition, there were a conferences and associated exhibition programmes addressing every aspect of sustainability. It was and is a superb showcase for sustainability but more importantly the UAE and the wider region. Our sustainable obstacles are different from much of the world: the extreme heat and the dust as well as a very limited natural water supply. But WFES is the key date for industry leaders and governments from around the world and its fourth edition, it has come of age. I also found time to pop along to the official opening of the new Siemens HQ at Masdar City, an impressive building designed by architect David Ardill who was justifiably proud of the achievement. We’ve a story about it on page 10 but we’re hoping to run a full spread with pictures next month. It is a genuine glimpse of the future since the design was decided by computer based on its sustainable and energy efficient qualities. As David explained it was “sustainability first, design second” rather than most buildings which are designed and engineers try to incorporate the necessary energy-saving features. I liked the building a great deal, though I still hope to see Herald Waiti, who is responsible for the interior, running through the huge open-plan office late at night, triggering a trail of light behind him as he sets off the sophisticated movement-sensing desk lamps inside. January has been a great month for anyone involved in sustainability in the Middle East and it looks set to be an exciting 2014.

REGISTERED AT IMPZ PO BOX 13700, DUBAI, UAE TEL: +971 4 440 9100 FAX: +971 4 447 2409 WWW.CPIMEDIAGROUP.COM Printed by Printwell Printing press LLC © Copyright 2014 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.

Gary Wright Senior Editor Sustainability Division




Contents February2014



Middle East Electricity Preview Experts will gather for the longest running tradeshow in the region with 1,200 exhibitors from 54 countries 26

Zero waste to landfill for Sharjah

Khaled Al Huraimel, Group CEO at Bee’ah waste management company reveals the progress of its Zero Waste to landfill by 2015 plan and the challenges along the way

Construction 28

Running on time

Darko Macura, rail operations director of Drake & Scull Rail, explains how his company’s rail development in the region will be green 30

Big 5 Saudi Preview

The Big 5 2014 will be the biggest to date in the kingdom and sustainable building is an increasingly large sector



Historic legacy


In 1972 the President and CEO of Volvo recognised the environmental threat from vehicle production. He said: “We are part of the problem, but we are also a part of the solution.” Today the fight continues


Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 34


UAE: Burj al Arab goes green and a Siemens’ masterpiece 12

MENA: Iraq’s ambition for the environment 14

World: World Bank demands carbon pricing 16


World Future Energy Summit

30,000 attendees from 172 countries: the largest World Energy Future Summit (WFES) ran for three days




Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week’s inaugural EcoWASTE exhibition posed a useful platform to help meet the agenda

World: Climate change threatens winter Olympics 18


Biodegradable batteries packed with sugar could be on the market within three years

Energy & Water 20

Solar Middle East Preview

Exhibitors and conferences aimed at solar industry for professionals and experts from around the world






The eco-hotel with its own farm

Ramada Hotel and Suites Ajman is one of the most eco-friendly hotels in the region with a pioneering urban farm and zero landfill project 54





Hempel explains its sustainable range with paints that save energy, reduce mould... and how new technology is ending the threat of VOCs

Oil & Gas 60

Sustainable oil?

A new process set to make a huge impact in the Middle East where abandoned oil fields can be pressed back into service

Society 62

Green Personality

Jane Goodall, UN messenger of peace and chimpanzee protector 65

Diary Dates

Events, conferences and roundtables 66

Sustainable Past


The ancient Mayan civilisation thrived for two millennia thanks to water management skills being copied today


International Water Summit

Masdar hosted the second International Water Summit during Sustainability Week. The summit is now an important focus for the management of a scarce resource. By Lorraine Bangera Green Building 40

Can regulators agree a green code?


We speak with four green building councils from Qatar, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Tunisia, who reveal their differing experiences of building practice

Business 44

International hotel sustainability Rotana talks about its global corporate sustainability platform and explains why it is good business

Leisure 48

Earth Hour 2014

How Emirate Wildlife Society in association with WWF is making Earth Hour even more relevant this year





His Highness Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Ali Al Nuaimi Environmental Advisor Ajman Government Chief Executive Officer Al Ihsan Charity Centre Chairman International Steering Committee for the Global Initiative Towards a Sustainable Iraq (GITSI)

expert panel The BGreen Expert Panel provides a platform for those across a wide sector of industries who are active in encouraging sustainable practices. real experts who can share their views, analyses, and research with our informed readers. Our panellists meet every few months to discuss news, strategies and solutions on focussed topics related to sustainability. OUR Panellists write for the magazine - opinions and analyses - as well as on our website in a portfolio format documenting their contributions. The Panel is growing as we seek to form the ultimate taskforce of decision makers, academics, consultants and engineers that contribute and encourage a sustainable watershed across industries.

If you would like to nominate an expert to join our panel, please email




Saeed Alabbar LEED AP, Estidama PQP Vice Chairman Emirates Green Building Council Director Alabaar Energy and Sustainability Group

Thomas Bohlen NCARB,LEED AP, BD +C, ESTIDAMA PQP Chief Technical Officer Middle East Centre for Sustainable Development

Abdulrahman Jawahery President Gulf Petrochemical Industries Company Chairman GPCA Responsible Care Initiative

Dr Michael Kr채mer Senior Associate Taylor Wessing (Middle East) LLP Legal Counsel Emirates Solar Industry Association

DR Mutasim Nour Director of MSc Energy Heriot Watt University, School of Engineering and Physical Sciences

Ivano Iannelli Chief Executive Officer Dubai Carbon Centre of Excellence

William Whistler Managing Director Green Building Solutions International

Roderick Wiles Director - Africa, Middle East, India and Oceania American Hardwood Export Council

Tanzeed Alam Policy Director EWS-WWF

Alan Millin LEED AP, Chartered Engineer consultant/trainer Middle East Facility Management Association

Jose Alberich PARTNER AT Kearney

Paolo Cervini Vice president & General manager Philips Lighting Middle East & Turkey Philips

innovation partner

news UAE

Architect David Ardill of Sheppard Robson won a competition 30 months ago

Siemens shows off its Masdar City masterpiece


he first LEED Platinum certified office building in Abu Dhabi was officially inaugurated on Janu-

ary 22. Electrical engineering giant Siemens’ new Middle East headquar-

Burj Al Arab secures green recognition

ters, which will accommodate 800 employees, is at Masdar City adjacent to the Masdar Institute. Architect David Ardill, of Sheppard Robson, won a competition 30 months ago to design the building, which uses 50% less energy than a similar sized


urj Al Arab hotel in Dubai has been awarded international

conventional building. The distinctive

Green Globe Certification (GGC) following a comprehensive

façade is dominated by aluminium

sustainability audit.

shades over the windows, each in-

Heinrich Morio, General Manager at Burj Al Arab, said: “The cer-

dividually designed to provide 100%

tificate is a testament to Burj Al Arab’s dedication to ensuring that

shading to 95% of glazed surfaces. Ar-

green policies are at the heart of our business and that they are an

dill explained how the original design

essential part of our long-term business strategy.”

brief has been met to reduce energy

Burj Al Arab excelled in all areas of the operational audit, particularly in water usage reduction, grey water recycling, as well as in managing its energy output by regulating room temperature in the suites and carbon footprint. The audit was conducted by Dubai-based consultancy Farnek, GGC’s preferred partner in the Middle East. The hotel’s environmental efforts were also praised, such as its Dubai Turtle Rehabilitation Project that has helped hundreds of sea turtles return back into the wild, some fitted with satellite tags to allow marine biologists further insight into their migratory patterns. Apart from the rehabilitation centre, the hotel manage-

heinrich morio General manager at Burj Al Arab “The certificate is a testament to Burj Al Arab’s dedication to ensuring that green policies are at the heart of our business and that they are an essential part of our long-term business strategy”

demand by 65% and water by 50%. Herald Waiti, Siemens ME head of SRE, explained how there are ‘practically no internal light switches’ and that everything is controlled through movement sensors. “Desk lamps are light sensitive and dim according to the amount of external light coming through the windows,” he explained. Waiti even said how at night time someone could run through an emp-

ment team encourages colleague participation in other com-

ty office and be followed in a trail of

munity initiatives such as breast cancer awareness, beach

light. ‘I have tried it,’ he joked with

clean-ups and mobile phone collections.

assembled journalists.



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news MENA

5 years strategic co-operation agreement between unep and iraq

UN supports Iraq’s ambition for the environment

New partnership will invest in Saudi solar power he Government of Iraq has


Areas of cooperation defined by the

Abdul Latif Jameel Energy and Fotowatio Renew-

signed a cooperation agreement

agreement are: environmental legislation

able Ventures (FRV) have formed a joint venture to

with the United Nations Envi-

and regulations; biodiversity conserva-

develop photovoltaic (PV) solar energy projects in

ronment Programme (UNEP) to speed

tion; the green economy; cleaner pro-

the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Both companies will

environmental recovery and support

duction; resource efficiency; combating

jointly develop and invest in solar plants.


dust storms; and climate change report-





ing, mitigation and adaptation.

Through this venture, FRV and Abdul Latif Jameel Energy will also participate in the tender of


the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable

hosted by Iraqi Minister of Environ-

ment is by no means a light under-

Energy (KA-CARE) programme, which includes the

ment Eng. Sargon Lazar Slewa to wel-

taking, especially after decades of

construction of 41 GW of solar power by 2032, of

come UNEP Executive Director Achim

wars, sanctions and environmental

which 16 GW is PV.

Steiner on his first visit to Iraq.

signed on January 26 at a special event



degradation,” said Steiner. “Rebuilding

KA-CARE is looking to PV, concentrated solar

Slewa said: “The Government of

Iraq’s environmental infrastructure

power, wind, geothermal, waste conversion as well

Iraq is committed to moving ahead

underpins the country’s recovery and

as nuclear energy to diversify Saudi Arabia’s ener-

with plans to restore the environment

peace-building efforts.”

gy sources in the future. These projects represent an estimated investment of over $60 billion.

as part of our National Development

Cooperation between the Govern-

Plan. The visit by Mr Steiner and the

ment of Iraq and UNEP dates back to

Roberto de Diego Arozamena, CEO of Abdul Latif

signing of the cooperation agreement

2003, immediately after the establish-

Energy said: “The joint venture of Abdul Latif Ja-

will expedite and further strengthen

ment of the Ministry of Environment.

meel Energy with a world class developer of solar

Since then, UNEP has worked with

power plants such as FRV creates a highly com-

The new five-year Strategic Coopera-

the Iraqi Government on projects such

petitive and experienced new player in the solar

tion Agreement with UNEP is intended

a, rapid post-conflict environmental

energy space. We aim to bring best cost, flawless

to strengthen Iraq’s attempts to over-

assessments, environmental clean-up

execution and optimal energy pricing to the Saudi

come the country’s many environmen-

of contaminated sites, and the restora-

Arabian market supported by FRV’s significant

tal challenges.

tion of the Mesopotamian Marshlands.

track record and experience.”

this process.”



news WORLD


new missions set to launch in 2014

Space agency NASA turns its attention to Earth

Availon signs 124 MW wind farms maintenance contract in Italy Availon has announced that it has won a 124 MW maintenance contract for two Italian wind farms from Five NASA Earth science missions will

planet will make a significant difference

Alpiq Holding, the Swiss energy group that owns and

fly into space this year, with two of them

in people’s lives around the world.”

operates the two farms. The full service maintenance contract runs for 10 years, and covers 62 Gamesa wind

headed for the International Space Sta-

The first new NASA Earth science

tion. NASA says the new missions will

mission of 2014 is the Global Precipita-

open more technically advanced remote

tion Measurement Core Observatory,

Markus Spitzer, Managing Director of Availon, said:

eyes to monitor the changing planet.

a joint international project with the

“This contract is a major success for Availon in Italy,


Two of the 2014 Earth science mis-

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency,

where we currently service 280 wind turbines. This

sions will be sent to the International

JAXA. The GPM Core Observatory is

strengthens our leading position on the Italian wind

Space Station to measure ocean winds,

scheduled to launch on February 27

energy market, in which we expect to experience con-

clouds, and aerosols, marking NASA’s

from JAXA’s Tanegashima Space Center

tinued growth.”

first use of the orbiting laboratory as a

on a Japanese H-IIA rocket. The space-

Both wind farms are located in Sicily. Availon has

24/7 Earth-observing platform. The new

craft was built at NASA’s Goddard Space

taken over responsibility for the maintenance of the

instruments are the first of a series that

Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland. This

wind turbines, after the expiry of the wind farms war-

will observe Earth routinely from the

mission inaugurates an unprecedented

ranty period.

Space Station.

international satellite constellation that

The ‘Complete Modular’ maintenance service

will produce the first nearly global ob-

agreement includes all planned and unplanned main-

servations of rainfall and snowfall.

tenance work except for main component failures, as

“As NASA prepares for future missions to an asteroid and Mars, we’re focussed on Earth right now,” said NASA

NASA says this new information will

well as technical and energetic availability guarantees.

Administrator Charles Bolden. “With

help answer questions about Earth’s

Alpiq, which fully owns the two wind farms, has se-

five new missions set to launch in 2014,

life-sustaining water cycle, and im-

cured an extensive spare parts inventory, which will

this really is shaping up to be the year

prove water resource management and

be used be Availon to provide a maintenance service at

of the Earth, and this focus on our home

weather forecasting.

the highest standard of efficiency and quality.



news WORLD


world bank target for green bond market by 2015

World Bank chief calls for carbon pricing World Bank President Jim Yong Kim

discussions on climate change at this

has called for companies to disclose

year’s World Economic Forum provided

their climate risk exposure and

the clearest indication yet that 2014 will

wants to see greater investment in

be the year when the world can and

green bonds.

must come together to meet the grow-

“Now is the time to act for future

Climate change may threaten Winter Olympics

ing challenge of climate change.

generations before it is too late,” said

Figueres wrote, “There is almost no

A new report says climate change is so dramatic that

the banker while speaking at the World

better place than the WEF to put your

many of the countries that have previously hosted the

Economic Forum last month in Swit-

finger on the pulse of what global busi-

Winter Olympics will be too warm.

zerland. He said there must be a price

ness and political leaders are think-

The forthcoming Winter Olympics will be held in

on carbon and more support for green

ing and get a sense of the trends that

Sochi, Russia starting February 7, but the report has

bonds as part of the fight against cli-

shape the lives of billions of people

cast doubt over the event’s future.

mate change.

on this planet. Undeniably, climate

The study conducted by the University of Waterloo

At the World Economic Forum, Kim

change is now right back up there

in Canada, says only six of the previous Winter

called on government leaders to break

among the top concerns of business

Olympics host cities will be cold enough to host reliably

out of the small steps of business as

and political leaders.”

the games by the end of this century, if global warming projections prove to be accurate.

usual and provide that structure. First, by putting a price on carbon and second,

The average February daytime temperature of

by having financial regulators require

Winter Games locations has steadily increased — from

companies and financial institutions to

0.4°C at the games held in the 1920-50s, to 3.1°C during

assess their exposure to climate-related

the 1960-90s, and 7.8°C in the 21st century. The study finds that internationally renowned

risks and disclose it. Kim also called for doubling the

Olympic sites like Vancouver, Squaw Valley, USA,

market for green bonds, which support

Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, and Sochi, Russia

climate adaptation and mitigation pro-

will no longer have climates suitable to reliably host the

jects such as renewable energy, energy

Games by the middle of the 21st century. With additional

efficiency, and carbon reduction, to $20

warming projected for later decades of this century, as

billion this year and $50 billion by the

few as six former host locations would be suitable. The study also examines how technological

time a new international climate agree-

advancements and strategies developed over several

ment is reached in Paris in 2015. He urged institutional investors to

decades have been used to manage weather risk at

commit to green bonds targets in their

the Winter Olympics. Technology like snowmaking,

portfolios. “We have seen great climate


leadership from countries and compa-

weather forecasting are now critical components of

nies, but emissions are still rising, the

staging a successful Winter Games.




poor are suffering,” said Kim. “This is the

“Despite technological advances, there are limits to

year to take action on climate change.

what current weather risk management strategies can

There are no excuses.”

cope with,” said Dr. Robert Steiger of the Management Center Innsbruck. “By the middle of this century,

According to the United Nations’

these limits will be surpassed in some former Winter

top climate official, UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres, the



World Bank President Jim Yong Kim

Olympic host regions.”

news really?!

Sugar solution Biodegradable batteries packed with sugar could replace conventional batteries within the next three years

fessor of biological systems engineering at the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the College of Engineering, were published last month in the journal Nature Communications. Zhang





though this is not the first time sugar batteries have been developed, it is the first time the energy density has been higher than other conventional batteries. This allows the batteries to run longer before needing to be recharged. Zhang along with his team constructed a synthetic enzymatic pathway that strip all charge potentials from the sugar to generate electricity in an enzymatic fuel cell. Low-cost biocatalyst enzymes are then used as catalyst instead of costly platinum, which is typically used in conventional batteries. The sugar battery combines fuel, maltodextrin, with air to generate electricity and water as the main by-products. Maltodextrin combines parts of sugar and starch, and is often used in edible items like baked goods to improve texture. Unlike conventional battery fuels (hydrogen fuel cells and direct methanol fuel cells), maltodextrin is neither explosive nor flammable and has higher energy storage density. If successful, the batteries could be powering cell phones, tablets, video games and other electronic gadgets in


the just three years.

t is difficult to imagine a world with-

Disposal is regulated in some parts

out the disposable battery: they are

of the world but billions are simply

Sugar is like an energy storage

vital for everything from your wrist-

tossed out with the trash and find their

compound, which makes it available

way into landfill.

to be used for charging batteries, say

watch to your TV remote control and of course many children’s toys.

Sugar batteries offer a solution and

the boffins.

The alkaline battery has been in

stop some of this waste ending up in

This is just one of Zhang’s notable

common use for 50 years and although

landfills. The battery entirely powered

works, he has also published articles

the level of poisonous mercury has

by sugar has an unmatched energy

on creating edible starch from non-

been reduced by law, alkaline batter-

density which will be cheaper, refill-

food plants and developed a new way

ies are prone to leaking potassium hy-

able, and biodegradable.

to extract hydrogen in an economical

droxide, a caustic agent that can cause respiratory, eye and skin irritation.



The research and development by Y.H. Percival Zhang, an associate pro-

and environment-friendly way that can be used to power vehicles.

Welcome to the future of environmental technology

May 5–9, 2014

Register now online! Save up to 30% and gain time at the venue!

World’s Leading Trade Fair for Water, Sewage, Waste and Raw Materials Management Be a part of this get-together of the worldwide environmental technology sector— at IFAT 2014 in Munich. Come and experience innovative new products and learn about successful strategies for the future. And benefit from the exclusive supporting program at IFAT and the opportunity for international networking. Visit IFAT’s sister events around the world: May 20–22, 2014

October 9–11, 2014

Information: German Emirati Joint Council for Industry and Commerce (AHK) | Dubai Tel. 04 447 0100 |

energy & Water solar middle east preview

Middle East set for solar boost

Solar Middle East 2014 will focus on a market expected to be worth over $3bn

Solar Middle East returns this year after making a mark in its inaugural showcase last year. The event will provide insight into the Middle East’s solar industry for professionals and experts across the globe


olar energy in the Middle East

faces and how to harness this infinite

offers one of the biggest, un-

resource and integrate it into regional

tapped energy resources and

power grids.

new developments continue to increase its attractions.

MENA focuses on solar power

After its debut last year, Solar Mid-

This year, Middle East and North Africa’s

dle East will be held from February 11-

solar energy sector is gearing up for a

“As of April 2013, there were 106 re-

13 at the Dubai International Exhibi-

significant growth with the regional

newable energy projects in the pipeline

tion Centre.

market for photovoltaic and solar ther-

in the region, totalling over 7.5 GW of

mal power plants expected to reach 3.5

new electric generation capacity. This is

GW by 2015.

in addition to 10 major projects set to go

Development in the industry has been substantial in the past year, with Solar ME promising to be an essential platform for the growth.

ahead in the UAE, Kuwait, Oman, Egypt,

According to the Middle East and

Jordan and Morocco.”

North Africa Outlook 2013-2017 Report

The event is organised by Informa

published by US-based Greentech Me-

Mathews added that the majority of

Energy Group and will run alongside

dia Research, solar energy is expected

demand for solar energy will originate

Middle East Electricity, the region’s pre-

to exceed a combined output of 10 GW

in Turkey and Saudi Arabia, with the lat-

mier power exhibition. Solar ME, how-

in the region by 2017.

ter leading the way towards the region’s first gigawatt scale solar market by 2015.

ever, is a more comprehensive gathering

Anita Mathews, Director of Informa

for solar energy enthusiasts and experts.

Energy Group, said the booming solar

Mathews said: “This region is one of

The event will bring together a notable

landscape, a result of high solar irra-

the few in the world where renewable

line-up of exhibitors from all over the

diation, rising electricity prices and an

energy investment seems to be weath-

world. It will provide an opportunity for

increasing population throughout the

ering with new investments totalling

technology manufacturers and system

region, will further strengthen the role

integrators to build relationships with

of this year’s Solar Middle East.

industry influencers and key decision

Mathews said: “The MENA renewable

makers within the solar market in the

energy market is expanding rapidly with

GCC and wider Middle East.

a diverse range of countries announcing

Solar ME will also feature a dedicat-

projects to exploit the region’s abundant

ed industry conference, addressing key

wealth of energy resources for economic

challenges that the Middle East region

growth and energy expansion.



3.5gw estimated mena market for pv and solar power plants by 2015

$2.9 billion in 2012, an increase of almost 40% over 2011. “An increasing number of countries in the Middle East are keen to invest in the region’s thriving solar industry – the region is gradually tapping these resources to pave the way for a new market.”

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energy and water middle east electricity

MEE attracted more than 18,000 visitors last year

MEE faces rise in power demand

billion set to be pumped into the re-

As electricity consumption in the region accelerates, experts will get together along with 1,200 exhibitors from 54 countries for the largest and longest running tradeshow in the region: Middle East Electricity 2014

for anyone working in the power market.

gion’s power sector by 2020. Published by MEED Insight earlier last year, the report said in many instances utilities have struggled to keep up, resulting in investments worth billions of dollars in new power plants. More than $100-bn of investment is required by 2020 to meet the additional capacity with the same amount to be invested in the transmission and distribution sectors – representing a lucrative growth opportunity Anita Mathews, Director of Informa Energy Group, organisers of Middle East Electricity, said: “Soaring demand and rapid industrial developments are the prime factors that have fuelled the growth of the electricity industry in the


Middle East and North Africa region. Othemand for electric power in the

factors propelling demand for electric-

MENA region will continue to

ity, with some countries diversifying

grow by seven per cent annu-

fuel sources and investing in renewable

ally in the coming decade, according

energies, especially solar power, as part

to a report published by the Economist

of their efforts to expand power supply.

February 11-13, 2014

ers include increasing urbanisation and

Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre

boom that has now returned to the region.

lifestyle improvements that come with growing economic prosperity, further enhanced by the resurgent construction “The growth of regional power de-

Intelligence Unit (EIU). The report, titled

Another report, MENA Power 2013

MENA’s Electric Power Supplies to 2020,

report, states consumption of electric-

states that population growth, econom-

ity in the MENA region would grow at a

popularity of Middle East Electricity;

ic development and industrialisation,

faster pace over the next decade, with

we are very close to selling all available

driven by rising oil prices, are significant

investments worth more than $200

exhibition space for the 2014 edition



mand is also reflected in the increasing

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energy and water middle east electricity

Middle East Electricity is the largest and longest running power event in the region, and one of the largest in the world, covering more than 50,000 square metres

Middle East Electricity Awards The awards ceremony recognises outstanding achievements of individuals, departments, teams or organisations that have contributed to the growth and development of the energy industry with focus on power, lighting, new & renewable, nuclear and water sectors.

18,000+ decision makers from around the world

some three months before the show

The categories

ning power event in the region, and

opens and next year will certainly be

one of the largest in the world, cover-

the largest edition yet.”

ing more than 50,000 square metres of

The three-day event is strategically

exhibition space.

located in Dubai, a hub of regional eco-

“After a highly successful edition in

nomic activity, providing exhibitors

2013, where 18,166 unique visitors walked

the ideal platform to showcase their

through the exhibition halls, we are now

latest energy related products and

looking forward to a successful 2014 edi-

services to more than 18,000 decision

tion, which will host some of the biggest

makers from around the world. Taking

names in the global energy industry.”

„„ „„ „„ „„ „„ „„ „„ „„ „„ „„ „„

Power Project of the Year Lighting Project of the Year Solar Project of the Year Best Innovation or Technology of the Year Power & Water Utility of the Year HSE Project or Initiative of the Year Young Engineer of the Year Best Marketing Campaign Best Product Launch at Middle East Electricity 2014 Power Personality of the Year Green Champion of the Year

place from February 11-13 2014 at the

Held under the patronage of His

Dubai International Convention and

Highness Sheikh Maktoum bin Mo-

Exhibition Centre, Middle East Elec-

hammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum,

ences: the Green Energy Middle East conference on

tricity focuses on the power, lighting,

Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Middle East Elec-

11 February, embracing cleaner power production

renewable and nuclear sectors, and

tricity is co-located with Solar Middle

and energy efficiency strategy to achieve a sus-

featuring more than 1,200 exhibitors

East, the region’s most comprehensive

tainable future for the Middle East.

from 100 countries.

gathering of solar technology suppliers.

Middle East Electricity 2014 is partnered

Mathews said: “Middle East Elec-

The combined events feature two

with,Power Nigeria in Lagos and Africa Electricity

tricity is the largest and longest run-

dedicated one-day industry confer-



in Johannesburg.

energy and water bee’ah

Zero tolerance to landfills Three years ago, Bee’ah, the region’s leading waste management company set out a plan towards ‘Zero Waste by 2015’. Khaled Al Huraimel, Group CEO of Bee’ah, speaks to Lorraine Bangera about the company’s strategies and challenges faced along the way


Right: Khaled Al Huraimel, Group CEO of Bee’ah: “Sharjah will be the first Arab city to divert 100% of its waste from landfill.’

ee’ah was an exhibitor at the World Future Energy Summit for the fourth time this year. Khaled Al Huraimel, Group CEO said the

company uses WFES to present its latest solutions and initiatives in line with its goal: Zero-Waste to landfill by 2015. Bee’ah aims to recover the maximum value from waste, recycle recovered materials, and then convert the non-recyclable segment of the waste into energy. Since its establishment in 2007, Bee’ah has achieved tremendous results through efficient waste management. Al Huraimel states: “Bee’ah currently diverts around 62% of waste away from landfill. “It is well on track to achieving its goal through its efforts towards implementing environmental solutions, efficient waste systems, and adopting international best practices.”

Strategic approach to waste “Recovering maximum value from waste has been Bee’ah’s strategy since 2007,” said Al Huraimel. The company has set in place various facilities and initiatives that aim to:



Bee’ah’s facilities and initiatives include:

„„ „„ „„ „„ „„ „„ „„ „„ „„ „„ „„ „„ „„


The region’s most advanced waste management fleet Collection fleet that is powered by green diesel, gas, electric power, and solar power The world’s third largest material recovery facility (MRF) The region’s only cryogenic tyre recycling facility One of the world’s busiest construction and demolition waste recycling facilities Wekaya, the medical waste collection and treatment arm The largest end-of-life-vehicle and metal shredding and recycling plant in the region A dedicated e-waste dismantling facility Industrial oils and liquid treatment facility The region’s largest office recycling programme Confidential document and data destruction and recycling The region’s first and only environmental loyalty programme, MyBee’ah The Bee’ah school of environment that educates over 164,000 students across the UAE The Sharjah Environmental Awareness Awards for schools, teachers, and students

energy and water bee’ah

Educate the public and create community awareness about the challenges of waste in the UAE

Implement a holistic economic, industrial and social framework which promotes the four Rs: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Recover

Recover materials from waste and recycle them

Convert non-recyclable wastes to produce energy that is fed into the national grid

Legal challenges When asked about the challenges Bee’ah faces to achieve its goal, Al Huraimel said: “The lack of legal enforcement





challenge faced in the region today.” He pointed out that Bee’ah aims to enhance the environment and achieve added-value



while upholding its commitments to stakeholders; all of which is not achievable without the proper framework of laws and legislations that support this change.

“Recovering maximum value from waste has been Bee’ah’s strategy since 2007.” Al Huraime

Green capital of ME The emirate of Sharjah is focusing heavily on recycling waste as it aims to achieve zero waste to landfill

carbon footprint, and at the same time

by 2015, in line with the vision of

achieve a zero-waste output.“

His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Member of

Importance of zero waste

the Supreme Council and Ruler of

According to the CEO, zero-waste

Sharjah, for Sharjah to be the leading

should be a priority for all cities.

environmental city in the Middle East.







Al Huraimel said: “By achieving

an economical point of view, by

this goal, Sharjah will be the first

extracting the valuable materials for

Arab city to divert 100% of its waste

recycling will lead to less costs and

from landfill. Bee’ah aims to fulfil

resources to extract new material

that goal in an effort to contribute

from the Earth; this practice also

towards Sharjah being recognised

helps people and companies prosper

as the Environmental Capital of the

while using fewer inputs – all the

Middle East.”

while contributing to a sustainable

The company endeavors to turn material and physical waste into recycled resources that can be reused by the community. Al




household waste into energy will help

environment and economy.


Sharjah become a more sustainable

energy as certain schemes can create

will lead to less dependence on

arab city to divert waste from landfill

harmful pollutants to the ecosystem;

landfills and will help revolutionize

when our main aim is to reduce our

our waste management processes.”

emirate. We are carefully studying

“From a waste management point of

the various projects for waste-to-

view, diverting all waste from landfill




Final destination is a sustainable rail future

the environment while achieving our goals and targets. This vision is shared by everyone at DSI, from top management to the employees.” In the past 12 months more than $30bn-worth of rail construction contracts has been awarded, from metro projects in Saudi Arabia to tram systems in Algeria – that is a huge increase on the $4 billion-worth of contracts signed in 2012. Darko Macura, rail operations director at Drake & Scull Rail

The $22bn Riyadh Metro project of course grabbed all the headlines in the region. But there has been activity in the rest of the region as well, like the Etihad Rail, Doha Metro, as well as overland rail schemes announced in

Darko Macura, rail operations director of Drake & Scull Rail (DSR), one of the biggest players in the railway market, talks about DSR’s ambitions for this region and about the company’s green policies

Oman and Qatar. UAE’s Etihad Rail is the leader for overland rail projects. The first phase is nearing completion and phase 2 construction contracts are on the verge of being awarded. “We are aware that our market has a delicate and vulnerable eco-system so we strive to ensure that we have minimal impact on the environment while delivering projects. We have clear guidelines on material and equip-


he MENA region is undergoing

and services in every sector of the

ment that can be deployed on site. We

a rail revolution and as con-

rail industry.

have a honed recycling system where

tractors and engineers from

Among its biggest projects are the

we ensure that material wastage is

around the world turn their atten-

redevelopment of St Pancras Station in

reduced as much as possible, which

tions here, competition in the rail

London as well as the high-speed rail

in turn makes our purchase process

sector is tough — but Drake & Scull

line across south east England linking

more efficient.

Rail’s chief is confident his company

the capital with the Channel Tunnel

will come out a winner.

and railways across Europe.

“Through our LEED experience on our Engineering and Civil projects, we

Rail operations director Darko Ma-

And while DSR is promises the

are also familiar with energy efficient

cura said: “We believe that, with our

highest international standards for

practices and have the capability to

skills from the Far East and the UK,

rail projects, sustainability is of an

run power and cooling analysis simu-

in combination with our resources in

equally high priority says Macura.

the GCC region, which have been es-

“Drake & Scull International and

tablished here for the last 40 years, we

DSR are responsible and conscious

are able to offer clients a good product

participants in our markets,” he said.

$4bn worth of contracts signed in 2012

lations on project designs to identify areas of concern quickly. “One of our subsidiaries also specialises in modular off site construction, which has proven to be cost ef-

in a cost effective way and to the best

“We have invested heavily into add-

standards of safety and quality. Safety

ing more green methods in all our pro-

fective and time saving, and reduces

and quality come first for DSR.”

cesses, right from design and planning

the need for huge manpower on site.”

From stations and depots to tunnels

to post operation maintenance.

and viaducts, DSR caters to industry,

“DSI’s wastewater business has

manufacturing, governmental and

spearheaded the waste to energy

railroad clients in MENA and South

technology introduction in the Middle

Asia. The company offers complete

East. All of these are examples of our

engineering, procurement and con-

unwavering commitment to ensure

struction solutions for all systems

that we make a positive impact on



$30bn worth of rail contracts signed in 2013

But Macura believes protecting the environment does not mean projects will be more costly. He said: “Sustainable construction doesn’t need to be more expensive as long as proper planning is done prior to moving resources on site. While standard build-


“We have invested heavily into adding more green methods in all our processes, right from design and planning to post operation maintenance”

ing practices are guided by short term economic considerations, sustainable construction is based on best practices which emphasise long term affordability, quality and efficiency. “At each stage of the life cycle of the building, it increases comfort and quality of life, while decreasing negative environmental impacts and increasing the economic sustainability of the project. A building designed and constructed in a sustainable way minimises the use of water, raw materials, energy and land over the whole life cycle of the building. “Taking in the long term view, I definitely feel sustainable construction more than proves it worth.”




Construction Kingdom The Big 5 2014 will be the biggest to date, with the launch of new features and opportunities for participants to find out more about the latest technologies, innovations and solutions that can support faster, more efficient and more sustainable construction for the future

he growth of The Big 5 Saudi is


Lindemann is one of several indus-

attend USGBC certified LEED work-

reflective of the buoyant Saudi

try experts speaking at The Big 5 Semi-

shops, as well as a two hour session IMG_0357.jpg

construction sector, with an es-

nar Series is a brand new feature, with

highlighting the key details of the new IMG_0358.jpg

timated $94,147 million worth of pro-

a schedule of educational seminars

LEED version 4, launched in November

jects confirmed for 2014. Much of this

with local and regional and interna-

2013 – critical intelligence for all mod-

spend will be focussed on the western

tional specialists from across the in-

ern construction professionals. Com-

region of the country, for which Jeddah

dustry, presenting their views on the

pleting the educational line up will be

is the key hub.

latest trends and challenges, sharing

a free, full-day concrete repair work-

Big 5 Saudi surpassed all expecta-

best practice and taking part in panel

shop, providing up to date information

tions when it launched in 2011, and

discussions. The seminars will all run

has continued to see phenomenal

under the overarching theme of sus-

growth ever since. The event now en-

tainable construction, from materials,

compasses the entire space of the Jed-

architecture and master planning, to

dah International Fairs and Exhibition

presentations on best practice, includ-

Centre, as well as a purpose-built arena

ing the King Abdullah University for

constructed onsite for the event and

Science & Technology (KAUST), and

together the top industry buyers and

3,000m2 of outdoor space. With 500 ex-

the White Sky iHouse, a revolutionary

provides fast track access for the most

hibitors in total – from 34 participating

new concept that connects electro mo-

relevant and influential visitors to the

countries and national pavilions from

bility to zero and plus energy houses.

event, will also return for 2014.

$19,147m estimated worth of projects confirmed for 2o14

from international thought leaders. The exhibition floor will also be host to a range of live demonstrations from exhibitors, with products being presented in an ‘as live’ environment. The popular Platinum Club, which brings

Germany, Italy, Greece, China and Tur-

This free-to-attend series held over

“This year’s Big 5 Saudi will be the

key – The Big 5 Saudi has established

two days will kick off with a panel dis-

largest construction exhibition ever

itself as a major regional event with a

cussion titled Leaders in Construction,

held in the western region,” commented

strong international reach.

which will feature Andrew Johnson of

Nathan Waugh, event director, The Big

Tobias Lindemann, CEO, White Sky

Mace Group, who is serving as project

5 Saudi. “It will offer buyers the chance

Group is familiar with working on sus-

manager of Jeddah’s Kingdom Tower,

to view the industry’s most innovative

tainable construction projects that aim

which is set to unseat Dubai’s Burj Khalifa

construction products from all over the

to drive the industry forward. He said:

as the world’s tallest building, along with

world, many of which will be seen for

“Working on ground-breaking pro-

John G. Spitz, SVP, Saudi Arabia, Hill Inter-

the first time in Saudi Arabia.

jects in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,

national; a global construction consul-

I think KSA has a unique opportunity

tancy that handles over $40 billion in pro-

to foster and innovate the future of

jects across the country. Also on the panel

sustainable construction and infra-

will be Jesdev Saggar, managing director

structure. Given strong demand and

for Capital Projects & Infrastructure, De-

climate for housing strategies, it also

loitte; and Oliver Plunkett, Buro Hap-

has great potential of implementing

pold’s Saudi Arabia country manager.

future zero and plus energy houses with combined electromobility.”



In addition to the seminar series, The Big 5 Saudi will host two pay-to-

“This year’s Big 5 Saudi will be the largest construction exhibition ever held in the western region”


A journey towards understanding


Environment and sustainability… Swedish style More than four decades ago the President and CEO of Volvo, Pehr. G. Gyllenhammar recognised the environmental threat from vehicle production. He said: “We are part of the problem, but we are also a part of the solution.” Volvo Construction Equipment in a big player in the region and BGreen asked about its future plans for the GCC


n 1972, Volvo became the first vehicle

the near term replace the existing diesel

manufacturer in the world to launch

combustion engine.”

an environmental policy, which grew

The diesel engine may be here to stay

over the years to become its core value

for a while longer but Nillroth believes

of Environmental Care.

the clean-up can be approached from

Today Volvo says that it continually

different directions.

drives forward to create new sustain-

He said: “Presently, I believe any alter-

able products for the construction in-

native will incur high development and

dustry and research and development

production costs and a need for hard

(R&D) is extremely important.

political decisions in terms of infra-

Niklas Nillroth is Volvo Construc-

structure development and aligning

tion Equipment’s vice president

public perception to enable full scale

of Core Value Management and


Corporate Social Responsibility,

“That said, Volvo Group is continually

who told BGreen about his com-

working with advanced engineering to

pany’s operation.

launch leading technologies while, in par-

have been possible. Another major benNiklas Nillroth VCE’s Vice President of CVM and CSR

efit for Volvo is also the size and scale of our engine production. As one of the leading producers of heavy duty engines

He suggests the overall biggest global

allel, cooperating with all relevant stake-

globally, we have the skills, resources

challenge is to reduce greenhouse gases,

holders such as customers, universities,

and financial standing to develop lead-

specifically CO2, and thereby limit global

politicians and other bodies concerned

ing technologies.”

warming. “How this will be done is the

with sustainability to ensure society is

single most pressing question for the

prepared for what the future holds.”

entire automotive industry, not only construction equipment,” he said.

And he believes the company’s behaviour today provides a direct link

Nillroth says Volvo is firmly focussed

with that announcement 42 years ago.

on emission reduction: “In recent years

He said: “I would say Gyllenhammar was

“Of course, there are a number of

the majority of R&D budgets have been

spot on in his 1972 statement about us

alternative solutions such as a range

spent on environmentally enhanced

being a part of the solution as well as a

of renewable fuels, technologies based

products, with a main focus on a re-

part of the problem.”

on electrical solutions and so on, but

duction of exhaust emissions. Without

I would say that currently there is not

world class R&D and an innovative ap-

Regional goals

one single technology that can or will in

proach, this development would not

Every region has its own dynamics but




Picture top, Former President and CEO of Volvo 1972, Pehr. G. Gyllenhammar. In 1972 he said: “We are part of the problem, but we are also a part of the solution.”

Looking ahead to Expo 2020 and Fidan believes the event will absolutely have a positive effect on the UAE. “We have already seen this to some extent in the real estate business in Dubai and I am sure this will also lead to further projects and construction ac-

$9bn value of the heavy construction division of volvo

tivity in the country,” he said. “The Dubai government is currently working on how to implement the plan for Expo 2020. Overall, I would say we are not expecting a copy of the growth of 2008-2009 in relation to the construction industry, but we are certainly expecting Expo2020 to have a positive influence on the industry over the coming years.”

the basics are essentially the same with the world now connected more closely than ever before, says Volvo CE (EMEA) Ilkay Fidan, Business Director Hub East at Volvo CE Sales Region EMEA. He said: “The culture in GCC countries may be a little different to other parts of the world and in terms of sustainability and care for the environment this currently manifests itself in both legislation and market demands. I would say that environmental care and sustainability are still relatively new concepts in the Gulf and are therefore more generally limited to buildings rather than across the wider perspective encompassing job sites, machines or even cars. I am sure this will change in the future and Volvo is absolutely prepared to support the GCC region on this journey.”



Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week – Special Report

Energy meets strategy With over 30,000 attendees from 172 countries, the largest ever World Energy Future Summit (WFES) ran for three days at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre. WFES has established itself as a must-attend for professionals in the field of sustainability and energy efficiency. Lorraine Bangera reports



FES is where leaders come to




talk and collaborate: world

delivered by over 120 experts on topics

leaders, business leaders,

such as the role of natural gas, energy

thought leaders. They come here to

efficiency, the need to better utilise readily

share their personal perspectives and

available technologies, the changing

inspirational stories, and offer real

dynamics of consumer behaviour and for

world solutions,” said Naji Haddad,

the first time, waste-to-energy.

show director for the summit in a preevent announcement.



Among those speaking at WFES was Jos Verbeek, Lead Economist at

Above, IVANO IANNELLI CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER Dubai Carbon Centre of Excellence

At WFES, the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy (DSCE), in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Dubai Carbon Centre of Excellence have announced the next edition of the State of Energy Report will be launching soon this year.The upcoming report will be a UAE edition, unlike the previous edition which focussed on Dubai. Ivano Iannelli, CEO of DSCE, said: “We started with Dubai because it was our first edition and it was managerially possible, but this year we are going to have a UAE edition which will cover all the emirates. We also aim to become a global edition by the year 2020.” The report is essential in this region according to Iannelli, who tells BGreen: “The main issue here is the lack of knowledge about green economy or low carbon economy. The State of Energy Report will help transfer knowledge in a tangible way. It creates a platform where knowledge is shared across similar entities in a way that can be replicated, and from where we can develop success stories from a Middle Eastern standpoint. “The reason this is so relevant is because, we are so habituated to reading success stories from Europe and America. But you never hear about our successes even though we do have a lot of stories. In one of our delegation meetings with the United Nations, we expressed how much effort we take in energy saving only to realise the delegates from UN have never heard about us. Which is why this platform is so important. “ Simply put, “why does an Arab country have to look for knowledge in Europe, when all you need to know is available in this region?”

Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week – Special Report

Thirsty Energy

the World Bank, who emphasised the importance of green energy. He said: “People are flocking to cities like never before in human history. With over 80% of global goods and services being produced in cities, urban areas have been spectacular in improving people’s livelihoods and in reducing


At the final conference of WFES and

people without access to potable water

encourage best practice in addressing

poverty. However, to maintain that momentum, reliable and affordable green energy is a must and is one of the biggest challenges urban centres face going forward.” Eicke





Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy, was among many who were impressed





World Bank launched its Thirsty Energy initiative, a global campaign to water and energy challenges and to encourage more involvement from the private sector.

50% estimated increase by 2035 in global energy consumption

It is estimated that by 2035, global energy consumption will increase by 50%, while water consumption by the energy sector will increase by 85%. In addition, climate change will further challenge water and energy management by causing more water

by this year’s conference.She applauded

variability and intensified weather

the initiative of Abu Dhabi in bringing

events, such as severe floods and

the issues of water and energy together

droughts. With more than 780 million

during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week,

people lack access to potable water,

and highlighted returning confidence

and over 1.3 billion people lack access

in the global solar panel industry as

to electricity, this initiative will help

demand catches up with supply.

cope with climate change, and water





“The long term future of energy and

Project & Finance Village, showcasing

water is fundamental to addressing




William Rex world bank water resources specialist

and energy management.

features at WFES this year included the than

The long term future of energy and water is fundamental to addressing poverty,”


poverty,” said William Rex, lead water

projects from the region and beyond;

resources specialist at the World

the Sustainable Living Expo, including

Bank’s Water Unit, adding that it was

an actual-size home and hotel suite

time “to move from insights to action”.

prototype displaying energy and water

Thirsty Energy is a global initiative

efficient products; and the Green

designed to help governments prepare

Careers Fair, promoting employment

for an uncertain future by breaking

water planning, as well as quantify

opportunities and providing career

disciplinary silos that prevent cross-

and measure trade-offs and synergies

advice and guidance in the renewable

sectoral planning. The initiative will

between water and energy resource

energies and sustainability sector.








Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week – Special Report

Wasteful thinking With Abu Dhabi producing more than 10 million metric tonnes of municipal waste each year, waste collection technologies and services is on top of the emirate’s sustainability agenda. Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week’s inaugural EcoWASTE exhibition served as a useful platform to pursue the agenda. Lorraine Bangera reports






many, Switzerland and Finland.

world sent representatives to

A series of technical workshops and

the first EcoWASTE exhibition

seminars addressed broad cross-sec-

in Abu Dhabi to discuss solutions and

tion of industry issues, including recy-

showcase innovative technology ad-

cling, waste-to-energy and advances

dressing the sustainable disposal and

in waste collection. “Our first EcoWASTE sheds further

in the region following its lead, the

EcoWASTE 2014 was held along

light on the interrelated challenges of en-

technology and insights presented at

with World Future Energy Summit and

ergy, water and waste,” said Naji El Haddad,

EcoWASTE provide a pathway towards

International Water Summit at the

EcoWASTE Show Director. “Through

a genuine sustainable waste manage-

Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre

these sessions, attendees could network

ment future.”

from January 20-22. The event received

and gain in-depth knowledge from tech-

more than 50 local and international

nical experts at the forefront of sustain-

Waste as a resource

suppliers as well as 2,000 buyers and

able waste management regionally and

Jeroen Vincent, COO at averda GCC,

industry professionals.


told BGreen: “To have a podium for

recycling of waste.

Held in partnership with TAD-

Dr Johan De Greef of Keppel Segh-

WEER-Centre of Waste Management

ers, spoke on waste-to-energy so-

and hosted by Masdar, EcoWASTE 2014

lutions tailored for the industrial

brought together experts to exchange



tions provider specialising in integrat-

know-how, network and do business

and built the GCC’s first domestic

ed waste and resource management.

in what is rapidly becoming a multi-

solid waste management centre, or

Its service portfolio addresses ranges

billion dollar industry.

DSWMC, in Qatar, which diverts up

from city beautification and cleaning

Companies like Eldan Recycling, a



He told delegates: “The GCC has the

from Denmark, joined other local and

potential to become a leader in the

international leading organisations,

waste-to-energy sector as the DSWMC

such as Bee’ah, averda, Green Moun-

in Qatar illustrates. With Abu Dhabi

tain and Lava at the event which also

aiming to divert 85% of its solid waste

saw players from countries like Ger-

from landfill by 2018 and other states


help propel innovation.” averda is an environmental solu-

to 95% of waste from landfill.

global supplier of recycling machinery


waste management like EcoWaste will

to the collection, treatment, disposal Jeroen Vincent, COO at averda, which specialises in integrated waste and resource management including cleaning, collection, treatment, disposal and recycling of all forms of solid and liquid waste

and recycling of all forms of solid and liquid waste for all industries. According to Vincent, awareness already exists in the market, all that needs to be done is “change our systems to smaller models”.

Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week – Special Report

He said: “For developing a waste

All this could be done by involving both

By guilt or fear, nobody is actually

market, you need professional players.

the manufacturers, municipality and of

moved. However if you make people

And these professional players need a

course the residents, according to Vincent.

understand how waste is a resource, it

Vincent believes waste is a useful

would be more positive and will work.”

commodity, a belief he hopes com-

The COO also talks about his fa-

feasible economic way to operate. “The existing landfills can be sanitised and used to capture gas (methane). But there are many other options before the waste goes to land-

moners would understand too.

vourite topic, the circular economy,

He said, “We see waste as a valuable

which according to him is “simple and

resource, not as waste.”

fills such as segregation at source,

“Educating the masses through fear

treating the waste or recycling. We

or guilt could be very negative. For ex-

want to execute smarter ways of

ample, if I see an accident and stop

treating waste.”

speeding, it would only be for a while.

nothing new”.

2,000 visitors to the event

85% target reduction in solid waste to landfill in abu dhabi by 2018

He said: “It is like following nature, putting back resources where it belongs. We, at averda, believe in the circular economy and the cradle to cradle philosophy. He argues that according to the philosophy, consumerism is not really wrong. He said: “Consumerism is fine, if you look at nature it consumes a lot. But what nature does is beneficial to the environment, like creating oxygen from carbon dioxide, or creating food for the animals and fertilisers for the ground. We need to follow the same pattern and give back through better waste management.”



Abu Dhabi Sustainability Report – Special Report

International Water Summit Masdar hosted the second International Water Summit during Sustainability Week. The summit is now an important focus for the management of a scarce resource. By Lorraine Bangera

“the transition to sustainability is one of the most important paradigm shifts of the modern era.”

evolution of desalination technologies has significantly reduced energy consumption and the cost of water. Technological innovation – from growth in new technologies to development of renewable sources of energy to power desalination – is the key factor in optimising water and energy costs worldwide. Increasing energy efficiency remains a goal for the industry as we chart the course to sustainable desalination.” Dr Al-Alshaikh also delivered a speech on “Sustainability: The Driver of Innovation” calling the transition to sustainability “ one of the most important paradigm shifts of the modern era.” The exhibition space at IWS grew by 25% compared to its inaugural event last year. It also posted a 70% increase in new products. This year, the new products and technologies showcased at the exhibition catered to various


industries such as agriculture, utilities and construction.

s part of the Abu Dhabi Sustain-

tainability and water, from local institu-

ability Week, Masdar hosted the

tions like Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity

second edition of International

Authority (ADWEA) and Environment

Water Summit co-located with World

Agency Abu Dhabi (EAD), through to in-

Future Energy Summit and EcoWaste

ternational organisations such as Ger-

at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition

many’s Alliance for Water Stewardship,


Director – UAE at Reed Exhibitions said,

Centre from January 20-22. IWS 2014

and United States’ Pacific Institute.

bigger than 2013

opportunity to further position them-

Ara Fernezian, Divisional Managing “Exhibitors such as Reinert-Ritz, from Germany, Ecoplage, from France, and Delta-T Devices, from the UK, had the

addressed key challenges such as water

Other institutions like the Interna-

selves in the water industry, profile their

security and water-energy nexus faced

tional Desalination Academy (IDA),

technologies and projects, meet global

in arid regions. Prime solutions recom-

which is also IWS’s knowledge part-

mended by experts included integrated

ner, arranged 15 desalination sessions

water resource management, renew-

at the summit.

able energy desalination, successful

Dr Abdullah Al-Alshaikh (pictured

strategies for water re-use, and optimis-

above right), IDA President and Deputy

ing water production

Governor for Planning and Development

The summit featured local and in-

of Saline Water Conversion Corporation

ternational experts in the field of sus-

(SWCC) said: “In the last 20 years, the


partners and gain access to leaders,

increase in new products

companies each. Italy, the USA, Swit-

policy and decision makers.” Countries like Germany, France and the United Kingdom were well represented with more than 10 different zerland, Japan and Singapore were also well represented.



cover story Green building councils

spreading the green message Around the world there are more than 90 Green Building Councils representing different countries. In the Middle East green building councils are one of the most influential NGOs at government level and BGreen had the opportunity to speak to four of them: UAE, KSA, Qatar and Tunisia – each country presents unique challenges associated with sustainable buildings

Could you tell us about the green building scenario in your respective countries?

ing to spread awareness about green buildings in Tunisia’s construction industry. We have also been talking to

Saeed Al Abbar: The Emirates Green

government organisations to under-

Building Council (EGBC) has grown

stand how we can influence policy. For

to 130 corporate members who are

us the opportunity is not only about

involved or have a stake in sustain-

transforming the green building sec-

able buildings. We conduct technical

tor but also about creating employ-

workshops where we bring multi-

ment and economic opportunities in

disciplinary experts together to tackle

the country especially in these tough

some of the challenges that are being

times of transition.

faced in the industry and the solutions

Above: (left to right): Eng. Meshal Al Shamari, QGBC,Saeed Al Abbar, EGBC,Rym Baouendi, TGBC and BGreen magazine’s Gary Wright

for R&D (GORD) to meet Qatar’s built environment requirements. They are modifying parts of the code, like local sourcing, to Saudi Arabia’s needs.

are published as technical papers. We

Dr Mohammed Alhaj Hussein: The Sau-

Whether it is Doha, Dubai or Jeddah,

have also developed technical guide-

di Green Building Council (SGBC) was

issues related to salt, chloride, sulphate or

lines to help improve the performance

established in 2008. The green building

UV are the same; the soil is the same; we

of buildings. EGBC has played a signifi-

scenario is an evolving one. Our rul-

have many things common so it is better

cant role in developing regulations for

ers have always supported sustaina-

to have a standard that suits our weather

the new construction market. Today,

ble development. But misconceptions

and environment.

availability of green building materials

about green buildings remain, and the

and equipment and skills is no longer

reasons are not far to seek. For exam-

Engineer Meshal Al Shamari: Qatar

a challenge.

ple, there are over 71 projects worth

Green Building Council (QGBC) was

several billions of riyals registered for

officially launched as an NGO in 2011

Rym Baouendi: The Tunisia Green

LEED certification, but only two or

and is supported by Qatar Foundation.

Building Council (TGBC) is a ‘baby’

three projects have been certified.

We focus mainly on education, train-

compared to other councils in the

The Riyadh Development Commis-

ing and research to drive the green

Middle East. We were set up in 2012

sion had decided to go with Global

building movement in Qatar. Thanks

as an NGO. We have been holdings



to our efforts, awareness about green

events, technical seminars and train-

(GSAS) developed by Gulf Organisation

buildings has improved in Qatar over




cover story Green building councils

Four Middle East Green Building Councils talk about their work and the differing challenges each faces. Far right, Dr Mohammed Alhaj Hussein of the Saudi Green Building Council

the last two years. LEED was first used in Qatar in 2006; in 2011, Qatar and the Gulf Organisation for Research and Development (GORD) launched GSAS. I believe that GSAS gave a different shape to sustainability in Qatar. While the government favours GSAS, we have adopted a neutral stand as we deem green building certification to be a strategic decision of the project developer. Of the nine world cup stadiums, the nine constructed by the government are GSAS while the one constructed by Qatar Foundation is

nPanelists Saeed Al Abbar, Vice Chairman, Emirates Green Building Council (EGBC) Engineer Meshal Al Shamari, Director, Qatar Green Building Council (QGBC) Rym Baouendi, Founding Member, Tunisia Green Building Council (TGBC) Dr Mohammed Alhaj Hussein, honorary board member, Saudi Green Building Council (SGBC) Interviewer: Gary Wright, senior editor BGreen

LEED. We like to see that kind of diversity in the market to avoid a monopoly situation for any single rating system.

How can the region ensure that it doesn’t repeat past mistakes?

on the quality materials and construc-

isations driven by impact. By sharing re-

tion standards.

sources and knowledge, we can progress faster. There is a lot of diversity in the Middle East. In Tunisia’s case, we may

2006, we started construction in 2004

How closely do the different green building councils in the region work with each other?

but it was not planned properly. We

Al Abbar: Three years ago, we estab-

but we have started to make progress

are trying to avoid making the same

lished World Green Building Council

from a technical standpoint.

mistakes with regard to the FIFA World

MENA network to serve as a frame-

Cup. Back in 2000, everybody wanted to

work for collaboration between the

Al Shamari: For the Asian Games in

be like Dubai with gleaming skyscrapers, great airport etc. Now even Dubai is trying to get back to its roots by blending the traditional with the modern. Alhaj Hussein: I think the tendency to rush projects throughneeds to be curbed as this leads to compromises

2or3 number of leed projects certified in saudi from 71 registered

councils so that we are not reinventing the wheel. The objective is to collaborate, share ideas and move forward together. We have a steering committee

not have as many certified green buildings according to international systems

How can you reach out to the young people used to a comfortable lifestyle? Do you think sustainability would appeal to them?

of established councils in the region; Tunisia is working with WGBC to help

Al Shamari: There is a sustainabil-

develop their green building council.

ity education programme in place for

Rym: Green building councils are organ-

schools but the problem is that it is



cover story Green building councils

Should regulations be backed by incentives? Alhaj Hussein: Saudi Arabia has regulations like the mandatory thermal insulation but this is not backed by incentives like in Qatar or in the US, where in some states, you can get up to 10% reduction in building permit fees depending on building performance. In Jordan, installing thermal insulation fetches you 10% more extra area or 50% reduction in building permit fees. Al Shamari: Lusail City has mandated GSAS for all its buildings. However, GSAS goes all the way from one star to six stars. To encourage developers to adopt GSAS, they were told that they could get more built up area for more stars. As a result, everybody aimed for the maximum as they got 15% extra

challenge. It is difficult to get through

built up area with the extra income

them so some type of regulation is

that comes with that. Such incentives

needed. On the commercial side (but

not practised in the homes. In Europe

encourage developers to go green oth-

not so much on residential side), we

and other countries, sustainability is

erwise, they won’t be interested. This

have observed that developers are able

part of life whether it segregation of

concept is being extended to two other

to attract more investments if they are

daily waste or monthly utility bills.

areas as well.

going in for certification. Alhaj Hussein: With regard to green

If you asked a Qatari how much he spends every month or consumes

Al Abbar: Some master plans in Dubai

buildings, compared to the progress

every month, he won’t know.

had incorporated such incentives years

made by Dubai and Qatar, Saudi Arabia

ago but I am not sure if that exists any

has started relatively late. Dubai even

Al Abbar: In the UAE, we pay close to

more. The UAE is a regulation-driven

has a laboratory for approving green

tariff rate. Because of the subsidies

market. Even if there is always some

building products.

there has been a tradition of waste-

resistance to regulation, it doesn’t last

ful attitude to utilities but a lot of

too long.

the wasteful culture, what you also

Rym: It is not only regulation in the

Do the councils influence the government, do governments talk to each other?

have in the Gulf countries is a huge

UAE; it is also competition.

Al Shamari: Even within the govern-

that is starting to change. Despite

amount of national pride. This is be-

mental authorities, we need to do more communication. Often we see

more developing countries of MENA,

While competition could be a factor, building owners or contractors are always looking at the bottom line which can be a hurdle to implementing green building concepts.

the green building movement is driven

Al Abbar: Dubai is different from other

RAMAA and the Ministry of Envi-

by efficiency, economy and cost con-

emirates in the UAE and other coun-

ronment to create a sustainability

siderations. Here in the GCC, it seems

tries in the region. In the private sector,

development forum which meets

like it is coming from mainly from the

buildings are developed for investors.

every three months and discuss

government. They can see the value as

When a building goes up in Dubai, even

each other’s activities. There should

they are actually paying for the energy.

before it gets off the ground, probably

be a green development or sustain-

That’s why you find government-driv-

100 investors would have signed on to

able development forum in Qatar,

en programmes like ESTIDAMA more

it. To raise the awareness of an aver-

which includes representatives from

here than anywhere else.

age investor buying an apartment is a

each ministry, the private sector, the

ing tapped by groups like the Emirates Environmental Group (EEG) who have combined national pride with environmental protection. Rym: The drivers are different. In the



different stakeholders doing their own thing or competing with each other leading to overlapping or even duplication of activities. We have therefore collaborated with KAH-

cover story Green building councils

Left: Ramada’s Urban Farm coming up to a year old, which provides vegetables and herbs

“compared with the progress on green buildings made by dubai and qatar, saudi arabia has started relatively late” programmes and enable people to ex-

from the GCC, South Africa and even

change their experiences. There is also

Germany. We have to look at all these

the need to communicate more with

as they are relevant; process the infor-

government agencies who are stake-

mation and come up with something

holders in green buildings.

that is relevant to our context. We cannot just import something and use it,

Do all of you look up to any particular country as an example to emulate?

we have to make it useful.

Al Abbar: We look to all of them for dif-

countries as well. Construction waste

ferent lessons. Jordan Green Building

is around 60% of total waste in Dubai

Council (JGBC) has done probably bet-

and is not entirely used. In Saudi Ara-

ter than anyone in the world in terms

bia, we don’t use most of the construc-

of how to mobilise the society. They

tion waste. SGBC is member of two

have done a lot of work in social me-

committees in the US – ACI Committee

dia and get feedback from thousands

232 Fly Ash and Natural Pozzolans in

of people. I don’t think any council

Concrete and ACI 555 Concrete with

has managed to achieve such a level

Recycled Material. In Minnesota’s

NGO sector. We will do well by col-

of penetration, and EGBC is looking to

Interstate 35 highway, which has

laborating together than by doing in-

learn from them. Qatar is doing great

won many awards, they used 85%

dividual initiatives.

work on the research front, the Pas-

Pozzolan, 100% recycled aggregate

sivhaus pilot being a great example,

and sand and 100% recycled water.

Rym: To achieve green building trans-

and it is likewise with Saudi Arabia.

There is silica in ceramics glass and

formation, you have to do everything at

We can also learn a lot from Tunisia’s

even marble but with varying per-

the same time. I don’t think we should

socioeconomic work. There isn’t one

centages. Many steel factories have

focus on just one area. That is where

specific country that you look up to; it

tonnes of slag and don’t know how

a green building council can play an

is all different areas.

to deal with it. At local steel plants,

Alhaj Hussein: We can learn from other

we found 50% cement inside the

important role; it is industry-driven, stakeholder-driven, it can balance dif-

Rym: I think we should also look at it in

slag material in the ground and 25%

ferent interests and come up with a

terms of green building rating systems.

above. All these are available here

vehicle that can advance the sector.

Tunisia is an African Country, an Arab

and can be used here.

What we have done so far is talk

Country and European in outlook. Our

to the professionals in this sector,

market is influenced by all this diver-

To read the full discussion go to our web-

create awareness, conduct education

sity. We have good references coming




business rotana

Fujairah Rotana Resort and Spa, Al Aqah Beach

Sustainable hospitality Rotana, a hotel management company renowned across the Middle East, Africa, South Asia and Eastern Europe, launched its global corporate sustainability platform, Rotana Earth, last month. Lorraine Bangera speaks with Christiane Abou Zeidan, Rotana’s Corporate Director of Environment, Health and Safety, about the new practices and establishing sustainable business models

the Rotana Earth platform are aimed at energy savings, which translate directly into cost savings. Streamlining our operations in terms of sourcing, procurement and waste management, moving to paperless systems, etc. additionally has made a significant positive impact on our operational costs which is a further endorsement for embracing a greener business model.” As a result of its sustainable efforts,


ROTANA hotels and resorts across mena

he switch to a ‘green’ business


Rotana Earth is a new comprehen-

model is where the hotel indus-

sive framework which addresses envi-

try is heading in the long run,

ronmental, economic and social sus-

according to Christiane Abou Zeidan,

tainability that will be implemented

Rotana’s Corporate Director of Envi-

across hotel management giant Ro-

ronment, Health and Safety.

tana’s entire portfolio. Rotana has 70

She says that for the hotels it is an obvious move and the benefits of the switch are numerous and very often have a “ripple effect in many different spheres”.

hotels and resorts across the Middle East and North Africa. She said: “A large number of initia-

there has been a positive change in the working of the business. “For instance, we have installed guestroom energy management systems in 92% of our hotels that activate and deactivate the lights using key cards. We have also installed water saving fixtures in more than 60% of our hotels. Eco-friendly IT practices have also drawn a great

92% of rotana hotels activate and deactivate the lights using key cards

deal of interest among our teams. Rotana successfully moved its email system to a virtual environment, saving 70% server hardware and achieving a 70% reduction on power and cooling energy consumption. “ When asked about the training programme of the employees, Zeidan said: “An initial sustainability awareness

tives that have been put in place under

workshop was conducted to create a full vision of the programme and to bring the members to a common understanding of our sustainability programme and their role towards achieving it. “As for the hotels, we have amended the company structure by adding the Environment, Health & Safety positions to our organisational structure: EHS directors, EHS managers and EHS Beach Rotana, Abu Dhabi, UAE



officers. We have appointed 30 EHS team members to manage the EHS and

business rotana

The Cove, Rotana Resort, Ras AlKhaimah, United Arab Emirates

60% of hotels have water saving fixtures

sustainability programmes in the ho-

and protecting the triple bottom line:

tels and to report their performances.”

Planet, People & Profit that Rotana em-

Involving everyone is key. Suppli-

barked on.”

ers, an important part of any busi-

The government has proscribed nu-

ness, should also be jumping on the

merous industry best practices, in an

bandwagon. Zeidan said: “As more

act to be a part of the overall sustain-

companies embrace a more sustain-

ability profile of the UAE. In December

able approach, environmentally aware

2011, Rotana joined Abu Dhabi Sus-

suppliers will begin to be sorted out,

tainability Group (ADSG) which sup-

enjoying a competitive edge.

ports its sustainable progress.

“At Rotana, we are currently work-

“ADSG provides the knowledge

ing on plans to develop a procurement

and information we need to develop

sustainability policy that adds respon-

our sustainability management sys-

sible purchasing criteria to the suppli-

tems and our reporting procedures.

er selection programme.”

In fact, we have utilised the Maturity

“A large number of initiatives that have been put in place under the Rotana Earth platform are aimed at energy savings, which translate directly into cost savings”

Detailed information on each key

Assessment Tool (part of the Capacity

sustainable area, important mile-

Building programme of the ADSG) to

has already got traction in the hospi-

stones and success stories for the

conduct a thorough assessment of our

tality industry with many companies

calendar year 2012 were also released

global operations and this has driven

choosing to adopt more sustainable

in the latest Rotana Sustainability Re-

many of the recommendations and

practices especially with regard to

port. The report was prepared in ac-

changes we have adopted or are plan-

water and energy consumption, waste

cordance with the Global Reporting

ning on adopting,” said Zeidan.

management and sustainable sourc-

Initiative (GRI) guidelines – the most

Sustainability has risen to the fore-

widely used reporting framework for

front in the region. “In recent years,

“With Rotana Earth, our goal is to

performance on environmental, so-

there has been a significant commit-

make sure that our energy saving, re-

cial and economic issues. The theme

ment by governments, utilities compa-

source and waste management sys-

of the 2012 Sustainability Report was

nies and public organisations to edu-

tems are optimized to allow our hotels

‘Respect Protect’, which was a “fitting

cate the public and raise awareness on

to operate in a manner that is as eco

metaphor for the journey of respecting

the topic of sustainability and it is one

conscious as possible.”



ing,” she said.

leisure ews wwf

Sixty golden minutes Emirates Wildlife Society in association with World Wildlife Fund (EWS-WWF), is the organiser of the Earth Hour in the UAE. The 2014 campaign ‘Get Enlightened. Make the Switch’ encourages residents to consider their carbon footprint. Reem Al Thawadi, communications manager at EWS-WWF, speaks to Lorraine Bangera about the campaign which this year takes Earth Hour one step further

participant countries such as Philippines and Palestine. “The campaign garnered support and motivated countries to make positive changes,” said Al Thawadi. These changes included the planting of 100,000 trees in a severely degraded area in Botswana as part of a global challenge made by the country’s former president Festus Mogae, and Argentina’s senate unanimously approving the creation of “Banco Namuncurá


t is important to note that Earth

for Earth Hour overthe last six years.

(Burdwood)”, a 34,000 km2 Marine Pro-

Hour is not about savings during

“Being the world’s largest grass root

the actual hour, but rather a move-

environmental movement, Earth Hour

“In the UAE, the support of Earth

ment that demonstrates people’s de-

represents the power of the crowd

Hour was bigger than ever before, and

sire as individuals, companies and

coming together and showing their

the reach through social media alone

governments to work for the planet,

commitment to the Earth lasting be-

is estimated at four million people,”

and for a sustainable future,” said

yond the hour,” she said.

said Al Thawadi.

tected Area.

Last year, Earth Hour’s impact was

“Social networking is a very powerful

Sheis the communications man-

“record breaking” worldwide, reaching

tool as not only is it widespread but it

ager with the UAE non government

hundreds of millions in over 150 coun-

can be used to target specific audienc-

organisation, EWS-WWF, responsible

tries and 7,000 cities, including new

es, which makes the campaign reach

Reem Al Thawadi.



leisure ews wwf

Earth Hour timeline

more effective. Using Twitter and Fa-

Maktoum tweeted about Earth Hour,

cebook live feeds keeps the campaign

showing his support globally.

at the forefront of people’s mind and

Al Thawadi said: “It is indeed moti-

allows exchanging up-to-date relevant

vational to our team to work with the

information as quickly as possible.”

level of enthusiasm that the UAE resi-

The ‘I Will If You Will” campaign

dents show during Earth Hour.”

and Earth Hour 2013 on YouTube attracted four million participants

Make the switch

and received more than 200,000

“In the lead up to Earth Hour 2014,

commitments from individuals, all

we are initiating a local Call to Action

taking action for the planet far beyond the hour.

Residents react EWS-WWF provide a lot of informa-

7,000 cities participated in earth hour in 2013

to encourage people to take charge of their own ecological footprint and switch to energy efficient lighting,” said Al Thawadi.

According to her,

switching to energy efficient light

tion to make sure participants feel

bulbs is a very simple yet impactful

supported through the campaign,

way to reduce UAE’s ecological foot-

and encourage them to make the

print per capita, bringing benefit to

right changes towards sustainability beyond earth hour. Last year, the Prime Minister and Vice president of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid al

2.2 million

uae residents took part last year

the UAE and its residents. This year, Earth Hour will take place on March 29 from 8.30-9.30pm. After extensive research late last year, the EWS-WWF chose energy efficient

2013 „„ 150 countries and 7,000 cities participated „„ In the UAE, the Earth Hour message reached four million people in all seven emirates 2012 „„ 152 countries and 6,950 cities participated „„ 14 Arab countries in the Middle East participated „„ In the UAE, the Earth Hour message reached more than three million people in all seven emirates 2011 „„ 135 countries and 5,000 cities participated „„ In the UAE, all seven emirates are involved with 400 organisations and 60 schools participating 2010 „„ 128 countries participate „„ In the UAE, 5,000 people participate in a lantern march during the Hour in Dubai 2009 „„ 88 countries and 4000 cities participated „„ 26 buildings and landmarks in Kuwait participated 2008 „„ 35 countries and 371 cities participated „„ The UAE celebrates Earth Hour for the first time with a lantern-lit public event on Jumeirah Beach 2007 „„ Earth Hour starts as a single-city initiative in Sydney, Australia. Approximately 2.2 million residents as well as 2,100 businesses participated



leisure ews wwf

EWS-WWF will be providing detailed information on energy efficiency lighting, and how companies and individuals can engage in Earth Hour in a meaningful way this year through its website: tive engagement kit that companies can acquire to engage their staff and show their support to energy and climate work.” lighting as a way to reduce carbon

efforts in doing something for the en-

Social media platforms have be-

emissions as the theme.

vironment, but it is also a great way

come integral and essential to pro-

She said: “It is evident that lighting

for them to engage with their staff

mote the message of Earth Hour,

is a huge part of our lives as we use it

and larger network,” said Al Thawadi.

and anyone can engage with the

on a daily basis. So, one can just imag-

“There is a real community feel about

campaign by spreading the message

ine what saving potential there could

Earth Hour as large numbers of peo-

through social media.

be if we all switched to energy efficient

ple come together and amplify their

Al Thawadi said: “We call on all so-

light bulbs. Our research shows that

power to do something for our planet.”

cial media avid users to stay tuned to

carbon reduction resulting from ‘Mak-

There are many ways in which indi-

these hashtags: #EarthHour #Earth-

ing the Switch’ to Energy Efficiency

viduals, companies and organisations

HourUAE #MakeTheSwitch on Insta-

lighting will be equivalent to remov-

can influence others to join.

gram and Twitter and help us amplify

ing 65,000 cars from the road annually

She said: “As the NGO represent-

the message.

ing Earth Hour and WWF in the UAE,

“Word of mouth can cross many

we provide ways and localised infor-

boundaries as well, and residents

Building a network

mation on how companies and indi-

can encourage their family and

“Earth Hour is not only a great oppor-

viduals can amplify the call to action.

friends to switch off on March 29

tunity for business and companies to

Among these tools are local ‘How To’

and to make the switch to energy

show their support and highlight their

guides, posters, as well as an attrac-

efficient lighting.”

in the UAE.”



Under the Patronage of His Royal Highness Prince Mansour bin Mutaib bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Minister of Municipal and Rural Affairs.


9 – 12 March 2014 ‫ﻫ‬1435 ‫ ﺟﻤﺎدى ا�ول‬11 - 8

Jeddah Centre for Forums & Events

Register for FREE entry at: Under the Patronage of:

Supporting Organisations:

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leisure ramada

Ramada’s green fingers In the last three years, Ramada Hotel and Suites Ajman has risen to be one of the most eco-friendly hotels in the region. Lorraine Bangera speaks to Iftikhar Hamdani, the hotel’s general manager, to find out more about their pioneering urban farm and zero landfill project


ftikhar Hamdani is a man with a vi-

The farm was launched on April 22

sion, with a thirst for knowledge and

last year, to celebrate Earth Day and

the eagerness to put strategies into

has been running successfully ever

action immediately. He commenced

since. Vegetables and herbs grown in

his tenure three years ago, after which

the farm is used for the in-house kitch-

Ramada has been rated one of the top

en. Hamdani said: “The urban farm pro-

hotels in the northern emirates.

ject was initiated to be more involved

With an average staff turnover of only 2% compared to the normal aver-

in environmental care than being a passive observer of sustainability.”

age of 20-25% in the country, Ramada Ajman clearly believes in the adage

Being green

charity begins at home. Hamdani said:

Guests may be surprised on their arriv-

“We look after our staff as we consider

al at the hotel: it is painted black – an

being their home away from home.

unusual choice for any building in the

“It is not about the wages, but appreciation,” he added, admitting that the entire staff is always involved in every activity the hotel wants to carry out.

Middle East, but even more surprising for a sustainable building. Hamdani admits to some scepticism; when he first joined he admits

The focus of the hotel, however, is

his priority was to cut utility costs

not just staff turnover but its beau-

– but the more he investigated, the

tiful 430 square metres urban farm

more he discovered green brings cost

built right next to its car park. The

savings too.

Above, Iftikar Hamdani, the hotel’s general manager. Below right, the hotel’s composter

farm produces okra, tomatoes, egg-

When he arrived, the hotel was

was more aware of what it is to truly

plants, radish, spinach and bitter

spending AED 549,000 a year on utili-

be green which is according to him is

gourd and herbs like mint leaves,

ties. In two years Hamdani has shaved

“a state of mind”.

rocca and coriander.

AED 200,000 from that figure.

Hamdani has made sure he doesn’t

Hamdani said: “The rocca salad

“Three years ago green was just a

just slide into becoming a passive lis-

from the urban farm is one of the best

colour,” said Hamdani. After attend-

tener of these conferences. He said: “It

salads I have ever tasted.”

ing various conferences he became

is important to take action.”



leisure ramada

the total waste going to landfill has reduced to 100kgs per day.”

Future plans

Above: Ramada’s Urban Farm coming up to a year old, which provides vegetables and herbs

Hamdani wishes to collaborate with BioEarth to manufacture a system that will allow the water used during laundry to be treated and used for urban farming. He also sees a possibility of

He started passing the information

opening a farm in Ajman, much big-

to his staff, involving them all in the

ger than the current 430 square metres

process of “going green”.

slot, for the hotel’s use.

Now the hotel functions with em-

Hamdani admits he is a supporter

ployees being part of voluntary com-

of legislation to make businesses more

mittees designed to take care of various

environmentally friendly with incen-

projects, like the energy committee or

tives or laws from the government to

the green committee. Staff members are

help propel the ‘green’ movement. He

encouraged to participate and be a part

emphasises the importance of involv-

of a team. The urban farm, for instance,

ing the private sector and individuals

is taken care of by the green committee

to take Ajman, a fairly green city, to

as well as hired gardeners.

new heights.

When asked if this was incentivised, Hamdani said, “Going green is

the hotel every day but he admitted “it

not about incentives, it is about giv-

wasn’t enough”.

ing back to planet which comes from

Around 60% of the waste was com-

within. Everyone participates be-

ing from organic waste, which is basi-

cause they want to, not because any

cally food waste. Ramada Ajman be-

ulterior motive.”

came the first hotel in the region to


purchase a composter machine, which

cost of utilities

Zero Landfill

cost AED 225,000. which Hamdani be-

Tackling waste is another project at

lieves is “a good investment.”


Ramada Ajman important to Hamda-

Now almost 90% of the organic

ni. He said: “With the help of experts

waste dropped into the composter

at AIMS and Green Mountain, we dis-

evaporates, while 10% is made into a

covered our hotel’s waste is 950kg to

fertiliser that is used for the farm. At

one tonne a day.” The whole of Ajman

present, 30% of the hotel’s waste is re-

disposes 600 tonnes of waste every day.

cycled and just 10% ends up in landfill.

Hamdani focused on unnecessary

Before the changes the hotel was

consumption like reducing the num-

spending AED 120,000 a year for gar-

ber of newspapers that get delivered to

bage collection. Hamdani said: “Now

$95,095 cost of utilities





Why paint is more than just a choice of colour BGreen asked paint manufacturer Hempel to explain its sustainable product range and discovered how paint can save energy, reduce mould and how new technology is ending the threat of VOCs – especially important in the tough climate of the Middle East









you are renovating an exist-


ing building or constructing

through a stringent control

a new one, you make choices. And

over the constituents, Hempel

those choices have a big impact on the

has been able to develop prod-

health and comfort of the people who

ucts like Topaz Zero which has

use your building, construction cost,

zero VOC content and yet pro-

our community and our environment.

vides magnificent finishes and

They have a big impact on earth.

beautiful texture.

A green building is the result of



Reducing hazardous material:

many sustainable choices; especially

Hempel’s desire for a greener

it attends to the way your building

tomorrow, backed by extensive

uses energy, materials and affects its

research and developement,

sites. Hempel’s Purearth is a five-point

has inspired the company to

strategy aimed towards developing

develop paints which have

sustainable and eco-friendly products.

zero content of traditional

Because small changes add up, every

hazardous raw materials. For

choice you make contributes to mak-

long, hazardous material like

ing our planet more pure.

lead, alkylphenol ethoxylate

Reducing VOC emissions: Vol-

(APEOs) and formaldehydes

atile Organic Compounds are

have been a major part of the

components frequently found

paints used in people’s homes

in paints. Their composition

but Topaz Zero from Hempel is

makes it easy for VOCs to

a product which has the least

evaporate in normal indoor en-

possible level of these hazard-

vironment and they have been

ous raw materials.

linked to various health prob-




such product which is free from any kind of toxins and resists mould, fungal and bacterial growth; at the same time it has excellent washable and weathering properties. A range of Hempel products have esteemed and renowned certifications for their anti-bacterial and anti-fungal Produced with refined product formu-

guard® helps to conserve energy

properties that justifies their claim as

lation and newer technique, Hempel’s

through its heat insulating properties

green paints perfect for areas where

Topaz Zero contains zero level of lead,

that reduce energy consumption.

strict hygiene control is required, such

APEOs and formaldehydes; on the oth-

Reducing waste: Hempel is

as hospitals, nurseries, kitchens etc.

er hand it is also free from ozone de-

committed to minimise waste

Hempel believes that paints should

pleting contaminants thereby keeping

at each stage of its business

not only decorate your walls but also

the environment healthy and green.



provide a hygienic environment to live


products. With superior quality

and work in. Health of the consum-

tion: Hempel contributes to

raw material and refined pro-

ers is a primary concern at Hempel,

worldwide efforts of lowering

duction techniques, they have

pushing the company to make con-

the level of energy consumption.

been able to develop paints

stant efforts to develop and provide

Hempel’s Contex Thermogaurd®

with excellent durability which

paints that stay true to their promise

is an exterior paint which sig-

maximises the re-coating in-

of greener products.

nificantly reduces the inside

terval and keeps the surfaces




requirement for cooling.


safe for a longer period of time.

temperature of a building and therefore reduces the


Hempel salvages and re-uses its recyclable chemical waste. All the non-recyclable production waste is disposed

Hempel strongly believes that it should

in a socially responsible manner and

strive for a pure and flawless environ-

in compliance with guidelines laid

ment for generations to come and this

down by the local government au-

can be achieved through lowering the

thorities worldwide.

carbon footprint.




Higher energy consumption in-

Hempel has developed paints

creases the amount of fossil fuels

that have very prominent anti-

burned which in turn produces more

bacterial and anti-fungal prop-

greenhouse gases. Contex Thermo-

erties. Hempel Mouldex® is one

Hempel strongly believes that it should strive for a pure and flawless environment for generations to come and this can be achieved through lowering the carbon footprint BUILDGREEN.COM



19-21 May 2014

For stand or sponsorship enquiries: e. t. +971 4 438 0355 CO-LOCATED WITH:



Dubai World Trade Centre INNOVATION SPONSOR:




Integrated FM • Health & Safety • Landscaping • Maintenance • Cleaning • Waste Management • Security • Air Control • Software


Your office today can ensure a better future for all Kyocera is one of the world’s leading suppliers of printers and the sustainability of its range of products is at the forefront of all of its work. But do existing company structures ensure the best buying choices?


nvironmental regulations and initiatives to preserve our natural environment are the talk of

the day. There is no escaping – everyone, from individuals to households to governmental organisations to businesses – has to change their habits and behaviour in order to become more environmentally friendly. You may have some reserves towards ‘going green’. If you are in business, you may think that changing your company into an environmentally-friendly organisation will be a costly business. Going green, however, does not necessarily cost money. In fact, it can even save you money

and the comprehensive Kyocera KX

by cutting down on the consumption of

printer driver, these ways of saving

electricity and other resources.

paper can be achieved at the push of

One area you may want to look at

a button.

when it comes to reducing energy con-

in the purchase of equipment, with Decision makers should team up to ensure each section of the business achieves its aim. The Total Cost of Ownership of printers, for instance, needs to be calculated taking all elements of a device’s costs into account

the Finance Manager being responsible for the payment of the initial purchasing expenses of the devices, the Facility Manager being responsible for

ing. An easy way of saving resources

Purchasing Office Equipment Differently

is printing and copying documents

Similarly, it would greatly benefit the

new devices to the existing network,

double-sided (duplex), or merging two

environment if businesses dealt with

and the Service Manager in charge of

pages into one. This will reduce paper

the purchasing of their office equip-

the service contracts. Each of these

consumption and therefore cut ex-

ment in a different way. In larger or-

parties has their own interests when

penses. Thanks to the easy-to-follow

ganisations, it can often be seen that

it comes to the selection and purchas-

wide touch panels of Kyocera MFPs

different budget holders are involved

ing of devices and there is often a

sumption is your printing and copy-

the purchasing of consumables, the IT Manager in charge of connecting the




Going green, however, does not necessarily cost money

long-life materials that save organisations money and reduce the device’s environmental impact. Thanks to the long-life components of such a device, it is more reliable, which means less downtime and lower maintenance costs. In the case of Kyocera devices it even means that there is only one consumable to be replaced – toner.

Worldwide Recognition The toner-only design of Kyocera printers is an integral part of their unique ECOSYS concept, which was introduced in 1992. ECOSYS covers three elements: ECOnomy, low cost per page printing and low Total Costs of Ownership (TCO); ECOlogy, no environmentally harmful cartridge to be discarded; and SYStem solutions, using modular designs with options to meet conflict between them. It would make

Think long-term

varied requirements and connectiv-

more sense if these decision makers

It would help if organisations tried to

ity to all known network environ-

teamed up. The Total Cost of Owner-

think more long-term and selected

ments. Recognition for the environ-

ship of printers, for instance, needs to

their office equipment on different

mental benefits of ECOSYS has come

be calculated taking all elements of a

grounds than they have done so far. Of-

from all over the world, including the

device’s costs into account: the initial

ten the decisive factor in the purchas-

Nordic Swan award in Scandinavia

machine price; running costs includ-

ing process of a device is its purchasing

and the renowned Blue Angel award

ing supply costs like toner containers,

price, whereas both the environment

in Germany. In addition, all current

toner cartridges and maintenance

and businesses would be much bet-

Kyocera printers and multifunctional

costs; electricity expenses; network

ter off if its running costs were taken

systems are fully compliant with the

management costs and expenses re-

into account too. The design of a low

new Energy Star standard that took

lated to machine downtime.

running cost device is often based on

effect April 1 2007.




KYOCERA Document Solutions KYOCERA MITA Europe was established in January 2000 following the merger of KYOCERA and MITA, two of the most innovative companies in document management.  As a supplier of printers and multifunctional products, KYOCERA MITA has provided various products to satisfy our customer’s needs.  Moving forward we will focus on providing business solutions for our customers. With this aim in mind, we decided to change our company name to KYOCERA Document Solutions Inc.  KYOCERA Document Solutions Europe was established on April 1, 2012, as a result of the company name from KYOCERA MITA Europe. The change reflects the company’s growth of a global supplier of solutions to consistently develop





technological innovation and environmental sustainability. Headquartered




Netherlands, KYOCERA Document Solutions Europe

Contact: United Arab Emirates KYOCERA Document Solutions Middle East Dubai Internet City, Bldg. 17, Office 157 P.O. Box 500817, Dubai, United Arab Emirates Phone: +971 04 433 0412 Web:





operations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). There are 16 country-level subsidiaries located throughout the region: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Russia and the UK. KYOCERA Document Solutions Europe also works closely with a network of authorised distributors in a further 60 countries throughout EMEA.



Oil and Gas maersk TRIGEN

Triple effect A brand new process developed in Denmark is set to make a huge impact in the Middle East where abandoned oil fields can be pressed back into service again. TriGen, developed by Maersk Oil, is being hailed for its zero emission power generation. Bob Alford, senior manager at Maersk Oil explains the revolutionary technology. By Lorraine Bangera


or years Abu Dhabi has used its

“TriGen puts it all together - you have

surplus of natural gas to drive oil

a clean power plant, a new source of

out of low porous rock in a process

water without desalination, and cheap

known as enhanced oil recovery (EOR).

CO2 for the oil field.”

Today the emirate imports gas from Qatar so other methods of EOR take

How it works?

on greater importance. Maersk Oil ex-

The Maersk TriGen pressurised oxy-

pects its new TriGen power plant to be

combustion units draw on technology

a big part of oil extraction in the region.

originally developed in the space in-

Water injection to drive out the oil is

dustry to generate electricity. It burns

difficult in Abu Dhabi because the tight

natural gas together with pure oxygen

carbonate rock is not very porous and

under high pressure.

millions of barrels of oil can remain in the rock even after years of injection.

As well as producing enough power for 100,000 households, the by-prod-

Maersk estimates an extra 18 billion

ucts are clean water and carbon di-

barrels of oil can be extracted in Abu Dha-

oxide, which is captured and injected

bi using TriGen compared to conventional

into underground reservoirs where

EOR processes. The TriGen system uses


CO2 to drive the oil out, or as Bob Alford

stored without leakage for millions

put ut: “We make Coca Cola out of your

of years.

oil.” With bubbles, the oil becomes more mobile and extraction is much easier.




Maersk Oil has worked with Clean Energy Systems (“a team of rocket sci-

Alford is a senior manager at Maersk

entists based in California”) to perfect

Oil and is keen to explain why the new

the system. Then it joined forces with

process is environmentally friendly:

German engineering giant Siemens to

“Why do I have to look for a new oil

produce the TriGen plant.

field when I can get oil recovery from

Alford said:

“In simple terms,

the existing field? That is why this

TriGen was designed to enhance oil

technology could be useful in the Mid-

recovery. The technology converts low

dle East, instead of looking for new oil

quality gas into clean electricity, pure

fields, just use the old ones and max-

water and high quality CO2, which is

imise their recovery.

also the reason it’s called TriGen.”



Oil and Gas maersk TRIGEN

$400m cost of trigen plant

100,000 the number of homes it can power

our burner with the gas. The burner is a high-tech system made by Clean Energy Systems. It is like a printed circuit board on your computer with many little platelets put together. We mix the oxygen and gas in high temperature and high pressure, then we burn it to produce steam. “The steam is then inserted into the steam turbine which powers and turns the generator, producing electricity. The rest of the steam is cooled down and the water and CO2 gas is collected. We stick the CO2 into the oil field, using it for extra oil recovery.” TriGen technology was initially de-

also dissolves in the oil. The mixture

“Approximately 40 million cubic feet of CO2 can be produced each day. The

veloped to look for CO2 in Maersk Oil’s

formed through miscibility tends to

fields in Denmark. Alford said: “When

bubble which makes the oil move

pure CO2 is reservoir ready. The quanti-

we developed this technology, we re-

through the rocks and results in higher

ties made is enough for the oil fields.”

alised this could not only be helpful

oil recovery.”

to us but could be shared and open

The electricity can be sold to the national grid. Alford said: “If you take

new business opportunities around

Fuelling the power plant?

Abu Dhabi for example, we would sell

the world.”

“The trick is to use pure oxygen,” said

the power produced to ADWEA. And

Maersk Oil decided to target the Mid-

Alford. “When you burn natural gas

the CO2 will probably be distributed

dle East first as the region is looking for

with pure oxygen, you end up with

through Masdar to oil fields where

clean power and water, and the reser-

just steam (water) and CO2. The steam

ADNOC operates.”

voirs are well suited for oil recovery.

then runs the steam turbine which makes the electricity.”

The hunt for C02

Challenges along the way?

“An Air Separation Unit (ASU) cools

The entire plant is a $400m investment,

What is perhaps unusual is that Mae-

down air,” continued Alford. “Liquid

including the ASU although the equip-

rsk Oil sees CO2 as part of the sustain-

nitrogen is colder than liquid oxygen,

ment is quite compact and fits into a

ability solution—not the problem.

so when both the elements are cooled

20-foot long container. It can accept

“We are actually looking for sources

there will be a difference in tempera-

low heating value fuels, including gas

of CO2 whereas most people are afraid

ture. Nitrogen will remain a gas for

that has a 90% CO2 content without re-

of it,” said Alford, who then put for-

longer period while oxygen will turn

quiring a pre-combustion separation.

ward his carbonated soda analogy.

to liquid which causes the separation.

Apart from EOR use, the plant can also

“We inject CO2 into the wells, which

“We convert the liquid oxygen into

gives a similar pressure to water but

pressurised oxygen which we feed into

be used to develop existing high CO2 gas fields.



personality jane goodall

Friend of the chimps

runs an innovative and community-

Jane Goodall has been a United Nations Messenger of Peace for over a decade. Her public lectures and programmes have effectively moved youngsters worldwide to make a positive difference

is a global environmental and humani-

centred conservation programme in Africa. The institute is a global leader in the effort to protect chimpanzees and their habitats. Roots & Shoots is a similar institute Goodall started with a group of Tanzania students in 1991. Today the Institute tarian youth programme for children and youngsters with nearly 150,000 members in more than 120 countries. Goodall’s achievments include the French Legion of Honour, the Medal of Tanzania, and Japan’s prestigious Kyoto Prize. In 2003, Goodall was also named a Dame of the British Empire. Jane tends to travel back to Gombe Gombe National Park, her favourite place on Earth, at least twice a year, to “recharge her batteries” and see what her now-famous chimpanzees are up to.

45 number of years goodall spent in tanzania

150,000 student members of roots and shoots ane Goodall’s 45-year study of so-


In 1965, after gaining media at-

cial and family interactions of wild

tention Goodall was able to increase

chimpanzees in Gombe Stream

the intensity of her research by hir-

National Park has made her the world’s

ing more researchers and building a

leading expert on chimpanzees.

permanent camp—the Gombe Stream

Her experience began as she

Research Center.

stepped into the jungles of Gombe in

While working on her analysis,

Tanzania to observe what she once

which was then published as The

thought were “innocent” chimpan-

Chimpanzees of Gombe: Patterns of

zees. Her observations were soon

Behavior, she continued to travel the

published in National Geographic, with

world promoting conservation.

captivating photos by filmmaker/ photographer Hugo van Lawick.



By 1977 Goodall successfully established the Jane Goodall Institute, which

“Goodall’s detailed, engaging descriptions of chimpanzee society transformed our notions of what it means to be a primate — and what it means to be human.” Sierra Magazine




16-20 February 2014


Dhahran International Exhibition Center, Dammam, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Show timings: 9:30-12:00 and 16:00-22:00

Information Partner

Gold Sponsor

Power and Lighting by

Co-located with

Organised by

For information contact:

Michael Stansfield Mobile: +971 55 150 3849

society diary dates

Diary Dates

Middle East

Congress of Hamdan Bin Moham-

Qatar Projects 2014


med e-University

March 17-19, Grand Hyatt in Doha,

February 11 to 13, Dubai International

March 3 to 5, Atlantis in Dubai, UAE


Exhibition Centre, UAE

The 5th Health and Environment confer-

MEED’s Qatar Projects Conference

Running alongside Solar Middle East

ence features a comprehensive program

has grown to be the largest and most

Show, Middle East Electricity is the

that reflects the current health reforms

significant annual meeting for key

region’s longest running exhibition.

taking place in order to improve the

Qatari stakeholders and international

Established as a global leader in the

understanding of the health and envi-

service providers looking to do busi-

power industry, the exhibition provides

ronment transformation. Distinguished

ness in Qatar. Building on the success

a platform for networking, business de-

speakers from international organisa-

of the 2013 conference and following

velopment, learning and debating key

tions, governmental and private health

extensive research, the Qatar Projects

subjects in the power, lighting, nuclear,

and environmental institutions, schol-

2014 Conference features two dedi-

new and renewable industry. Last year,

ars and researchers and related industry

cated tracks; one which covers Qatar’s

1,085 exhibitors from 54 countries and

leaders will address best practices and

Infrastructure & Transport sector and

18,000 visitors attended. As an ideal

key elements required for initiating and

another which covers Qatar’s Energy

platform to reach Middle East region

implementing transformation in health

& Utilities sector.

and the surrounding Africa and Asia

and environment, throughout plenary

regions, the 2014 exhibition stands to

and concurrent sessions, and post con-

Iraq Energy Projects 2014

increase in both size and number creat-

ference workshops.

February 25-27, Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort, UAE

ing a gateway for companies to promote PetroEnvironment 2014

Iraq Energy Projects is the definitive

February 24-26,

event for all those serious about

Seef Centre in Al Khobar, Kingdom of

business opportunities in Iraq’s

Saudi Arabia

high reward oil and gas, power

ETMA introduces PetroEnvironment,

and petrochemical sectors. It is de-

the first event in the Eastern Province of

signed to promote open and candid

February 11 to 13, Dubai International Exhibition Centre, UAE

Saudi Arabia to unite both the upstream

dialogue and addresses Iraq’s latest

The exhibition provides the opportunity for technology

and downstream sectors to meet with

energy developments and provide

manufacturers and integrators to build relationships

environmental professionals to explore

proven solutions to limiting market

with industry influencers and key decision makers within

solutions to current and future chal-

factors. Iraq Energy Projects claims

the solar market in the GCC and wider MENA region.

lenges. Held under the auspices of the

that it is the only event that brings

In 2013 it welcomed 2,846 unique visitors from 74 countries

Environmental Technology and Man-

together the integrated energy sup-

who came to see 84 exhibitors from 21 countries. With the

agement Association (ETMA), the event

ply chain in Iraq from upstream to

current industry growth and expected developments in the

is the evolution of Enviro Arabia, which

the consumer and the perfect mix

region, the second edition of Solar Middle East promises

previously took place in the Kingdom of

of legislators, energy executives,

to be an essential event in the solar industry calendar.

Bahrain in collaboration with the Bah-

government project owners and the

rain Society of Engineers.

private sector.

their business.

Solar Middle East



society sustainable past

Mayan legacy It did not rain for four months of the year yet the Mayan civilisation thrived for two millennia thanks to its water management skills... skills that are being copied again, today. By Gary Wright

terracing, water reservoirs and raised fields were a part of the landscape they even had public gardens. The Mayans were also arguably the earliest practitioners of agroforestry. Fertile soil was farmed in a patchwork surrounded by rainforest. Agricultural fields went through five stages: herbaceous stage, two shrub stages, and then two forest stages, returning the land to its former state. Even after intensive land use for over 1,500 years without any significant problems, scientists say the areas occupied by the Maya still support a high and unique biodiversity demon-


he Mayan culture, which lasted

people by 700 AD supported by excellent

strating how man can live successfully

for more than 2,000 years in the

water management and farming.

alongside nature.

jungles of Belize, the Yucatan

Mayans’ ecological knowledge and

A series of unusual droughts around

Peninsula, and Guatemala, was argu-

engineering skills was used to great ef-

900 AD was closely associated with the

ably the first sustainable civilisation.

fect. They depended on and collected

collapse of the Classic Mayan civilisa-

In an area we know today as Central

rainwater – they were unable to reach

tion especially as the population had

America, stretching from today’s south-

the groundwater 150m below the sur-

grown so much. Most of the Mayan

ern end of Mexico, south to the Hondu-

face – draining the seasonal swamp-

cities in the southern Maya lowlands

ras, the Mayans achieved greatness in

lands (known as bajos) via canals and

were abandoned. Drought, ecologi-

astronomy, mathematics and art.

then used the former swamp for crops.

cal collapse and overpopulation led

Before it ended in around 900 AD,

Archaeologists have found evi-

to the abandonment of sustainable

ancient Maya was one of the world’s

dence of reservoirs that could hold

methods and ultimately the end of a

great civilisations; created in a region

thousands of cubic metres of rainwa-

great civilisation.

with unpredictable rainfall and poor

ter. One of the largest, the Palace Res-

Today though the Mayans skills are

soil, it succeeded through truly sus-

ervoir, held an estimated 19,715,424

being rediscovered and are incorporat-

tainable farming.

US gallons (75,000 m3).

ed into the management of the Car-

The Mayan city of Tikal, in modern-

Success brought a growing popula-

day Guatemala, had was home to 80,000

tion that needed food and agricultural

ibbean and in other countries of the world where water resource is tight.

80,000 population of mayan city of tikal

75,000m3 capacity of one ancient reservoir



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Profile for BGreen

BGreen February 2014  

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

BGreen February 2014  

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