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Issue 30 | JANUARY 2013

Energy for all The SME category nominees for the 2013 Zayed Future Energy Prize pitch their solutions to bring clean energy to billions around the world


| green bespoke furniture

| north african wind | peak oil in focus | dolphin cruelty exposed Publication licensed by IMPZ


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Publisher Dominic De Sousa COO Nadeem Hood

beyond resolutions

Founder Liam Williams +971 4 375 1511


Praseeda Nair Editor

lobally, 1.4 billion people remain shrouded in darkness. The largest concentrations of the ‘‘energy poor’’ (people who are both poor and lack access to sustainable energy) are in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Recent projections suggest that the problem will not only persist, but may deepen in the longer term without international cooperation and commitment towards meeting the United Nations’ half-hearted resolution for 2012 “sustainable energy for all”. But 2013 is about looking beyond year-long commitments. Kick starting the global events calendar, Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) this month has the region buzzing with anticipation. Investors and decision makers have their pens poised on the dotted line as ecopreneurs dream big for a greener, more equitable world. This issue highlights the efforts made by small and medium enterprises in bringing energy, water, food and education to the developing world. This month, we also investigate the role of synthetic fuel in sustaining the conventional energy market, North Africa’s wind turbine sector, and present a controversial take on dolphin cruelty in Taiji, Japan. In 2013, we’re stationed at the frontlines, ready for another year of ground-level answers for the world’s largest problems.

Editorial Praseeda Nair Dina Mahmoud Business Development Junaid Rafique +971 4 375 1504 Harry Norman +971 4 375 1502 Design & Photography Marlou Delaben Web Development Troy Maagma Maher Waseem Shahzad Production and Circulation James P. Tharian Rajeesh M Printed by Printwell Printing Press LLC Published by

Head Office PO Box 13700 Dubai, UAE Tel: +971 4 375 1500 Fax: +971 4 365 9986 Web: __________

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© Copyright 2013 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.


Energy for all The SME category nominees for the 2013 Zayed Future Energy Prize pitch their solutions to bring clean energy to billions around the world

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January 2013




CONTENTS January 2013



16 Windy frontier A look at the North African wind energy market

CONSTRUCTION 20 Customised creations BGreen visits bespoke furniture manufacturers, Plum Sheep

INNOVATION IN SUSTAINABILITY BGreen looks at some of the key drivers in going green - from R&D to establishing the right framework - in a roundtable ahead of the first EmiratesGBC Annual Congress

News 10 UAE 12 WORLD 17 REALLY?! Furry carbon fighters— Truth can be stranger than fiction



24 Jourdan Younis on Greenbuild 2012


January 2013







SPECIAL FEATURE 26 Innovation at its best Featuring the best and brightest ecopreneurs, nominated for this year’s Zayed Future Energy Prize


38 Recycling made easy Reviewing Averda’s latest reverse vending machine on site 40 In conversation With Shadi Bakhour


42 Coast to coast The Arabian Gulf coast examined for signs of eco-degradation

GREEN BUSINESS 48 Love thy planet Puma in focus

OIL & GAS 53 Reaching the peak Examining the effects of peak oil and carbon-intensive alternatives

SOCIETY 56 Green Spy Japan’s not-so-little secret 59 Diary dates Notable events, conferences and exhibitions in the region 60 WFES - Electricity for all 62 Sustainable past Volcanic wonderland - Iranian cave dwellings

January 2013



Expert Panel

His Highness Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Ali Al Nuaimi

Environmental Advisor Ajman Government Chief Executive Officer Al Ihsan Charity Centre Chairman International Steering Committee Global Initiative Towards a Sustainable Iraq, UAE

JosE Alberich PARTNER AT Kearney

Saeed Alabbar

Thomas Bohlen

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

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

Dr Michael Krämer

DR Mutasim Nour


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

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

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER Dubai Carbon Centre of Excellence

Charles Blaschke IV

Roderick Wiles

Jourdan Younis

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

LEED AP, PQP Managing Director Alpin Limited (Masdar City)

MEP BIM Manager iTech Holding

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

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

Goktug Gur COUNTRY PRESIDENT UAE and Oman Schneider Electric

January 2013

The concept behind the BGreen Expert Panel is to provide a platform for those who are active in encouraging sustainable practices and solutions across industries— the real experts—who can share their views, analyses, and research with our informed readers. We will also be organising quarterly events for the panellists to meet and mingle, while discussing the latest in news, strategies and solutions on focussed topics related to sustainability. Panellists are encouraged to pen their comments, opinions and analyses that can be

published in our magazine, as well as on our website in a portfolio format documenting their contributions. The Panel is constantly growing as we strive to form the ultimate taskforce of decision makers, academicians, consultants and engineers that can encourage a sustainable watershed across industries. If you would like to nominate an expert to join our panel, please email our Editor, Praseeda Nair, at

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DEWA awards AED 37 million contract


ubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) granted a AED 37 million contract for a project to supply, extend and commission a 600 millimetre diameter water transmission network that will extend from Al Aweer to Khawaneej, estimated to be up to 7.2 kilometres. The contract supports Dubai’s position in the region, alongside its reputation of being a global core for economy, finance and tourism, as well as providing an infrastructure that is both consistent and reliable in meeting all requirements for DEWA’s continuous development. This approach is made solely on increasing the efficiency and dependability of its demanding water networks, and to increase the water flow to maintain the pace of the rapid growth of the overall demand for water. “The main objective of the project is to enhance production and operational capacity, support water transmission networks and increase water flow to meet the rapid demand for water all over Dubai. This will also contribute to DEWA’s efforts to achieve sustainable development. DEWA continuously supplies electricity and water at the highest levels of availability, reliability, efficiency and safety to meet current and future customers’ expectations,” said HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD and CEO of DEWA. The project is intended to increase water-flow to meet the growing increase in demand for water all over Dubai, and to ensure an uninterrupted supply of water for these two areas,” said Al Tayer. The project is expected to be completed within 12 months.

January 2013

Water safety in rural Africa Dubai-based Saham Global has partnered with the Agriculture Business and Consultancy Holland, (ABAC) for the goal of elevating the overall life standards of the poorest small-hold farmers. By not only strengthening the farmer’s conservational and organic farming techniques, Saham Global and ABAC also plan to provide readymade containers for modular food processing and filtered water solutions for rural areas. The approach to stabilise the farmers’ standard of living has implemented several new conditions with regards to food, fresh water, biodiesel products and carbon fixation. For food, mangoes, guavas, bananas and other fruits are processed into shelf-stable fruit juices. Saham Global has contracted a local distributor to supply the packaged juice to more than 1000 hotels and bars as well as European fruit traders. These containers used for packaging are made of a unique polymer that attracts poisonous organic and inorganic elements away from the liquid. This rudimentary purification system makes water from lakes and rivers potable, and each container can provide safe drinking water for 4,000 to 5,000 people. The Dutch government and private investors with special concerns in underdeveloped countries will provide support by providing a 50% investment. Some of Kenya’s SME Banking Institutions are currently in talks of tailor-made solutions for financing this project.

From fog to freshwater On average, an estimated number of 20 occurences of defense fog are seen every year in the UAE during the winter period of December and January. According the WaterAid, (an international non-governmental organisation), for many centuries people in the Middle East and parts of Africa have harvested water from fog. Using rudimentary mud walls or dried gourds, people collected the water droplets that rolled off trees after periods of fog. With time, scientists found that they could use this process and collect large quantities of water using a systematic approach. Fog water collection has been successful in many regions of the globe such as Chile, Peru, South Africa, Yemen, the Caribbean Islands and Nepal. The UAE is located between a very warm sea on one side and a hot dry desert on the other, creating the optimal condition for inland fog that could be a renewable source of fresh water.



Not a carbon shortcut

Walmart as a case study Walmart has created a comprehensive analysis of the store’s effort to produce and execute goals of creating zero waste, selling sustainable products and the use of100% renewable energy to teach business students and executives about sustainability and business development. The project, known as the Sustainability Case Project, was lead by University of South Carolina professor Andrew Spicer. Spicer will also be dedicating his time to teaching a course of corporate sustainability in the school’s international MBS programme. With studies made by professors from the University of Arkansas, The Walmart Sustainability Case Project, reviewed seven case studies. The studies derived from 30 interviews; 25 of which were with current or former employees of Walmart. The professors of the University of Arkansas collaborated together to create the series of case studies. The case studies outlined key decisions made in the company’s efforts to promote sustainability. In 2005, Walmart CEO Lee Scott made the executive decision to launch a sustainability strategy, to search for sustainable seafood and how it came to define sustainable products. Two studies were created to look at Walmart and their sustainable history since 2005. One study examines the immense task of designing an environmental process and goals for an enormous organisation that employed 1.6 million people, served more than 138 million customers and tracked some 68 million stock keeping units every week. This task was to be taken on by then vice president, Andy Ruben in 2005. The second set of studies were based on the public information. In October, Walmart announced a series of sustainable supply chain initiatives, including a $2 million Walmart Foundation grant to launch The Sustainability Consortium in China and a target for suppliers to use the company’s Sustainability Index. Walmart vowed that by the end of 2012, it will buy 70% of the goods it sells in US stores and in US Sam’s Clubs only from suppliers that use the Sustainability Index to evaluate and share the sustainability of their products. According to Walmart, starting in 2013, Walmart will use the index to influence the design of its US private brand products.

January 2013

According to a new Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), although larger vessel sizes carrying cargo through an expanded Panama Canal could reduce CO2 emissions as much as 23%, other causes such large travel distances and waterborne emissions essentially counteract these green house gases (GHG) reductions. Emission Changes from Possible U.S. West Coast Modal Shift, published in a special issue of the journal Carbon Management, examines the environmental opportunities presented by the expansion of the Panama Canal, slated for completion in 2014, for the intermodal container shipping industry. The report evaluated whether a modal shift of east coast-bound cargo onto larger ships through an expanded canal offers net emission reductions compared with the land-freight truck/rail network via the west coast. According to the EDF transportation analysts and scientists of the School of Marine Science and Policy at the University of Delaware, Ocean transport is more carbonefficient than truck or rail, because larger ships and water routes would reduce the CO2 footprint of transported goods through extended canals. However, some authors argue that switching modes of transportation of a larger shipment may not provide emission benefits. This perspective comes from the consideration of the large volumes of cargo, and the assumption that there may likely be a 10% diversion from the west to the east coast. The effects of these types of diversions can lead to the expansion on CO2 emissions that appear to be insignificant because of longer distances traveled. In 2010, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries designed a large ship that had a fuel-efficient container. According to Mitsubishi, the vessel reduces carbon-dioxide emissions by 35% compared to other conventional container carriers. In addition, the vessel will be able to carry 14,000 six metre unit containers and transport it through the Panama Canal after the expansion of the waterway. According to a report in the Journal Environmental Science and Technology, cargo ships that have a speed limit as they sail near ports and coastlines could cut their greenhouse gases by up to 70%, while other cargo ships make up less than 5% of the total maritime fleet, they produce more than 21% of CO2 emissions from the international shipping industry.




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Furry carbon fighters A team of researchers from the University of California Santa Cruz have calculated that sea otters can remove up to 0.18 kg of carbon from the atmosphere for every square metre of occupied coastal waters


f North American sea otters were restored to healthy populations, they could collectively remove a massive 1010 kg of carbon – currently worth more than US$700 million on the carbon-trading market. As a nod to the natural course of things, the figures from the university study shows that predators play a vital ecological role, promoting the growth of vegetation by keeping herbivore populations in check.

January 2013

Wolves, for example, benefit the growth of trees and shrubs by culling excessive deer populations. Similarly, sea otters allow the growth of carbon-locking kelp by consuming sea urchins. The exact size of sea otter populations before they were nearly wiped out for their luxurious fur in the 18th and 19th centuries is uncertain. Since its population revival, the otters are now back to being in decline once again

in certain areas of the North American coast. In Alaska, for example, populations have dropped from up to 125,000 in the 1970s to around 70,000 today – possibly because of an increase in killer whale populations. The study provides an added incentive to protect the sea otters of the American coast. Whether other furry critters can act as a significant carbon sink remains uncertain as of yet.



Windy frontier Wind power has taken a backseat to solar across the Middle East and North Africa, but there are still some ambitious projects underway across the region

January 2013


T Egypt’s Zaafarana and Elsewedy Towers are touted to be the biggest in the world

he major advocates of wind power are Egypt and Morocco, who have forged ahead for alternative energy despite domestic political instability. Recent research from Stanford University indicates that harnessing wind energy can prove profitable, being enough to supply at least half of the world’s

total energy needs within the next twenty years.

Tarfaya Wind Farm, Morocco Morocco’s state utility Office National d’Electricite (ONE) awarded a US$350 million, 20-year PPA contract to a consortium made up of Nareva, the UAE-based Karabel Fez/International Power,

a subsidiary of GDF Suez Energy International, and International Power from the UK, for the 300 megawatt (MW) Tarfaya wind power plant. The plant, which will be financed by Attijariwafa Bank, Banque Marocaine du Commerce Extérieur (BMCE) and France’s Banque Populaire, will be built along the Atlantic ocean in southern Morocco. The plant is to

January 2013




Zaafarana saves Egypt 332,000 tonnes of fuel a year, and reduces annual carbon emissions by approximately 834,000 tonnes” be constructed on a build, operate and transfer basis, originally planned to be completed in 50MW phases each, with the first 200MW to be up and running by year-end. As of this month, Morocco has already installed 147MW of wind power with another 975MW in the pipeline. Morocco’s active solar energy plan is another element helping bridge the country’s energy mix as it strives to derive 42% of its energy demand from renewable sources by 2020.

Zaafarana and Elsewedy Towers, Egypt Strategically located near Ain Sokhna on the Red Sea, which allows easy transportation to the Zaafarana farm, and to the Suez Canal for global exportation, Egypt aims to break a record in having the largest wind turbines in MENA. The Zaafarana plant, located in an area with favourable wind conditions, has an expected capacity factor of 43%, has a minimum plant operating life is 21 years. The Zaafarana wind farm is by far the largest in Egypt, and one of the ten largest wind farms in the world. Staggered construction phases since 2000 meant that the 120 square kilometre site is now finally complete, housing 700 wind turbines producing a total capacity of 550 megawatts (MW). Though this is less than 3% of Egypt’s total capacity of just under 25 gigawatts (GW) or 25,000MW, it is a substantial development for the region.

January 2013

Zaafarana saves Egypt 332,000 tonnes of fuel a year, and reduces annual carbon emissions by approximately 834,000 tonnes, according to the New and Renewable Energy Authority. In the initial 7-year crediting period, the Project is expected to reduce approximately 1.75million tCO2e (tonnes of Carbon dioxide equivalent), generating the equivalent amount of Certified Emission Reductions (CERs). Though the initial vision was to produce 7,200 MW of renewable energy by 2020, it is expected that without significant economic and political change, development will increase at the current rate of about 150MW every two years.

The rest of the Middle East Iraq has announced its intention to invest $1.6 billion in the next three years for building an alternative energy sector, of which a large portion will be in wind energy. Saudi Arabia has also announced five targets for future wind farms, which will be revealed in detail this year.



Custom Creations designs BGreen visits Plum Sheep a manufacturing facility offering GREENGUARD certified bespoke soft seating and furniture solutions, speaking to the company’s Partner, Mriganka Travasso, on its growth in the UAE


he three-year-old bespoke furniture manufacturer, Plum Sheep, had embraced sustainability as a core value long before being GREENGUARD certified. “We began by sending out packages to 30 to 40 designers, as a way of realising their vision. Doing that in a resource-efficient, ethical manner is just second nature to us,” Mriganka

January 2013

Travasso, Partner at Plum Sheep tells BGreen. Using minimal glue in the manufacturing process, Plum Sheep has ensured that its products meet some of the world’s most rigorous and comprehensive standards for low emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Two certificates,

namely ‘GREENGUARD Indoor Quality’ and ‘GREENGUARD Children & Schools,’ have recently been awarded to the company, which currently supplies handmanufactured furniture solutions for a range of industries in the UAE. “Being a bespoke furniture manufacturing company, our products are very unique. Our


20,000 square feet of factory space

furniture is tailor-made for any space that requires sustainably produced, handmade furniture that is also one-of-a-kind in its design,” she adds.

Customised and sustainable The bespoke nature of Plum Sheep’s products attracts designers looking for a platform to bring their vision to life, as well as interior designers and buyers keen

on differentiating the corporate space by playing with colours, fabrics and designs that deviate from the sterile, mass-produced feel of most offices, waiting rooms and lobby areas. Sustainable practices at the core of the company’s manufacturing process includes precise foam cutting that is custom made to match the client’s desired comfort level, thereby minimising waste. All of the large parts that are cut and placed in the joinery are refined and assembled in the carpentry stage. The company uses minimal joints in the manufacturing of furniture designs across the board as a means of reducing waste and the resulting emissions. This also ensures that less glue is involved in piecing parts together, and whatever adhesives are used are water-based and non-toxic. The upholstery, hailing from green suppliers, are stapled into place rather than glued on, reducing the amount of glue even more considerably. “We believe in strong partnerships, working closely with designers to replicate their concept

and design. Clients are invited to see what goes into their products at every stage, and to put the furniture through a ‘bum test’ to review whether they like the furniture, both in terms of the way it looks and how it feels,” says Travasso. Ensuring that their suppliers are green in credentials is imperative for Plum Sheep, who deal with the likes of Camira, a highly popular fabric supplier known for using natural bast fibre products from harvested plants and recycled input materials. “Aside from minimising our resources used in manufacturing, we also focus on minimising waste. Everything can be reused, from leftover foam to unused scraps of leather and fabric,” Travasso explains, while taking us around the factory where her team have exercised their own creative liberties in reusing the extras. “These wall panels,” Travasso said, gesturing to a sophisticated dark leather structure, “are made from leather and fabric that can’t be used on the furniture. It all comes from trial and error, and a common principle across the company: that there is a beauty in reusing and recreating.” Similarly, extra foam material is crushed to fill cushions and beanbags, while extra cut wood pieces are used for filling in panels and internal parts.

Low VOCs “As the demand for healthy, sustainable products continues to expand, the ‘GREENGUARD Certification’ programme helps

January 2013




adopted as the trusted standard for low-emitting products and provides manufacturers with credible tools to legitimise and promote their sustainability efforts.

In line with green buildings

manufacturers create, and buyers identify, interior products and materials that have low chemical emissions and improve the quality of the air in which the products are used,” says Travasso, stressing the importance of responsible manufacturing processes. “Our products have not only undergone the initial tests for certification but have to go for annual re-certification and quarterly quality monitoring tests to maintain their certification. Given that more than 400 green building codes, standards, guidelines, procurements policies, and rating systems give credit for GREENGUARD certified products, we believe that clients in the UAE will opt for our bespoke solutions in an attempt to further comply with green building regulations.” According to the experts at GREENGUARD, indoor air quality (IAQ) is closely tied to health, and has therefore been recognised as an important concern in homes, schools, healthcare environments and commercial spaces. Further, they identified volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from building materials and furnishings as a major source of indoor air pollution. Today, GREENGUARD Certification has been widely

January 2013

30 skilled workers on staff

“Green Building systems have become the norm within the construction sector in the UAE and wider GCC region and the emergence of LEED, Estidama and other rating systems has entailed a greater demand for certified products that either contribute to points in established green building programmes, satisfy code or ordinance criteria or meet indoor air quality specific requirements. The sound science, robust certification requirements, and third-party status that back the ‘GREENGUARD Certification’ programme clearly differentiate certified products in the marketplace. As such, we are able to offer clients the advantage of bespoke certified products for local and regional projects,” according to Travasso.

Leading the pack Plum Sheep combines a state-ofthe-art manufacturing facility with highly skilled staff who have an understanding of local aesthetics and design, which enables the company to manage projects from the initial stage through to installation. Some of the projects that the company has been involved with include the Rib Room Restaurant (Jumeirah Emirates Towers); Allure (Yas Island); Creekside Restaurant and Vivaldi (Sheraton Dubai); Majlis (Emirates Golf Club); the Caramel Restaurant & Lounge (DIFC); and The Talk (Movenpick Jumeirah Beach Residence) amongst others. Working with established partners including Seekers, Office Essentials and The Total Office, the company has also manufactured products for the Burj Khalifa, Radisson Blu Lusaka, Address Hotel – Dubai Mall, The One & Only – The Palm Jumeirah, and Holiday Inn Express.

GREENGUARD CERTIFICATION Established in 2001, the GREENGUARD Environmental Institute was founded with the mission of protecting human health and quality of life by improving indoor air quality and reducing chemical exposure. The ‘GREENGUARD Indoor Air Quality’ certification programme gives assurance that products designed for use in office environments and other indoor spaces meet strict chemical emissions limits, which contribute to the creation of healthier interiors. In addition, the ‘GREENGUARD Children & Schools’ certification programme offers stricter certification criteria for products intended for use in schools, daycares or other environments where children spend significant periods of time. It is referenced by both the Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS) and the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Building Rating System and products certified to this standard are deemed suitable for use in environments where children and others work, play or reside.


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A look at LEED version 4.0 Jourdan Younis outlines what to expect from the highly anticipated LEED Version 4 after speaking to ecopreneur Paul Hawken at the sidelines of Greenbuild 2012 in San Francisco


Jourdan Younis

January 2013

ith press pass in hand and several more barrels of carbon credits burnt, this past month afforded me the opportunity to visit the heart of the sustainable development movement “Greenbuild” first hand, to listen to the Ecology of Commerce guru Paul Hawken and to assess the status of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Version 4 which will be released in 2013. The second week of November was the 11th annual celebration of sustainable development, an event known as Greenbuild. This year 25,000 industry professionals, students and political leaders joined together in San Francisco to take stock of where we are, the success and setbacks that we had in 2012, and to chart our course for the future. Greenbuild is developed and organised by the US Green

Building Council, but don’t let the US-centric name mislead you—over 120 countries were represented at the conference. In fact, the delegation from the UAE, via the US Embassy’s commercial service office, included approximately 50 of professionals representing over 30 organisations and commercial firms. Of noteworthy representation in recent years were the Abu Dhabi Municipality, TDIC and the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council, and this year there were also several key members from the Qatar development community including the Qatar Green Building Council. In addition to the political delegates, several industry leaders also demonstrated their commitment to embodying the principles of “green capitalism” by discussing the reinforcing values of commerce and sustainability and how they

are not only complimentary but also extremely supportive of one another. Environmentalist, entrepreneur and co-author of Natural Capitalism Paul Hawken responded to a question on the public’s perception of climate change with, “historically when there have been messengers that threaten the establishment, we’ve eliminated them – Jesus, Gandhi, Martin Luther King – but in the case of climate change there is no messenger. So instead we’ve killed the message and we have killed it with corporate money, The Wall Street Journal, through the coal industry, to Exxon Mobil. That message and that science has been obliterated by corporate interest.” Mr. Hawken also discussed his long-term message that businesses need to move past their Industrial Revolution notions when natural resources were abundant and labour was the limiting factor of


production. Now, there’s a surplus of people, while natural capital resources and the ecological systems that provide vital lifesupport services are rare and relatively expensive. He described how by becoming more efficient and “firing” the unproductive tons, gallons, and kilowatt-hours it would be possible for businesses to keep the people who will foster the innovation that will drive future profits and improvement. On the LEED side, Version 4, the much improved and enhanced iteration of the 10+ year old rating system, will be released in 2013. Some noteworthy enhancements are as follows: The credit categories that we are used to will be modified and actually will look and feel more similar to the Estidama Pearl Rating System. The energy efficiency credits will now use the updated ASHRAE 90.1-2010 standards; this alone is expected to take what would be a LEED Gold project today, and shift it down a notch or two to either Silver or Certified. Then there is a new credit for Envelope Commissioning, which in our air conditioning dependent climate will make a large impact in energy reduction. We always like to say, that it is expensive to air condition the desert, so try to build the envelope system to be as efficient as possible (While providing a

comfortable and healthy level of fresh air and exchange) . Once again, in alignment with Estidama, there will also be a Whole Building Lifecycle Assessment credit. Of the +12 additional credits and credit modifications, the one credit that has received the most resistance from the product industry is the “Building Products Disclosure and Optimisation – Material Ingredients,” which requires that the project team specify 20 products with chemical inventories through a manufacturer inventory, a Health Product Declaration, or the William McDonough inspired Cradle to Cradle program. This will, for the first time, incentivise chemical manufacturers to provide the detailed ingredient list in their compounds so that consumers can be informed of what they are touching and breathing. As this is expected to uncover some ugly truths about the materials that we use in our homes, offices, hospital and schools, the American Chemistry Council has taken a hardline on this credit and has tried to force the US government to stop specifying LEED for its projects (The US government requires LEED Gold for all new federal buildings and is the largest user of LEED with over 11% of all project). The question that you may be asking yourself, is why go through the process of updating the system at all? With the technological advances and education over the past few years, LEED Gold is now taken as the norm, as opposed to a lofty target only available for the best in class projects. LEED was created to shift development mindsets and to encourage project teams to stretch a bit, so in response to this LEED was always expected to get more challenging every few years and 2013 is the time for an update. As mentioned above, just simply certifying your building in Version 4 would require roughly the same effort as a LEED Gold building under Version 3, so good luck to all of us.

As you can tell, this month’s article has taken a slight deviation from our recent focus on Estidama’s Pearl Rating System and has instead focused on the global USGBC (LEED) conference. This is not because of a slowdown in the PRS; in fact this past month has seen the issue of of Estidama Version 2.0 for stakeholder comments. We are, however, still seeing strong demand for LEED certification in the UAE, and for strategies which allow for the achievement of dual, or in some cases triple sustainability ratings. Until next month, feel free to contact me directly or to drop me a question regarding the trajectory of the sustainable development movement, cleantech or sustainability education. Jourdan Younis is the Managing Director for Alpin Limited, Masdar City, Abu Dhabi, an instructor for LEED at American University of Sharjah and a former instructor for Estidama at the Urban Planning Council – Abu Dhabi. His background spans London Business School, California Polytechnic University, and several international sustainability consulting operations including Sowwah Square in Abu Dhabi and the Energy Foundation in San Francisco.

Highlights - Two Billion square feet of the built environment has become LEED certified across the globe since the inception of the USGBC, with Two Million square feet of property becoming LEED certified on a daily basis. - Almost 50,000 commercial projects from over 130 countries are participating in the LEED green building programme. - LEED Version 4 is expected to be released in late 2012. It is now under beta testing and open for limited project registration.

January 2013




Innovation at its best The Zayed Future Energy Prize celebrates achievements that reflect impact, innovation, long-term vision and leadership in renewable energy and sustainability. BGreen presents this year’s finalists

If we were to win

d.light Design In brief: The US-based company manufactures and distributes solar lamps to communities in the developing world, especially Africa.

“Being finalists for the prize, quite simply, will help us change more lives”— Donn Tice, CEO & Chairman

January 2013

The spark of inspiration to set up d.light occurred when co-founder Sam Goldman was doing his Peace Corps service in Benin, Africa. He lived in a village without electricity. One day, his neighbour’s son was badly burnt by an overturned kerosene lamp. The incident, along with the knowledge that marketviable alternatives to kerosene existed, inspired him to establish d.light so that families would not have to use dangerous kerosene lamps again

Creating a business worthy of winning an award such as the Zayed Future Energy Prize has been one of our goals since inception (2007). Winning the Zayed Future Energy Prize will raise the visibility of our focus on bringing universal access to clean, safe, reliable, affordable off-grid light and power. Quite simply, we think being a finalist will help us change more lives. d.light envisions a future where people are empowered to enjoy the freedom and improved quality of life that comes with access to reliable, affordable and safe off-grid light and power. We are dedicated to providing the most affordable and accessible solar lighting and power systems to the developing world, reaching 100 million people by 2020. Our products - smallscale, distributed renewable energy solutions - designed for households and small businesses are transforming the way people across the world can use and pay for energy. Everyone deserves access to energy; we will leverage the entire prize money to take our life-changing technologies to the greatest number of people possible.

In line with current market conditions We believe that the market for small-scale, distributed renewable

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energy solar lighting solutions is on the verge of reaching a tipping point as awareness of these technologies increase, kerosene prices rise, and affordability of solar technologies drop. We have seen dramatic growth in our business and the market as a whole over the last 12 months with unit sales increasing by a factor of four and showing no sign of slowing down. The rapid growth has allowed us to reach the milestone of empowering 10 million lives with d.light products, far earlier than any of us had anticipated. This makes us more confident than ever that we will achieve our goal of eradicating kerosene lamps for 100 million people within the decade and drives us even harder to realise that vision.

Areas of expansion The potential addressable market for d.light’s solar-powered solutions begins with the 1.3 billion people in the world today without access to electricity, as well as the 1.3 billion with only intermittent electricity (in the developing world, these populations straddle both urban/rural and rich/poor). With our expanded product offering over the last five years, we have seen first-hand the difference

that clean, affordable, and safe renewable energy can make in the lives of people who have not had access to such energy before. We want to do more. After rolling out d.light’s solar energy system in Kenya, we intend to expand to additional African countries and then worldwide. In pursuit of our mission to expand affordability and access to renewable energy, d.light plans to introduce new portable solar systems and products, and new payment systems throughout our target markets.

Challenges ahead In the markets we work in, smallscale solar solutions are in a new product category that does not have established distribution channels. For the most part, customers in our markets are not aware that these solutions exist. It, therefore, requires a great deal of effort and investment to increase the overall awareness of these technologies in the market. We believe that the biggest challenges in implementing renewable energy solutions are largely around a) creating appropriate distribution for the products to ensure they are available and b) conducting sufficient marketing activities to generate market awareness. These are best overcome through offering simple and reliable products, a strong warranty, easy payment

Donn Tice

systems and consumer education that reduce the perceived risk of leaving old consumer habits and solutions such as kerosene behind. This is where the Zayed Future Energy Prize can help. As a for-profit social enterprise that believes in long-lasting, market-based solutions, we see the following as the three biggest issues facing adoption: • Access to working capital to finance the distribution chain and consumers, which limits our capacity to scale and expand product distribution into new areas • Overcoming innate consumer caution in adopting and embracing new technologies.

January 2013




Clean Power Finance In brief: The US-based solar financing company has a unique online platform in place, CPF old, which helps solar companies design, quote and propose solar systems to residential consumers

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times for solar in 2012”—— Nat Kreamer, CEO, Clean Power Finance

Honored with the 2012 Bloomberg New Energy Pioneer and the Rising Star Award 2012 for new entrants to the Global Cleantech 100 list featuring top private cleantech companies in the world, we believed we can compete with prominent enterprises that traditionally submit for the Zayed Future Energy Prize. Furthermore, we are working as hard and as fast as possible to make clean, affordable residential solar a mass-market consumer product. However, it must be remembered

January 2013

that we have only entered the solar finance market 18 months ago. In this regard, the Zayed Future Energy Prize represents a significant amount of capital that would support our growth goals.

installers grow their businesses and create local jobs, and allows consumers to save money on their monthly electricity bills while helping protect our environment and planet.

A clear focus

If we were to win

I am passionate about making solar energy affordable to average consumers. I grew up in the Chesapeake Bay area of Maryland, a region with stunning beauty, delicate watersheds and wetlands, and diverse wildlife. Growing up in such a vibrant ecosystem gave me an early appreciation of nature and a strong desire to preserve it. I co-founded SunRun in 2007 and sold the first residential solar power purchase agreement (PPA) using my own money to finance it because I truly believe solar is the best option. The first PPA pioneered further efforts to help consumers conquer the cost-barrier to going solar. I am extremely proud to have laid the groundwork for what is today a billion dollar industry that provides attractive returns to investors, helps solar

Clean Power Finance’s vision is to enable the mass-market adoption of residential solar. We do that not only by making solar affordable to homeowners by offering them competitively-priced leases and PPAs through our channel partners, but also through ambitious and ground-breaking projects that cut costs today borne by the entire solar industry. Specifically, we are working on a project to develop a free, open-source database where the solar industry can access solar permitting requirements for municipalities throughout the US. The initiative aims to reduce the time and cost associated with antiquated permitting processes that add significantly to the overall installed cost of solar, making solar more affordable for consumers.


The second project for which I would use the prize money is a market research study we are conducting with a number of other industry players to determine what consumers want from solar, what it takes to convince them to go solar, and how the industry can more effectively market solar to various consumer demographics. The third project that would benefit from the prize money is an online marketplace we are creating to facilitate long-term operations and maintenance (O&M) back up servicing for installed systems. The idea of a marketplace where system owners and financiers can find competitively-priced O&M services would promote providers to proactively address the concerns of ratings agencies and the large money centre banks that handle securitisation.

In line with current market conditions It was the best and the worst of times for the solar industry in 2012. Downstream companies enjoy the lower hardware costs

and greater access to vendor financing in the US while upstream companies struggle to sell equipment above their marginal cost. Upstream overcapacity is driving consolidation, which should translate into improved scale and lowers costs. While downstream companies selling and installing solar enjoyed higher margins in 2012, it is likely that heavy downstream competition will reduce those margins in 2013, pushing companies to either grow or specialise. In order to make solar competitive with conventional grid power for average consumers, we need to focus on reducing the overall installed cost of solar and identify factors that influence consumer adoption of solar. In addition to the work of private companies, the Department of Energy’s SunShot Programme is investing hundreds of millions of dollars with industry participants to develop solutions that drive down soft costs, which will improve industry competitiveness and profitability. Improved scale and specialisation is key to the solar industry’s growth: consequently, the entire value chain needs to optimise before solar can become a major source of US electricity generation. Our commitment to the solar industry and our public works projects that bring together stakeholders from every segment of the solar value chain prompted the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), the largest solar trade association in the US to offer us a seat on its Board of Directors. As we move towards 2013, we remain convinced we can use our momentum, strong networks and partnerships, and thought leadership to motivate the solar industry and propel the consumerisation of residential solar.

Areas of expansion To meet our profitability and growth goals, we have deliberately chosen to initially focus on the US residential photovoltaic solar market, where penetration is less than one per cent in what we calculate to be a US$60 billion/year market. Once we are established and begin to meet our operational goals, we plan to expand into commercial solar and ultimately into other solar technologies, either of which would expand our target market by orders of magnitude. Our software-based model is scalable and we believe it will exceed current competitors to be applicable in countries outside the US. Long-term areas of expansion potentially include moving into Europe, China, India, Australia and the Middle East, as well as into developing markets such as Africa and Latin America.

Challenges ahead Solar technology is sound. We have reached the point of market maturation and consolidation and must focus on driving awareness and reducing the overall installed cost of solar. I see several significant challenges facing the adoption and implementation of renewable/sustainable energy solutions: lack of capital, ancillary services and support; and consumer awareness and uptake. Clean Power Finance is working hard to address these three obstacles. Creating a transparent, competitive marketplace for solar financing is equivalent to making solar assets an attractive investment for financiers and institutional investors and facilitating the badly needed movement of capital from financiers to solar professionals and consumers.

January 2013




EcoNation In brief: The Belgian-based company’s flagship ‘LightCatcher’ is a light harvesting technology that uses photo-sensors and is powered by a solar panel

“It is a privilege to feel every day that we are creating something that really matters”— Maarten Michielssens, CEO, EcoNation

I was 26 (now 29) and looking to make a positive difference through a worthwhile project or realising an idea. I was fortunate to explain my goals to a professor at my former business school. He encouraged and challenged me at the same time. Today, he is the chairman of our Board of Directors. We decided to create a new, innovative offering that is simple yet efficient for customers, the environment and the company, and sustainable with the capability to change lives, not only for our team but also our customers and other stakeholders. Today, we literally bring light to our customers in the poorest regions in the world. For each LightCatcher installed, we ‘light up’ the life of ten families in the slums. It is a privilege to know that we can craft something that really matters.

If we were to win About 40% of the prize money will be invested in three research projects that we are conducting with the Ghent University in Belgium. One of our research and development projects is based on liquid crystals and nanotechnology, which will eliminate the need for moving parts or mirrors. Our product will potentially allow for one-on-one replacement of traditional, passive skylights at the same or lower cost. The cradle-to-cradle approach will lower the carbon footprint by up

January 2013

to seven times. With the prize money, we will move at least one year faster in the development period, allowing us to bring a working solution to the market by mid-2014 instead of 2015. We will also allocate 10% of the prize money to an engineering project that tackles strengthening or installation issues on metal and slanting roofs. Another 10% will be used to organise a mass charity event in Ghent (our hometown, where we were named ‘Innovative Company of the Year’ in 2012). We will do this in conjunction with the people behind ‘A Litre of Light’ (which started in the Philippines). A Litre of Light raises awareness on the importance of natural light and energy efficiency through social media in very broad segments of the world. Our role model in this approach is the Financial Times, which works with a foundation to give sight to blind children. With 39.9% of the prize fund, we will immediately create an international network of green profit-driven enterprises, holding out our hands to other clean technology SMEs, preferably our fellow finalists of this year and the previous years. We aim to do this in cooperation with the Sheikh Zayed Foundation, in order to internationally collaborate, share experiences, raise awareness and make a difference.

In line with current market conditions Instead of convincing them to invest in energy efficiency, we

outline advantages (savings) that do not require any sort of prefinancing. From the very first day, we take care of the investment, install our proprietary technology that is based on daylight savings, monitor these savings through the technology that allows us to communicate with any LightCatcher around the world, and the customer profits. We responded to market conditions, we listened to our customers and based on these signals, we developed a monitoring tool and introduced a financial mechanism that allows us to implement this non-asset solution. We invested in the technology that allowed the customer to enjoy lower costs from day one. This mechanism is covered and financially supported by one of the largest Belgian French banks for client sites anywhere in the world.

Areas of expansion In general, we target markets where energy prices are high, innovation is welcomed, sun hours are long and the industrialisation rate is high. If you define areas as countries or regions, we mainly look towards industrial European regions, the BRIC countries, North Africa and South East Asia. We aim to establish local hubs in Morocco and South East Asia, replicating our headquarters in Belgium. It would involve local research and development (in order to modify and correct on regional differences, and create new applications in these environments according to our methods),


• •

manufacturing replication and sales, where these hubs function as central entities for the whole region. Our headquarters will oversee/ coordinate the operations. If you target areas as segments, we primarily cater to industrial and public buildings rather than the residential market. For homes, we are developing specific

daylight products taking into account additional parameters such as colour, intensity and full light control.

Challenges ahead

The answer lies in relevant, simple, efficient solutions

Getting independent from government regulations so that we are sustainable without relying on subsidies Overcoming customers’ fear for new solutions Decreasing the timeline between technology verification, early adopters and broad implementation The integration of the ecoapproach in traditional industrial mind-sets The speed of innovation in terms of increased efficiency Encouraging international collaboration and cooperation in sharing experiences



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Grameen Shakti

In brief: Grameen Shakti operates as a developer and promoter of renewable energy technology solutions for the rural population of Bangladesh. Its Solar Home Systems (SHS) solution is a stand-alone photovoltaic system that provides electricity to operate home appliances and other low power appliances. The company also leverages the experience of Grameen Bank, a major lender in the area of microfinancing in Bangladesh, to offer innovative financing to make the SHS cost-effective for rural customers.

“We started Grameen Shakti in1996 to give access to pollution free green energy to the rural people at minimum cost”— Abser Kamal, Acting Managing Director of Grameen Shakti

Energy is vital for the economic and social development of any country. About 160 million people live in Bangladesh, nearly two thirds of which reside in the rural areas. Almost 80% of the rural population has no access to modern sources of energy. Rural people are forced to live in primitive and hazardous conditions because of lack of access to efficient energy. Inspired by the vision of Nobel Laureate Professor Yunus who has great faith in the inherent capacity of the rural people, we started Grameen Shakti in 1996 to give access to green energy to the rural people at minimum cost, so that they can improve their socio-economic condition. We also wanted to create a synergy between microcredit, renewable energy technologies and income generation in order to give the best opportunities to rural people. Among all, women and the children are the worst victims of poverty and energy scarcity in the society. With this motto, GS started promoting Solar Home Systems (SHS). Recruiting local youth who helped install and maintain the systems and who understood the local market and customs has refined the distribution effort. Creating green jobs in the villages led to increased adoption as more families were able to afford installment. Grameen Shakti set up village based Grameen Technology Centres to train and empower young women to become renewable energy technicians and entrepreneurs. Later, it included Biogas technology and Improved Cooking Stoves (ICS). ICS has helped protect the mothers and sisters from indoor air pollution. ICS are one of the cheapest means to protect women and children from indoor air pollution in the country. ICS reduces biomass use by about 50%, saving time and money. It is also helping rural families increase savings and capital, protect their health and save the environment at the same time. It is no wonder that rural women, who are the managers of their homes and household finance, are showing growing interest

January 2013

in ICS. All these consequences motivate us to focus in renewable energy related rural activities.

If we were to win We could launch a new scholarship programme, to be named the Zayed Grameen Shakti Scholarship, for the children of our clientele. We would also like to focus on the development of women entrepreneurs. It would help boost our efforts to accelerate the development and the rural market penetration. Rural school programs on Renewable Energy and Users’ training would also help us spread the message further in rural areas. Again, donating toolboxes to the local women technicians might play a great role for recognition, while helping them conduct their jobs smoothly.

In line with current market conditions GS has enabled as many as 7.5 million people in Bangladesh to light their homes using solar power. It has helped thousands more use wastes either to produce energy or as a fuel for cooking that are efficient, safe and clean. The literature concerning gender and technology has made considerable inroads to our understanding of how gendered assumptions and inequalities play their role in these technology choices. While our understanding has increased, however, the implementation of alternative technologies embedded by gender integration with an affordable price offering has still been a challenge for GS.

Areas of expansion Providing power without intensifying the effects of climate change is a priority for the people of Bangladesh, who know all too well what natural calamities can do to their coastal nation. Moreover, Bangladesh is a delta floodplain country, where extending a grid

system is complex and often prohibitively expensive. However, in many rural areas, people live too far from the main electrical grids to make connections reliable or affordable. Without access, these families are forced to rely on more expensive and non-renewable energy options such as kerosene or batteries. Even with more than 250,000 new households gaining access to electricity every year, it could take another 40 years for all the people of Bangladesh to have power. Larger energy supplies and greater efficiency of energy use are necessary to meet the basic needs of a growing population. However, we are blessed with plenty of sunshine around the year. It will therefore, be necessary to tap all sources of renewable energy and to use these in an efficient converted form for benefit of the people.

Challenges ahead •

Human Capital - skilled manpower is a must for creating RET acceptance. The skills include repair & maintenance expertise, electrical skills and installation knowledge while a few other skills are unique to specific sectors such as marketing, after sales service et cetera. Skill development is of paramount importance in job creation, improving productivity and standards of living. Innovation - while integrating greening and inclusion into business models in rural areas may be beneficial or even necessary in the mid to long term, the technology innovation process required is often difficult, with uncertain outcomes and high resource demands.

Liam Williams Associate Publisher Email: Tel: +971 (0) 4 375 1511

Harry Norman Business Development Manager Email: Tel: +971 (0) 4 375 1502

Ruan Marais Business Development Manager Email: Tel: +971 4 375 1499

Deep Karani Business Development Manager Email: Tel:+971 4 375 1501



If we were to win

Mainstream Renewable

In brief: Mainstream Renewables is a global renewable energy development company with 326MW under construction and 16GW in development. It has championed the Super grid project to develop a long-distance, high voltage direct current (HVDC) grid to transmit renewable electricity across Europe

“The path to sustainable energy is not an easy one. It takes courage and foresight to put the structures in place to build large-scale wind and solar generation when there are so many short-term pressures to stick with the status quo – Adam Bruce, Global

Head of Corporate Affairs, Mainstream Renewable

Mainstream passionately believes in the potential of renewable energy. We see renewable energy as the “mainstream” source of power for the 21st century. We set up the company with a single mission - to take a leadership role in the global transition to sustainable power. We believe that every country in the world will have to make the change and it is actively working in those countries such as Chile, South Africa, Germany and the UK, which have already taken major steps towards realising a sustainable energy future.

January 2013

The company is focused on delivering wind and solar power at scale across four continents. Hand in hand with this we are actively promoting big picture, visionary thinking on projects such as Supergrid, SuperNode and Energy Bridge which all involve mega-scale trading of renewable energy between countries. Projects of this type will enable the delivery of renewable energy into towns and cities across continents, replacing fossil power and bringing affordable and clean energy to citizens.

A major element of Mainstream’s mission is working to ensure that the countries and communities which are home to its wind and solar farms get to realise the real, enduring and positive impacts of renewable energy. At the core of all this is ensuring that the next generation have the tools and resources to realise the full potential of these hugely positive sources of power. To this end Mainstream has set up the SMart Futures programme which it would like to expand across all of its markets. SMart Futures is an award winning high school programme which has already educated 5,000 students in the UK on the subject of renewable energy. Winning the prize will enable us to roll out SMart Futures in all our markets, and to recruit the colleagues who will build our business to deliver the jobs and investment to put the skills learned by our young adults into practice.

In line with current market conditions For Mainstream Renewable Power the current market conditions mean we innovative even more. It means looking beyond the obvious and outside of how we usually do things. It has led us to thinking creatively about our customers. Getting closer to them, better understanding their needs, and creating innovative new ways to deliver what they want. One example of this is the Energy Bridge; a mega-project led by Mainstream which has never been done anywhere in the world. It will export 5,000MW of wind energy from Ireland to the UK starting in 2017. The UK faces a significant challenge to meet EU targets to supply 15% of all its energy from renewable sources. It is looking for sources of renewable energy supply outside the country. At the same time it is closing old fossil fuel plants and faces a potential power squeeze. Ireland on the other hand has enough


wind energy to meet 19 times its own electricity requirements. We are looking at ways to supply the UK with the energy it needs from Ireland. This is a unique win-win situation for Ireland and the UK; it will create a brand new industry for Ireland and deliver cost-effective renewable energy to the benefit of the UK consumer.

Areas of expansion The biggest areas of growth for Mainstream are the emerging leaders in renewable energy; countries such as South Africa and Chile and regions such as the Gulf. These are pioneering places, which are commencing the transition to renewable energy. Their governments have shown vision and foresight particularly at a time of global economic challenge. In those markets Mainstream’s goal is to take the experience we have built up over the past twenty years and use that for the benefit of our local markets. We always partner with local companies in these markets because we believe that all development work must be carried out by local people. At the same time these local companies benefit from sharing the experience of a global renewable energy developer. We can bring the benefits of lessons learned in South Africa, for example, to new markets where governments are looking at the best way to incentivise investment in renewables, while encouraging local development. •

Challenges ahead •

Long-term benefits versus short-term pressures Introducing large amounts of renewable energy into a country’s generation mix requires long-term planning. It requires committing to long-term targets in order to attract the companies that will deliver the infrastructure and the investors who will fund it. Innovation The new electricity grids will use

Adam Bruce

smart technology to ship renewable energy over long distances into homes and industries where the consumer can control their energy use to suit their family or business needs. The energy industry needs companies whose cultures are steeped in the spirit of innovation; companies that have the confidence to come up with new ideas and novel ways of doing things. There are many hurdles to overcome and the need to innovate is not a nice to have; it’s a fundamental requirement. Changing mindsets Making the transition to renewable energy needs a fundamental change of mindset. It requires people to think in terms of the potential of renewable energy instead of “this is how it has always been done”. The more people start thinking of how largescale renewable energy can co-exist and thrive within a diversified generation portfolio the more successful and efficient the transition will be.

About the prize For the past five years, the Zayed Future Energy Prize has recognised some of the most innovative, visionary leaders in global sustainability. Winners, finalists, and other entrants have made a significant positive impact on the world’s environment with their pathbreaking solutions. Building on its success in 2012, the Zayed Future Energy Prize will award five distinct categories during the 2013 awards ceremony: Large Corporation: recognition award Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SME): US$1.5 million; Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO): US$1.5 million; Lifetime Achievement Award: US$500,000; and the Global High Schools Prize: US$500,000 divided among five regions with each school awarded up to US$100,000 (Africa, Asia, the Americas, Oceania, and Europe). All categories are assessed on the basis of four key criteria: impact, innovation, leadership and long-term vision. The award ceremony for this year will take place on 15 January 2013, as part of the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week.

January 2013




Recycling made easy Driving home the importance of recycling by making it the convenient choice, Averda’s ReVa reverse vending machines have been introduced in Dubai for a citywide mind set change


For every recyclable unit deposited, users can receive two air miles

January 2013

ave you ever seen a paper carton or piece of metal that has not been recycled or a piece of metal that hasn’t been recycled? Those things recycle themselves, in that they don’t require help in finding their way back into the product cycle. Plastic, glass, electronics, and other complex things need support,” Malek Sukoor, CEO of Averda, said in conversation with BGreen.

“This is where we are not seeing a concerted effort. Having said that, technology today falls short in many cases in making a meaningful effort at that scale. This is still a challenge,” he added, days after the launch of Averda’s reverse vending machine, ReVa. As the millennium rolled in, plans to create the next big innovation was in the works. 12 years later, TECOM business

parks have become the proud new owners of ReVa reverse vending machines. The latest addition to Averda’s portfolio, the reverse vending machines allows users to exchange plastic and aluminium cans for an attractive incentive from Air Miles, through an ingenious partnership between Averda, ENPARK and Air Miles. For every recyclable unit deposited in any of the ReVa


FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Mark Mortimer-Davies, Saeed Bin Ghubash, John Irvine

vending machines across TECOM business parks, users can receive two Air Miles reward miles as an incentive for recycling. During the ReVa Vending Machine launch, Saeed Bin Ghubash, the director of ENPARK stated their intentions in attracting like-minded businesses to their site. “By making recycling more accessible, the ReVa reverse vending machine (can) change the habits of those working in and living near TECOM free zones. We are therefore, extremely pleased to be able to promote the innovative work of averda, one of TECOMs 4,500 business partners, as this machine demonstrates first-hand exactly how such initiatives can be incorporated into commercial areas and across business communities,” he said. 15 ReVa vending machines are located throughout the TECOM business parks, found in communal areas such as Dubai Internet City, Studio City, Academic City, Dubai Outsourcing Zone, International Media Production Zone, Dubai Media City, DuBiotech and Dubai Knowledge village. The process of using the machine is simple; once you have finished using your aluminium cans or plastic bottles simply place the recyclable unit into ReVa and the machine will dispose of it. Once the waste has been disposed, press the button on the machine to receive a receipt that shows you the total Air Miles reward miles that you have earned. Should the machine fill up with recycled goods, an SMS will be sent to Averda to indicate that three-fourths of the storage has been filled. Another SMS will be sent once the machine has reached its full capacity.

the ReVa reversible machine was created to drive sustainability and have people experience it first-hand” Primarily, the ReVa reversible machine was created to drive sustainability and have people experience it first-hand. It’s an interactive tool to campaign and bring recycling first hand to consumers. Saeed Bin Ghubash believes that, “this is the beginning; it will be an evolving project that will show how to recycle and how to be green. Together, we can make an enormous impact on how Dubai and the UAE recycle.” Mark Morimer-Davies, CEO of Air Miles Middle East believes that ReVa is a behaviour changing process. “If you reward people and entice competition to younger generations, this will lead to better behaviour and a greener environment. It’s like having a child, someone has to have the courage to start and bring the baby to life.”

Averda believes that using Air Miles can help make Dubai sustainable and facilitate recyclable products by giving people a convenient and flexible incentive. “We chose Air Miles as our redemption partner because of its simple, convenient and flexible solutions. As an organisation, it’s crucial we continue to raise recycling awareness within communities and throughout public and commercial spaces, by promoting this convenient, cutting edge technology,” claims John Irvine, managing director of Averda. With plenty of optimism, ENPARK, Averda and Air Miles are determined to facilitate the recycling system in Dubai to simple solution to help Dubai’s long-term problem. With time, this collaboration is hoping that their system can change the recycling system of the entire country.

January 2013



Green Technology | CANON

More than a philosophy Shadi Bakhour, General Manager of Canon Emirates, highlights the company’s philosophy of kyosei and what it means in tangible terms


anon’s corporate philosophy is Kyosei, a Japanese word that means living and working together for the common good. Since 1988 Kyosei has shaped Canon’s vision and values, the way we do business and how we interact with stakeholders around the world. At the heart of Kyosei is our vision that all people, regardless of race, religion or culture, can live and work together in harmony. This means taking responsibility for the impact of our activities, respecting our customers, the communities and countries where we operate, and our natural environment. Canon Emirates was established in 2007 as Canon’s first direct operation in the region to reinforce Canon’s leading position in the UAE. This includes not only our efforts to provide the best quality products and solutions to

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our customers but also to fulfil our company’s mission of being a socially responsible and environmentally sustainable company. Since its inception we are inspired by Canon’s corporate philosophy of ‘kysoei’ that has been one of the cornerstones of our green strategy. Our aim is to do business responsibly while pursuing sustainable economic growth. In line with our Kyosei philosophy, we believe the innovations and technological advances we build into our products should enrich the lives of our customers without harming the environment.

Canon Emirates was ISO 14001 certified in 2010. Our products focus on reducing resource use, lower environmental impacts and increase energy efficiency – from design and

production, through to customer use and on to eventual recycling and re-use. In our operations, we also aim at reducing resources, improving waste recycling and educating employees. To give one example, earlier this year, Canon Emirates launched a carbon neutral Toner and Ink Cartridges recycling program in the UAE. The program caters to Canon Emirates’ corporate customers from all sectors in the UAE. Canon Emirates is working closely with its partners to deliver turnkey solutions for automating companies’ document management processes. Canon’s imageRUNNER ADVANCE series and uniFLOW print and scan platform exemplify this transition to fully networked offices devices that are more secure, efficient and environmentally friendly.


ECOWASH ME is a Canadian Auto Care specialist company based in Dubai. We provide our customers with a superior level of home service car wash and detailing while helping the environment and keeping our earth safe. Our highest quality products are completely eco-friendly, biodegradable and non-toxic. ECOWASH ME cleans, polishes and protects your car against UV without using a single drop of water. Traditional car washes and “bucket” washers that used recycled and unfiltered water to wash your car typically damage the paint resulting in a dull looking finished. Our protective polymer coating is guaranteed not to scratch or damage your vehicle, yet reveal a beautiful polished result that makes your car brand new look liked.

ECOWASH ME WATERLESS CARWASH Tel: +971 04 801 9001 | Email: |



Coast to coast The Arabian gulf is home to the largest manmade islands in the world, and with these coastal stressors in place, the long-term impact on the region’s unique marine ecosystem from human activity remains to be seen


ith a continued annual growth rate 2.1%, nearly double the world average, countries bordering the Arabian Gulf clearly have the resources and creativity to considerably alter the face of its desert landscape. Nowhere else in the world has there been such extensive coastal manipulation in a relatively short time frame.

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Sound planning and management are essential when coastal manipulations are involved, taking into account the existing marine landscape, hydrodynamics and aquatic life. Research results from detailed studies conducted by the United Nations University (UNU-INWEH) between 2006 and 2009 on offshore developments

in Dubai have led to a greater understanding of the impact and consequences of coastal manipulation on a massive scale.

The findings •

In many cases, breakwaters can act as manmade reefs supporting diverse marine communities with growth rates comparable to natural


reefs. Aquatic creatures are naturally drawn to hollow structures that can provide shelter and shade. Artificial reefs act exactly as natural ones do, in terms of attracting marine life, yet they cannot replace natural ecosystems Fish populations may spike near breakwaters, but the demographic will differ

from the species found in natural habits. Artificial underwater structures attract populations from existing reefs, pulling them away from their natural habitats. Fishing near breakwaters needs to be banned in order to protect this stimulated population Large-scale developments impact natural reefs by

artificially building up sedimentation for land reclamation, and altering the quality of water. If these impacts of development are not mitigated in the next few years, the experts project that reefs in the Arabian Gulf have less than a decade before being completely wiped out. Coastal dredging is part of the reclamation process, and is a large factor in causing sedimentation and turbidity during construction, and even years afterwards. Manmade islands need to be designed with the underwater habitat and water flow in mind. Poor water circulation could lead to eutrophication, anoxia or algal blooms around these developments.

Marine life

The Palm Jumeirah is one of the many artificial islands dotting Dubai’s coast

The majority of coastal developments have been constructed with dredged material, of which there is very little information. Whether these materials are safe for marine life remains to be seen, especially considering the magnitude and scale of these developments. Dredging and filling as a process

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Foresight in planning is vital, taking into account the natural landscape, waste management, pollution prevention and control�

in itself is extensive. The disposal of dredged material raises further questions: where is it channeled? Does it adversely affect marine life? Does it decrease water transparency because of the large amount of sediments? The biggest question regarding the disposal of dredged material remains whether it contains contaminants from sediments, which could enter food webs.

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Land reclamation relies heavily on carbonintensive processes like dredging

Without proper planning and monitoring, extensive dredging can considerably modify the shape and flow of the coast, while manmade islands can permanently alter water movement and sediment transportation, and water quality. This has an immediate and palpable impact on marine life.

Pollution and waste management Most civilisations have evolved over time to naturally aggregate near waterbeds and coasts, where land is fertile, and food stock is abundant. In modern times, waterside views and strategic port locations have a similar pull. Prime spots for development remain to be along the coast, which explains the extensive reclamation projects underway across the Arabian Gulf. Foresight in planning is vital, taking into account the natural landscape, waste management, pollution prevention and control. Water quality monitoring programmes need to be in place from day one, to prevent or minimise the discharge of

pollutants into the sea. Legislation can act as an enforcer; while clear policies, guidelines and standards for coastal construction, waste disposal and resulting pollutants need to be instated.

Qatar Construction of the West Bay Lagoon in the early 1990s resulted in seawater temperature, salinity and oxygen levels in the area to match the levels found in the sea. In the final design, water depth was reduced from 3 to 2.5 metres and islands were expanded and aligned to better support the hydrodynamics of the lagoon. Seagrass was artificially introduced into the lagoon, leading to a marked increase in the diversity and abundance of larger marine life, naturally drawn to a rich food source.

Protect our natural heritage.

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



Within a year, seagrass had multiplied, demonstrating how artificially designed lagoons can be sustainably managed by factoring in the natural environment. Today, the West Bay Lagoon development includes 11 square kilometres of housing, each unit with a private beach, and is surrounded by over one million square metres of lagoon.

Kuwait The Sabah al-Ahmad Sea City (formally Al-Khiran Pearl City) is located 85 km south of Kuwait, and is expected to be over 40 km2 in area, capable of housing 100,000 residents. The issues surrounding a coastal development of this magnitude remain the same: the potential loss of existing habitat, the need for optimal flushing and water circulation, possible erosion, and so on. Developers used detailed hydrodynamic models to plan for the mega-city in stages. The master plans were based on 15 and 25-year scenarios, accounting for new areas of marine life such as new tidal beaches, salt- marshes, and mangrove forests. Rocky substrates

January 2013

have been erected to provide new habitat for coral communities. Recent surveys have shown that species diversity in these rocky habitats have reached close to the same level of surrounding natural reefs. Comparison studies indicated that the total fish species quadrupled in diversity. Grouper, mullet, and planktonic shrimp are some of the species that were noted to be thriving in and around the development, aided by the waterways that serve as nurseries for these commercially lucrative species.

Bahrain In 2010, as a preventative measure in recognition of Bahrain’s multiple coastal developments, an initiative was launched to halt illegal land reclamation and sand dredging. Environmental experts from Bahrain’s Public Commission for the Protection of Marine Resources, Environment and Wildlife, as well as the Coastguard, have been patrolling the seas, especially along areas where reclamation and dredging take place to ensure that companies follow regulations. All coastal development projects need to be approved and licensed by the Commission, and dredging projects

need to be approved and licensed by the Fisheries Directorate.

Lessons learned An integrated, multidisciplinary approach, with a long-term vision in mind, seems to be the driving force for the less harmful coast developments along the gulf. Design teams including marine civil engineers, oceanographers, architects and biologists have led to the mitigation of the negative environmental impacts of each of these coastal projects. This approach accounts for good water circulation, a mindful eye on existing and stimulated benthic communities, and ethical waste disposal. Accounting for climate change, designs in the future should watch for expected climate induced sea level rises, options for land that could potentially flood, and demarcate buffer areas with marshland to keep sea water from seeping in. Preventative measures could help bolster the region’s coast, potentially making up for the last 15 years of unabashed construction.


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Love thy planet Working towards greener future, PUMA’s sustainable vision sets an example for leading corporations and peace and by staying true to the values of being fair, honest, positive and creative in decisions made and actions taken.” Being one of the leading brands in sports apparel, footwear and accessories, PUMA has maintained its reputation while promoting sustainability through their projects and initiatives. ‘PUMA Safe’ embraces initiatives and commitments for environmental protection and improved working conditions for staff that has been implemented for many years. New programmes are soon expected to be executed which will focus on providing a cleaner, safer and more sustainable system and process within the supply chain. PUMA has many initiatives such as Lumi, Rukinga, Clever Little bag, Puma creative factory and much more, that value resource efficiency, waste management and ethical employment as core principles.

Love thy planet


PUMA supports an ecofactory that trains and promotes local talent

January 2013

s multinational brands take over the malls of the Middle East, excessive manufacturing has become a rising concern for consumers. In the race for eco-branding, PUMA is now leaning towards a vision of sustainability and environmental awareness. According to Abdelhamid Oraibi, speaking on behalf of the company, PUMA is “committed to working in ways that contribute to the world by supporting creativity, sustainability

The PUMA Creative Factory: Love Thy Planet Workshop creates t-shirts that are made by wildlife works pioneering REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation) project. The materials and items of clothing are produced using certified organic and fair trade cotton, thereby promoting sustainable clothing, meanwhile, helping protect and preserve the environment and the people who live in it. PUMA Creative Factory Workshop’s latest hub is to make

organic and original t-shirts and totes using the innovative Lumi Ink. Lumi is a revolutionary new ink that brings photography to reality by using natural sunlight to set. This process removes the need for machines and technology. The ink is water-based and requires no additional chemicals or solvents for development or cleanup. The printing process was taken out of the darkroom and into the desert as a form of emphasising the importance of environmentally friendly and sustainable fashion.

Smart shoe boxes Another sustainable mission is the shoe boxes that are produced with every pair of PUMA shoes. As a way of reducing material and shipping costs while maintaining the value and quality of the product., the company came up with the ‘smart’ shoe box concept, cutting down cardboard use by 65%, water by one million litres, water and carbon dioxide emissions by 10,000 tonnes.

Eco-Factory The PUMA supported eco-factory that has helped create jobs as a core conservation strategy by Wildlife Works is located in the centre of Wildlife works’ REDD+ project in Kenya. This project has created many fair-wage, sustainable jobs that offer a viable alternative for people that have previously had to destroy their environment just to survive. Wildlife Works’ pioneering REDD + project protects more than 500,00 acres of forest in Kenya meanwhile

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sustainability report that cover different sectors of sustainability that range from work ethics, code of conduct, sustainable products to community outreach. PUMA.Vision PUMA.Safe, PUMA. Peace and PUMA.Creativity are just some of the schemes used to collate different plans of a sustainable future.

Supply-side ethics PUMA.Safe Humanity aims to monitor and increase supplier capacity to comply with and go beyond the PUMA code of conduct in areas such as human rights, health and safety, labour and community development. PUMA also ensures socially responsible production with the engagement of partnerships and stakeholders. In addition, PUMA.Safe Humanity is dedicated to enhancing the social and economic development of communities around the globe that are within PUMA’s operations and influences.

securing the wildlife migration and brings benefits to the impoverished community of an estimated 150,000 people.

END OF LIFE The company’s ‘Bring Me Back’ programme is one of the many tactics PUMA uses to uphold their eco standards. PUMA has partnered with I-Collect to reduce, reuse and recycle. Clothing articles that would normally be considered as trash can now be taken by the

‘Bring Me Back’ initiative, given retouches and finally bringing the old sneakers, t-shirts or totes back to life. By reusing, recycling and repurposing old clothing, PUMA lessens the amount of undamaged materials that would otherwise be used for new products. This system helps divert products from the landfill.

Sustainability report PUMA created an annual

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The PUMA supported eco-factory That has helped create jobs as a core conservation strategy” Ethical products PUMA.Safe Ecology works in partnership with PUMA departments to produce more sustainable products and materials and work with sustainability managers in creating a vision of more sustainable shoes, fashion, accessories and more by bringing all of their suppliers to an exceeding level of sustainability.

World peace PUMA.Peace is an initiative that uses a variety of programmes to influence a more peaceful world for the generations of tomorrow. According to the annual sustainability report, PUMA actively uses different activities to promote a peaceful world. “Activities in 2011 included our seven inaugural ‘peace starts with me’ films, an annual commission of films based on peace that are gifted to the world;

PUMA.Safe also includes the topic of Ecology and focuses on all environmental areas of PUMA’s sustainability approach. Their sustainability approach includes, “proper implementation of the Restricted Substances List (RSL) among all our suppliers; the collection and interpretation of Environmental Key Performance Indicators (E-KPIs); on capacity building programmes to improve energy and water efficiency as well as waste management. PUMA. Safe Ecology is the main driver for the establishment of the Global Reporting,” the report adds.

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the sponsorship of 13 delegates to attend One Young World, the premier global forum on youth leadership; and the support of goodwill and conflict resolution football matches globally.” PUMA. Peace has also provided donations for sports equipment, public service announcements, education programming on the role of sports in peace, high-profile international public relations announcements about peace as well as several isolated campaigns the spread the awareness of peace throughout the globe. PUMA.Peace also took part in World Peace Day in what marks their third annual PUMA/ adidas Peace Day Games around the world.

cultural exchange PUMA.Creative is an initiative that embraces cross cultural exchange and collaboration. PUMA.Creative supported documentary films that serve the purpose of presenting a powerful educational and behavioral change tools for both internal and external use and entertainment. The Creative Africa Network (CAN), the Creative South America Network (CSAN) and the Creative Caribbean Network (CCN) are both sites for cultural information. PUMA. Creative’s activities also took part in facilitating the Creative Africa Network artists by designing ten African National Football Kits for the PUMA Teamsport department. Spanning hundreds of countries across the world, PUMA, as a sports lifestyle brand, adheres to a vision for ethical practices for sustained success.


We take Cleaning to

“Unmatched Heights”


OIL AND GAS Despite decades of being thoroughly maligned by most of the world, the Oil and Gas sector still controls the majority of the planet’s energy resources. In a concerted bid to stretch the lifespan and potential of oil and natural gas sites, many big names in the industry have been making marked efforts to diversify their energy sources and incorporate cleaner technologies. Moving away from a black and white view of sustainability, BGreen presents the symbiotic relationship between renewable and non-renewable resources as the conventional energy sector transitions towards a greener future.

Reaching January 2013


the peak January 2013




BGreen looks at the concept of peak oil and what that means for resource efficiency in the industry


he International Energy Agency’s 2012 report states that no more than one-third of existing fossil fuel reserves can be burned by 2050 if the world is to prevent global warming exceeding the danger point of two degrees Celsius. This means that short of leaving almost all of the world’s current levels of coal, oil and gas untouched, the future remains

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grim, with an expected onslaught of supercharged heat waves, floods and hurricanes across the world in decades to come.

Peak oil Peak oil describes the point at which the production of petroleum reaches its final high point and starts an inevitable decline. As a limited resource, oil has time

limit, although projections remain conflicted as to when we can expect to hit a global peak. Some academics suggest that the worldwide peak is merely years away, suggesting that when we reach that terminal point, a massive economic backlash may be unavoidable. Many governments and energy consortiums believe that the peak is at least a few


decades away, arguing that as oil extraction becomes increasingly expensive, the free market will naturally correct the global overreliance on fossil fuel while driving the alternative energy sector.

Emissions and climate change

Peak oil describes the point at which the production of petroleum reaches its final high point and starts an inevitable decline”

Following the theory that we may be close to reaching peak oil, a decline in oil production could result in economic downturn. While this would most likely cut down the global rate of carbon emissions, just as other recessions have done, but even a very severe global recession may not be substantially reduce emissions to mitigate climate change. The long-term impact of reaching peak oil could be to accelerate global warming, as scarcity of crude oil could encourage even more carbonintensive fuel extraction, such as oil extracted from tar sands or coalbased “synfuel.”

Synfuel The resource constraints of synthetic fuels production are clear, hinging on the age-old the energy

water nexus. The large amount of water needed for extraction places a strain on the environment, especially in the arid regions where coal and oil shale reserves lie. The main use of water in synfuels production is in hydrogenation to improve the hydrogen to carbon ratio of the product fuel, cooling, and mining and residuals disposal.

Peak oil and renewables Reaching peak oil could alternatively fuel rapid growth in the renewable energy sector. Anticipating that peak point could be one of the reasons for increased global investment in alternative sources of power. According to the IEA, renewables will become the second-largest source of electricity generation by 2015, and energy efficient practices can reduce onefifth of the world’s current demand in the next twenty years.

January 2013




Japan’s not so little secret In Taiji, Japan approximately 23,000 dolphins and porpoises are slaughtered annually. Our Green Spy investigates


olphins create the greatest deception; they create the illusion that they are always happy. However, behind their smiles is a big despair.” So declares Rick ” O’Barry, a dolphin rights activist who worked tirelessly for the little known plight of dolphins in Japan. Appearing in a documentary on the atrocities committed towards dolphins called The Cove, O’Barry opened my eyes to the cruelty that goes on behind the festively decorated fish tanks and aquaparks around the world. “Once the friendly joyful music starts playing and the dolphins start dancing and smiling, it’s difficult to see the problem. However, the smiles you see on these animals are not true reflections of happiness,” O’Barry explains. In open water, dolphins travel 40 to 80 miles a day. In captivity however, they are forced to swim in endless circles to a stadium full of boisterous people, cheering them on. What sounds like applause and cheer sounds like screams to the highly sensitive aural dolphins. Unlike humans, dolphins lack the facial muscles needed to change their expressions to match their pain. In confined tanks, they send misrepresented signals and create confusion. The loud noises created by the audience, and the confined cement tank full of unnatural water are simply not enough to keep dolphins healthy and happy. Captivity is simply not an ethical option. A large number of dolphins fall sick and die from capture shock,

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Above: Activists protest in Toronto against dolphin cruelty

pneumonia, intestinal disease, ulcers, chlorine poisoning, and other stress related illnesses. Before buying a ticket to any dolphin show or paying for a “swim with dolphin” programme, I challenge you to watch The Cove, and then make up your mind on whether you are willing to be a part of this multimillion dollar industry. Taiji, Japan has the largest supplier of dolphins to marine parks and “swim with dolphin” programmes around the world. Most of the dolphins currently held in Japan’s

50 dolphinariums were captured through a violent and deadly dolphin drive hunt. Poachers take boats with long poles that reach underwater to the middle of the sea, and use hammers to create a loud barrier of sound in order to stress dolphins, which are by nature susceptible to sound. Upon hearing the thunderous sound of metal clashing together, they become frightened and literally flee for their lives in the opposing direction – towards the shore. The dolphins are then separated based on their age and appearance. Some


I challenge you to watch The Cove, and then make up your mind on whether you are willing to be a part of this multimillion dollar industry”

are transported to marine parks while others are brutally stabbed and skewered to be sold as seafood to unsuspecting patrons. The unethical entrapment of dolphins aside, its meat is deemed unfit for human consumption, as it is contains 2000 parts per million (ppm) of mercury and are considered one of the most poisonous types of fish to eat. Above all, not many people want to eat dolphins. Putting dolphin meat on a shelf at a grocery store simply will not sell. As a result, the dolphin meat is carefully placed into cans of

Above: Illusion or reality? The face of a happy dolphin

tuna, or are relabelled and sold in fish markets under a name of a different type of fish. The fishermen of Taji, shielded by the Japanese government, continue to forge ahead with their unethical and clearly inhumane trade. The sad truth remains that for each dead dolphin, the fishermen get a meagre US$600 award; which pales in comparison to the worth of a live dolphin, estimated at a minimum of $150,000. Rivalling the vicious shark trade, the dolphin trade is a close second in terms of sanctioned cruelty to marine animals. Awareness is the first step in stopping animal cruelty. It’s a simple case of demand and supply. Once the demand falls, supply

inevitably has to follow suit, pushing fishermen away from the dolphin trade once it fails to be lucrative. After The Cove was released, awareness of the annual massacre spread throughout the globe like wildfire. While many actions have been taken to prevent the largescale dolphin cruelty, in Taiji, the next wave of dolphin slaughter is scheduled for September—unless we stop it. If you knew dolphins were literally dying to entertain you, would you still pay to go see them?

January 2013




Save the date BGreen highlights events and conferences taking place in the coming months

The International Renewable Energy Agency General Assembly (IRENA) 13-14 January, Abu Dhabi The International Renewable Energy Agency General Assembly is an intergovernmental organisation devoted to renewable energy. IRENA’s aim is to extend the enhancement and the acceptance of sustainable use of all forms of renewable energy around the world.

January 2013

The Zayed Future Energy Prize Awards Ceremony 15 January, Dubai Managed by Masdar, the Zayed Future Energy Prize Awards Ceremony will recognise and reward companies who have create impact, leadership, innovation and long-term visions of renewable energy and sustainability. The World Future Energy Summit 2013 15-17 January, Dubai The World Future Energy Summit (WFES) is

an annual meeting dedicated to advancing energy efficiency and clean technologies. By engaging top leaders in the political, business and academic sectors, WFES aims to influence change for the increasing necessity of sustainable energy. The International Water Summit 2013 15-17 January, Dubai The International Water Summit (IWS) is a new, global platform for promoting water sustainability in dry regions. As part of UAE’s commitment to sustainability, the


by alternate governments. Dedicated exclusively to renewable energy, ADIREC will convene with private sector, civil society and the government to address the goals of advancing renewable energy. The First Energy Meeting of the Arab League and the South American Energy Ministers 19 January, Dubai The UAE will host the first energy ministerial among 24 Arab and 12 South American countries. This meeting will focus on current and future investment opportunities and energy cooperation in the two regions’ hydrocarbon and renewable energy markets. 2013 International Conference on Intelligent Building and Management (ICIBM) 19 January, Dubai 2013 International Conference on Intelligent Building and Management will focus on the emerging topics of interest in relation to intelligent building and management. The conference will bring leading researchers, engineers and scientists in all areas of interest from around the world.

IWS will take place at the WFES in Abu Dhabi. The IWS plans to tackle crucial issues regarding water by bringing together policy makers, scientists and business leaders. The Abu Dhabi International Renewable Energy Conference 2013 (ADIREC) 15-17 January, Dubai The International Renewable Energy Conference is an advanced political conference hosted bi-annually

2013 4th International Conference on Environmental Science and Development (ICESD 2013) 19 January, Dubai The International Conference on Environmental Science and Development plans to provide a forum for laying the foundations of a new ethical approach to environmental science and development. The summit is aimed to attract multiculturalism to discuss different research fields, innovative theories, frameworks, methodologies, tools and applications.

TerraGreen 13 International Conference 2013 - Advancements in Renewable Energy and Clean Environment 15-17 February, Beirut, Lebanon The TerraGreen International Conference on Advancements in Renewable Energy and Clean Environment brings together experts and researchers from around the world with similar interests in humanity and environment, energy and sustainability. Middle East Electricity 17-19 February Combining more than 1000 exhibitors from over 50 countries and the biggest names in the global energy industry, Middle East Electricity will hold its annual conference dedicated to sourcing, installing, power, lighting, renewable and nuclear sectors. 5th Annual Façade Design and Engineering Middle East 25-26 February The 5th Annual Facade Design and Engineering Middle East will discuss key factors of saving energy, delivering ‘localised’ architecture and implementing innovative facades designs. The conference will provide networking opportunities and will bring together professionals across the construction industry including government officials, developers, main contractors, consultants, designers and architects. Paperworld Middle East 5-7 March Paperworld offers an overview of the current market themes and trends in the paper and office supply products sector. Paperworld attracts wholesalers, distributors, retailers in the stationery industry, and expects participation from companies looking to expand their products into the Middle East market.

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Electricity for all With an estimated 1.3 billion people in the world living without electricity, finding a solution for energy poverty is an essential focal point of the conference and exhibition during the upcoming World Future Energy Summit (WFES) in Abu Dhabi


ccording to the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) World Energy Outlook report, in 2011, half of the people currently living without access to electricity live in Africa. In addition, ” 2.7 billion people live without clean cooking facilities and more than 25% of them also live in Africa. Universal energy access has been an ongoing discussion of sustainability. In WFES 2012, the United Nations launched their International Year of Sustainable Energy for all programs at the WFES. This year, WFES will continue to focus on universal energy access. According to Ernesto Marcias Galan, president of the Alliance of Rural Electrification (ARE), rural electrification projects are a practical option, due to the advancements of technology in renewable energy, and the rising cost of fuel. ARE is the only international, non-profit business association dedicated to the promotion and development of off-grid renewable energy solution for electrification in developing countries. Galan will be a featured speaker during the “Rural Renewable Energy” session at the International Renewable Energy Conference (IREC) hosted by WFES 2013. On his agenda, he plans to discuss sustainable solutions for the survival of communities in rural and remote areas where 84% of the world’s energy poor reside. “Off- grid renewable projects are an innovative method to tackle energy poverty that is so prevalent in remote and rural communities,” Galan explains.

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Galan uses the story of the Monte Trigo solar village as a successful step in overcoming the obstacles posted by energy poverty. Located in western Africa, Monte Trigo relies on fish in order to eat. “Until early this year, producing ice for storing fish was impossible, as Monte Trigo remains unconnected to any main electricity grid. Fishermen would often have to make 10 hour round trips to the nearest main island of Sao Vicente to buy ice. Their need for an energy source to sustain their village was critical,” said Galan. According to Galan, a Multiuser Solar micro-Grid (MSG)

was installed in this village, which is capable of producing approximately 90 kWhr per day, (enough to power 60 households). The Monte Trigo project is one example of how solar energy can bring small but large changes to rural communities. However, the IEA predicts that a $48 billion investment is required for electrification—49% of this investment is required for Africa. sfor communities like Monte Trigo. For more information regarding the World Future Energy Summit 2013, please visit www.


A life resolution Dina Mahmoud Assistant editor


or many people, January is always the time of year when new resolutions are planned and put into play. For them to stick, turning resolutions into habits is essential. It takes a total of twenty one consecutive days to form a habit. The problem with resolutions is that they are short term goals, and if not implemented within the ‘habit forming period,’ a lower chance of success is at hand. From my experience, resolutions usually vary from a monetary desire, to an aspiration for a perfect physique. Personally, I don’t believe in resolutions, I believe in change. I think that a new goal to start a fresh year should always be something that is ever lasting for the greater good. Ambitions should take account of social responsibility. When I began my journey at BGreen last month, I wasn’t aware of the extent of the danger that the earth is facing. Many people pay little regard to our dwindling resources,

global overpopulation, overconsumption and other stressors on our environment. The reason boils down to a basic lack of awareness. The topic is not given the amount of attention it needs, although the warnings and signs are seen frequently. Climate change is one of the largest and most significant motivators for embracing sustainable practices across industries. Our world is in a crisis. If the private sector, governments and communities fail to look at development from a holistic and sustainable angle, the future remains grim. The good news is it’s never too late to start! We can begin our sustainable journey by spreading awareness regarding the risks and dire consequences that our world will soon face if we don’t stop thinking about ourselves and start thinking about the environment. We have an obligation and a responsibility to change the future. It is not an impossible task as long as the passion, determination and commitment is there.

January 2013




Fishing for answers


econstructing fisheries from centuries ago, a team of marine scientists concluded that ancient Hawaiians were catching fish at rates that far outpace what reefs currently provide society. Ancient Hawaiian societies implemented refined fishing practices over seven centuries ago that are only starting to catch on among conservationists today. Strategies such as sanctioning certain areas as “protected,” restricting the harvest of vulnerable marine species, and imposing punitive measures on those who flout the rules were enforced by these ancient societies, which made fishing sustainable for centuries in Hawaii. Many threatened species,

January 2013

like certain types of sharks and turtles, were deemed exclusive, reserved for high priests and chiefs. The community’s democratic nature meant that fishing laws were implemented in the favour of the people, with sustained resources in mind. They also practiced what is now known as “fishpond aquaculture” to isolate nutrients and reduce pollution on reefs. Centuries ago, Hawaii depended entirely on local resources, and needed creative, long term strategies to avoid resource collapse. Adopting some of these techniques into today’s conservation of fisheries may be the key to sustaining the livelihood of coastal communities all over the world.


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BGreen Magazine January 2013  

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

BGreen Magazine January 2013  

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