The Sustainabilist - Food for Thought

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The Sustainabilist ISSUE 21

Food for Thought



Winners of People, Planet, and Partnerships Categories

ISBN 978 - 1978357310

The UAE Makes Giant Leaps


THE CARBON FOOTPRINT OF HUMMUS Are Chickpeas Warming the Planet?


Veolia innovates to preserve resources and develop a sustainable agriculture in the Middle East.

Issue 21 | February 2020


ood and Beverage is one of the fastest growing industries. Rightly so as the world’s population growth remains positive and there are currently almost 7.8 billion people that need food to live. Notwithstanding the fact the industry was valued at US$ 76 billion this year, there are still one billion people across the world affected by food insecurity.

Eng Waleed Bin Salman Editor in Chief The Sustainabilist

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Editorial: Commercial:

The Sustainabilist is published by Dubai Carbon. Articles reprinted in this issue are copyrighted 2019 by Dubai Carbon. All rights reserved. Reproduction in any manner, in whole or in part, without prior written permission of Dubai Carbon is expressively prohibited. Printed by: Al Ghurair Printing and Publishing LLC P.O. Box - 5613, Dubai, UAE. Nothing in this magazine shall be taken as technical or advice and DCCE waives any liability with respect to any representations made.The production of this magazine will be offset with local carbon credits.

Notwithstanding the scarce access to food in some regions, a huge amount of food produced for human consumption is wasted globally. In fact, it is estimated that 1.3 billion tonnes of edible food is discarded, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). This equates to US$ 2.6 trillion in annual costs and is sufficient to feed all hungry people more than three times over, not to mention the environmental implications. In anticipation of the 25th anniversary edition of Gulfood, the world’s largest annual food and beverage exhibition showcasing industry-shifting innovations and fascinating new flavours, I wish to reflect on the edition’s theme – Rethinking Food. As we taste, talk, and question the novelties of the evolving food industry, it is imperative that we consider our own food behaviours to limit our waste and emissions. Now, it is time for us, as consumers, to implement strategies at the household level if we want to achieve the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and combat climate change while increasing food access and quality. Growing consumer

As we taste, talk, and question the novelties of the evolving food industry, it is imperative that we consider our own food behaviours to limit our waste and emissions.

Letter from the Editor in Chief

concerns about health, sustainability and ethical sourcing, require suppliers in the food industry to shift from business as usual to more conscious decision-making and operational practices. It’s simple – the market adapts to consumers’ evolving needs. Technology advancements and government pressures spark innovations in products, supply chain, and distribution. Whether this is because the industry has genuinely changed its fundamentals or is merely reacting to external stresses, we, as the public, must ensure the continuation of this trend. Take a look at the researches, infographics, and tips in this issue to get an idea of the carbon footprint of your food. I hope they inspire you to be mindful of your consumption, and to share with us your stories.

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The Sustainabilist | FOOD INDUSTRY



The Sustainabilist ISSUE 21

Food for Thought



The UAE Makes Giant Leaps


Rethinking Food


Investing in SDGs

14 Appetite for Change

BRILLIANT WAYS TO CUT YOUR WASTE Winnow’s Cookbook has the Answers

Are Chickpeas Warming the Planet?

Letter from the Editor in Chief

10 HE Mariam AlMheiri

The Benefits of Vertical Agriculture



17 Staying Cool 18 Carbon Footprint of Hummus


19 The Crystal Ball for Food

Her Excellency Mariam AlMheiri, Minister of State for Food Security

20 Grocery Impacts 22 Nudging Climate Change Out of the Way 24 SDG Photography Award


26 Farming Up 28 Table for Five


30 Research – Recipe for Low Emissions 32 Inside the Future of Farming 34 My Sustainable Living 36 Methods to Feed the People and Save the Planet 38 Zayed Sustainability Prize 40 Food Waste, Be Gone! 42 Ending Food Waste One Meal at a Time 44 Gluten-Free Searches Soar 46 The Black Soldier Fly Combats Climate Change 48 Little to No Meat 50 Doing Well by Doing Good 52 Top 10 Carbon Foodprints 54 Green House Yields Youth Participation





55 Fairgreen: the School with a Green Mission 56 Say No To Plastic


58 Green Jobs 60 Dyson Launches the Airblade 9Kj


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Rethinking Food Mark Napier, Gulfood 2020 Show Director, discusses with The Sustainabilist the transformation of the food and beverage industry


irstly, I would like to congratulate Gulfood on its 25-year anniversary. This is an immense achievement for the exhibition. Can you tell us a bit about the factors that have allowed Gulfood to continue to be so successful over the years? Since its inception three decades ago, Gulfood has evolved from a showcase platform for imported products aimed at


the local market into the world’s largest annual food and beverage trade show, a must-attend experience for food industry professionals, from established players to new entrants and innovative start-ups. The key to Gulfood’s longevity is agility and the way the show has mirrored the evolution of the UAE’s F&B sector. Gulfood continues to remain at the forefront of global sector growth and the

emergence of industry sectors around the region and beyond. Transformation and evolution remain at the core of Gulfood and the success of this show in attracting F&B professionals from all corners of the globe has resulted in a number of spin-off shows centred around manufacturing, hospitality equipment, seafood, confectionery, and more. This fruition has transformed Gulfood into an F&B industry power brand. Capitalising on the UAE’s strategic geographic location, Gulfood now serves as a gateway to markets across the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region and further afield, creating a legacy as an important trading and knowledge sharing platform. For our silver anniversary edition, the

Issue 21 | February 2020

theme is ‘Rethinking Food’. While recognising the history and evolution of Gulfood, the 2020 edition will showcase the latest technology and innovations shaping the sector agenda and setting a course to manufacture and deliver enough safe and secure food to feed increasing global populations. What is the main goal of the largest F&B exhibition in the world? As the gateway to developing emerging markets, Gulfood brings together the global food and beverage sector to trade, share knowledge, and explore the latest breakthroughs and solutions. The show provides more than 5,000 exhibitors and tens of thousands of visitors with invaluable, direct facetime to reconnect, do business or explore potential partnerships. This edition of Gulfood comes at a time when the global food and beverage industry is experiencing major transformational changes and Gulfood strives to be at the heart of this industry revolution. Manufacturers and retailers are increasingly challenged to meet evolving demands of a growing global population that is becoming ever more environmentally aware and placing a greater importance on sustainability, provenance and healthy alternatives. Gulfood will shine the spotlight on those making a difference through show features such as the Gulfood Discover Zone, which showcases the latest F&B innovations; Gulfood Innovation Awards, which recognises those companies making industry breakthroughs; and the Gulfood Startup Programme, which platforms innovative new entrants into the market. What are some of the most notable results you have witnessed following

the panels, programmes, and sessions hosted? Gulfood has been instrumental in setting the agenda for the F&B sector in MENA and worldwide for more than three decades and continues to have its finger on the pulse of the global F&B sector and the needs of consumers. The show’s enduring appeal is underscored by the fact that it will welcome over 5,000 local, regional and international exhibitors, and more than 98,000 visitors. Furthermore, the popularity of the Gulfood Innovation Summit, amongst both highprofile speakers and delegates, emphasises how the show has quickly earned a reputation as a global knowledge sharing platform and a vitally important forum to shape the future of F&B. With the threat to food security on the rise due to climate change, have you noticed a growing number of exhibitors showcasing innovative sustainable solutions regarding their products and supply chains? One clear transformation is the changing

pattern of consumption across the globe. Consumers are putting a premium on their health and wellness and that of the planet as well. This has resulted in increased attempts at introducing and regulating products and solutions that are transparent, ethically produced, and have a high sustainability quotient, all of which will be explored at Gulfood 2020. The trend towards sustainability has also created opportunities for new brands and start-ups to enter the market and make their mark. Consumer demands might well be changing, but the F&B industry is adapting and rising to the challenge of meeting those needs. In fact, the focus is very much on listening to the evolving demands and habits of consumers and reacting to those changes. The rise of ethically-produced products, and developments in health and wellness, along with the whole food experience, will play a major role in the F&B sector on a global level. Increased government regulations and the journey towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals will help power innovation in the F&B arena.


The Sustainabilist | FOOD INDUSTRY


Investing in SDGs

Sustainable investments can strengthen the global economy By Peter van Der Werf Senior Engagement Specialist at Robeco


he world is facing an ever-growing number of sustainability challenges, many of which are captured by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Robeco, a global asset manager based in Rotterdam founded in 1929, has been working for more than 10 years to contribute positively to the SDGs, tackling environmental, social, and governance related issues. After gathering data from leading in-house sustainability research, Robeco integrates this information in their investment processes for fundamental and 6

quantitative strategies, and discussions on sustainability risks and opportunities with companies, providing them with insights into its expectations, and encourage firms to adopt more sustainable practices that provide them with a competitive advantage. Their sustainability performance stems from their active ownership approach, which means to actively exercise their investor’s power by voting at every shareholder meeting and having a dialogue with investees. One of the themes the company is conveying its efforts in, is SDG 2: Zero Hunger, with the ambition of alleviating food insecurity. With the increasing pressure on the global food system, today, our system

produces more food per person and per day than ever before and yields sufficient output to satisfy the world population’s nutritional needs. And yet, an estimated 815 million people are malnourished and lack access to decent food. A disconnect appears between food production and food consumption, both in terms of quantity and quality. Nonetheless, the search for solutions continues to centre on increasing output, rather than a holistic approach to reforming the food system. The most relevant regions for food insecurity are Sub-Saharan Africa and South East Asia, that both show high percentages of undernourishment and lack of access to food, as shown in the figure. The main drivers for food insecurity can be identified in a slowing agricultural yield growth; climate change, that alters temperatures and precipitation patterns; low productivity of smallholder farmers, that are too frequently equipped with outdated technology and insufficient

Issue 21 | February 2020

through vicious cycles of poverty and malnutrition. As a result, the extensive economic cost of malnutrition is also testament to the value that improved food security would bring to the global economy, strengthening the food security investment case considerably.

inputs; food loss, that accounts for one third of the food produced for human consumption; and poverty and unequal distribution of food. This last, in particular, creates the paradox according to which in the Global South people do not have enough food, resulting in a high rate of malnourishment, and in the Global North, people that have a sufficient calorie intake suffer from food borne related diseases such as obesity and diabetes. Investors are exposed to the societal developments that shape economies and productivity at a national and global level. Malnutrition, in all its forms, weighs heavily on economic development and public health, with an estimated annual cost of US$ 3.5 tn to the global economy. This amounts to around four per cent of global GDP, of which a sizeable portion emanates from obesity in developed countries. Nonetheless, food insecurity in developing countries contributes significantly to this cost

One of the main problems that food industry companies could help with is the integration of smallholder farmers into local, national and global markets, by building smallholder capacity through tailored solutions like smaller machinery, new seeds, irrigation systems and training. These farmers lack access to technology and financing means, yet nonetheless produce 70% of the food supply, such as edible fats and grains, in developing countries. The issue for large companies is that they must adapt their product portfolio to this strategy, in terms of size

and pricing, which involves certain levels of risk. They also need a good ground and market knowledge, as agricultural sectors in food insecure regions are highly fragmented. A collaborative approach can help solve this last problem through Public Private Partnerships. Collaborations between companies, governments, and public academic bodies can contribute by building smallholder farmers’ knowledge, improving their access to inputs and enhancing the infrastructure to prevent food loss and structure market access. Asset managers have the leverage to influence food related companies’ impact on food insecurity by encouraging them to expand in emerging markets. Sustainable investors, like Robeco, are a vehicle for people’s assets to contribute positively to sustainable development.

Sub-Saharan Africa South Asia East and South East Asia Northern Africa West Asia South Africa Europe Central America North America Central Asia 0

50 million

100 million

Number of people who are severely food insecure, 2015

150 million

200 million

250 million Source: UN FAO

Total number of people defined as food insecure by the UN FAO based on the use of Food Isecurity Experience Scale (FIES) global reference scale. Data at the individual or household level is collected by applying an experiencebased food security scale questionnaire within a survey relating to the occurence of several typical experiences and conditions associated with food insecurity.



The Sustainabilist | FOOD INDUSTRY


Jinko solar tiger 460w



Issue 21 | February 2020

Jinko presents next generation of high-efficiency solar modules JinkoSolar, one of the larger and more innovative solar module manufacturers in the world, have recently announced that they have officially launched a new high efficiency Tiger module using nine-busbar mono PERC and Tiling Ribbon technology. The announcement was made as part of the 2019 All-Energy Australia in Melbourne, Australiaˊs largest national showcase of clean and renewable energy. With a module efficiency of 20.78 per cent, the new Tiger module is capable of generating up to 460 watts of power output which is suitable for both utility and rooftop installations. JinkoSolar incorporated Tiling Ribbon technology into the new Tiger module to eliminate the inter-cell gap and increase efficiency. The new Tiger module combines a half-cut cell design to reduce cell current mismatch and

ribbon power losses. In addition, nine-busbar layout shrinks the distance between the main busbar and finger grid line, which reduces the resistance loss and increases power output and efficiency. “Our new Tiger module delivers a significantly higher power output and an easy performance boost that does not require much extra effort for customers to install,” said Kangping Chen, CEO of JinkoSolar. “This is another step forward for us in terms of technology and demonstrates our ability to innovate advanced technologies as we accelerate towards the era of grid parity.” JinkoSolar were also one of the manufacturers involved in our 2019 pv Guided Tour on High-Efficiency Solar Modules and DC Generators at the Intersolar in Munich.

ABOUT JinkoSolar is one of the leading and most innovative solar module manufacturers in the world. Jinko distributes its solar products and sells its solutions and services to a diversified international utility, commercial and residential customer base in China, USA, Japan, Germany, UK, Chile, South Africa, India, Mexico, Brazil, UAE, Italy, Spain, France, Belgium, and other countries and regions. Jinko has built a vertically integrated product value chain, with an integrated annual capacity of 12 GW for silicon wafers, 8 GW for solar cells, and 15 GW for solar modules, as of Sept. 30, 2019. When it comes to product quality, Jinko’s No.1 ranking in shipments for 3 consecutive years and a solid track record speaks for itself. As a leading module manufacturer, Jinko has shipped over 50GW solar modules to customers in 108 countries around the globe.


The Sustainabilist | FOOD INDUSTRY


Food Security in the UAE Her Excellency Mariam AlMheiri, Minister of State for Food Security, shares with The Sustainabilist her insights on the UAE’s strategies for ensuring food security


he UAE has an ambitious food security plan. What are the main strategic directions of the National Food Security Strategy 2051? The UAE’s first National Food Security Strategy was launched in November 2018, with the framework containing clear and precise timelines to elevate the country’s position from 31st place in the Global Food Security Index to being within the top 10 by 2021 and number one by 2051. To achieve its goals, the National Food Security Strategy has five main strategic directions: facilitating global agri-business trade and diversifying international food sources; enhancing sustainable technologyenabled domestic food supply across the value chain; reducing food loss and waste; sustaining food safety and improving nutritional intake; and enhancing capacity to respond to food security risks and crises. To meet these goals the strategy 10

Issue 21 | February 2020

With the recent formation of the Emirates Food Security Council, how are local and federal entities planning to cooperate and what goals do you expect to achieve? The UAE Cabinet’s decision to form the Emirates Food Security Council in December 2019 is a major step towards enhancing governance in the sector among all relevant entities in the UAE and will be instrumental in achieving the objectives of the National Food Security Strategy. I’m honoured to chair the council whose members include representatives from the Ministry of Economy, Ministry of Climate Change and the Environment, Ministry of Energy and Industry, Ministry of Health and Prevention and Ministry of Education, National Emergency and Crisis and Disasters Management Authority and delegates from local government of each of the seven emirates of the UAE as well as a representative from the youth. The council is the central platform tasked with monitoring the implementation of the National Food Security Strategy, in conjunction with public and private sector stakeholders in the UAE. Its functions include overseeing the implementation of plans to achieve the strategy’s five strategic directions and enablers and proposing regulations, legislation and policies to enhance food security in the country. It determines the investment agenda for the food sector, both in the UAE and abroad

and conducts risk assessment in the context of global challenges, such as climate change water insecurity and political instability. Implementing a national food security governance system through the council will contribute to achieving many tangible social and economic benefits, the most prominent of which will be the creation of more than 16,000 jobs in the country, increasing agricultural production by more than 100,000 tonnes and achieving economic returns of up to AED 22 billion.

By 2050, global food systems will need to sustainably and nutritiously feed more than 9 billion people.

encompasses five enablers: building an effective food security governance model; establishing and implementing a national R&D food security agenda; developing a National Food Security Database; building human capacity for food security functions and engaging the community to shift food security notions and behaviours.

Are partnerships and cooperation with the private sector a component of the Strategy? Partnerships with the private sector are an integral component of the National Food Security Strategy. It was recognised right from the earliest stage of the strategy’s formation that the private sector would have a vital role to play in realising its

goals, in particular smaller entrepreneurial companies that have a focus on innovation in agriculture. To this end, one of the first things my colleagues and I initiated at the Food Security Office was an Ag-tech Government Accelerator programme to remove identified barriers for the adoption of agricultural technology - ‘Ag-tech’- in the UAE. In the space of 100 days, we attracted over 50 stakeholders and devised 10 new Ag-tech initiatives, including the creation of a unified Ag-tech licence, the development of a national sustainable agriculture label, the formulation of building codes for Closed Environment Agriculture (CEA) and the setting up of a database for potential Ag-tech investors. As well as creating investment opportunities for entrepreneurs, it is expected that this niche agricultural sub-sector will attract global talent to be at the cutting-edge of food production and establish the UAE as a global hub for innovation-based agricultural technology for hot arid countries. What does it mean for the UAE to have climbed 10 spots on the Global Food Security Index ranking, and what factors contributed to this achievement? It was an extremely proud moment for everyone in the Food Security Office in December 2019 when it was announced that the UAE had jumped 10 places on the Global Food Security Index, moving from 31st position in 2018 to 21st in 2019. This was an incredible achievement, especially considering that the National Food Security Strategy had been put in place just one year prior. Factors for this achievement are diverse, but their root is the concentrated effort with our stakeholders in implementing some of the programmes of the National Food Security Strategy and the bearing of fruit from the policy of promoting food security as a shared responsibility between federal and local government 11

The Sustainabilist | FOOD INDUSTRY

bodies, the private sector and all members of society. As a woman in a position of power, what does the role as Minister of State for Food Security mean to you and to the prospect of empowering women in the region? I feel extremely fortunate to be a UAE citizen, with the country’s ecosystem geared towards empowering women and ensuring that they play a leading role in its development. As a woman I have been supported throughout my career, including being encouraged to study abroad to learn about best international practices – practices that now inform my current role. I have benefited from such initiatives as the Gender Balance Council, which was established with a mandate to help federal institutions achieve gender representation targets and to support the UAE’s vision to become one of the world’s top 25 countries for gender equality by 2021. The success of the council and other empowerment 12

initiatives can be gauged with the current make-up of the UAE Cabinet, which is currently 30% female. The portfolios of these Ministers cover Advanced Science, Education, Community Development, Happiness & Wellbeing, Youth and Expo 2020. As a minister, I feel privileged to lead a dedicated team – half of which are female – to take the UAE to its target of being the most food secure country by 2051. I hope that during my visits to schools, colleges and universities around the country I am able to act as an inspiration for young women to strive for the careers they want and hopefully become the future “agritechnologists” for our region. Do you believe that renewable technologies can assist in promoting food security around the world? By 2050, global food systems will need to sustainably and nutritiously feed more than 9 billion people while at the same time providing economic opportunities in rural

and urban communities. Technology has a clear role to play in meeting this demand. Among the Fourth Industrial Revolution advances that are showing promise in agriculture are precision technologies that deploy machine learning, big data analytics and advanced robotics to allow farmers to apply the optimal inputs for crops and assist with the management of livestock and aquaculture. Using such intelligent farming systems can significantly boost yields and reduce both water use and greenhouse gas emissions. On the bio-technology front, gene-editing is offering opportunities to improve the drought resistance and nutritional content of crops, while biological-based crop additives is improving soil quality and reducing the need to use chemicals. With respect to powering farms, renewable energy and energy storage can significantly reduce post-harvest losses and water usage though the electrification of cold-storage and irrigation pumps. Not forgetting new emerging technologies such

Issue 21 | February 2020

as cellular agriculture are also showing promising results. All these methods and more are offering hope that we can deliver global food security as we conserve precious resources. What role does ensuring food security across the globe play in achieving sustainable development? Food security is related to all of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with food systems that benefit from modern information and sustainable and equitable agricultural technologies deemed essential for countries to meet the goals. The UAE is actively promoting technologies as part of its National Food Security Strategy, with one of its key pillars being the enablement of technology-based food production systems to increase domestic yield by 30% by 2021 and one of its five enablers is promoting research and development (R&D). We believe that the UAE can become a globally-leading resource for Ag-tech for hot arid environments by facilitating investment and encouraging innovation in this sector. In doing so, we can play an important role in helping other countries meet their food security objectives and – in the process – achieve the United Nations SDGs. Our concentrated effort to create a fertile environment for innovative food production is already having an international impact, with a recent example being an agreement between the UAE government, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar) that will see a network of solar-powered irrigation systems providing 1,500 women in Liberia with sustainable resources for the production of poultry and vegetables, thereby providing both food security and nutrition. The Food Security Office, in conjunction with other federal and

local government bodies and private sector stakeholders is committed to play a vital role in ensuring sustainable development around the world. What is the approach towards creating awareness about best practices related to food in the UAE? A major part of what the Food Security Office does involves engagement with the public to meet our objectives. One of the objectives of the National Food Security Strategy is to create a healthy community. So, we worked with the Ministry of Health and Prevention and developed National Nutritional Guidelines to help UAE citizens to get correct information to make healthier eating choices. In September last year, the office also launched the Nutrition Labelling Policy in partnership with the National Program for Happiness and Wellbeing, with the policy seeing the adoption of a traffic light system

for healthy and less healthy foods based on their ingredients and nutritional content. Red, yellow and green labels indicate levels of sugar, salt and fat content, with the currently voluntary system to become mandatory for food producers and suppliers in January 2022. The goal is to ensure that consumers can make informed choices when they shop for food at the grocery store and supermarket, with the ultimate aim being to inculcate habits that - in conjunction with exercise and fitness activities - will ensure that the UAE has a population fit to meet the challenges and opportunities of the future and deliver the country’s aspirations on the world stage. The journey towards ensuring future food security and a healthy community in the UAE is one that can only reach its destination if everyone is onboard; federal bodies, local government authorities, private sector organisations and – most importantly – the public.


The Sustainabilist | FOOD INDUSTRY


Appetite for Change Talabat to collaborate with Abu Dhabi Waste Management Center - Tadweer - towards a sustainable food service system By Talabat


uring the World Future Energy Summit (WFES) 2020 and Ecowaste Expo, Delivery Hero Talabat DB LLC signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Abu Dhabi Waste Management Center (Tadweer)


to collaborate towards the promotion and implementation of a sustainable food service system. The MoU was signed by Mr Muhammed Yildirim, Country Managing Director UAE of Delivery Hero Talabat DB LLC-

Branch of Abu Dhabi and HE Dr Salem Khalfan Al Kaabi, General Manager of Tadweer. Since its launch in Kuwait in 2004, Talabat has transformed the food ordering business in the Middle East. Through its network of over 13,000 restaurants and 24,000 branches, Talabat has become the home of food in the Middle East. As the pioneer and largest food delivery platform in the Middle East, Talabat always strives to deliver the best experience to its stakeholders. At Talabat, we always put our community at the heart of what

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By collaborating with Tadweer, one of the most forward-thinking waste management entities in the region, we are promoting the adoption of environmentally sustainable practices and rewarding aligned restaurant partners and customers alike. The MoU will allow the promotion of sustainability awareness through Talabat’s platform to all of its users, encouraging them to move towards “no-single-usecutlery”, “Eco packaging” habits and to learn how to reduce their own food waste, among other initiatives. This will result in significant reductions of single use plastics in the UAE waste stream. In addition, through Tadweer’s support, we will encourage restaurants to apply and receive D.R.I.V.E. certificates showcasing their efforts to reduce food waste in their operations. D.R.I.V.E., developed by Tadweer, is the first certification rating in the region, entirely dedicated to reduce food losses and waste and to promote and engage smart and sustainable built-environment practices among all stakeholders involved throughout the entirety of the food supply chain. D.R.I.V.E. certificates will help businesses and facilities define, pursue, and achieve their zero food waste goals

We are enacting the sustainability theme as a business priority, specifically through the reduction of food waste and the limitation of single use plastics.

we do. Moreover, the local and global environment is a growing stakeholder and member of our community. As the official food delivery platform for Expo 2020, we are enacting the sustainability theme as a business priority, specifically through the reduction of food waste and the limitation of single use plastics. Our goal is to serve the environment as we do all of our stakeholders, by encouraging our partner restaurants to adopt sustainable practices that will help preserve the well-being of the environment.

through project certification and Tadweer credentialing by using a scorecard and rating system. In the future, following the pilot programme in Abu Dhabi, we will assess the results and apply the learning outcomes to roll out similar projects in other markets this year and beyond. Furthermore, as the official food delivery platform for Expo 2020, we will adopt sustainable practices that we will acquire through this initiative at our tech-driven cloud kitchens on site.

Mr Muhammed Yildirim, UAE Managing Director for Talabat added: “By enabling our restaurant partners to adopt sustainable practices and reduce food waste, the partnership with Tadweer offers us the opportunity to create meaningful impact. The projects that Talabat and Tadweer will be working on together will create a business environment that rewards restaurants and residents for sustainability. Thus, driving value for all members of the community”. 15

The Sustainabilist | FOOD INDUSTRY

I’m definitely not! I’m vegan now…

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Issue 21 | February 2020

enough energy to power 20,800 homes in the UAE.


Are there systems in place to ensure functionality even in cases of outages? Tabreed’s Al Maryah district cooling plant is fitted with 3 electrical incomers and a standby express feeder; which can be utilised in case the in-use feeders face any issues or power outages.

Staying Cool Bader Saeed Al Lamki, CEO of National Central Cooling Company (Tabreed) in conversation with The Sustainabilist about the cost-effective cooling solutions provided to a world-class hospital


hat services does Tabreed supply to Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi? Tabreed’s Al Maryah Island District Cooling plant provides Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi (CCAD) with reliable and sustainable cooling, for a total capacity of 25,000RT. Tabreed manages the operations and maintenance of both the plant and Energy Transfer Stations (ETSs). Tabreed also provides supervision services for all the installation works at the hospital in addition to guidance on new expansion works for CCAD. As a world-class healthcare clinic, what does Tabreed’s supply of district cooling mean to the company, and what kind of project does it represent? Tabreed provides sustainable and reliable 24/7 supply of chilled water at a constant temperature to the hospital. The specificity

of the required temperature and the reliability of service are critical for some of the most important departments in the clinic such as the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), operation theatres and medical labs. To ensure the temperatures are consistently maintained at the required levels for the patients and staff at the facility, Tabreed remotely monitors its Energy Transfer Stations from the Al Maryah Island plant. Our operations team also maintains a very close relationship with the facilities management company hired by CCAD. What have been the achievements in terms of sustainability? District cooling is up to 50% more efficient than conventional cooling systems. The partnership with Tabreed has helped CCAD reduce its carbon footprint and increase its energy efficiency, In the last five years, from 2015 to 2019, the partnership between CCAD and Tabreed has prevented the release of 219,000 tonnes of CO2 – equivalent to eliminating the emissions of 47,500 cars annually and saved 366 million KwH –

The plant is also equipped with worldclass diesel generators, fully dedicated to CCAD, and which can deliver a 20,000 RT load in case of emergency. In addition to that, a fully dedicated Thermal Energy Storage Tank that can deliver a 10,000 RT load is available to act as a temporary cooling provider. Additionally, Tabreed’s district cooling distribution has a ring network designed that is structured in a way that if there is an issue with any part of the network, it can be easily isolated and the other branches can be integrated very quickly. Finally, clear and thorough processes to manage risks and anticipate emergencies are put in place to avoid and mitigate any potential technical or human disruption. This has strengthened the relationship between Tabreed and CCAD into one based on a mutual trust in the competency of each organisation. What message does providing such high-level services to such an important infrastructure send to the market? It cements Tabreed’s reputation as the partner of choice when it comes to providing world-class cooling services and highlights its ability to provide efficient, reliable, sustainable and cost-effective cooling solutions across a wide variety of industries, including the most critical ones. 17

The Sustainabilist | FOOD INDUSTRY



132 CO2e




Issue 21 | February 2020


The Crystal Ball for Food

The Sustainabilist in conversation with the NYBL Chief Executive, Noor Alnahhas on predicting seed to table produce


hat is the concept behind NYBL and how did you develop the idea? At NYBL, we wanted to find a different approach to machine learning (ML). Traditional machine learning requires the analysis of large sets of historical training data in order to generate prediction algorithms. We identified several challenges related to this process: • You actually have to have access to the data; many new applications have been developed that may not have enough data to generate adequate results. • A significant investment has to be made in reviewing, preparing and processing data before knowing what return on investment, if any, could be made from this effort. • Bias is a major challenge in machine learning – often, your output or

predictions are totally based on the training data set. These challenges make it risky, expensive and challenging to develop ML algorithms for new applications. Because of this, we set out on a journey to try and replace the need for historical training data with knowledge: science, physics, math and facts. Tell us a bit about the concept of vertical farming and how NYBL tools are supporting this development. Vertical farming is the practice of growing crops in upright layers, or shelves. The innovative part of vertical farming is that it consists of controlled climates that enable year-round crop growth, optimisation, and crop growth management. By applying our knowledge-driven AI platform, we are able to automate the management of vertical farms, thus enhancing and maximising growth via the management of nutrients, lighting, water and other factors.

The solution works with several of our existing products. We predict demand for specific crops and using AI we can determine which seeds need to be planted and ensure availability of the required product when it is demanded on the shelf. It provides food security and also fresh, high-quality produce farmed in a sustainable and economical way. What is the core goal of NYBL and, as the UAE is on track to transition to a green economy, what do you think the future of NYBL entails? Our goal is to find more applications for our knowledge driven AI platform. Vertical farming is the first application that we are developing in relation to the green economy, but we are actively looking for new applications that will help us make the world greener through our tech! If anyone reading this has any ideas, we’re always looking for new team members or companies to partner or co-develop technology with! 19

The Sustainabilist | FOOD INDUSTRY


Grocery Impacts The Sustainabilist, in conversation with Philippe Peguilhan, Country Manager of Carrefour UAE at Majid Al Futtaim Retail


ow does Carrefour see the obligation to act on climate change? In line with Majid Al Futtaim’s regionally pioneering initiative to become net positive in carbon and water by 2040, Carrefour has been actively looking at ways to support waste reduction and reduce environmental impact across its operations. The Net Positivity 2040 corporate strategy lays out how all Majid Al Futtaim businesses, including Carrefour, will return more water and energy than they consume by 2040. It is our flagship business drive in this area. Carrefour has installed Building Management Systems (BMS) at all its stores as part of the company’s plans to further reduce its electricity usage by five percent in the next few years. This reduction will be delivered via the installation of energy efficient systems across facilities, applying Glass Systems on its chillers, and switching all store lights to LED lighting to boost electricity savings, which will help make store operations more environmentally sustainable. 20

In the UAE, last April we opened our 100th store, which is located at My City Centre Masdar. In line with Masdar City’s ambitions, this hypermarket sets a new gold standard in environmentallyminded store design and operations through cutting-edge energy and water management. The Carrefour store at My City Centre Masdar is also the first plastic bag free hypermarket in the UAE. In mid-2018 Carrefour opened its pioneering new Regional Distribution Centre in National Industries Park, JAFZA, in Dubai. The Centre, which is a centralised receiving and departing point for products destined for stores across the region, has been built to exacting environmental standards. It uses 50% less energy than conventional buildings and 25% of the power needed is generated by rooftop solar panels, allowing the Centre to create its own renewable energy sources, which incidentally will save the company an expected AED1.5 million per year. This represents one of the largest known percentages of renewable energy

generation of any building in the region. Carrefour was the first retailer to introduce reusable shopping bags to the region, which it launched more than a decade ago. Its new range of eco-bags, branded ‘Connecting with Nature’ are available in different sizes and are available across all its stores. The company has also introduced ‘Green Checkout Counters’ at selected hypermarkets which give priority to customers using reusable bags. All plastic bags available at stores are oxobiodegradable. How has Carrefour utilised public relations to address environmental challenges? We are actively leveraging every opportunity to educate consumers about sustainable practices, and social occasions serve as the ideal platform to do so. On International Plastic Bag Free Day for example, we ran two different incentive-based initiatives in the UAE which encouraged customers to shop with reusable bags and publicise it via

Issue 21 | February 2020

an integrated campaign that included traditional and online media. Apart from raising awareness, we also utilise our communication channels to receive direct consumer feedback and ideas on our activities, which provides us with valuable customer insights. Our own data and these insights tell us that more and more customers in the Arab World are becoming educated around singleuse plastics in particular. Progress is being made but much more needs to be done. We are looking at longer-term campaigns for the future to see how we can address these critical topics via our own communications activity.

its bags come with a life-time replacement guarantee. We were the first retailer in the UAE to offer reusable shopping bags, having launched our now iconic ‘starfish’ bag in 2007. Today, we sell four different varieties: a cotton weighable produce bag, a woven plastic bag a canvas foldable bag and a heavy-duty juco bag to accommodate a variety of design preferences and lifestyles. As customers in the UAE become more environmentally conscious, the reaction has been favourable. In fact, since the launch of Carrefour’s newly designed reusable bags earlier in 2019, Carrefour has sold almost 29,000 individual bags.

What initiatives are promoting sustainable habits among your consumers? Sustainable consumer behaviour is ultimately a two-way street. From our end, we have taken the responsibility of developing an entire department dedicated to the cause, all of whom are constantly working to introduce new initiatives to educate customers and provide them with environmentally friendly alternatives. By incentivising customers, we hope that we will inspire them to change their mindset and behaviour for the long-term, for the benefit of our planet.

Frequent promotions are also encouraging the usage of reusable bags. Carrefour has incentivised and rewarded customers for shopping with their own reusable bags via mechanics that have included bonus points for its MyClub loyalty programme members, reusable bag giveaways and even free personalised monogramming on Carrefour’s foldable canvas bags.

For instance, we introduced ‘Green Checkout Counters’ in selected stores across the region which reward customers who bring reusable bags with them with a faster check-out queue and therefore saved queue times. This has proved popular with many customers and we find these check-outs regularly pop up on customer social media content. We have also launched a wider selection of reusable bags at affordable price. All

At My City Centre Masdar in Abu Dhabi, Carrefour Hypermarket’s customers can use “Recycle and get Rewarded” machine, which allows shoppers to deposit their plastics and get a voucher to spend in Carrefour in return. We are looking at potentially rolling these machines out in more stores in the future. Are Carrefour employees aware and committed to your company’s sustainability initiatives, or is there still a need to advocate for an increased awareness? We place a heavy emphasis on internal communications, staff training and participation in our corporate citizenship initiatives. Our employees undergo

continuous training at our specialist internal Retail Business School where sustainability and the company’s objectives are part of the in-house curriculum. At store level, we are working to train cashiers and packers on how to reduce plastic bag consumption and how they can encourage customers to do the same. We also have a number of in-house initiatives which colleagues are encouraged to participate in, including beach clean-ups and schoolchildrenbased education programmes. How is Carrefour measuring its progress in terms of sustainability? Majid Al Futtaim’s Net Positive 2040 commitment sets out how our business will measure its impact on resource reduction against the stated goals in energy and water reduction, so this is a key parameter for us. However, we are also using a myriad of other measurement parameters, including plastic bag consumption at check-outs, usage of reusable bags and volume of customers using the priority ‘Green Check Outs’ and so on. We are also regularly surveying our customers to understand their attitudes towards environmental considerations, as well as listening to their feedback. We are using these insights to evaluate the value of our efforts and to understand what support they are looking for to help them lead more environmentallyconscious lives. This ‘active listening’ has already resulted in a number of product launches, especially in the area of plastic reduction, such as the reusable fresh produce bags, which customers were calling on us to launch and which gave us the confidence to offer them. 21

The Sustainabilist | FOOD INDUSTRY


disasters and the subsequent devastation of communities, which increase migratory movements and the social and psychological pressure arising from limited access to resources. These changes are important vectors of political instability and civil unrest. Therefore, improving sustainability is paramount to preserving peace and tolerance across the globe.

architecture, are interventions that aim to influence behaviour by altering the structure of the environment in which people make choices. This works by removing external barriers, expediting access, or facilitating action. Nudges pave the path of least resistance by making pro-environmental choices the convenient and easy ones. Examples are reducing plate/glass size in buffets restaurants, setting the air conditioning in residence and hotels by default to higher temperatures, or putting recycling bins closer to regular waste – so that people don’t have to make extra efforts to make the right choice. The power of nudges is their ability to improve the profitability and sustainability of businesses, without impairing customer experience.

What are behavioural nudges and how can they be applied to encourage sustainable decisions? Behavioural nudges, also known as choice

When do behavioural interventions work most effectively and how do you think they should be implemented in the UAE?

Nudging Climate Change Out of the Way By Jocelyn Belanger Professor, New York University (NYU) Abu Dhabi


ell us a bit about yourself and your areas of focus. I am a professor of Psychology at New York University Abu Dhabi. My work investigates the dynamic and complex world of human motivation. In my laboratory, my colleagues (Dr Birga Schumpe and Dr Claudia Nisa) and I focus on two major research areas: political violence and environmental sustainability. On the surface, these themes appear widely different, but they are in fact deeply interconnected. Indeed, climate change increases the occurrence of natural 22

Issue 21 | February 2020

Behavioural interventions work best when they expose people to strong motivators that enable them to overcome their resistance to change. One example is social comparison, the idea that people will change behaviours when they realise they are doing less for the environment than their peers or neighbours. Both nudges and social comparison are effective ways to change most environmental behaviours. In the UAE, behavioural nudges could be implemented in the following ways. For instance, in their utility bills (electricity, water, gas), residents could receive a message about how much they are consuming compared to their neighbours. Utility companies could also implement default opt-ins for renewables, helping customers to lower their carbon footprints without doing anything. Moreover, supermarkets could reduce the consumption of animal products by designing stores that display

meat and dairy in less accessible areas. Restaurants could place meat and dairy products at the end of their menus. During Friday brunches and Iftar, hotels could display messages about how the UAE is wasting much more food than most GCC, US and European countries. Recently, we have used the latter strategy in our own workplace and we were able to significantly reduce food waste by about half a tonne (i.e., 450 kg) per month at the food court of New York University Abu Dhabi. To what extent do you believe there is public awareness about climate change and what can be done to increase it? While the majority of the world’s climate-mitigation efforts are information-based interventions to increase awareness, these campaigns rarely produce impactful behavioural changes. The reality is that people do not change their environmental behaviours simply because they are told to, or

informed about the consequences. Thus, increasing awareness about climate change should not be the main focus – instead, tackling directly ways to change behaviour, such as with behavioural nudges, should be the priority. Do behavioural nudges change from region to region reflecting different cultures? The science of nudging is grounded in basic perceptual, cognitive, and behavioural principles that are not dependent on culture (e.g., our imperfect self-control, our limited cognitive resources). Yet, in their implementation, behavioural nudges need to be carefully crafted in relation to local customs and traditions. For example, nudges using social comparison or social influence are more likely to be effective if they involve individuals (e.g., celebrities, family members, religious figures) that are culturally relevant in a given context. 23

The Sustainabilist | FOOD INDUSTRY

SDG PHOTOGRAPHY AWARD The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are an effective mechanism to elevate global development and prosperity. The SDGs are an urgent call for action by all countries - developed and developing - in a global partnership. The SDGs recognize that ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand-in-hand with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth – all while tackling climate change and working to preserve our oceans and forests. Established and adopted in September 2015, the SDGs inspire a better world to live in – for all.

We have all heard the saying ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’, and to that we would add, ‘a picture can change the world’. By promoting awareness about a better world, a photograph can have significant impact by inspiring change. The Secretariat of the UAE National Committee on Sustainable Development Goals, in collaboration with Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum International Photography Award (HIPA), launched the first SDG Photography Award in May 2019. HIPA is focused on establishing the platform of photography within the region as well as nurturing the art-form on an international level.

SYRIAN REFUGEES IN ISTANBUL, TURKEY Istanbul, Turkey Many Syrian refugees escaped the war. These Syrian refuges lives in Suleymaniye District, Istanbul, despite all the challenges the region face. The urban transformation areas, empty fields and ruined buildings has become their home where they are holding on to life for the past 6 years.

Turan Topalar | Turkey

About the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority (FCSA): The Secretariat of the UAE National Committee on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), is curated by the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority (FCSA). The FCSA is a federal government authority reporting to UAE Cabinet; established in accordance to federal decree number 6 /2015, aiming to develop the UAE's performance in the areas of competitiveness and statistics, through establishing an integrated national statistical system and regulating the statistical and competitiveness sector to achieve UAE’s national interests.


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The SDG Photography Award aimed to create global awareness around the SDGs, through the lenses of photographers of all levels. The award invited amateurs, enthusiasts, semiprofessionals and professional photographers to participate in the five (5) categories that included People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace and Partnerships (the 5 P’s of the SDGs).

SDG awareness in 13 different languages and reached 3.8 million people globally. 4,105 Photographers from 132 nationalities participated in the first edition.

The SDGs are not only the responsibility of public- and private sectors, but also the duty of the academia, research institutions, youth and the global society around the globe. The SDG Photography Award raised

For more information, follow @UAESDGs on social media channels, or write to

Featured in this edition of The Sustainbilist, are the winning photographs from two categories; People and Planet.

BASE Egypt The workers are involved in the construction of a tower building; representing a technical combination similar to an abstract painting.

Hussein Alshafai | Egypt

DISTINGUISHED SIMILARITIES Kakinada, India A fine line between urban development and nature. We need to preserve our trees to protect our planet’s natural resources and climate for future generations.

Rakesh Pulapa | India

About the Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum International Photography Award (HIPA): The Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum International Photography Award (HIPA) is an internationally renowned photography competition. It was launched in 2011 by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Crown Prince of Dubai. The award enjoys a social and legal stature as a tool for promoting Dubai’s vision of artistic and cultural excellence. On a local level, the award hopes to develop and increase awareness of the art of photography amongst the local Emirati population. For more information visit


The Sustainabilist | FOOD INDUSTRY


Farming Up The food revolution that can help feed the planet By Stuart Oda Founder & CEO, Alesca Life


ell us about the concept behind Alesca Life, and how it works. Alesca Life is an agricultural technology company that builds indoor vertical farms and farm management solutions to make food production more localised and data driven. Alesca Life’s vision is to democratise access to fresh and nutritious food by democratising the means and knowledge of production. Founded in 2013, Alesca Life has designed and developed modular, hydroponic, weather-proof farms to enable food production at any scale, and all of their core hardware, software, and automation technology has been developed in-house including specialised components such as LED modules; realtime monitoring; and automation control devices. The Alesca Container Farm is a shipping container-based indoor commercial farm. The system is a turnkey solution for real estate developers, supermarket chains, 26

Issue 21 | February 2020

and food catering companies looking to grow premium produce year-round. The system requires a simple water and electricity connection and minimal training to operate. The Alesca Fresh Indoor Farm is a fully automated, cabinet-style indoor farm for hotels, restaurants, and households to grow microgreens and leafy greens on-site. We have also converted unused parking structures, idle office space, and underutilised restaurant corners into highly productive, indoor vertical farms. Notably, we have been granted key invention patents for their innovative indoor farming systems, components, and processes. Are you contributing to reducing emissions of the countries you operate in? The global agricultural industry consumes an enormous amount of energy to manufacture fertilisers and pesticides, harvest commercial crops, process and package vegetables, and refrigerate and transport fresh produce. On the other hand, Alesca Life is contributing to the reduction of emissions across our target markets by localising the production of fresh produce. We grow vegetables that are traditionally transported into urban city centres using minimal water and fertiliser. The proximity of our indoor commercial farms to the end consumer also allows us to reduce the need for refrigeration and packaging, all while extending shelf life and significantly reducing food waste. Our operations currently save 150-200 litres of water compared to conventional farming methods for every kilogram of vegetables grown in our hyper-efficient indoor farms.

How are hydroponics systems more efficient than regular ones in terms of water, costs, product yield, and the other essential factors to farming? Alesca Life has developed and deployed highly scalable indoor vertical farms that use 90-95% less water, fertiliser, and land compared to conventional farms with no chemical pesticides, and small-scale, automated cabinet farms to enable on-site food production by hotels, restaurants, and homes. We have also developed an Internetof-Things (IoT) device for real-time environmental monitoring remote automation control, cloud-based farm operations, and crop management IT system to aggregate production level data, streamline operational management, and provide complete farm level data transparency and supply chain traceability for farmers and customers. These systems allow Alesca Life’s indoor vertical farms to maintain high productivity, increase resource efficiency, and improve output and quality consistency all while ensuring the highest standards of transparency and safety. The Alesca Container Farm grows over 5,000 vegetables in a 25 square metre footprint and produces the equivalent of 1,000-1,500 salad servings of greens every week. Can you provide us with some insight on the success of Alesca Life? Alesca Life was selected as a 2019 World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer as one of the top growth stage companies in the world, and we have been accepted into prestigious global accelerator programmes, including Stanford StartX, Unreasonable

Impact, and Dubai Future Accelerators as an innovator in the field of controlled environment agriculture, precision agriculture, and hyper-local urban farming. Alesca Life’s indoor farms and precision agriculture solutions have been deployed in the UAE, China, and Singapore and large-scale projects are under way in Saudi Arabia and South Africa. Also, we have completed projects for the Singapore government and UAE Prime Minister’s Office. Moreover, we work closely with the community’s that we serve, and the have launched the “Agritherapy” programme in Dubai to allow individuals with cognitive disabilities to become indoor urban farmers as part of our therapy programme. What are your plans for the future and are the particular markets you plan to explore or expand in? We are deploying technologies in three distinct phases: First, grow specialty vegetables in lower volumes for select commercial partners; second, grow more common vegetables in larger volumes for broader use by businesses and households; and third, grow commodity products for consumption and access by all community members. Our team of engineers in Beijing and Tokyo work closely with global customers, partners, and localisation experts to ensure products and services are applicable, accessible, and scalable. Additionally, we have recently signed a manufacturing and distribution agreement to build and launch 1,000 Alesca Container Farms across projects in China, the Middle East, and Southern Africa. 27

The Sustainabilist | FOOD INDUSTRY


Table for Five Truebell has identified the Top Five foods that are leading the trends in the UAE


AE-headquartered Truebell, a leading GCC importer of fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) has highlighted healthy frozen foods, Asian cuisine, plantbased and vegan, meat substitutes, local and organic produce as well as collagenrich and gluten-free food and drinks as key trending products for 2020.

“To keep up with this growing demand, our food division has launched a wide variety of products in the frozen food category last year, including Rana premium frozen Ravioli, Al Islami processed meats and Château Gâteaux frozen cakes”, said Truebell Divisional Manager, Retail & Food Service, Bhushant J Gandhi.

Over the last few decades, the UAE has become a melting pot of ethnicities, resulting in the globally attuned F&B destination that we see today, and as a result, Truebell is working to align current and future supplies with these developing trends.

“Convenience and a growing millennial population are the key factors driving this growth in the region, with increasing disposable incomes and a rise in the number of women working also contributing”, he added.

According to an industry report by Mordor Intelligence, the UAE has witnessed strong growth in its frozen food sector, with the market expected to increase at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 9.3 per cent during the period 20192024, with the most widely used products including healthy versions of ready meals, soups, fruit, vegetables, meat, poultry and seafood. 28

Dubai’s 3.1 million population currently consists of just over 2.9 million expats, with 85% of these expats Asian, primarily from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and the Philippines, according to the latest figures from Dubai Statistics Centre’s (DSC) 2018 annual report. And in recent years, the emirate has witnessed a surge in the number of Chinese, Japanese, Malaysian and Korean expats.

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“Asian cuisines – primarily Japanese, Chinese and Thai – have consistently been firm favourites among UAE nationals, residents and tourists alike. However, with a growing number of Chinese, Japanese, Malaysian and Korean expats, we are keen to capitalise on this opportunity by expanding our Asian offerings – trialling new produce and flavours from these countries”, Gandhi said. Amid the various nutritional programmes on the market today, plant-based and vegan diets as well as meat replacements, are

The UAE has become a melting pot of ethnicities, resulting in the globally attuned F&B destination that we see today.

becoming particularly prominent, which is clearly a key food trend for 2020 and beyond. Gandhi said: “Plant-based meat replacement products, including seitan, tempeh and tofu are gaining traction across the region. Over the coming months, we will be looking to add brands that fit into these categories to our ever-expanding portfolio. We will soon enhance our 14year partnership as exclusive distributor for leading bakery and patisserie La Rose Noire as we launch their latest line of vegan delicacies as well as their new, 100% biodegradable packaging in the region”.

In addition to this, society is becoming more health conscious than ever before, and as a result, an increasing number of consumers are interested in local and organic produce as well as collagen-rich and gluten-free food and drinks. Over recent years, the UAE government has launched initiatives to make organic produce more readily available, and placed a strong focus on agriculture, with the country now more than 80% self-sufficient for milk and almost 40% self-sufficient in its demand for eggs, according to research firm BMI. As well as probiotic supplements and drinks, we are seeing an increasing demand for on-the-go collagen drinks, due to the multiple health benefits associated with this protein such as healthier skin, hair and nails. Meanwhile, other trends are growing in popularity, such as the combination of vegan and gluten-free, as well as ecofriendly, sustainable food products. Truebell has gone from strength-tostrength since it was established in 1984 with expertise across five key divisions including food, beverage, hospitality, suppliers and retail duty free. To date, it has a portfolio of over 10,000 products, underscoring its position as a leading importer, wholesaler, distributor and exporter in the GCC. Gandhi concluded: “Plans are already afoot to expand our wide-ranging portfolio with a particular focus on eco-friendly and sustainable products, as well as introducing new flavours for the region’s multi-cultural consumers, with further announcements expected over the coming months”. 29


The Sustainabilist | FOOD INDUSTRY


Recipe for Low Emissions

The Impossible Burger® is the first product launched by Impossible Foods, the company founded to put an end to using animals to make food. The Impossible Burger is made from proteins, flavours, fats, and binders just like regular burgers, but the ingredients are plant-based. To evaluate the environmental benefit of choosing the plant-based burger over one made from a cow, a science-based life cycle assessment (LCA) was conducted. LCAs are meant for considering the broader ecological cost of relying on livestock for dairy and meat. This specific LCA compares the potential environmental impacts of The Impossible Burger® and conventional, industrial ground beef burger per kilogram of frozen, ready-to-ship burger patty - from farm field to manufacturing gate. The environmental impact categories studied in the report are water, land, GHG emissions, and aquatic pollution. The LCA found that the Impossible Burger® reduces environmental impact across all these categories, compared to conventional ground beef. Take a look at the results! PO4e: Phosphate equivalents (kg) CO2e: Carbon dioxide equivalents (kg) m2y: Square metres per year

1.3g PO4e 3.5kg CO2e 2.5 m2y 106.8 litres Aquatic Eutrophication Potential

Global warming Potential

Aquatic eutrophication potential decreases by more than 90% due to the avoided manure emissions from raising beef cattle, avoided fertiliser emissions during feed production, and a reduction in electricity consumption by avoiding slaughtering activities.

Global warming potential decreases by almost 90%, primarily due to the avoided emissions associated with manure and enteric emissions generated over the course of raising cattle.


8.7 30.6kg CO2e



62 m2y


850.1 litres




15.1g PO4e





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Land occupation

Water Consumption

Land occupation is reduced by 96%, by avoiding reliance on pasture for grazing (the majority of beef’s land footprint). Cropland demand is also reduced from 6.8 m2 per year to 2.4 m2 per year due to the elimination of agricultural products for beef cattle feed.

Water consumption is reduced by more than 85% as a result of avoiding the irrigation used to cultivate feed crops for beef cattle.


The Sustainabilist | FOOD INDUSTRY


Inside the Future of Farming

Madar farms to open world’s first commercial-scale indoor tomato farm in Abu Dhabi


adar Farms, the UAE-based AgTech company, has announced that the world’s first commercial-scale tomato indoor farm using only LED lights to grow fresh tomatoes will begin operation in Abu Dhabi later this year, as part of Madar Farms’ investment in a new multi-milliondirham farming facility. The announcement was made during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week in January, detailing the company’s partnership with Certhon, Inno-3B, and Signify to operate the 5,000 square metre facility currently under construction at 32

Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi. The facility, which will also grow microgreens, is expected to be fully operational by the end of this year and will triple the number of microgreens grown by Madar Farms currently. The grown produce will be distributed locally across the UAE and will be available for purchase, granting consumers in the nation the opportunity to reduce their carbon footprint through the consumption of low-impact produce. In fact, the Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi is the ideal

location for the new farm, as it is situated half-way between Dubai and Abu Dhabi. This means that the transportation of the produce will be made in just a few hours, rather than the days required to import goods from abroad, and at a fraction of the greenhouse gases emitted through shipping and air transport. Having led an agriculture revolution in the UAE by using advanced methods to grow a variety of fresh produce with cutting-edge farming techniques, the farm will increase Madar Farms’ operations in developing

Issue 21 | February 2020

The tomato farm, designed by the Dutch firm Certhon will be installed with more than 5,000 ultra efficient Philips GreenPower LED fixtures from Signify, also from the Netherlands. The growing technology is based on Certhon’s proprietary cooling and automation systems. As part of its commitment to sustainable farming methods, the tomatoes will be grown using the most water-efficient system in the world. In effect, Madar Farms will use 30% less water per kilogram of tomatoes compared to even the highest tech greenhouses. Abdulaziz AlMulla, CEO and co-founder of Madar Farms, said: “Our new state-of-theart farming facility is a milestone moment for Madar Farms. As the population in the UAE continues to grow and there’s more focus on sustainability, the new farm will help to meet this increasing demand and give UAE consumers more options to enjoy the best quality fresh locally-grown produce.” As part of the new facility, Madar Farms will triple the quantity of microgreens it currently produces, as well as growing a wider variety of products. At present, Madar Farms uses an automated, vertical farming system to grow its microgreens indoors in ideal and constant conditions year-round which are consistent. Inno-3B technology is already in use in Canada, whereby it has resulted in great sustainable achievements. Inno-3B’s CEO, Martin

The grown produce will be distributed locally across the UAE and will be available for purchase, granting consumers in the nation the opportunity to reduce their carbon footprint through the consumption of low-impact produce.

local food for local consumption. In addition, as food and water scarcity challenges in the region are gaining momentum, the project will contribute to the UAE’s goal of tackling these issues.

Brault, has expressed excitement in regards to this project, which he believes will be the first of many to come in the Middle East. From Signify, Udo van Slooten, Business Leader Horticulture, has also expressed his eagerness in partnering with a company as committed to sustainable horticulture as Madar Farms. The project will help increase growth predictability, crop quality and yields, while growing sustainably all year-round. Lastly, Certhon CEO, Hein van der Sande shared that they are very proud of enabling year-round local food security and food safety across the UAE by providing Madar Farms their customised horticulture solutions that will allow the AgTech to grow high quality fruits and vegetables while minimising the consumption of water resources for local markets. 33

The Sustainabilist | FOOD INDUSTRY


Unprecedented Numbers Enrol in DEWA’s ‘My Sustainable Living’ Programme More than 350,000 residential customers have enrolled in DEWA’s programme to encourage carbon footprint reduction


ubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) announced that there are now more than 350,000 residential customers enrolled in ‘My Sustainable Living’ programme since its launch in October 2018. The programme encourages customers to use electricity and water responsibly and reduce their carbon footprint. ‘My Sustainable Living Programme’, which is the first of its kind in the Middle East, enables residential customers to compare their monthly electricity and water usage with the average usage of similarly efficient homes and make informed decisions based on current data, in comparison to other highly efficient homes. This inspires a healthy competition among customers to reduce their consumption and carbon footprint. “We are pleased by the customer engagement response to our initiatives and programmes, to consolidate the sustainable development of Dubai. Our programmes 34

also encourage customers to effectively support and implement Dubai’s strategies to protect our natural resources,” said HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA. “At DEWA, we work to achieve the vision of our wise leadership for the transformation towards a green economy. This supports the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050, launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to make Dubai a global centre for clean energy and green economy and the city with the lowest carbon footprint in the world; and the Dubai Demand Side Management Strategy to reduce energy and water use by 30% by 2030,” continued Al Tayer. “In accordance with our vision to become a globally leading sustainable innovative corporation, DEWA adopts integrated strategies to encourage society members to follow a responsible lifestyle when using

electricity and water as part of their culture so it becomes a daily habit,” concluded Al Tayer. ‘My Sustainable Living’ programme has four main features. These include a comparison dashboard of similar homes in the region, and other similar efficient homes, a graph of estimated consumption trends, a monthly consumption report, and conservation tips. DEWA interacts with its users through its website, smart app, email and text messages. DEWA’s conservation programmes and initiatives over the past 10 years have achieved significant savings in electricity and water use within various stakeholder groups. Cumulative savings between 2009 and 2018 reached 2 terawatt hours (TWh) of electricity and 7.4 billion gallons of water, equivalent to AED 1.2 billion. These savings were achieved in the residential, commercial, and industrial sectors, educational institutions, governmental and semi-governmental organisations. The savings contributed to reducing about one million tonnes of carbon emissions.

The Sustainabilist | FOOD INDUSTRY


Methods to Feed the People and Save the Planet

Veolia is increasing resource efficiency in the UAE for sustainable agriculture projects By Veolia


n 2040, the planet will be home to 9 billion people, 2 billion more than in 2017, and in the last 50 years, total food production of cereal crops rose by 240% because of the expansion of cultivated areas and an increase in yields. Nourishing the planet without degrading the quality of soils and crops remains a major challenge for humanity. While the task itself may be daunting, solutions already exist and others will undoubtedly appear, giving us cause for hope and optimism. The challenges ahead provide new opportunities for us to innovate and to be more creative in our approach to preserving resources. Protecting the soil is imperative if we want to meet the demand for food and avoid humanitarian disasters. Increasingly, farmers are turning to a sustainable agriculture model to meet the demand of consumers that are progressively concerned about the source and quality of what they eat. Sustainable agriculture applies sustainable development principles to limit its negative impacts. Over the last few years Veolia has promoted circular economy principles for sustainable agriculture.


Issue 21 | February 2020

When we talk about agriculture in the UAE, the country faces many challenges that include water scarcity, extreme temperatures, intense urbanisation, industrialisation, as well as a lack of land suitable for agriculture. Today, the country’s agriculture sector is considered its most resource-consuming industry,

accounting for approximately 72% of the UAE’s total freshwater consumption. While the number of farms increased greatly, the need today is to secure food production by embracing the circular economy. With ambitious projects in the fold that

are focussed on sustainability, as well as investments in technologies, the UAE has secured the necessary pieces for a sustainable future. Harsh environmental conditions and resource scarcity are no longer obstacles that prohibit the UAE in combining food production and sustainability.

Veolia has developed four innovative ideas to feed the planet without degrading resources.

Reuse water, from scarce to renewable

Use the hidden power of “organics”

All needed resources to face this challenge are already within the region. Untapped potential, lies with the reuse of treated water, which remains largely underutilised in MENA. This water would provide a viable source of clean water. To protect water resources, Veolia is developing irrigation solutions with treated water recycling. Veolia has developed an innovative solution based on “intelligent reuse”.

The link between food waste and climate change is something we can no longer ignore. Waste management companies like Veolia have an important role to play in helping to mitigate the problem of greenhouse gas emissions from food waste by engaging with their client base. Waste material must be collected an used as a new resource for generating green energy, and producing valuable organic products such as compost and fertilisers. Veolia is even working on pilot projects that produce animal protein from insect larvae bred on biowaste.

This approach makes it possible to reuse wastewater for agriculture and conserve the nutrients it contains, such as nitrogen, phosphorus or potassium, thereby limiting the use of chemical fertilisers.

Choose the urban agriculture family In the past 20 years, urban agriculture has become a serious business where circular economy can bring very productive results. Most cities can actually become self- sufficient in indigenous food production. This is the key to food security in our near future. For several years, Veolia has been developing knowhow in designing and constructing high-performance aquaculture systems that are eco-friendly and financially and environmentally sustainable. Also, aquaponics is one of the concrete solutions to tomorrow’s food issues that is in demand. Its main advantage is a highperformance, high-quality farming production system that can be easily integrated at the heart of the urban fabric. This system highlights the expertise of the Veolia Group’s long-standing sectors of activity, which aim to build a circular economy for sustainable agriculture.

Veolia uses sewage sludge and organic waste to produce fertilisers and organic amendments. Thanks to our expertise in water and waste, we can transform biowaste into organic fertilisers and recycle wastewater sludge on compost. Moreover, Veolia produces fertilisers - an alternative to the “allchemical” fertilisers - from organic waste and municipal sludge. Design fully optimised agricultural park Soils have become a rare resource. Veolia has developed a new concept of “Integrated Agricultural park” to help countries develop large-scale agricultural parks to secure their food chain. Veolia has the ability to analyse the soil, understand the environment, and help governments structure and attract the main agricultural companies. By making the most efficient use of local resources, Veolia is preparing “ready to plant plot”, and providing water, energy, nutrients necessary for the set-up of an agricultural activity. Through the Hubgrade Center, Veolia offers remote control of all the parameters that drive resource savings and the Veolia agri-app suite delivers the ultimate systemic solution to smart agriculture in the Middle East.


The Sustainabilist | FOOD INDUSTRY


Globe Helena Samsioe Globhe Health Category

Zayed Sustainability Prize


he Zayed Sustainability Prize, an evolution of the Zayed Future Energy Prize, is the UAE’s pioneering global award in sustainability and a tribute to the legacy of the founding father of the UAE, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. Established in 2008, this annual award recognises and rewards the achievements of those who are driving impactful, innovative and inspiring sustainability solutions across five distinct categories: Health, Food, Energy, Water and Global High Schools. In line with the theme of the magazine, we are showcasing two of the winners of the 12th edition of the Prize. The interviewed winners are the frontrunners of the Health and Water categories.

Ashwin Madgavkar Ceres Imaging Water category 38

Issue 21 | February 2020


an you tell me a bit about your project and its challenges? I am Helena Samsioe, CEO and Founder of Globhe. Globhe is a global drone company with headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden, founded in 2016. We have developed a global platform whereby we have connected over 3,600 drone pilots in 46 countries that collect drone data on demand. The aim is to help prevent and respond to disease outbreaks throughout the world. The pilots help us identify and warn about potential outbreaks in terms of health epidemics as well as natural disasters. One of our main challenges has been


ell me a little bit about your company. My name is Ashwin Madgavkar and I am the CEO and founder of Ceres Imaging. At Ceres, we conduct areal imaging and analytics for farmers, focusing mainly on North America and Australia. We fly above farms and use a sensor that identifies different wavelengths of light then analyse the data using computer vision, artificial intelligence, and plant science to inform farmers of whether they are over-watering or under-watering, which might be indicative of an irrigation problem, or if they have low chlorophyll levels so that they may adjust their fertiliser application accordingly. Essentially, we provide farmers with actionable insights that allow them to grow more food more efficiently to become increase profits and

creating a new market. It is an upcoming technology with many opportunities, but it is not always smooth sailing. Regulatory frameworks have been a major obstacle for us and still remain major challenge for us. We want to be able to fly drones for social impact purposes and to collect data, however, that can sometimes be difficult. Where do you mainly operate? So far, we mainly operate in Southern and Eastern Africa. One of the reasons for this is that quite few of the Eastern and Southern African governments have been taking proactive and innovative approaches on establishing national regulatory frameworks that allow drone flying for

sustainability. We had initially started as a drone company, but came to realised that farms are large and distributed and, as drones can only fly around 100 metres and require a licensed pilot in the United States, we needed a more scalable solution. The quality of data produced through satellite imaging is lower than what we require to provide our expertise. In the end, we found a plane which had a proprietary sensor designed for building houses and was identified as the most cost-effective mean for our projects. What does the Zayed Sustainability Prize mean to you and what are you going to do with the prize? It is a real honour for our team and it means two main things for us. Firstly, it symbolises the potential of the Ceres

humanitarian or sustainability purposes. Also, it is a region where disease outbreaks and natural disasters are quite frequent, so it makes also sense for our solution and our company to be present there. What does the sustainability prize mean to you and what are you going to do with the reward? The Zayed Sustainability Prize means a lot for Globhe as we are still a small start-up trying to do a lot of great things so this award helps to recognise what our company is doing for the people and the planet. Also, it is a huge honour to win the big cash prize as it will help us to push our solution further and help scale up our technology.

initiative, and accepting the award in front of all those world leaders was a really special moment. Secondly, it is about sustainability. It symbolises how important this enterprise is to the World. For our team, a lot of whom joined because of the impact on the environment, it is really special to get recognised in a such a prestigious setting. The prize will help us expand our technology and bring it to more farmers in more regions. It will be great way for us to continue scaling the business. As we have global ambitions, winning the prize is a great step in that direction. Beyond the money, the Zayed Sustainability Prize will provide us with an excellent platform to develop Ceres Imaging even further.


The Sustainabilist | FOOD INDUSTRY


Food Waste, Be Gone! By HE Khaled Al Huraimel Group CEO of Bee’ah


n a ranking of the world’s top issues, the average person is not likely to place food waste among the top five. However, this same person would also be unaware that approximately one third of the food produced for humans annually – 1.3 billion tonnes – is wasted. The UAE, despite truly commendable


efforts to ensure food security and responsible consumption, also faces a challenge with food waste. This knowledge only becomes more alarming when you consider that there are more than 820 million people across the globe that go hungry, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2018. It is clear that achieving the zero-hunger goal of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 will heavily depend on how we address food waste.

In addition to its link with hunger, food waste is also a serious environmental problem when dumped in landfills. It is responsible for large amounts of methane, a greenhouse gas that directly contributes to global warming. In fact, in a 2014 Princeton University study, it was found that methane is 30 times more potent than carbon dioxide, a more commonly known cause for climate change. So, while we are fighting the good fight for more renewable energy, planting more trees and trying to secure water supplies, we cannot ignore the fact that ending food waste and treating it properly will be key components in the roadmap to saving our planet.

Issue 21 | February 2020

Although food waste digesters are not yet mainstream, Bee’ah strongly advocates for the use of this system by restaurants, hotels, catering kitchens, and airports where food waste is generated in large volumes. Digesters neatly solve the problem of food waste treatment, removing the need for it to be sent to landfills and thus neutralising the issue effectively. In a country like the UAE, with a robust food and hospitality industry, digesters will also be invaluable in helping the UAE meet its goal to divert 75% of its waste away from landfills.

Fortunately, there are already viable solutions available and in place. Food waste digesters encourage anaerobic digestion of food waste, preparing it for further use in a way that has minimal environmental impact. Following the digestion process, food waste can be composted, extending its life cycle and creating value through use in clean energy or agriculture. Bee’ah, the Middle East’s pioneer for sustainability, is already using food digesters as part of its efforts to help promote a thriving circular economy. The company also has a compost plant at the Bee’ah Waste Management Complex, which processes organic and vegetation waste, and converts it into fertiliser to use

While digesters address the issue of generated food waste, there is also a need to stem wastage at the source by addressing consumption behaviours. Raising overall awareness of food waste and its effects through community initiatives will help reduce the production of waste. Additionally, ensuring that whatever is thrown away is strategically sorted will avoid contamination of recoverable waste, and support efficient treatment. There also needs to be a shift in behaviours when it comes to consuming left-overs as well as buying habits which contribute vastly to food waste production and can be resolved through education and creativity. To this end, Bee’ah conducts door-to-door residential recycling programmes, aimed at helping communities understand the importance of waste segregation and recycling, which have proven effective in bringing about meaningful impact. Looking further afield, South Korea is a successful case study for best practices on tackling food waste. South Korea banned food waste from going to landfills, in addition to prohibiting the dumping of garbage juice, the leftover water from

Bee’ah conducts door-todoor residential recycling programmes, aimed at helping communities understand the importance of waste segregation and recycling.

for agriculture or landscaping.

food waste, into the sea in 2015. The government also launched a major food waste reduction initiative in partnership with restaurants, hotels and schools and introduced punitive measures in the form of a pay-as-you-throw system in every neighbourhood. Today, South Korea is considered to have one of the most advanced food waste management systems in the world. Ultimately, all waste management has been approached holistically, and introducing more sustainable ways of living is essential. This includes the need to treat food waste properly and to encourage individuals, households, companies and governments to take ownership of their waste generation and disposal. 41

The Sustainabilist | FOOD INDUSTRY


Ending Food Waste One Meal at a Time By Kevin Duffy Co-Founder of Winnow

Meet Winnow, the Tech Company that is transforming the hospitality industry


o o d waste costs the hospitality industry over US$100 billion a year. But, how do we correct the system?

This question is all the more pressing and concerning considering that last year 820 million suffered from hunger – that’s one in every nine people globally who do not have enough food to eat. And that figure has increased by nine million from 2018, according to a 2019 UN report. This situation is in sharp contrast to the fact that every year roughly one third, or 1.3 billion tonnes, of the food produced for human consumption gets lost or wasted, enough to feed the world’s hungry several times over. It’s not just today’s people that we are harming. Food waste that ends up in landfills produces a worrying amount of 42

methane – a much more potent greenhouse gas than CO2. And with agriculture accounting for more than 70% of the water used in the world, food waste represents one of the greatest wastes of fresh- and groundwater resources on the planet. Something’s got to give. Change is needed, and it has to start somewhere, however small. And that’s why, at Winnow, to help us slash food waste in hospitality kitchens throughout the world, we recently launched our food waste recipe book in partnership with the UAE’s Ministry of Climate Change and the Environment (MOCCAE). Named “Cooking with Everything” our recipe book calls for chefs to contribute and share their recipes from upcycled foods. An example of this comes from a renowned chef from the Armani Hotel in Dubai, who has made a recipe for delicious lamb sarates with leftover ouzi.

Our thinking here is that with a dash of creativity and inspiration from revered chefs, home cooks can reinvent the food waste perception, and turn leftovers it new, exciting dishes. To us, it’s crucial that we normalise the consumption of food waste. The issue of preventing food waste often is low on the agenda. That needs to change. So, we’re calling for anyone and everyone to send us their recipes in an effort to cut down on a huge global problem. In tandem with our recipe book, Winnow Vision – our tried and tested artificial intelligence solution – is helping save over US$ 40 million annually for our hospitality clients in over 1,000 sites globally. For

Issue 21 | February 2020

Collectively, chefs using Winnow are saving over US$ 40 million a year in reduced food purchasing costs, which equates to stopping 25 million meals entering the bin.

Collectively, chefs using Winnow are saving over US$ 40 million a year in reduced food purchasing costs, which

example, we have helped Fairmont The Palm in Dubai save US$140,000 in food waste a year, with a 61% reduction in food waste since we started working with them.

equates to stopping 25 million meals entering the bin. Winnow Vision is a simple and effective remedy to a major problem. The system works by taking photos of wasted food as it’s thrown away and, using the images, the machine trains itself to recognise what

has been thrown in the bin. Winnow’s systems have reached and surpassed human levels of accuracy in identifying wasted foods. This means that, over time, these systems will enable your kitchens to automatically register food waste without any human interaction. Food will be thrown in the bin and the data will be captured automatically. This increases data accuracy and ease of use. In short, the solutions of the future and for our future are here today. What we need now is awareness, appetite, and adoption, on a global scale. 43

The Sustainabilist | FOOD INDUSTRY


Gluten-Free Searches Soar Search interest in popular keto diet soars by 1028.21% whilst paleo has decreased


ith the majority of the world embarking on New Year’s resolutions, many of them relating to dietary requirements and making better choices, SEMrush, the award-winning all-in-one digital marketing suite, has conducted a two-part study identifying the most searched dietary requirements relating to tolerance and allergy, as well as dietary requirements relating to choice for UAE residents. The first part of the study covers backdata from online searches in the UAE between 2016 and 2019 relating to the three most common dietary requirements for tolerance and allergy: gluten-free, sugar-free, and lactose-free, to identify which is the highest and fastest growing. The highest by a landslide in terms of monthly online searches in the UAE is gluten-free with a total of 65,560 online searches during the last 36 months. Sugarfree came in a distant second with 7,720 searches and lactose-free third with 4,110 searches for the same period. 44

In terms of growth, the term with the highest increase is lactose-free, which came up top with 175.41% growth rate over the last 36 months, followed by 72.82% for gluten-free and 58.52% for sugar-free online search growth in the UAE. In the second half of the study, SEMrush carried out the same research for dietary requirements relating to choice; including vegan, vegetarian, keto and paleo. Vegan and vegetarian have both witnessed approximately 50% search growth during the last three years in the UAE. However, the ketogenic diet which cuts out carbohydrates in order to enter ‘ketosis’ state whereby the body’s energy runs off fat rather than carbs, has by far seen the highest growth in the UAE online search, registering a 1028.21% increase during the past three years. On the other hand, the paleo diet which reverts to a hunter-gatherer diet, eliminating processed food, has declined in UAE online search during the same

period by 19.32%.“There is a unique situation in purchase intention when it comes to lactose-free and gluten-free products which are noticeably growing in online search. Many experts point out that consumers are purchasing these ‘free-from’ products not due to allergies or intolerance, but due to the idea that it is healthier. Tracking the level of online search can support marketers to navigate market trends and identify focus areas of interest,” commented Olga Andrienko, Head of Global Marketing at SEMrush. According to TechNavio the global sugar-free food and beverages market will continue to grow, reaching US$ 72.37 billion by 2021. Meanwhile, the global gluten-free food market is also forecast to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 9.3% up to 2026. In terms of lactose free products, these are increasing globally with lactose free yoghurt category alone ex-pected to be worth US$ 4 billion by 2027, according to a report by Future Market Insights.


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Giacomo Zeni was completing his Master in Food Biotechnology.

The Black Soldier Fly Combats Climate Change Innovative start-up uses bugs for animalfeed production


ugsLife is an innovative startup founded in February 2019 in the very heart of Italy. The company was established by a family-managed farm, which has been in the agricultural business for generations.


Yet, the responsibility of this highly innovative project is in the hands of two young minds. When they first met in 2017 at the University of Wageningen in the Netherlands, Caterina Luppa was doing her Master in Organic Agriculture and

Among the stimulating academic environment, the two young scientists quickly got interested in the debate on new sustainable agricultural practices. The unexpected potentiality of using insects as a sustainable means to produce animal proteins, was one of the hottest topics on campus and in the world. Giacomo conducted his MSc thesis in the laboratory of Entomology of Professor Marcel Dicke, international renown in the insect field, and during an internship at Koppert BV in Rotterdam, developing technologies for large scale insect rearing. All these experiences had a common denominator, a subject of interest, and the ultimate insect species: the Black Soldier Fly!

Issue 21 | February 2020

Bioconversion means that the proteins fed to the larvae have a lower value compared to the proteins that eventually will make up the larva itself. The BSF larvae are so good at doing this useful job because they have performed this specific task of organic matter disposal for millions of years. In ecology, these types of species are known as detritivores and are at the bottom of the food chain. In fact, following the intake of the decaying organic matter, these insects typicaly end up being eaten by more complex animals. Integrating the BSF capabilities into the food production systems supports the concept of a Circular Economy. BugsLife feeds the BSF larvae with organic side-products recovered from other food industries. The larvae are then harvested and used as a protein input to feed production animals or the pet industry. Overall, this system enables to connect different local businesses while locally producing sustainable proteins. The European Union (EU) imports a proposturous amount of crops, making the production of regular livestock almost completely dependent on other countries, while also increasing the carbon footprint. BugsLife’s initiative to self-produce

The larvae are then harvested and used as a protein input to feed production animals or the pet industry.

high-quality proteins to feed the livestock industry can alleviate the need for imported crops within the EU, among other regions. The BugsLife’s farm works in synergy with biogas plants, a strategic choice bringing the concept of the circular economy one level further. The biogas plants have a constant excess of heat, which is released into the atmosphere. Placing the bugs farm close to the biogas plants allows for the recycling of the excess heat and its utilisation to warm the larvae growing rooms to guarantee a constant temperature of 27°C. The synergy not only reduces the running costs of the plant but also significantly increases the sustainability of the practice. Noteworthy biogas plants make up an essential share of the energy production of Italy, Germany, as well as China and USA; thus developing the expansion of this technology might be the

The Black Soldier Fly (BSF, lat. Hermetia illucens) is a Diptera from the tropical area of the Mexican Gulf. Before the metamorphosis to adult flies, the larvae of BSF show several superpowers. BSF larvae are incredibly voracious eaters upon the broadest spectrum of organic compounds, very resilient to different environmental conditions and pathogenic attacks, and they quickly and efficiently convert low-grade proteins into high-valued animal (insect) proteins, in other words, bioconversion.

ultimate game changer for insect farming. The final output of the bugs farm is a sustainable and locally produced insectbased protein material to feed monogastric animals for both the pet food industry, like cats and dogs, as well as livestock, such as fish and poultry. The bioconversion side-product is the organic material that is swallowed, digested and excreted by the larvae. This material has value too: it can either be used as a fertiliser or be directly employed by the biogas plant to extract energy. The first bugs farm designed by BugsLife will convert approximately 1000 tonnes of organic products into roughly 250 tonnes of larvae every year. Given the great potential, BugsLife believes in the future of insects and in their sustainable advantage in numerous sectors. 47

The Sustainabilist | FOOD INDUSTRY


Little to No Meat By Ivano Iannelli CEO, Dubai Carbon

Food habits are changing and substitutes are emerging, so what’s happening to the industry?


here is no denying it, the amount of animal products being consumed around the world is bad for the environment and the welfare of animals. We cannot eat trillions of eggs without breaking a few. As the planet calls for drastic changes to food production and consumption, there could be a light at the end of the tunnel. Walking outside of the climate change negotiations halls in Katowice, Poland, during COP 24, I was offered a slider from 48

a tray. I gladly accepted it and continued on my path. About fifty metres ahead was a stand that made me question the functionality of my taste buds. The stand had a poster that said that the what-Ithought was a beef slider was not actually a beef slider. It was a plant-based patty slider! The meat substitute industry is growing rapidly. Rising consumer awareness of the detrimental environmental and health effects associated with the consumption

of meat products is leading a shift to veganism. Companies are developing targeted technologies to cultivate innovative products with properties very similar to real meat. The substitutes consist of a combination of pea protein, soy, and wheat that are produced more resource-efficiently than traditional meat. The likes of Bill Gates and Leonardo Di Caprio have invested in companies such as Impossible Meats and Beyond Burgers because of their visionary insights. Meat alternatives do not provide a solution to climate change and saving the environment, but they can certainly help. The production of most notable plantbased meat companies’ famous burgers require almost half the water, land, and fossil fuels than the production of about 100 grams of regular ground meat. Across the board, it is evident that meat alternatives offer a golden opportunity, significantly benefitting the environment. As the global population is expected to rise to 9.7 billion by 2050, meat alternatives could be an effective solution for creating a sustainable food supply. As of yet, alternative meat products are not competitive. They are far more expensive than real meat, but as the law of supply and demand states, increasing demand followed by increasing supply will lead to a point of higher quantity and an equilibrium price. New plant-based and meat-alternative food companies are emerging. This creates market competition that will drive technological innovations, which in turn will result in cost and price reductions. It is possible that we will eventually adopt a more sustainable approach to food consumption, without changing our diets too drastically.

Issue 21 | February 2020


Greenwashing the Future Clean


he CLEAN Future Act, released by the United States House Committee on Energy and Commerce, is the new climate plan with a goal of net zero carbon emissions and a carbon-free power sector by 2050. Although published as an ambitious plan for the US, climate activists have blasted the CLEAN Future Act claiming that it could lead to the greenwashing of dirty energy sources. Critics of the Act are fixating on the timeline of the 100% renewable energy by 2050 goal, and on the phaseout of fossil fuel production in the US. As the renown 2018 report by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (UN IPCC) stipulates, the world requires the halving of global greenhouse gas emissions to avoid some of the worst impacts of climate change. Some opponents are claiming the Act is disingenuous because of the urgent action needed by 2030. If the cuts are not made now, the carbon budget will be surpassed and make the

probability of becoming net-zero by 2050 almost none. The world urgently needs bold legislations and frameworks to address climate change and the CLEAN Future Act lacks just this. The Act’s goals for clean electricity is missing a sufficient timeline and could lead to greenwashing of plenty of dirty energy sources. In fact, even the 100% carbon free by 2050 goal has a caveat, the creation of a carbon market with no mention of the model it will use. The legislation stipulates that energy suppliers must possess a sufficient quantity of clean energy credits per year. Also, the mandate is technologyneutral, so suppliers have flexibility and freedom, which could actually increase fossil fuel energy production. A functioning climate plan must ban fracking and transition to 100% renewable energy, not focus efforts on developing market-based schemes and technologies designed to prolong the life of the fossil fuel industry. As the US House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis will also release its policy framework and recommendations to Congress at the end of March, the final report could potentially entail the policies required to achieve substantial and permanent reductions in pollution in the US. 49

The Sustainabilist | FOOD INDUSTRY


Doing Well by Doing Good Companies for Good CEO, Mark Cirera, discusses how they provide companies with the means to do well by doing good



hat is the concept behind Companies for Good? I have a strong background in business ethics, corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability and I wanted to use my knowledge in these sectors to help companies operate in a more responsible way. Companies for Good is a result of this ideology, because I believe that good business practices help companies to outperform, while benefitting employees, the environment, and society at large. Simply put, Companies for Good (CFG) helps businesses do well by doing good.

Issue 21 | February 2020

We term our service as “good – on demand” because it is very easy for companies to work with us. We aim to provide activities that are not only fun but beneficial to the planet, communities, employees and businesses. Is there interest from businesses in the UAE to engage in CSR and sustainability? Is it a growing trend? Absolutely - the demand for our activities has increased greatly. For example, the amount of activities we ran in October 2019 as compared to October 2018 has doubled. An important thing to consider is that we’re always talking about “businesses’ interest”. A business is simply a legal entity with no interests, whereas the people within a business are the ones who make important decisions. Businesses don’t often have a dedicated CSR team and there is usually no budget for CSR initiatives. However, if employees want to make a positive difference, they find a way to do so. People are generally more educated nowadays, and more aware of global issues, be it climate change, pollution or the waste crisis. This means that people also want to work with companies that have strong values in both the environmental and social spheres. Hence, CSR and sustainability are a growing trend, but there is also no alternative – the consequences of not

The consequences of not operating in a more sustainable way will result in an even more dire situation for all of us.

CFG offers a range of CSR activities to companies in order to help them tackle important environmental and social issues, including beach clean-ups, tree planting, making toys for refugee children and helping young school children develop their entrepreneurial spirit.

operating in a more sustainable way will result in an even more dire situation for all of us.

continue to prioritise growth at all costs as the results will not be favourable for both us and the environment.

Why is value-based competition significantly more important in today’s environment with growing global concerns about the environment? CSR has changed many times since the 80s and was most commonly used by businesses to offset their negative impacts and protect their reputations. However, CSR, responsibility and sustainability are not viable methods to tackle the challenges we are facing. I believe that ‘doing good’ will have a stronger impact, all round.

What are the most effective stakeholder engagement activities you have seen take place almost exclusively in the UAE? Most of CFG’s activities involve stakeholder engagement. We always include a diverse range of stakeholders including employees, charities, community organisations, underprivileged children, people of determination, and more.

It is clear that businesses that add value to society and work hard to keep their employees happy and fulfilled will be more competitive and successful than those who operate in the old-fashioned way. We’re already seeing proof of this - for example, a 2016 study by Cone Communications on Millennial Employee Engagement suggests 76% of millennials want to work for a company that considers its impact on society and 90% of shoppers worldwide are likely to switch to brands that support a good cause, given similar price and quality. Businesses have to change – we can’t

Our activities are fun, collaborative and hands on. We don’t just enable businesses to donate money, we give people the chance to get to know each other and bond at a much stronger level. After all, at the office people have different roles and seniorities, but when you’re planting trees and cleaning up a beach you’re all the same. The feedback we get from our clients reinforces this. From experience, UAE businesses have traditionally been very hierarchical. Taking part in CSR activities is a highly effective way to bring people together, break down communication barriers and, as a result, create a corporate culture based on openness and collaboration. 51

The Sustainabilist | FOOD INDUSTRY


146 km 101 km






26 km 6.9 co2 e

10.9 co2 e

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39.2 co2 e

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The infograph shows the top 10 most unsustainable foods by ranking their greenhouse gas emissions per kilogram. It includes all the emissions along the entire supply chain: from the farm to your home. The car km equivalent shows you how many miles you would need to drive to produce the equivalent carbon footprint. Meat, cheese and eggs have the highest footprints, while vegetables and nuts have much lower ones. Does this mean we should all become vegetarian and reduce our personal footprint? 52

Issue 21 | February 2020


p 10




10 km


2.3 co2 e

11 km

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18 km 4.8 co2 e

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9 km


Write to us at and tell us how you’re reducing you carbon footprint through your eating habits. 53

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Green House Yields Youth Participation With global climate policy shaping the future, youth are taking climate learning into their own hands By Hannah Melville-Rea Former Co-President of Green House


n 2015, the year leading up to the Paris Agreement, there was a heightened interest by people, young and old, to understand the international climate negotiation process. At New York University (NYU) Abu Dhabi, a few students channeled their growing interest to forming the first peer-to-peer learning group centred on climate politics. Green House, a youth think tank, filled the gap for students from all tracks of study to be able to connect and inform themselves on climate change and global policy in an engaging way. By September, when the new academic year started, the group recruited engineering, sociology and arts students alike. Weekly meetings included presentations from peers and activities designed to learn the various nationally determined climate plans proposed by governments.


With support from the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, five Green House students had the chance to attend and track the negotiations at COP21 in Paris in person and bring back their insights to fuel further growth. Four years later, Green House is a fully fledged organisation, with a constantly updated handbook to train student delegates for UN conferences and a calendar of events including a popular climate negotiation game to simulate the UN bargaining process. The most striking result from this student led initiative has been the greater cultural change that it has spurred at NYU Abu Dhabi. TV screens live stream climate negotiations in the cafeteria during the annual UN conferences, over 50 community members participated in Sir David Attenborough’s #TakeYourSeat

campaign for COP24 and the university newspaper has published over 90 environment related student articles. Putting theory into practice, Green House members also assist with an annual “green audit” of the NYU Abu Dhabi campus and produce proposals for Senior Administration to enhance campus operations in accordance with the Paris Agreement. Moving forward, Green House aims to be a capacity building center for young people interested in global climate diplomacy. Shamsa Al Najjar who leads Green House’s external relations explains: “It is our vision and goal to aid students from different walks of life to take the initiative in solving global issues of the present, and more importantly, the future.” Green House is a product of youth taking learning into their own hands on a vital issue, and hopes to be a model and partner for universities across the UAE.

Issue 21 | February 2020


Fairgreen: the School with a Green Mission Fairgreen International School, Dubai’s eco-school


oday’s children will grow up to have the greatest impact on climate change policies, incentives, and initiatives. Their mindsets and passions around sustainability will be the call the world needs when it comes to caring about our Earth. By igniting this passion in early years, young people will grow up with a caring mindset toward the environment that becomes part of their human nature. Taking this even further, there are now schools whose mission statement includes “embracing sustainability in all its forms”. Essentially, the grand mission is to develop the future champions of sustainability who, in turn, become the innovative changemakers whose inventions and life’s work make great impacts on healing our Earth and reversing climate change. Located at The Sustainable City (TSC) Dubai, the world’s first net-zero energy

development, Fairgreen International School is one school on such a mission. An International Baccalaureate (IB) continuum school, Fairgreen weaves sustainability education into its curriculum from early years to high school graduation, with students growing their own food in tower gardens and biodomes, learning about and building solar-powered machines, and participating in servicebased learning opportunities that help forge a passion for green living, green technology and thinking imaginatively about what difference they can make in the environmental challenges we face. Fairgreen was designed by architects with the mission to have “minimal environmental impact.” The purpose-built campus is designed with solar panels on its roof and car park to utilise solar power for all of its energy needs, saving roughly AED 160,000 per month in energy costs. The school was built with the highest

quality insulation, which guarantees a 25% reduction of heat transfer, reducing AC energy consumption and helping keep the building cool in the summer. All windows are double glass coated to reflect UV. Energy consumption at the school is being kept to a minimum via: LED lights, to reduce power consumption to a minimum; and air-conditioning, the newest system with variable refrigerant flow (VRF) to reduce power consumption. The building is equipped with intelligent control systems for public areas. Setting the gold standard for sustainabilityfocussed learning, Fairgreen is leading the pack as more and more schools look to inspire young people toward caring for our Earth. Fairgreen has put forth a model for guiding children to grow up to be adults that are fully conscious and always considerate of the environment in all the choices they will make, big and small.


The Sustainabilist | FOOD INDUSTRY


Say No To Plastic University of Sussex (UK) student invents award-winning plastic alternative made of organic marine waste


he international James Dyson Award winner, 24-yearold Lucy Hughes from the University of Sussex (UK) attempts to solve the problem of both single-use plastics and inefficient waste streams by harnessing fish waste to create a unique plastic alternative, MarinaTex. MarinaTex is a bioplastic made of organic fish waste ordinarily destined for landfill or incineration and locally sourced red algae. It is a translucent and flexible sheet material, making it ideal for applications in single-use packaging. While it may look and feel like plastic, its similarities end there. Using a unique formula of red algae to bind the proteins extracted from fish waste, MarinaTex has strong overlapping bonds giving it strength and flexibility. The material is relatively resource-light, requiring little energy and temperatures under 100 degrees to produce. It biodegrades after four to six weeks, is suitable for home composting and does not leach toxins, removing the need for its own national waste management infrastructure. As MarinaTex uses byproducts from the fishing industry, it helps to close the loop of an existing waste stream for a more circular product lifespan. According to Lucy, one Atlantic cod could generate as much organic waste as is needed for making 1,400 bags of MarinaTex. Sir James Dyson, Founder, said: “Young engineers have the passion, awareness and intelligence to some of the world’s biggest problems. The James Dyson Award received some thought-provoking ideas this year – and more female entrants than ever – making the judging very difficult. Ultimately, we decided to pick the idea the world could least do without. MarinaTex elegantly solves two problems: the ubiquity of single-use plastic and fish


Issue 21 | February 2020

Globally, it is estimated that 40% of plastic produced for packaging is used just once and then discarded.

waste. Further research and development will ensure that MarinaTex evolves further, and I hope it becomes part of a global answer to the abundance of single use plastic waste.” The Invention Unwanted offcuts from the fish processing industry creates a huge waste stream. These offcuts comprise of offal, blood, crustacean and shellfish exoskeletons and fish skins and scales – the bits that end up in landfill rather than on our plates. Through extensive research, Lucy found that fish skins and scales were the most promising materials to form the basis of a bioplastic as they contain strong and flexible protein structures. In order to allow these proteins to attach to one another to create a brand new material, Lucy set about finding an organic binder. Keen to keep the solution local in order to reduce transportation, she looked to the coastline on her doorstep, experimenting with different organic marine binders but finally settling on agar. It took over 100 different experiments to refine the

material and process, most of which she did on the kitchen stove in her student accommodation. She finally created a consistent and plastic-like material that was both biodegradable and translucent, MarinaTex.

In 1950, the world’s population of 2.5 billion produced 1.5 million tonnes of plastic; in 2016, a global population of more than 7 billion people produced over 320 million tons of plastic. That’s equivalent to the weight of more than 800,000 Eiffel Towers. The majority of bio- and compostable plastics are not generally suited to existing waste treatment infrastructures

Lucy says: “Plastic is an amazing material, and as a result, we have become too reliant on it as designers and engineers. It makes no sense to me that we’re using plastic, an incredibly durable material, for products that have a life-cycle of less than a day. For me, MarinaTex represents a commitment to material innovation and selection by incorporating sustainable, local and circular values into design. I’m so delighted that MarinaTex has been recognised by the James Dyson Award. The invention is still in its infancy and I never thought it would make it to this stage, so it’s really encouraging to have the potential of the material acknowledged by such a prestigious award. I’m excited to now have the chance to undertake further research and development to explore all of the possible uses of MarinaTex, taking into account form, function and its footprint.”

As international winner of the James Dyson Award, Lucy will receive £30,000. Lucy aims to commercialise her invention sustainably, using her award money for further research into how MarinaTex can become a global answer to the abundance of plastic waste while still harnessing local solutions. 57

The Sustainabilist | FOOD INDUSTRY

GREEN JOBS Dubai Municipality Food Studies and Planning Specialist (19002333)

Dubai Customs Senior officer -K9 (DOG TRAINER) (18000504)

Supporting and advising all concerned employees in Food control department, regarding food planning and food control systems, in addition to preparing related studies based on the department strategic plans.

Manage and supervise the K9 unit and make use of the K9 unit in a most efficient and effective way to enforce compliance regulation of Inspection process and protect Dubai from potential physical and economical threats.

RTA Investment Strategies & Policies Manager (19002318)

Dubai Customs Project Manager (17002305)

Develop, review, implement, and update Commercial and Investment Strategies, Policies, Procedures and methods concerning Advertising, RealEstate, Outsourcing, and Public Private Partnerships in coordination with the Agencies Commercial & Business Development Sections, amongst other responsibilities. 58

A management leadership role accountable for the successful end-to-end delivery of one or more IT related projects of low to medium complexity.

Smart Dubai HR Specialist (19002024) Conduct daily operations ensuring that work processes are optimally delivered. Provide the management information and insights on all dimensions of work area performance to facilitate discussion and decision making, among other responsibilities.

Department of Finance Chief Social Responsibility Administrative ( 19001762 ) Provide various forms of administrative and logistical support for the organisational unit in coordination with the various relevant bodies and implementing initiatives, activities and events in various societal areas, among other responsibilities.

Issue 21 | February 2020

To apply, please visit:

RTA Assets Strategies & Policies Manager (19000879) Develop and prepare the asset strategy and plans for all RTA corporate assets and properties with the assistance of other Agencies and Departments who perform asset management activities, among other responsibilities.

Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Center Mechanical Design Engineer (18001342)

Dubai Municipality Principal Food Trade Hygiene Officer (19002540)

Work towards developing a mechanical structure for spacecraft to mechanically support payload and all other subsystems in the satellite supporting the organisation realising the desired strategic objectives.

Carrying out periodic inspections and controls on imported and exported food shipments to and from the emirate of Dubai to ensure their suitability for human consumption and their compliance with approved health specifications and conditions.

Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Center Application Software Engineer (18001338)

Dubai Air Navigation Services Air Traffic Controller Tower | ATC | DXB (17002530)

RTA Chief Specialist -Transportation Planning & Modelling (19001694)

Develop SW application based on user interface communication; include any automation or scripting required for the operations of the SW; Improve the user interface with the SW by detailing all the interfaces and process required for all the operations and minimising the error possibilities.

To direct the movement of aircrafts within an assigned air space and on the ground to provide a safe, orderly and expeditious air traffic service.

Participate in conducting studies needed to develop and updating transportation strategic and implementation plans for Dubai based on the global trends and the urban and economic growth of the emirate, among other responsibilities.


The Sustainabilist | FOOD INDUSTRY


Dyson Launches the Airblade 9Kj - The Fastest, Most Energy Efficient Hepa Filtered Hand Dryer


yson has launched the Dyson Airblade 9kJ hand dryer, the fastest, most energy efficient HEPA-filtered hand dryer. With a completely unique design and cutting-edge technology, the Dyson Airblade 9kJ hand dryer enables people to dry their hands quickly and hygienically in just 10 seconds, while using less energy and offering an alternative to single-use paper towels. “At Dyson we believe hand drying should be fast, hygienic and responsible in its energy use. We solved many of these problems when we disrupted the industry with the launch of the first Dyson Airblade™ in 2006,” explains Jake Dyson, Chief Engineer. Thanks to advances in our motor and airflow technology, the new Dyson Airblade 9kJ hand dryer uses up to 80% less energy than the original Dyson Airblade™ hand dryer, while producing up to 85% less carbon dioxide emissions per dry than paper towels. “It is the instinct of engineers to want to improve things, make them more efficient 60

and to use fewer resources in the process. It is wired into our DNA and it is this urge which drives progress and advancement – even in the washroom,” explains James Dyson, Chief engineer and Dyson Founder. “In 1907 paper towels were first introduced, and the electric hand dryer made its first appearance in 1948 – but both have their failings. The journey to find a better way is fascinating. In 2006 the invention of Dyson Airblade™ technology meant that, for the first time, water was scraped off hands using high velocity unheated air, thus reducing the energy consumption,” he adds. To achieve the reduction in noise, Dyson re-designed the airflow paths through the machine, making them more direct and

therefore reducing sound output. The motor housing of the Dyson digital motor V4 regulates airflow paths through the motor, reducing noisy turbulence. The motor is mounted on silicon rubber to further reduce noise, and the specially designed open-cell foam silencers absorb vibrations from air entering and exiting the motor. The Dyson Airblade™ 9kJ hand dryer is designed to suit any commercial or public washroom, from offices, shopping malls and restaurants, to public spaces, amusement parks, schools, hospitals and hotels. Its robust design and stainless steel body is built to last and rigorously tested to withstand real-life washroom conditions.

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