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The Sustainabilist ISSUE 14

Investing with an Impact



Empowering Female Entrepreneurs for Global Opportunities

ISBN 978 - 1978357310

FAB Green Bond Reshapes the Face of Financing



Leveraging E-commerce for the Dawn of a New Digital Era

Looking at the Next Wave of Green Cryptocurrencies WWW.THESUSTAINABILIST.AE WWW.THESUSTAINABILIST.AE

Issue 14 | April 2019

Letter from the Editor in Chief


n January 4th this year, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai revealed to the world his vision and the path for the next 50 years.

Eng Waleed Bin Salman Chairman Dubai Carbon

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The Sustainabilist is published by Dubai Carbon. Articles reprinted in this issue are copyrighted 2018 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 Fifty-Year Charter is a comprehensive document, revealing the principles that have guided the strong leadership of the emirate since the beginning of his HH’s career and which will continue to drive achievements and success. The pledge celebrates the 50th anniversary of HH Sheikh Mohammed starting his first mission in serving his country and its people. The document highlights the vision for the future of the emirate and the sustainable, prosperous and safe life that its people should enjoy. The nine articles which make up the pledge focus on the Dubai Silk Road, developing a geographical and economical map for the emirate, setting up the first virtual commercial city, centralised educational e-files for every citizen, access to quality healthcare for everyone, setting up free economic and creative zones in universities, improving quality of services through cooperative companies in various sectors, expanding philanthropy programs and achieving self-sufficiency in Dubai homes. “We will work to develop an integrated programme in cooperation with our citizens willing to create an integrated

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system to achieve self-sufficiency in water, food and energy in, at least, one tenth of citizens’ homes to change the lifestyle and maintain our environment. We aim to create a new economic sector which supports self-sufficiency in water, food and energy for at least one month or more,” wrote HH Sheikh Mohammed. The words portray a level of cooperation and accountability that is unique to the UAE and to Dubai. As a country and as an emirate, we are guided by the strong vision and implementation efforts the leadership is promoting. Leading by example, constantly focused on innovation and setting ambitious goals, while promoting kindness have been the most important lessons we’ve learned in the past 50 years. At the same, each and every one of us is accountable and responsible for our own decisions and actions. Sustainability happens at its best when people work together. In the current issue, we tried to capture the most important green investment initiatives. It is with great joy that we gathered and selected exciting news about collaborations between local entities – public or private – and, or international organisations, from governments to private companies. The world is transforming, and we are no longer the followers – Dubai is driving the international conversations, setting standards and creating the vision which will make the world a more sustainable place for everyone. 1

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ZOOM EPPCO Oud Metha Rd, E 66, Opp Healthcare City




Near Masdar City, Abu Dhabi

Near Port Saeed

Al Quoz

ZOOM ENOC 11 Marakech St, New RTA Complex


ZOOM ENOC Baghdad St, D 95, After Grand Service Station

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ZOOM ENOC Oud Al Muteena 2 D54 Dubai

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Design District Sustainable City Dubai Media City

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MASDAR Masdar City, Abu Dhabi


Umm Ramool

ZOOM ENOC Oud Metha Rd, E 66, JW Mariott Hotel

Dubai Municipality

ZOOM ENOC Hessa St, D 61, Al Barsha ID Center

Sheikh Rashid Road UBER Dubai Internet City

Suqia Sheikh Rashid Road

ZOOM ENOC Tripoli St, D 83, Ghoroob Community, Mirdiff

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ZOOM ENOC Tripoli St, D 83, Warqa ZOOM ENOC Oud Metha Rd, E 66, Opp Al Wasl Club

Issue 14 | April 2019



The Sustainabilist ISSUE 14

Investing with an Impact


HARNESSING THE POWER OF THE PURSE FAB Green Bond Reshapes the Face of Financing

Empowering Female entrepreneurs for global opportunities



Leveraging e-commerce for the dawn of a new digital era

Looking at the next wave of green cryptocurrencies


Sébastien Arbola CEO Engie Middle East, South & Central Asia and Turkey (MESCAT)





31 20



Editor-in-Chief’s Letter


Woman of the Year Award


Latest news


Dubai Green Fund


Sébastien Arbola


Solar in a Box


World Green Economy Organisation


Leading Green Financing


Belinda Scott


From Lending to Investing


Innovative Financing Solution


Green Technology


Opportunities of Green Bonds & Sukuk


Sustainability Champions


Impactful Returns


Rising Green Interest of China


Adam Burfield Innovation Awards


Digital Transformation Competitiveness


World Future Energy Summit 2019


Disrupting Real Estate


Green Pipeline


Pioneering Green Investments


Douglas Coupland


UAE Legislative Lab


Green Car Loan




The Sustainabilist | GREEN INVESTMENTS


Youth Hub Hosts Roadshow for Corporate Finance Woman of the Year Award

EY and its corresponding Youth Council, developed with the support of the UAE Youth Council, kicked off its second annual Corporate Finance Woman of the Year (CFWY) competition in the United Arab Emirates in December 2018.


he initiative encourages Emirati women to pursue careers in the private sector, particularly within transaction services and corporate finance. The competition is open to university students and offers them the opportunity to consider different ways of thinking while empowering them to achieve success in their professionalrelated endeavors in the future. 4

Female UAE nationals completing their undergraduate degree or a minor in accounting, finance, economics, or political science, or enrolled in a postgraduate program or master’s degree with six months or less of work experience were encouraged to participate. After having had submitted an individual case study and group activity, the group of finalists

competed at the national level in the UAE in January. This year, the CFWY competition was also opened for the first time in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The KSA and the UAE winners competed at the global stage of the competition in London in February against 14 other female students representing countries such as: Australia, Germany, Japan, Norway, Russia, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and the United States. “The EY Corporate Finance Woman of the Year competition is an innovative and unique program for young Emirati females interested in business to explore the field firsthand. As an Emirati woman I encourage my peers to look for opportunities that challenge them to get outside of their comfort zone and to be resilient when faced with opposition. As youth representatives of the UAE, the skills we gain from participating in such activities will only help us better adapt and utilise our strengths across different settings,” Fatma Al Jassim, a 2017 UAE Pioneer Award Winner and Dubai Youth Council member declared on the occasion of the launch of the second edition of CFWY. “The CFWY competition was developed by EY to support the next generation of female Emirati business leaders, especially those interested in pursuing a career in corporate finance. The talent that participated during the competition last year was truly inspiring, and we are excited to provide a new group of young Emiratis with this platform to expand their knowledge, network and opportunities in the workplace,” Rana Sanyoura, Partner, Transaction Advisory Services (TAS), UAE CFWY Sponsor, EY added.

Issue 14 | April 2019

The initiative makes it possible for smart green cities and sustainable infrastructure projects to gain access to grants and investments through the WGEO Trust Fund. Sixty bankable smart green city projects worth a total of US$1.1 billion will be delivered by GGGI to this initiative over the next 3 years.

We are building a community and hope to migrate to 100% digital well before our set target date. After all the Sustainabilist is a vehicle to raise awareness, and encourage dialogue. If you wish to help us, please contribute and comment on

The Sustainabilist ISSUE 04

683 KG

Fuelling Sustainable Energy

Exploring Safaqat

DP World reveals its distributed solar project

ISBN 978 - 1978357310



Shams Dubai

Small investment: Big impact


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Green Finance. Banking on Sustainability

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Interview with Suvo Sarkar

Promoting green investment


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Issue 8





Connect with us



The Sustainabilist ISSUE 02

Climate Change. A Private Sector Affair.



ISBN ISB N 978 978 8 - 1978357310 1978357 1978 357310 310

I terview with His Exc In xcel elle lenc le n y nc Dr. Thani Al Zeyouudi

A Game-Changing Approach to Fighting Climate Change



Duubaai Ai Airp rpor orrt Part artne n rs wit ithh Et Etihad Etih ad Esc scoo

Understanding packaging

Issue 7


ISBN 978 - 1978357310

Issue 3

683 KG



The Sustainabilist ISSUE 01




Towards, during and after 2020


Exclusive interview with the MD and CEO of DEWA

On the water desalination front: sustainable energy as a core business

1,708 KG



Expo 2020 Dubai


THOUGHT LEADER ISBN 978 - 1978357310

Issue 10

ISBN 978 - 1978357310



NASA’s Ecostress

His Excellency Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer


The Sustainabilist ISSUE 09




Emirates Transport’s Innovations

DP World’s Hyperloop


Atlas Copco revolutionises the cement industry

MAP TO MANUFACTURING OECD outlines sustainability action plan

Miraah full scale mega project

Issue 9

EGA discusses its sustainability initiatives


FACE OF THE MONTH His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum

FUEL EFFICIENT FALCONS Nature Leading Engineers

Managing Abu Dhabi Airports


1708 KG


598 KG



The Sustainabilist SPECIAL EDITION

Green is the New Gold

ISBN 978 - 1978357310




For the Love of Water.

The Sustainabilist ISSUE 07

The Future is Smart


INDUSTRY 4.0 Virtual Revolution




Dubai Design District

Emirates NBD


The Sustainabilist ISSUE 06

A Journey Through Sustainable Tourism



Being Carbon Neutral

Al Marmoom Reserve



Dubai Parks and Resorts

Armani Hotel Dubai

632 KG


Sponsored by

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The Sustainabilist

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Issue 5

683 KG


Manufacturing Sustainable Production

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Issue 4

The Sustainabilist

Issue 6

WGEO & GGGI launch joint initiative for the funding of smart green cities

Of course, the most sustainable magazine is one that does not use any paper at all! That is why The Sustainabilist will only be printed till the end of Expo 2020.

Emissions from Issue 1 – 10

Issue 2

The declaration includes a commitment to foster integrating green investments in the wider region and to encourage educational opportunities to enhance environmental protection. In line with the declaration, First Abu Dhabi Bank also agreed to commit US$10 billion for financing green businesses over the next 10 years.

Therefore, we use normal paper, but offset it. Under a circular economy perspective, the latter is more viable from both a resource consumption pattern and the circular life of resources.

We have considered recycled paper, however to do that successfully, we would have to use twice as much recyclable paper, which would actually increase our emissions.

ISBN 978 - 1978357310

Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) has created a Sustainable Finance Declaration aimed at promoting a sustainable finance industry in the emirate, which has been signed by 25 public and private entities at the inaugural Sustainable Finance Forum, part of the World Future Energy Summit 2019.


t Dubai Carbon, we offset our resources used through our UAE-generated credit. A carbon offset is a reduction in emissions of carbon dioxide or greenhouse gases made in order to compensate for or to offset an emission made elsewhere. This approach, despite being more complex, is more beneficial in the long run as it has a 6x multiplier for green economy and green GDP.

ISBN 978 - 1978357310

Abu Dhabi financial centre launches sustainable finance agenda

Achieving Carbon Neutrality

Issue 1



598 KG


854 KG



Date: 19 December 2018 Reference: VC/0801/2018


Presented to: CDM Project 7260: DEWA Chiller Station L

Reason for cancellation: Voluntary cancellation made by Dubai Carbon to offset emissions generated from printing The Sustainabilist from October 2017 to October 2018

Number and type of units cancelled Start serial number: AE-5-621404-2-2-0-7260 End serial number: AE-5-621413-2-2-0-7260

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The certificate is issued in accordance with the procedure for voluntary cancellation in the CDM Registry. The reason for cancellation included in this certificate is provided by the canceller.


The Sustainabilist | GREEN INVESTMENTS


Green Funding for Reshaping the Energy Sector The Dubai Green Fund , with the goal of transforming Dubai with the least carbon footprint, has already raised AED 2.4 billion through an agreement with National Bonds.


n 2015, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, launched Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050, aimed at reshaping the energy


sector in the coming decades, with the goals of achieving 7 per cent of Dubai’s total power output from clean energy by 2020, 25 per cent by 2030 and 75 per cent by 2050. Ultimately, according to HH Sheikh Mohammed, the goal is for

Dubai to “become the city with the least carbon footprint in the world by 2050.” One of the five pillars of the Dubai Clean Strategy is green funding, referring to the financing of projects and investments which provide environmental benefits. The most important initiative under this pillar is the establishment of Dubai Green Fund, worth AED 100 billion (US$ 27.4 billion). The fund was launched by Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) in order to facilitate easy loans for investors in the clean energy sector, in the

Issue 14 | April 2019

In March 2017, during the 44th meeting of the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, chaired by HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, the stakeholders present approved the Dubai Green Fund road map. The key focus areas outlined were projects that would support the Demand Side Management Strategy, including the installation of photovoltaic panels on the roofs of buildings as part of the Shams Dubai initiative. Other priorities for the fund included projects related to retrofitting of buildings, enhancing energy and water efficiency and solar power projects. At the time, HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD and CEO of DEWA, declared: “The Dubai Green Fund was launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to encourage investment in green projects and foster Dubai’s position as a global hub for the green economy. Dubai Green Fund is aligned with the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 for Dubai to have one of the lowest carbon footprints in the world by 2050.” Several months later, during the World Green Economy Summit held in October 2017, an agreement was signed between HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD and CEO of DEWA and HE Mohammed Qasim Al Ali, CEO National Bonds Corporation, in the presence of HH Sheikh Mohammed. The collaboration launched the Green Fund with an initial AED 2.4 billion and set up a dedicated arm for Sharia-compliant investments. “In collaboration with national banks, we are pleased to announce that DEWA

has raised AED 2.4 billion for the Dubai Green Fund. The fund will eventually be worth AED 100 billion. The Dubai Green Fund will attract investments and strengthen private and public partnerships

Dubai “ Green Fund is aligned with the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 for Dubai to have one of the lowest carbon footprints in the world by 2050.

emirate, at reduced interest rates.

(PPP) to support future green projects and solutions,” said Al Tayer at the time . Green capital remained a key point of discussion at the WGES in 2018. “Mobilising sufficient public and private green capital is a key success factor. Accordingly, the Dubai Green Fund was created to crowd–in investors into the

green economy. The Dubai Green Fund (DGF) will not make subsidised financing; ultimately, it needs to attract private sector institutional investors who seek market based returns. Its role is to lead the way into investments that have to date not been taken up by existing lenders and private equity firms. Green finance should be the mainstream, not the alternative,” declared Samy Ben-Jaafar, CEO of Dubai Green Fund, ahead of the event. There are considerable achievements that the Dubai Green Fund has facilitated since its inception in 2017. The Shams Dubai initiative has already been adopted by numerous individuals and institutions: the number of buildings having installed photovoltaic panels grew from 435 buildings in August 2017 to 1,032 in June 2018, reaching a total capacity of 43.77 megawatts (MW). DEWA estimates that all buildings in the Emirate will become part of the program by 2030. Residents interested in understanding the benefits of joining the program can check out the Shams Dubai Calculator, launched on DEWA’s website (https://www.dewa. Dubai Green Fund is an important catalyst in directing investment into green economy projects such as renewable energy, retrofitting of existing fossil fuelbased energy systems, energy efficiency and other initiatives whose benefits support a sustainable environment. As DEWA maintained its first global ranking, for the second consecutive year, in the World Bank’s Doing Business 2019 report, the institution aims to continue to support the vision of the leadership of the Emirates and “anticipate the future and adopt innovation to enhance sustainability of development in all sectors.” 7

Leader in the Energy Transition We’ve been the GCC’s leading energy partner for 30 years, offering expert solutions in the field of low-carbon energy and transformational energy services. With our customers, we forge ahead together in building a sustainable future for the region.

Issue 14 | April 2019


A Wave of Transformations SĂŠbastien Arbola, CEO ENGIE Middle East, South & Central Asia and Turkey (MESCAT), shares with The Sustainabilist his insights on industry changes that ENGIE is experiencing and anticipating.


hat were the strategic areas of focus for ENGIE in 2018?

Firstly, in 2018 we acknowledged a big change: in the past, the power and water industries were grouped together. Recently and due to efficiency reasons, we witnessed a growing trend for decoupling both. In the long term, power will be used irrespective of water, and there will be stand-alone nuclear, gas and water plants which will allow for more flexibility. Given that, we have seen more and more reverse osmosis deals in the market across the region like in Oman, Saudi Arabia (KSA), and of course the UAE. It was one of the key areas of focus for us, to really work hard on reverse osmosis technology, and to continue to improve our experience as operators of such plants. Today, ENGIE contributes to half of the water production in Abu Dhabi. The second trend we witnessed in the region is one of strategic importance to us, and that is the growing shift towards 9

The Sustainabilist | GREEN INVESTMENTS

renewable energy, something that is driven by big players. Large companies are starting to develop their own renewable facilities, and ENGIE is very active in this sector. We are currently exploring a potential collaboration of great significance in KSA. At the same time, ENGIE is active in the US where the demands of clients such as Amazon and Google are very sophisticated. We aim to bring the experience we have in the US and Europe to the region and become even more competitive. The third strategic trend has to do with energy efficiency. We saw that energy efficiency tops the 2030 Vision Agendas of countries in the region, together with a commitment towards renewable energy. Looking at energy efficiency at a deeper level, there is a focus on the efficiency of energy in buildings. ENGIE acquired a significant stake in Smart4Power, a company

that has shown great success having retrofitted 1,700 buildings across the region. Their goal is to reach 10,000 buildings in the next four years. I feel this market has great potential and will attract many players. It’s worth noting that Saudi Arabia has funded a new government entity tasked with managing energy saving projects across public buildings and facilities in the Kingdom. This transformation can be made very fast if regulations are strong and enable active real estate developers to engage commercial and private clients in a bid to be more efficient. Considering that in this region there is a 70% energy loss for cooling due to heat, becoming more energy efficient will be a tremendous change.

part of our business, but I see the B2B and B2G segments developing a stronger presence. We are continuing to pay attention to new trends which I already referenced, such as reverse osmosis and energy efficiency. ENGIE is aiming to continuously improve client solutions for energy efficiency, retrofitting, and AC cooling. For us, having a vision is important. Recently we acquired a controlling stake in Simpa Energy India, the leading rural rooftop solar provider in India, who has already provided access to clean energy to over 250,000 people.

What are the goals for 2019?

Since the start of 2016, ENGIE has sold or closed more than 10 GW out of 16 GW of coal production, brought 6 GW of renewable energy online and secured a further 6 GW. How did the transformation impact your business?

I think power generation in the traditional sense will still be a large

The business of coal has become very expensive. The costs are not driven



Issue 14 | April 2019

Another factor to consider is subsidies. In the near future, I think they will be removed because renewable energy is driving costs and prices down. The maturity of the market will enable more competitiveness.We are evolving from a stable system with energy producers, distributors and transportation. The system is becoming more complex and versatile, and so it’s not stabilised. What is important for us is to see the big trends and to prepare for the future whilst still responding to the concerns of today’s clients. We are onboard with the transition taking place in the region. Before, we were an owner of assets, but now this market transformation requires us to manage clients, systems and technologies, and I believe energy will become a service in the end. With ENGIE, we are in the best position to be a world leader in zero-carbon transition

‘as a service’ due to our unique DNA in complex infrastructure and client solutions. No one else has this! Last year, ENGIE partnered with Alec and invested in the Dubaibased independent energy services company (Esco) Smart4Power. Can you share more insights about why the partnership was established and details about the investment?

We are evolving from a stable system with energy producers, distributors and transportation. The system is becoming more complex and versatile, and so it’s not stabilised. What is important for us is to anticipate the big trends and prepare for the future whilst still responding to the needs of today’s clients. We are onboard with the transition taking place in the region.

necessarily by the resource itself – because it can be very cheap – but by long-term investments that can become unbearable. This direction has been endorsed by our management and our board, and that’s why we are moving away from coal now. I think the transformation has been driven by our shared experience and by the requests from our B2B customers. Gas is being viewed as a balancing fuel, while renewable energy sources are considered part of the transformational equation and technology. Artificial Intelligence, for example, can provide private customers with exact data about their consumption. Regional markets experience the change differently. In the UAE, you have a single tariff as opposed to the US and Europe where there are different tariffs, from different partners. This impacts customers’ understanding of their usage and the variety of solutions proposed for managing energy consumption.

Smart4Power has several licenses across the UAE and Saudi Arabia. The company has done very well as pioneers of the segment. They partnered with Alec, a reputable firm, and they sought another partner to elevate their business to the next level, a partner that is very proficient in all aspects. ENGIE has the skills and the expertise acquired from all over the world. It’s very important to work with people who already had some successes in that field. The partnership was a good fit, and together with Alec and Smart4Power, we aligned our strategies and developed an implementation plan to retrofit 10,000 buildings in the next four years - an ambitious yet achievable target. Which energy sectors have you seen growing and declining in the past year in the UAE/region? Three years ago, the rooftop solar segment was non-existent, but things have changed due to initiatives by institutions in the UAE. There are also good prospects in energy efficiency related to cooling. The penetration rate for highly efficient cooling networks – which are 50% more efficient than traditional cooling solutions – is growing, but it’s still at 10 per cent in Abu Dhabi. Educational exercises driven by authorities are important to convince private owners to make the switch. There is increased attention paid to the conservation of resources – especially water, in the region – and the regulation will have a great impact in preserving the environment. Mobility will also witness a transformation. The businesses that I’ve seen declining are traditional industries, and especially coal. 11

The Sustainabilist | GREEN INVESTMENTS

Which technologies/innovations is ENGIE integrating in their energy projects?

more efficient is an ongoing focus for us and we’d like to bring and export the best ideas from and to the region.

The partnership with Tabreed, established in 2017, was very important to us. We believe it is essential for each partner to bring their expertise to the table in order to make the collaboration more successful. Each time we win or manage a new project, we try to activate state of the art technologies. ENGIE has developed a variety of devices for operators to safely control the efficiency of plants through digital applications, thus avoiding inaccuracies caused by random checks and minimising risks for operators associated with different measurements. ENGIE will continue to focus on R&D more and more, as we evolve our thinking around how we can utilise clean reverse osmosis technology, for example. To be able to be

Comparing UAE to the rest of the world, what do you consider to be initiatives in the energy sector that make it stand out on a global level? The UAE stands out on clear alignment and drive in terms of strategy, execution and governance. The blueprint is very clear on all fronts. We trust the transparent process and the outcome of the process setup in Abu Dhabi. The Emirate is recognising the transformation of the energy sector. Our experience as one of the biggest operators was very good. We invested in Tabreed because we knew the partner, Mubadala, and we trusted the system. The energy sector is transforming and we are embarking on a

ENGIE’s Mirzapur solar plant official inauguration 12

new journey and a new phase. We are confident that we will be able to handle anything that comes our way and bring our share of expertise to achieve new milestones. The UAE, and the GCC, remain a key partner for ENGIE and it is our firm intention to continue to invest in this country and this region. What trends have you noticed in terms of green investments in 2018 in the UAE and what are your projections for 2019? In 2018, I noticed a mindset for investing in bold projects, especially in Dubai. We are also witnessing a more holistic approach. The journey of transitioning is a collective one and, ideally, entrepreneurs who are part of the ecosystem need to be encouraged. Individual customers need the autonomy and the education to make decisions for themselves. Investments are enabling a revolution in mobility. ENGIE is embracing this holistic theme, because we don’t want to think in silos. It’s difficult to produce coal and invest in renewable energy sources at the same time. We also care about our internal environment, we have over 4,000 employees across the region and we are trying to promote a sustainable mindset. Last year, we organised an internal competition to promote innovation. Our team from the Umm Al Nar plant in Abu Dhabi innovated their water potabilisation process, which led to CO2 savings of 2,000 tonnes per year! We must all encourage a mindset of “difference can be made at any level”. The economy itself is more holistic and there are fewer players on the market, which makes it easier to funnel energy and funds towards the same goal.

The Sustainabilist | GREEN INVESTMENTS


Solar Energy in a Box

By Ivano Iannelli CEO, Dubai Carbon

We are on track for truly unlocking the potential of solar energy in the UAE, through solid governmental initiatives and ingenious product ideas that drive results.


n 2017, Dubai Carbon launched the Safaqat programme, the Dubai green deal platform. The first product available under Safaqat is Solar in a Box, a fit for purpose kit specifically designed to match the economic and technical compliance requirements under Shams Dubai. Solar in a Box is a standardised residential solar kit, specifically for the UAE market, made of the highest quality components from across the world (the lifetime of the product spans 25 years). The standardiation brought the price down by half, from a market price of AED 50,000 to AED 25,000 manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP). 14

The kit has been engineered to be one size fits all specifically for the local market. Twelve panels mount on two structures (eaxh 3x2) to provide households with 4.5kW of solar power, perfectly paired to the average villa, base consumption load. The kit allows for flexibility, as it can be easily dismantled and refitted when changing homes or countries, and enables residents to access solar energy, realise savings towards their electricity bills and effectively ‘pay with their savings’ for the kit. Dubai Carbon estimates that around AED 3,500 can be saved annually. Zero per cent financing is available for the kits, through the initiative’s partners. More than 1,000 villas in Hatta were

equipped with solar in the last 12 months. Household and building owners are joining the movement to install solar panels on their rooftops to generate electricity. Shams Dubai, one of the initiatives launched by Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), evolved from 435 buildings in August 2017 to 1032 in June 2018. It has reached about 70 MW. Etihad Esco’s project aims to install solar panels on 5,000 Emirati homes as part of the goals of the eight principles of governance and the 50-Year charter launched by HH Sheikh Mohammed earlier this month will also help achieve the target. The document outlines a vision aimed at improving life in Dubai in 2019, covering sectors such as education, healthcare, philanthropy, self-sufficiency and the economy. Article 7 centers around creating a “comprehensive system” that allows for at least 10 per cent of citizens’ homes to be self-sufficient when it comes to water, food and energy. As stated in the charter, “the achievement of this goal will help change lifestyles and contribute to the preservation of our environment.” Not only will it change our lifestyle, but also our mentality in embracing simple, yet impactful solutions. The potential of solar power is incredible. Imagine the number of homes growing from a couple of thousand at the moment to tens and hundreds of thousands of buildings, when the target of around 10 per cent of the occupied villas in the emirate will be achieved in 2020.

Issue 14 | April 2019


Green Economy - Where Finance, Technology and Social Well-Being Meet The World Green Economy Organisation (WGEO) was created as a result of the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in 2012. The platform was a response to the issues, challenges and opportunities discussed during the conference, with the goal to promote awareness and acceptance of green economy.


s defined by United Nations Economic Programme (UNEP), green economy is one that results in improved human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities. On an operational level, a green economy is one whose growth of income and jobs is driven by investments that reduce carbon

emissions and pollution, increase energy and materials efficiency, and enhance natural capital. Green economy is the meeting point of financing, technology, capacity-building and other elements. Green economy is seen as a solution that can tackle current issues, while preparing for the future. There is consistent agreement that a deteriorating climate

threatens prosperity and security. In the Global Risks Report, extreme weather events, natural disasters, failure of climate change mitigation and adaptation, water crises are among the top 5 risks that will have the biggest impact in the next 10 years. The transformations needed to achieve the objectives of the Paris Climate Agreement and the UN Sustainable Goals demand seismic shifts in production, 15

The Sustainabilist | GREEN INVESTMENTS

WGEO was officially launched in 2016 in Dubai with the support of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) government represented by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme. WGEO is aiming to facilitate public and private private sectors partnerships, promote international cooperation and knowledge-sharing towards increased adoption of green economy. In 2018, WGEO published its first World Green Economy Report 2018, a useful overview for businesses, finance and policy-makers, with the purpose of understanding current innovative initiatives and opportunities and priorities to take action in the near future. Technology plays an important role in facilitating innovations that are relevant for a green economy: servitisation – using products as and when needed for the service they provide rather owning them outright (car leasing, tool hire, sharing platforms); circular economy and changing the way in which products are manufactured (using 3D printing), re-used, recycled and remanufactured; nano- and/or bio-technology deployed in developing more durable industrial products, reducing waste and improving sustainability and productivity. In finance, green bonds are becoming more attractive. The size of the green bond market has increased in recent years: issuance nearly doubled in 2016 16

from 2015 levels, from US$41 billion to US$82 billion. Projections for 2017 issuance levels estimate a total of approximately US$150. An important contributing factor to the growth in Green Bonds was the Green Bond Principles. These voluntary guidelines clarify the approach for issuance of a Green Bond. They help issuers be credible, ensure investors have the information necessary to evaluate the environmental impact of

Issuance nearly doubled in 2016 from 2015 levels, from US$41 billion to US$82 billion.

distribution and consumption. The changes will most likely create winners, but also losers, whose well-being needs to be prioritised during the transition.

their Green Bond investments; and they assist underwriters by moving the market towards standard disclosures which will facilitate transactions. In policy, initiatives from Australia, China, Canada, Chile and the USA are highlighted as best practice, including: carbon taxes, pilot Emission Trading Schemes, Clean Air Rules and baselineand-credit systems. The conclusion of the report highlights the actions that need to be taken by leaders in each sector. Businesses need to align organisational purpose, strategy and business models, set evidence-based targets, measure and be transparent, embed in operational practices and decisions, engage, collaborate and advocate change. Ensuring capital acts for the long term, pricing capital according to the true costs of business activities,

innovating financial structures to better serve sustainable businesses are the main next steps for the finance sectors. Governments should measure the right things and set the right targets, use fiscal policy to correct externalities and drive socially-useful innovation. The UAE government has a comprehensive agenda for establishing and nurturing a green economy which includes: achieving zero flaring of oil and gas, developing win-win technologies, increasing efficiency standards, sustainability in daily life, efficient factories, cleaner fuels, smart energy management, wiser consumption, cooling systems, green building codes. One of the biggest attention-grabbing green economy projects in the UAE is the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in Dubai. In December 2018, the construction for the fourth phase was started, with the completion of the first 128 pillars of the scheme’s main tower. The AED 50 billion energy scheme is projected to reach a total capacity of 5,000 megawatts (MW) by 2030 and it puts Dubai on track to achieve its goal of generating 7% of its power needs from solar, clean energy. The scheme also achieved the lowest electricity generation cost in the world, of 2.4 US cents per kilowatt hour for the 250MW panels and 7.3 cents per kW/h for the 700MW CSP technology. Green economy, as American author Van Jones describes it, is “replacing the clunking and chugging of ugly machines with the wise effort of beautiful, skilled people”. With combined efforts and smart decisions, green economy can solve the issues of today with positive impact for tomorrow.

The Sustainabilist | GREEN INVESTMENTS


ACWA Power - Leading Green Financing Mindset

ACWA Power combines securing smart green investment with projects which deliver effective sources of renewable energy.


CWA Power, a leading developer, investor, co-owner and operator of power and desalinated water production plants, was recognised, for the second year in a row, as the Renewables Company of the Year, at the MEED Awards 2018, due to its “breathtaking commitment to excellence in the development of renewable energy in the region, showing that utilities-scale renewable energy can be an effective source of energy as well as a viable commercial investment,” according to the jury. “Winning the MEED Renewables Company of the Year award for the second year in a row is a testimony of recognition of ACWA Power’s remarkable performance across the 18

region. In the past couple of years, we have shown enormous progress and demonstrated reliable and responsible development and operation of renewable energy projects that played a key factor in facilitating the energy transition in the UAE, KSA, Morocco, and various other countries in the MENA region. We’re extremely proud to have secured this title as it is definitely an incentive to further expand our sustainable projects portfolio,” said Rajit Nanda, Chief Investment Officer of ACWA Power. In 2018, ACWA Power balanced the commitment for renewable energy projects with innovative green investment strategies. The year began with the decision to adopt SolarCoin, a blockchain-based digital

currency that is designed to motivate the production of clean technology, with one coin distributed to any entity verifiably producing 1 MWh of solar energy. This marked the first time a utility-scale company adopted the global reward programme for solar electricity generation. In June 2018, ACWA Power announced the signing of an agreement with stateowned Energy China to explore for joint investment opportunities in power and water desalination across the Middle East and Asia, as regional renewables activity is expected to expand. The collaboration is part of a broader strategy to engage Chinese companies across the energy value chain in the Middle East. China and the Middle

Issue 14 | April 2019


Solar PV Project manager ACWA Power is looking for a Project Manager in Solar PV to support the growth of their Renewable Energy Portfolio. The PM will lead the coordination of the design review process through the Owner’s Engineers and AP Technology Team, and the EPC/ PPA/O&M contractual management with support of Legal Team. The ideal candidate should have at least eight years of working experience, ideally in renewable energy and/or HV electrical infrastructure projects and specific experience in PV industry during development engineering and/ or project execution stage working for EPC or IPP company and strong project management and organisational skills.

If interested, please send your CV to :

East’s goals are aligned in trying to achieve a higher percentage of energy produced from renewable sources. The country is planning to invest up to USD 360 billion in renewable energy by 2020. In November 2018, ACWA Power announced it had successfully closed financing for the first utility-scale solar project in Saudi Arabia, worth US$ 319.85 billion. The company was chosen for the 300MW Sakaka project, which spans 6km in Al Jouf, in February with a record bid of 2.3417 US cents per kilowatt-hour. The project is part of Saudi Arabia’s goals which aim to generate 9.5GW of solar power annually by 2023. “We are excited to commence construction of this first utility scale PV plant in the Kingdom project which will allow us to utilise the considerable expertise and relationships with technology providers and the supply chain we have acquired through the development of

3,000MW of renewable energy projects in five other countries,” said ACWA president and CEO Paddy Padmanathan . During the same month, ACWA Power signed an amendment to the Power Purchase Agreement for the fourth phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in Dubai. The amendment included the addition of 250 MW of Photovoltaic solar panels as an extension to Noor Energy 1 at the world’s lowest cost. Following the amendment, the total investment for the ambitious project reached AED 16 billion. The project, initially expected to deliver 700 MW of energy, will use a state-ofthe-art combination of the world’s tallest 260-meter-high solar tower that will generate 100 MW, three stations of parabolic trough concentrated solar power (CSP) each producing 200MW, and 250MW generated from photovoltaic panels to yield a total capacity output of 950 MW. While ACWA

Power is the lead developer, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited (ICBC) has the role as an international lender for Noor Energy. Other partners include: Shanghai Electric Group Co., Ltd (SEGC), and Spanish company Abengoa. The Memorandum of Understanding was signed by Paddy Padmanathan, President & Chief Executive Officer of ACWA Power; Mr. Yi Huiman, Chairman of ICBC; Mr. Huang Ou, CEO of SEGC; and Mr. Gonzalo URQUIJO, Executive Chairman of Abengoa in The Official Residence of the President of Government of Spain and in the presence of Chinese President Xi Jinping, during his official visit to Spain, and the Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez. ACWA Power will continue to push the boundaries of innovative renewable energy projects, while securing green investments, in order to reinforce its position as an influential sustainability enabler in the region. 19

The Sustainabilist | GREEN INVESTMENTS


FAB Green Bond Creating International and LongLasting Impact The Green Bond operating under the FAB Green Bond Framework has been specifically designed to be used for climate and environmental projects.


green bond – or climate bond is a bond specifically designed to be used for climate and environmental projects. According to First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB), at the end of 2017, Green Bond issuances had reached US$ 160.8 billion from 239 issuers, growing by 84 per cent compared to 2016. The United States, China and France accounted for 56 per cent of total issuance in 2017. The UAE was amongst the 10 new entrants to the market in 2017. Green Bond transactions accounted for approximately 2.7 per cent of global bond market transactions. The size of the Green Bond market is expected to continue to grow rapidly, with the Climate Bonds Initiative’s Green Bond 20

forecast for 2018 estimated to be US$ 250-300 billion . Issued in March 2017 by the National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD), prior to the merger between NBAD and First Gulf Bank (FGB), the FAB Green Bond is designed to operate under the FAB Green Bond Framework, based on the International Capital Market Association (ICMA) Green Bond Principles. At the moment of its launch, Andy Cairns, NBAD’s Global Head of Debt Origination & Distribution, commented “We are honoured to be Joint Green Structuring Advisor and Joint Bookrunner on this the first ever Green Bond from the Middle East. It illustrates that socially responsible

investors are an increasingly relevant liquidity source and I am optimistic that this transaction will establish a blueprint for other Middle Eastern issuers to follow suit and issue Green Bonds and Green Sukuk.” The FAB Green Bond Framework includes setting additional criteria for selecting, monitoring and managing FAB’s Green Bond, while enriching the mix of projects allocated to the bond. The five pillars of the framework include: governance, use of proceeds for eligible project categories (renewable energy, energy efficiency, pollution prevention and control, sustainable management of living natural resources, terrestrial

Issue 14 | April 2019

and aquatic biodiversity conservation, clean transportation, sustainable water management, climate change adaptation, eco-efficient products), process for project evaluation and selection, management of proceeds and reporting. Originally established at US$ 587 million, the FAB Green Bond supports UAE’s commitment to sustainability objectives, including initiatives such as UAE Vision 2021, UAE Green Agenda 2015-2030, Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030, UN Sustainable Development Goals 2030. The green bond contributes to the financing or re-financing of projects and initiatives that contribute to UAE becoming a leader in renewable energy. FAB developed an extensive green finance portfolio, and the pool of eligible projects increased as a result of the banks’ merger. Five new UAE-based projects were selected to be allocated to the bond. These include a wastewater and recycling plant (in the sustainable water management category) - 7 per cent of

use of proceeds, and two district cooling projects (in the energy efficiency category) – 14 per cent of use of proceeds, a new green building project (in the energy efficiency category) – 65 per cent of use of proceeds, and a newly financed solar photovoltaic project (in the renewable energy category) – 14 per cent. Overall, the projects allocated to the FAB Green Bond fall under three eligible categories: renewable energy, energy efficiency and sustainable water management. The estimated impact of the projects, as of May 2018, is considerable. The solar plants will generate 1,277MW in total (7,175,000 tonnes of CO2 avoided), the green buildings and the district cooling projects will use up to 50 per cent less energy, and the waste water and recycling plant will treat 430,000 m3/day of wastewater and will provide access to sewage treatment and re-usable water for a population equivalent of over 2,150,000 individuals.

Comparing the use of proceeds in 2018 Distribution of Green Bond proceeds

versus 2017, there was an increase in use of proceeds in green building of 12 per cent (from 53 per cent to 65 per cent), and in solar plant, of 4 per cent (from 10 per cent to 14 per cent). District cooling and waste water treatment and recycling plant replaced rail as use of proceeds. In terms of category, energy efficiency remained the area with the highest use of proceeds, renewable energy witnessed an increase of 4 per cent from one year to another, and sustainable water management became the third category to receive use of proceeds instead of clean transportation. In 2018, the majority of use of proceeds was allocated to the UAE (40 per cent, 6 projects) followed by USA (39 per cent, 1 project) and France (22 per cent, 1 project). FAB’s long-term objective is to grow in strength through its sustainability journey, positioning itself as a highly visible and15 successful regional leader and a partner of choice in sustainability best practice, with a focus on generating long-term stakeholder and shareholder value.

The change in projects within the FAB Green Bond resulted in the following shifts in the use of proceeds.

Eligible categories financed in 2018 Use of proceeds by eligible categories 2018

Use of proceeds by project description 2018

Eligible categories financed in 2017 Use of proceeds by eligible categories 2017

Use of proceeds by project description 2017

Green Building

Energy Efficiency

Green Building

Renewable Energy

District Cooling

Clean Transportation


Sustainable Water Management

Solar Plant

Renewable Energy

Solar Plant

Energy Efficiency

Waste Water Treatment and Recycling Plant


The Sustainabilist | GREEN INVESTMENTS


In the UAE, there is a proactive approach by the government to create a sustainable and prosperous future, which is typical of the forward thinking that is embraced here.



Issue 14 | April 2019


Belinda Scott

VP and Head of Corporate Sustainability at First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB)


y parents fully embraced the ‘life of convenience’ that began to emerge in the 1960s and 70s, with prepackaged food and meals and synthetic clothing and furniture all features of my childhood - and pretty much everyone else’s from that era in the UK. I suppose you could say we lived a more disposable way of life than our grandparents who, having been born in the early 1900s and surviving the war, were used to being thrifty and taking a ‘make do and mend’ approach. Just about everything in their lives during and after the war was rationed, from food to clothing to petrol. So they grew their own fruit and vegetables, cooked their meals from scratch, and passed on items they no longer needed, meaning very little went to waste. My grandmother also knew how to knit and my grandfather could repair pretty much anything, so I was fascinated by them both growing up and felt a real affinity to their way of life. The importance of using resources efficiently and equitably has stayed with me throughout my life. It was around 1983 that I first became aware of CSR, and it immediately echoed with the values of my grandparents’ generation. Back then, it was still early days for the concept, so as part of my career development, and to become the first sustainability officer in the organisation in which I worked, I was

encouraged to go and learn as much as I could and come back and teach others with the knowledge I gained. It was a hugely empowering and exciting time, which led me to undertake a Post-Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Business at the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership in the UK to further my understanding. Alongside my studies, I was also fortunate to meet with the people leading sustainability and community investment at the City of London, helping me to understand how sustainability principles could be applied to the business world. Sustainability is both my passion and my life’s work. I think part of the reason sustainability resonates with me – and with so many others – is because it makes absolute sense. Reducing single-use plastic usage, for instance, is something that has really caught the public’s attention because the benefits are so tangible and visible. I enjoy using social media to find and share ways we can all reduce plastic in our lives and live a less environmentally-damaging lifestyle. Just like my grandparents used to do, I am constantly trying to reduce the amount I throw away, and I try to find homes for anything that can be re-purposed or used by someone else. It has been particularly encouraging in recent years to see how the perception of sustainability has changed for many

companies, going from a ‘nice to do’ to an essential, integral part of doing business. In the UAE, there is a proactive approach by the government to create a sustainable and prosperous future, which is typical of the forward thinking that is embraced here. The Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030, for example, identifies environmental sustainability as a priority area alongside economic development, recognising the importance of achieving a balance between the two. It is also encouraging to see that the private sector is taking a more strategic approach to sustainability. I am proud to say that FAB has been at the forefront, for instance by being the first UAE bank to sign up to the United Nations Global Compact, which encourages businesses across the world to adopt sustainable, socially responsible practices. The organisation was also the UAE’s first bank to adopt the Equator Principles covering environmental best practice, and also launched the region’s first green bond. I look at life positively, and I do not think there is one company, one country, or one person who will develop a single, all-encompassing solution – it will be a combination of businesses, governments and the extraordinary creative and innovative genius of people coming together to overcome the sustainability challenges of the future. 23

The Sustainabilist | GREEN INVESTMENTS


DP World and Standard Chartered Partner for First Green Loan in the Middle East Taking a look at the first green loan in the Middle East region with an Islamic format that links pricing to environmental performance.


he first green loan in the Middle East region with an Islamic format that links pricing to environmental performance was established in October 2018. Led by Standard Chartered, the green loan consists of DP World Limited’s repricing and extension of its US$2 billion Conventional and Murabaha revolving credit facilities by 2 years to July 2023. According to the Loan Market Association, green loans are any type of loan instrument made available exclusively to finance or re-finance, in whole or in part, new and/or existing eligible Green Projects. Green loans must align with the four core components of the GLP: use of proceeds, process for project evaluation and selection, management of proceeds and reporting. Sustainable lending or green loans consists in flexible solutions to borrowers who wish to incorporate environmental, social or governance (ESG) targets into


their funding. Drivers such as reputation, regulatory changes have increased the interest for green loans. While compared with the green bond market – which has seen a doubling in size in 2016 compared to 2015 -, the green lending market is relatively new. However, experts foresee a considerable growth for the green lending market, as they are accessible to a wider range of borrowers and can carry clear financial incentives. For example, ESG (environmental, social and corporate governance) linked loans have interest rates which are linked to the company’s sustainability performance and rating, providing an incentive for companies to take out green loans over normal ones. In 2018, green lending reached the Middle East. The first ever of its kind green loan in the Middle East was supported by a total of 19 banks, with Standard Chartered being the Green Coordinator. The margin of the facility is linked to DP World’s carbon emission intensity. The transition incentivises the

company to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. “We are delighted to be the first company in the Middle East region to link environmental performance to pricing in this way. This shows DP World’s pioneering efforts in the region’s capital markets as well as sustainability and innovation,” said Yuvraj Narayan, Group CFO, DP World. “As a global trade enabler, our ambition is to lead the industry for all our stakeholders, and we continue to integrate sustainable best practice into every aspect of our business, which includes finance. By linking our core banking facility to our environmental performance, we will continue to improve our efficiency on greenhouse emissions and show our commitment to sustainability and the environment,” he added. The partnership aligns both with DP World’s other green initiatives, and

Issue 14 | April 2019


Project Manager The ideal candidate should be great with numbers, and be able to establish project budgets and schedules accurately. Must have five or more years of experience in project management. A Bachelor’s degree in engineering or relevant discipline– a Master’s is preferable. Bonus points if you have Shams Dubai experience and speak Arabic. This is a full time position. If interested, please send your CV to :

also with the banks sustainable leading principles. DP World vision is to be a world leader in sustainability and practice proactivity in tackling climate change. One of their innovative projects is DP Solar Power Programme, which aims to be the largest distributed solar rooftop project in the Middle East. The 157,000 solar panels installed will produce 35 megawatt (MW) peak per hour, the equivalent of taking 9,000 cars off the road each year. The project overall will have the same environmental effect as the carbon removed by 1 million trees over 10 years. The company estimates that the solar rooftop is already powering 100 per cent of one of their buildings. To support the Solar Power Programme, the company launched the UAE’s first green storage and warehouse facilities. In May 2018, one of the shipyards owned in majority by DP World, Drydocks World, and one of the largest in the Middle East, signed a memorandum of understanding

(MoU) with Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), to share its expertise in solar power. As for Standard Chartered, the bank renewed their Sustainability Philosophy in May 2018, including principles on how the financial organisation integrates sustainability in decision-making and works with clients, suppliers, NGOs and governments in its market, with the goal of maintaining a focus between supporting business and economic growth, and protecting the environment. The bank also assembled a new Sustainable Finance Team, operational from January 1st, 2019, with the goal of increasing its presence on sustainable finance markets, especially in the world’s most dynamic regions: Asia, Africa and Middle East. “Standard Chartered Bank has been operating in the UAE for the past six decades and our heritage in the UAE is testament to our commitment towards the country and its importance for us as a group,” declared Mohamed Salama, Head

of Global Banking, Standard Chartered, UAE, during the announcement of the partnership with DP World for the Middle East’s first green loan. “DP World operates in more than 40 countries across six continents, enabling trade through its marine and inland terminals. As a trade-focused bank that is active in many of the same markets, and with similar views on ensuring that we have a positive impact on economies and communities, Standard Chartered is proud to partner with DP World in a transaction that promotes sustainability,” he added. Later in 2018, Standard Chartered established a new first, in partnership with the World Bank, has launched the world’s first sovereign blue bond, by the Republic of Seychelles. The bond raised US$15 million from international investors, which will help expand and protect marine areas, improve governance of priority fisheries and develop the Seychelles’ blue economy. 25

The Sustainabilist | GREEN INVESTMENTS


Award-winning Financing Solution for First Waste-to-Energy Facility The collaboration between Bee’ah, pioneering waste management company, and Masdar, the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company, to establish the first waste-toenergy facility in the Middle East is groundbreaking, not only from the projected waste reduction, but also through the innovative financing solution secured.


he First of its Kind Waste-to-energy is a form of energy recovery, a process of generating energy in the form of electricity and/or heat from the primary treatment of waste. Bee’ah partnered with Masdar to create Emirates Waste to Energy Company, a joint venture, to develop a new waste-to-energy facility. The plant will be based within Bee’ah’s Waste Management Center in Sharjah and will incinerate up to 37.5 tonnes of solid waste, per hour . The plant will have the capacity to process around 160,000 tonnes of non-recyclable waste annually, generating a gross output of 35 MW of energy, which can be used to power around 50,000 homes. Heat from the processing of waste will be used to power 26

an electricity turbine connected to the grid. Flue gases will be treated before being released into the atmosphere. The power produced by the facility will be added to that produced by Bee’ah’s gasification plant, to supply a total of 90 MW of green energy, to the Sharjah electricity grid. The waste-to-energy plant will displace an estimated 450,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions and save 45 million cubic metres of natural gas per year. The facility will address the commitment to reduce the waste produced by UAE, which currently has the highest per capita waste generation rates in the world, of 2.7 kg of waste per day. Bee’ah collected

Issue 14 | April 2019

Khaled Al Huraimel, Chief Executive of environmental management company Bee’ah, said the site would be a significant contribution to reaching the UAE’s target of diverting 75 per cent of its solid waste from landfills by 2021, and Sharjah’s goal of sending no waste to landfill. “This project is a testament to the growth of innovation and creativity in the c­ ommercialisation of the energy market in the UAE.” Premiere Loan The financing required for making the facility a reality was US$220 million and it was completed in October 2018. In the statement making the financing public, Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, CEO of Masdar, declared: “Achieving financial close on the region’s first commercial waste-to-energy project, and one of the largest of its type, not only illustrates the bankability of advanced renewable energy technology and the renewables sector’s growing appeal to both the local and international investment community, it is also a testament to the attractiveness of Sharjah as an investment destination.” The lenders to the project are Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Siemens Financial Services, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, and Standard Chartered Bank. Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) approved a AED121m ($33m) concessionary loan to develop a wasteto-energy plant in Sharjah. “We are proud to support one of the first wasteto-energy project in the UAE alongside our strategic partners – Masdar and

Bee’ah. This project is an important step in translating the UAE’s objectives in sustainability into reality,” said ADFD Director General Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi.

From the point of view of the capital markets, the loan structure is easy to understand and replicate, a key factor in winning the award and one which will attract more clean-tech investment into the UAE and wider region in the future.

1.7 million tonnes of waste in Sharjah alone in 2017, and around three million tonnes of waste across UAE yearly.

Recognition In November 2018, just one month after making the closing of the loan public,

Bee’ah and Masdar were recognised as the winners of the Structured Loan Deal of the Year Award at the Bonds, Loans & Sukuk Middle East Awards. Leaders of both companies expressed gratitude for the project and the financing solution being acknowledged as innovative. HE Khaled Al Huraimel, Group CEO of Bee’ah, said: “We are proud to receive this award which recognizes the cumulative efforts of several entities towards establishing one of the region’s most iconic projects. As the first zerowaste solution in the Middle East, the Sharjah Waste to Energy Facility is an innovative project; which required even greater innovation in addressing its financing. This award recognizes the hard work and capabilities of all the exceptional individuals who came together to develop a well-structured and viable solution to achieve financial closure of this project.” Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar, said: “Receiving the prestigious Structured Loan Deal of the Year Award further illustrates the strength of the financial community’s confidence in the commercial viability of sustainable waste management solutions and the international appeal of Sharjah as an investment destination. The award is richly deserved recognition of the professionalism and teamwork of all the partners involved in a truly groundbreaking project. From the point of view of the capital markets, the loan structure is easy to understand and replicate, a key factor in winning the award and one which will attract more clean-tech investment into the UAE and wider region in the future.” 27

The Sustainabilist | GREEN INVESTMENTS


Green Technology - A Strategic Focus Dubai FDI is investing in future transformations with a focus on the development of public-private partnerships, innovation and industry.


nvestment Week Highlights During its first-ever investment week, Investing in Future Transformations, Dubai FDI, the Dubai Investment Development Agency in the Department of Economic Development (DED) – Government of Dubai, took the opportunity to celebrate the record inflows, of USD 4.84 billion received in the first half of 2018, up 26 per cent year on year . While global FDI flows experienced a downturn in 2017, the total FDI capital flows into Dubai increased by more than 7% compared to the previous year, with a total of AED 27.3 billion


of FDI capital flows tracked by Dubai FDI Monitor. In terms of number of FDI projects, Dubai attracted a total of 367 projects, an increase of almost 50% compared to 2016. Dubai ranked 4th globally and is considered especially attractive in terms of Reinvestments. Between January 2015 and March of 2018, $21.6 billion worth of FDI were secured in high-end technology transfers, the European Union and the U.S. being the biggest investors with $5.7 billion and $3.9 billion, respectively. The investments support Dubai’s government’s plan - estimated to be worth between USD 7-8 billion - to turn the emirate into a “smart city” by 2021

through the implementation of data-driven solutions and digitization for improved government services, transportation, and environmental sustainability. Investing in Future Transformations was focused on the development of public-private partnerships, innovation and industry 4.0, current trends of data exchange and automation in manufacturing. During the event, Fawaz Al Gergawi, CEO of Dubai FDI, declared in an interview for CNBC: “We have the smart city moving very quickly, we’re having a policy that is set for blockchain in Dubai to start from 2020, also the 3D printing, green economy, all these things

Issue 14 | April 2019

The spotlight session dedicated to Energy & Clean Technology and Trade & Logistics reinforced the message that clean technology is reshaping the global energy landscape, including the Middle East. “Know that governments will support projects in this sector. There is a clear business case here,” said Taher Diab of Dubai Supreme Council of Energy during the session. He was supported by Ian McRae, Senior Advisor, Energy & Utilities, Litmus Group, who praised Dubai’s track record in delivering major energy projects as a source of comfort for investors, together with the region’s rising demand for electricity. “[Dubai] provides a level of certainty and reduced market risk that is probably unique of anywhere in the world.” Green Technology – Strategic Sector and Success Stories Green economy is one of the strategic sectors Dubai FDI is focusing on, together with manufacturing, information technology, logistics, medical tourism, education, living in Dubai etc. According to Dubai FDI, green economy transformation will permeate acrossa wide range of industries, from energy and real estate to agriculture and transport. UAE has a unique vision, established under the initiative ‘A Green Economy for Sustainable Development’, launched by Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai in January 2012. Neutral Group is one of the success stories featured in Dubai FDI’s portfolio. The company provides a portfolio of managed

Dubai’s world-class infrastructure, businessfriendly policies and proximity to the fastgrowing markets worldwide make it a preferred investment destination and regional hub.

really help companies take a bold decision when they see the government pushing into this.”

services that significantly reduce energy spend and carbon emissions in large organizations’ vehicle fleets and building portfolios. In 2011, Dubai FDI brought together Dubai-based newly established Neutral Fuels LLC (joint venture between the Neutral Group and an Emirati member of Dubai SME) and McDonald’s UAE in a first-of-its-kind partnership to produce environmentally friendly 100% biodiesel from used vegetable oil . “Dubai’s world-class infrastructure, business-friendly policies and proximity to the fast-growing markets worldwide make it a preferred investment destination and regional hub. In recent years Dubai has also pioneered a sustainability movement with strong support from the government. At Dubai FDI we support businesses to leverage these unique strengths throughout their entire life cycle upholding respect to the environment and the local community.” Fawaz Al Gergawi, CEO of Dubai FDI declared during a statement announcing the partnership.

Current and Future Breakthroughs According to the OECD, investment required for the water, agriculture, telecoms, power, transport, buildings, industrial and forestry sectors under current growth projections is approximately US$ 5 trillion per year until 2020. However, unless the investments achieve environmental and sustainability goals, they will not lead to a sustainable future. There are additional investment needs of at least US$ 0.7 trillion per year to meet the climate challenge. This is needed for clean-energy infrastructure, sustainable and low-carbon transport, energy efficiency in buildings and industry, and for forestry, to limit the global average temperature increase to 2°C above pre-industrial levels . Dubai FDI is continuously considering new ways to attract investors and support their green initiatives in the emirate, considering the global trends and the local vision. In the second half of 2018, Dubai FDI signed an agreement with the city of Los Angeles and embarked on a second investment promotion mission to the US to drive foreign direct investment, and enabled Dubai to become the world’s first city to enable investors to start businesses from remote locations by establishing a partnership with the US-based Alliance Business Centres Network (ABCN) . His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and the Chairman of The Executive Council summarised the factors of success in a statement celebrating the record FDI inflows in 2018: “The rise in FDI capital and projects reinforces Dubai’s leading position as the preferred global location for global businesses and startups pursuing growth and expansion and clearly reflects investor confidence in Dubai’s economy.” 29

Carbon neutral currency Collaboratively working towards the new standard in global carbon transaction Watch this space for more & share your thoughts at

Issue 14 | April 2019


Sustainability is the New Cryptocurrency The Bitcoin technology has disrupted our view on money, but can it also truly change our approach to being sustainable?


he “Rebound Effect” is a term used for explaining challenges in determining energy savings from efficiency. The effect has two components. The “direct rebound” is the percentage of energy savings from efficiency that are offset by increased use. Efficiency makes an energy-consuming technology less expensive to use, so people use it more often. These savings are not lost, but redirected to other uses. The issue is the “indirect rebound” which refers to the way saved money is being spent. A user saves money from energy spending, but redirects the funds to purchasing other items, which involve labor, materials and capital costs . Therefore, the shift towards a more sustainable lifestyle and approach is only superficial. How can the “rebound effect” be avoided? Green cryptocurrencies seem to be the solution. For example, GENERcoin is a cryptocoin which can be redeemed for a specific solid biofuel, or traded like bitcoins. GENERcoin is backed by the energy outputs purchased from renewable energy generating facilities, such as Arterran Renewables, that are then sold to wholesale distributors, and end users. Arterran uses cellulose, an abundant organic polymer, in the form of manure, municipal solid waste, or wood waste, and their proprietary technology, to create a truly renewable solid biofuel that is a direct replacement for nonrenewable fossil fuels . By being attached to a renewable type of fuel, GENERcoin cancels the “indirect rebound effect”. SolarCoin is a popular green cryptocurrency, aimed at customers who are already adopters of solar powered energy generators. Its creators describe it as being “like air-miles for Solar 31

The Sustainabilist | GREEN INVESTMENTS

The future of cryptocurrencies looks green, as sustainability is being considered and integrated from an early stage into the process.

electricity generation.” The total reserves of SolarCoin represent 97,500 Terawatt hours of solar-energy. Even if they tackle our approach to conscious spending, cryptcurrencies – and especially Bitcoin – might be associated with another sustainability issue. According to the World Economic Forum, the electricity used in a single Bitcoin transaction, for instance, could power a house for a month . In 2020 Bitcoin will consume more power than the world does today. The issue lies in the process of mining. Proof of work (PoW) – which existed before bitcoin - is a requirement to define an expensive computer calculation, also called mining, that needs to be performed in order to create a new group of trustless transactions (called block) on a distributed ledger (called blockchain). Bitcoin mining consumes the same amount of electricity every year as Denmark - 33TWh and its energy use was reportedly growing at a rate of 25 per cent per month . Proof of stake (PoS) challenges the process, by choosing the creator of a new block in a deterministic way, depending on its wealth (called stake). The switch from PoW to 32

PoS provides benefits such as energy savings and a higher level of safety . Several green cryptocurrencies are challenging fundamental functioning aspects of regular cryptocurrencies and adopting PoS. Bitcoin Green (BITG) aims to raise awareness for sustainability issues that are being created by PoW. The cryptocurrency, founded on the “Green Protocol” is considered to be dramatically faster, cheaper, and more scalable than Bitcoin in its current form, addressing nearly all of Bitcoin’s limitations and problems (high network fees, slow transaction times, massive energy consumption etc). EnergyCoin is innovative and sustainable in its operational structure. EnergyCoin is a peer-to-peer cryptocurrency and works similarly to a local or community currency. Transactions in EnergyCoin run on the PoS protocol. The choice was conscious, taking into consideration that staking is more energy efficient compared to mining. Producers can earn SolarCoins, a bitcoin with a twist, by presenting their solar renewable-energy certificates. Nano might be the greatest disrupter on the list. Growing in popularity, Nano’s

greatest differentiator is being the first cryptocurrency solely designed to work as an actual currency. Because it doesn’t use mining, Nano doesn’t share Bitcoin’s issues related to sustainability. It also leads to cheaper costs of running a business: using conventional payment methods, many small businesses are faced with unsustainable charges for processing transactions that use a credit or debit card. They can freely accept Nano, without having to pay any additional fees, as Nano is a peer-to-peer decentralised currency, with only the payment sender and receiver involved in each transaction. The future of cryptocurrencies looks green, as sustainability is being considered and integrated from an early stage into the process. Green cryptocurrencies might just be the driver needed to make the biggest change of all: our mentality and habits.


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The Sustainabilist | GREEN INVESTMENTS


e-UAE: Online Commerce Driving Digital Economy

In 2018, online shoppers represented 62 per cent of the population in the UAE. As e-commerce is being driven by young consumers, fast adaptation from big companies and governmental focus on transitioning to the digital economy, it is becoming a hardto-ignore topic for businesses who wish to remain relevant.


ccording to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development’s (Unctad) B2C E-Commerce Index 2018, published in December last year, UAE was rated the most advanced country for online shopping in the MENA and ranked four among the top 10 developing economies. The key factors for the evolving online shopping trend in the UAE are secured Internet platforms, growing consumer confidence in conducting online transaction, flex-payment solutions by banks, educated consumers, stronger 34

infrastructure such as quick deliveries and more options with the emergence of new players. The report highlighted two key achievements in the industry: “The UAE is positioned first in the Gulf and is leveraging this to become a regional hub. One sign is the purchase of the UAE’s online retailer by Amazon in May 2017 for US$583 million. Another is the US$735 million Dubai CommerCity, the first dedicated e-commerce park in MENA.” CommerCity is a 2.1-million square foot e-commerce free zone, made to provide technology-enabled warehouses for

manufacturers to store their goods before being shipped off to global markets. Other organisations, such as World Economic Forum (WEF), also recognised the transformations in the e-commerce industry and the support it brings in developing a digital economy, and ranked UAE as the leading Arab and regional e-commerce centre in 2017. UAE is on a growing trend to further reinforce its position in the digital economy in the following years. Contributing factors include: developments to e-commerce,

Issue 14 | April 2019

According to reports from WEF, the value of e-commerce in the UAE is expected to reach AED100 billion by 2020 (double the value for 2016). The UAE will also account for 40 per cent of total e-commerce in the Middle East by 2020. Change is also driven by UAE’s decision to join the Trade Facilitation Agreement, one of the key achievements of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), which aims to improve international customs clearance and release, reduce transaction costs, and increase transparency in international trade procedures. It’s also important to acknowledge who is driving the growth of e-commerce. According to a report published by Admitad, 70 per cent of online purchases are made by young people and in the UAE, 64 per cent of the population is under 31 years old. According to Nielsen, the two categories that have experienced the highest growth in ecommerce activity are fashion items and tickets for a variety of entertainment options. Household cleaning, paper products are also growing in popularity.“Many in the UAE have also ranked IT/mobile items (38 per cent), restaurant deliveries or meal-kit delivery service (31 per cent) and consumer electronics (27 per cent) as some of the most sought-after items through estores,”said Andrey Dvoychenkov, Managing Director for Nielsen, Arabian Peninsula and Pakistan in an interview for

Gulf News, published last year. The purchasing power is also different in the UAE. UAE residents can spend up to three times more on single orders. The

Average amount of one online purchase in the UAE is above US$300, compared to Saudi Arabian residents who spend US$90, those in France - US$94, and Canadians who will spend just US$1100 over an entire year, on average.

improvements to the information technology infrastructure, the increased spread of Internet services, the use of smartphones and the expansion of electronic payment systems, as well as significant government support for digital transformation.

Admitad report states that average amount of one online purchase in the UAE is above US$300, compared to Saudi Arabian residents who spend US$90, those in France - US$94, and Canadians who will spend just US$1100 over an entire year, on average. Major companies are noticing these patterns and they are fast to adapt and

refocus their businesses. In November 2018, the Majid Al Futtaim Group took the lead in a US$30 million (AED 110.34 million) funding for the Saudi Arabia-based grocery delivery platform, which support building up scale for its Carrefour outlets in the kingdom. The Group also confirmed it had acquired Beam Portal, the e-wallet app, which it plans to also extend to other regional markets as well. In the same year, Lulu Group also invested AED 55 million in developing “alternate services”, expanding logistics hubs to serve “omni-channel” services, in backend software to integrate on and off-line transaction, on its delivery fleet and also on the website itself[8]. Emaar Malls acquired 51 per cent of Middle East fashion platform Namshi from Rocket Internet’s Global Fashion Group. According to TechCrunch, Namshi had revenues worth AED 555 million in 2016. In September 2017,, a US$ 1 billion e-commerce platform founded by the Emaar Properties chairman Mohamed Alabbar, was launched in the UAE, and shortly after in Saudi Arabia. On the occasion of the launch, Alabbar declared: “As digital technologies cause disruptions across industries and geographies, it is important for us to shape a digital marketplace that is relevant to our local markets and serves as a growth platform for brick-and-mortar retailers.” As social media is vastly becoming an even more attractive tool for online engagement, and, according to a PwC Middle East’s report from 2017, it is driving customer behaviour with 48 per cent engaging in online promotions and more than 52 per cent using social media channels to check product reviews or shop, UAE has a great potential for becoming a global hub for e-commerce and a model of fast, but sustainable model of progression to a digital economy. 35

The Sustainabilist | GREEN INVESTMENTS

bond framework is aligned with the broader entity-wide transition.


The Opportunities of Green Bonds and Green Sukuk


he Confirmation that Green Financing Works According to the World Economic Forum, green bonds can be an effective tool in managing climate risks, for mainly three reasons: • The green bond frameworks tend to finance low-carbon assets. 36

Approximately 40% of total green bond issuance went towards energy projects, such as renewable energy generation. • The choice of an issuer to issue a green bond can also be a signal that it is seeking to address transition risk. This signal only holds if the green

• Enhanced disclosure relating to green bond issuance promotes greater transparency and engagement between issuers and investors on climate-related matters. Within the green bond market, disclosure remains heavily focused on carbon-related data, where it is relevant. Green bonds have experienced exponential growth over the past decade with total issuance reaching US$155 billion in 2017 from barely US$1bn in 2007 . Early 2018 estimations predicted

Issue 14 | April 2019

the value of the market would grow by 30 per cent to reach US$200 billion by the end of the year. The Opportunities of Green Sukuk A sukuk is an Islamic financial certificate, similar to a bond in Western finance, that complies with Sharia — Islamic religious law. In the case of conventional bonds, the issuer has a contractual obligation to pay interest and principal to bondholders on certain specified dates. In contrast, when investors buy Sukuk, they become Sukuk holders and receive a certificate from the issuer to evidence ownership. Hence, they are entitled to receive periodic profit payments on the principal amount invested. Upon maturity, the Sukuk holder will be reimbursed the principal amount of investment. A Green Sukuk involves making socially responsible investments with regards to the environment. Some experts consider that the match between green financing and compliance to Sharia law has strong basis for protecting the environment. The potential is only beginning to be recognised . The idea of Green Sukuk was introduced by Malaysia’s Prime Minister in his 2014 budget speech to finance socially responsible projects. Proceeds are used to finance construction, to refinance construction debt, or to finance the payment of a government-granted green subsidy. According to Climate Bond Initiative, solar parks, biogas plants, wind energy, ambitious energy efficiency, renewable transmission and infrastructure, electric vehicles and infrastructure, light rail or a government green payment/ subsidy. Green sukuk can contribute to the efforts of combating climate change by innovating climate-smart investments

in environmentally friendly projects that are based on sustainable resources.

major green fund that will have a dedicated arm for Sharia compliant investments.

The first green Sukuk in the infrastructure market was issued 2017. Tadau Energy, a unit of China-owned Edra Power Holdings, issued a Sukuk for US$ 63 million to finance a large-scale solar project of 50 megawatts (MW) in Sabah, Malaysia. S&P Global Ratings was estimating, in September 2018, that, even though green sukuk issuance remained sporadic, the rise in energy demand – the International Energy Agency estimated in a report published in October 2017, that it expects for the Middle East to experience a rise in energy demand in the region of 45% and the changing mix of energy – Dubai is aiming for 75 per cent of energy to come from renewable sources by 2050, while Saudi Arabia is aiming to build a US$ 200 billion solar project - will provide significant opportunities for a green sukuk market. Additionally, considering that the GCC is looking at spending US$120-150 billion between now and 2019 on infrastructure, while refinancing corporate capital market debt also demands US$23.6 billion, due before 2019, green sukuk might just be one the best solutions available.

In 2018, National Bonds’ Savings Index showed that more than 80 per cent of UAE residents are still not saving enough. “People are not accustomed to planning ahead in their life. They live day to day, month to month and as long as they are running along they think they are in safe haven.

UAE’s Green Bonds First Abu Dhabi Bank, the largest bank in the UAE, issued the region’s first green bond raising a total of US$587m, benefitting two UAE-based environmental projects, Abu Dhabi’s Shams solar project and Etihad Rail. Dubai Electricity and Water Authority collaborated with National Bonds to launch a green fund to raise AED 2.4 billion. The partnership, aimed to support Dubai Green Fund, was the first

Unfortunately it does not work that way and the moment a crisis hits in their lives, they find out that they don’t have enough to cater for that emergency,” Mohamed Al Ali, chief executive of National Bonds declared for The National. Perhaps green bonds and green sukuk will be the solution to integrate financial wisdom with care for the future.


Finance Officer The ideal candidate will have 5 years of industry experience in the Consultancy sector, a Master’s in Business Administration, a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and possesses Chartered Accountancy Qualification. He understands capital structures and can build financial models for projects including sensitivity and discounted cash flow analysis, IRR calculation, interest rate sensitivity and debt service coverage ratios. . If interested, please send your CV to :


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Recognising Schools’ Role in Sustainability Education

In 2018, Expo 2020, in collaboration with the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment and the Ministry of Education, launched the “Sustainability Champions” programme for all schools across the UAE, as part of celebrating the Year of Zayed, and the UAE Founder’s vision for a sustainable future.


n the press release announcing the initiative in early 2018, HE Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, explained the investment and commitment to include the young generation in the efforts of achieving a sustainable future: “Through the Sustainability Champions, organised in co-operation with Expo 2020 Dubai and the Ministry of Education, we aim to educate the UAE youth on the vital significance of sustainable habits and environmental conservation for the future of our country. The programme offers students an opportunity to become real partners and actively participate in developing sustainable solutions.” Public and private schools had the opportunity to showcase their vision for their contribution in building a sustainable future in the UAE. More than 100 schools across the UAE took part in the programme. 38

An evaluation panel comprising experts from the two ministries and Expo 2020 selected Umm Al Arab School in Abu Dhabi and American School of Dubai as the most innovative participants, recognising their commitment and contribution to sustainability initiatives. The winners received photovoltaic panels worth a combined AED 1 million, plus support for implementing sustainability initiatives from Expo 2020. Asma Al Harthi, principal at Umm Al Arab School, said: “We are proud to be recognised for upholding the values of sustainability, especially in the Year of Zayed. Our faculty and all 2,100 students have worked hard to integrate sustainability values into our classrooms, curriculum and community engagement activities. Our student innovators, for example, created the UAE’s first recycling centre for schools. Dr Paul Richards, superintendent at the

American School of Dubai, said: “We have always encouraged sustainable habits and innovation by spreading awareness and taking informed action to improve the present and future of our community. As well as improving efficiency and reducing costs, the photovoltaic panels will provide a real-life example of sustainable practice to inspire our students. The Sustainability Champions programme is, as with any initiative launched by Expo 2020, a commitment to continuously contribute to the future of UAE: “With this initiative, we are placing the school community at the heart of the journey to Expo 2020 and beyond. We look forward to welcoming many more schools from across the UAE to join our growing network of Sustainability Champions.” Alya Al-Ali, Director of Youth Connect at Expo 2020 Dubai, said in a press release announcing the winners.

Issue 14 | April 2019


Impactful Returns


Understand the current exposure of your portfolio to relevant sustainability factors, such as carbon emissions.

1 2 3 4

Choose to invest in products that have a green mission: green bonds, green mutual funds, green stocks etc.

Do your research to avoid greenwashing. Evaluate a company’s claims to be “green” thoroughly.

Opt for community investing or microfinancing to direct resources towards a singular environment resource.

Keep track of your sustainable outcome besides traditional financial performance data over time.


The Sustainabilist | GREEN INVESTMENTS


The Rising Green Interest of China in the Middle East


China is exporting their ambitious plans for clean energy across the continent and especially in the Middle East. Strategic partnerships, as well as staggering investments, are cementing the road for China to become the clean energy superpower of the world. Focus on Green Energy China is a paradox, from many points of view. The energy sector is not an exception. According to the study Air Pollution in Mega Cities in China, coal accounts for 70 per cent of the total energy consumption and emissions from coal combustion are among the major contributors to air pollution in China. At the same time, according to the International Energy Agency, China accounted for nearly half of the expansion of the solar photovoltaic capacity, in 2016. One year later, Panda Green Energy Group announced that the Panda Power Plant in Datong, Shanxi, had been connected to the grid and entered its testing phase. According to the representatives of the company, the facility could produce 3.2 billion kilowatt hours of green electricity over 25 years, representing an equivalent saving of 1.056 million tonnes of coal. In 2016, in the wind energy sector, China installed 23.4 gigawatts of new capacity, according to the

Issue 14 | April 2019

The staggering achievements and plans became even more ambitious in 2018, when China’s National Development & Reform Commission (NDRC) wrote a draft policy that would increase the renewable energy target from 20 per cent to 35 per cent by 2030. China is eyeing investments in green economy outside of its borders, too. A Strong Partnership A statement published after China’s President Xi Jinping historic visit in the UAE in July 2018 – the first by a Chinese head of state in 30 years - mentioned that mutual political trust has been enhanced, co-operation in areas of economy, trade and energy steadily expanded, and the friendship between the two countries strengthened. The strategic partnership was recognised by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai through a series of tweets in Chinese on the occasion on the visit: “Today we held an extensive meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping and his accompanying delegation. We reached a consensus on multiple political and economic fronts, and we laid a solid foundation for future energy, technology and infrastructure projects. More importantly, we have a strong political will that will lead us towards greater cooperation.” During the visits, 13 agreements and two Memorandum of Understanding (MOUs) were signed, including one to advance

energy cooperation between the UAE Ministry of Energy and Industry, and China’s National Energy Commission, signed by HE Suhail bin Mohammed Faraj Faris Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Industry, and He Lifeng, Vice Chairperson of Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, CPPCC, and Chairman of National Development and Reform Commission, NDRC . Green Interest in the Middle East The Belt and Road Initiative is expected to span 76 countries across four continents, including the UAE. The project opens new markets for China, including the country’s growing renewable technologies sector. The “greening” of the Belt will make China the provider of “green, low and circular development” to 4.3 billion consumers . The Middle East plays a crucial role in the megaproject that aims to be a reinvention of the ancient Silk Road for the modern age. Middle East countries currently provide more than half of China’s crude oil imports and China is the largest trading partner with the region. Its goal is to double its Middle East trade to US$600bn by 2020 . The Belt and Road Initiative, together with the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum, supported the growth of investment in the region. Since 2010, China invested billions of dollars in nearly every MENA country and in 2016 eclipsed the United Arab Emirates to become the leading investor in the region. In a statement issued in November 2016, HE Saeed Al Tayer, MD and CEO of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), mentioned, related to the Dubai Green Fund, “We have in China a government bank, and I think this is good because we will promote the green economy locally and internationally.”

Today we held an extensive meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping and his accompanying delegation. We reached a consensus on multiple political and economic fronts, and we laid a solid foundation for future energy, technology and infrastructure projects. More importantly, we have a strong political will that will lead us towards greater cooperation.

Global Wind Energy Council . In the first quarter of 2018, more than 40 per cent of funding into clean energy projects went to initiatives in China. China could generate 80 per cent of its energy from renewables by 2050.

In June 2018, Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power signed an agreement with stateowned Energy China to explore for joint investment opportunities in power and water desalination across the Middle East and Asia. In November 2018, the same company, in the presence of Chinese President Xi Jinping, during his official visit to Spain, entered an agreement with Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited (ICBC), Shanghai Electric Group Co. Ltd (SEGC), and Spanish company Abengoa, to work together on the Noor Energy 1 Plant (the fourth phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Solar Park, the largest single-site concentrated solar power plant in the world). 41

The Sustainabilist | GREEN INVESTMENTS


Dubai Exports Enables 5,000 Female Entrepreneurs Access to the Marketplace Dubai Exports joined forces with the International Trade Commission and UPS to launch SheTrades MENA, a regional initiative as part of a global platform enabling female entrepreneurs to access the marketplace, with the ultimate goal of reducing extreme poverty.


o poverty is the number one UN Sustainable Development Goal. “Extreme poverty rates have fallen by more than half since 1990. While this is a remarkable achievement, one-in-five people in developing regions still live on less than US$1.90 a day. Millions more make little more than this daily amount and are at risk of slipping back into extreme poverty,” was the UN’s explanation in prioritising ending extreme poverty by 2030. According to an updated report released at the beginning of 2018, women are 4 per cent more likely to live in extreme poverty than men. In the 25- to 34-year-old age group – the category considered to reflect the prime reproductive and working years, women are 22 per cent more likely than 42

men to live in extreme poverty. After consultation sessions in July 2015, the International Trade Commission (ITC) concluded that, despite efforts for economically empowering women, knowledge about female entrepreneurship has been fragmentary. The organisation launched SheTrades with the goal of connecting one million women entrepreneurs to market by 2020 and to reach three million women entrepreneurs by 2021. Globally and locally, SheTrades focuses on seven actions: • Champion. Quality data related to women’s economic participation

is limited. Research and analysis can provide evidence to inform the development of meaningful policies and programmes. • Enact. Fair policies level the playing field for women entrepreneurs and impact in a positive manner trade policy outcomes and performance. • Secure. Government contracts are valued at US$ 13 trillion on purchasing goods and services. In developing countries, the share of public spend can be as much as 40 per cent of annual GDP, yet only an estimated 1 per cent of this is spent with women suppliers. The programme provides governments

Issue 14 | April 2019

with practical ways to open up procurement markets for women. • Strike. Business deals to capitalise on the supplier diversity initiatives that the majority of the Fortune 500 companies promote. • Enable. Market access for women who are now facing greater hurdles in setting up and growing their businesses. According to the ITC, surveys revealed that only one in five exporting companies are womenowned. • Unlock. Financial services access data reveals a great gap between women and men. Women entrepreneurs are more likely than their male counterparts to cite access to finance as a severe constraint to their business operations. • Grant. Ownership rights increases women’s economic participation. Through country-based activities, SheTrades enables women entrepreneurs to improve the quality of their products and services. There have been more than ten SheTrades country initiatives where governments took the commitment to support the international objective and implement locally adapted programs to ensure that women have a greater role in their economies. One of them is the UAE. In February 2018, HE Sami Al Qamzi, Director General of the Department of Economic Development (DED), and Arancha González, Executive Director of the International Trade Centre, launched the SheTrades MENA Hub, partnership with ITC and the support of the Aid for Trade Initiative for Arab States (AfTIAS) during the regional meeting of the

Arab Countries Trade and Investment Organisations Network (ACTION), hosted by Dubai Expo. “Female entrepreneurs tend to be more innovative, largely due to their ability to perceive opportunities in a different manner”, HE Sami Al Qamzi commented, reflecting on the outcomes of the entrepreneurial support initiatives of DED. “ITC is pleased to launch the first SheTrades hub and to have it in the UAE in partnership with Dubai Exports. This collaboration will enable us to connect more women entrepreneurs from across the MENA region to the global market. The SheTrades MENA hub will provide women with opportunities to scale up their businesses through increased trade and market intelligence, targeted assistance and connections with each other. This will help improve the business ecosystem of countries across the region,’ declared ITC Executive Director Arancha González. The initiative started with the first focus action, collecting quality data to map out the priorities of 3,000 women entrepreneurs across the region to gain a greater understanding of market gaps and barriers preventing them from fully participating in trade. The enquiry highlighted priority sectors that would become the focus of the capacity building and the training on entrepreneurial skills. In October 2018, Dubai Exports, the export promotion agency of the Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED), and UPS, global logistics provider, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to inaugurate SheTrades MENA. The initiative, managed by Dubai Exports, consists of a series of workshops and

trainings meant to empower and support women entrepreneurs in the region, specifically in the field of trade. 5,000 women from the Middle East and North Africa are to be connected to international markets by 2021 to enable their growth. The MOU was signed by Mohammad Ali Al Kamali, Deputy CEO of Dubai Exports and Project Director of SheTrades MENA, and Mohamed Kamal, UPS Managing Director for Middle East countries. “Training is the cornerstone to empowering women entrepreneurs and building skilled and knowledgeable female exporters and that is why we are thrilled about this initiative. Working with UPS, which is the world’s largest package delivery company and a global leader in supply chain services, serving more than 220 countries and territories around the world gives us an opportunity to enable more women entrepreneurs to get access to necessary trainings to help them succeed and grow their businesses internationally,” said Al Kamali. The signing was followed by the first workshop which is part of the series titled Going Global – Take Your Business Beyond Borders . Dubai Exports’ vision and mission are to be a world class export development agency through innovation and to empower and diversify Dubai’s economic growth by offering pioneering export related services to business. Since research shows that in the Arab countries and in the UAE, women would raise household income by up to 25 per cent, and an equal number of women and men working would raise the country’s GDP by 12 per cent, implementing a project such as SheTrades MENA can only enable the achievement of the organisation’s mission and vision. 43

The Sustainabilist | GREEN INVESTMENTS


GFS EXPO Adam Burfield Innovation Award Launched in 2018, the focus is on enabling innovation in youth and providing a platform to showcase transformative solutions.


ay 8th, 2018 was definitely not another school day on the campus of GEMS Founders School (GFS) Al Barsha: the gym had been transformed into an exhibition space where students as young as eight years old were showcasing their ideas for transforming the world into a better place. The GFS EXPO Adam Burfield Innovation Awards (ABIA) was launched in 2018 by Principal Matthew Burfield and managed by Farida Dhambolawala, Innovation & E-Learning Development Leader. As they are preparing for the 2019 edition, they shared with The Sustainabilist insights about creating a platform for students to become innovators and learn about sustainability.


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What was the idea that initiated GEMS EXPO ABIA ? Farida Dhanbolawala (FD): The GFS EXPO Adam Burfield Innovation Award (ABIA) was initiated as a result of Principal/CEO, Matthew Burfield, being recognised as one of the GEMS Education Top 5 Heads of School. The great honour to be acknowledged amongst his peers included a monetary prize, AED10,000 that he decided to invest back into GEMS Founders School, Dubai, to support innovation. Matthew Burfield (MB): Building on a great concept that the GFS Head of E-Learning and Innovation, Ms. Farida Dhambolawala, had already developed around the Expo 2020 and in honour of my brother Adam, who unfortunately has passed away, the ABIA was created. The ABIA will run for three consecutive years at GEMS Founders School, Dubai, funded by the amount received for the award. It has been created to support the innovative ideas of the children and to support the transformation of these ideas into reality. What makes GFS EXPO ABIA different from other student competitions? MB: The GFS Expo ABIA provides students an opportunity to enhance application of skills in a real-life context. It allows students to further develop their natural interests and apply a broader understanding of the UAE’s culture and society within the school day. What were the most outstanding projects from last year’s editions? FD: Lots of innovative ideas were showcased by the 51 participants. Ultimately, the three winning innovations

were chosen for their strong links to the subthemes, and especially sustainability. The three best ideas selected were GAWD- an irrigation system to help grow plants without much human intervention, GO CHARGE- a solar powered cell phone charger and ECO FISH- a robotic fish invented to clean waste in the ocean. What is it expected of this year’s edition? FD: Since this is our second year of the competition, we are better prepared to offer students the support they need to make their ideas come to life. This year we have students as young as five years old participating in GFS Expo 2019 ABIA. Most of their ideas focus on sustainability. What transformations have you noticed for the students who have participated in the program? FD: Kripa Susan – the innovator of GAWD said “Being in the Expo was an amazing opportunity to learn and try something new. I felt like a professional from the Expo 2020. The best part was when our principal handed me the award.” Mikaela said “ECO FISH was a great ideaCleaning up Oceans which occupy 80% of the Earth’s surface. When speaking to Hana and Sara, 2 of the Innovators who came up with ECO FISH, they expressed their joy at being selected and also for coming up with an idea that was both business & environmentally friendly.” What other sustainability-related initiatives have you implemented in your school?

sustainability. They have participated and initiated projects to improve their school environment. They also take part in projects beyond school that promote ecological awareness and conservation. Students have actively been involved in the GFS Environmental Committee, creation of corridor and classroom displays, beach clean ups, water conservation, oceans day, school recycling initiatives and Adopt-a-Turtle project which demonstrate the promotion of sustainability and conservation. We are also trying to set an example and we have equipped the school’s multipurpose hall with solar panels fitted on the roof, thus providing a clean energy source for our building.


Sales Expert Can you lead Dubai’s transition to renewable energy? Your responsibilities will be to generate leads, take on client meetings, help find sponsorships for the UAE’s leading sustainability publications, present brand new ideas, hit your targets, and be part of making our sales and sponsorships plan happen. Ideally, you’ll excel under pressure, be ambitious, creative, and be super focused. If interested, please send your CV to :

MB: Students at GFS are well aware of environmental issues, including 45

The Sustainabilist | GREEN INVESTMENTS


Digital-Savvy Consumers UAE’s digital transformation competitiveness is driven by consumers, for consumers.


AE is being acknowledged regionally and globally for its achievements in driving digital transformation. One of the key factors in driving the digital transformation is the openness consumers have to technology. The fast adoption rate of technology motivates the private and public sectors to implement changes, which ultimately, benefit the consumers. In 2018’s edition of IMD World Digital Competitiveness Ranking 2018 released in June 2018, the UAE moved up one place in the overall list, from the 18th to the 17th place, ahead of developed economies such as Germany, New Zealand, Ireland, France and Japan. UAE remained the top nation in


Issue 14 | April 2019

digital competitiveness within the Middle East. According to the report, the UAE’s improved ranking in digital competitiveness comes as a result of the country’s continued developments and increase adoption of digital strategies in various projects and initiatives implemented across UAE, such as the two landmark digital initiatives launched last year, the Dubai Internet of Things (IoT) Strategy and the Digital Wealth Initiative. The country ranked first globally in business agility, third globally in regulatory framework and fourth globally in terms of talent. Another report placing UAE among the leaders driving the digital economy in the region, was published by McKinsey in late 2016 and explained what was one of the main drivers supporting the change: digital savvy consumers. Citizens and residents in the Middle East, and especially in the UAE, are driving digital adoption in the region. In the UAE, smartphone penetration is more than 100 per cent for consumers, who are keen to staying up-to-date with the relentless pace of innovation in the digital space. Business digitisation in the UAE reached the level of digital frontier countries (defined in the report as countries which have the highest country scores in the index and serve as an aspirational target. The list includes Norway, Singapore, South Korea, Sweden, and the United Kingdom). The UAE government ranked number one in digital adoption among Middle Eastern countries and matched the digital frontier countries. Among the Middle Eastern countries studied, the UAE has the highest digital identification— a metric that is based on multiple indicators such as access to services, digital signature, and card

features. The commitment to various digitisation initiatives, such as expanding broadband coverage and creating a unified smart-city platform, also contributed to a high-level ranking. The openness of consumers to new technology is visible in some of the initiatives that companies undertake. In October 2018, Emirates NBD signed a strategic partnership with Hortonworks, the industry leader in connected data platforms, in order to be on-track to transition to real-time data flows in Q12019, enabling instant customer and operational insight, and fraud-detection. By providing data-driven analytics and operational intelligence, the partnership will significantly enhance the customer experience through deeper, more personalised customer insights, and support key initiatives in Emirates NBD’s digital strategy including blockchain, artificial intelligence and machine learning. Transaction security will also be enhanced through real-time predictive analytics that inform fraud models. The 2018 Global Consumer Executive Top of Mind survey, ‘No Normal is the New Normal’ jointly conducted by KPMG International and The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) and published in August 2018, highlighted that almost half of UAE CEOs in the retail industry intend to start using artificial intelligence (AI) in the next two years, as they are increasingly influenced by technology to enhance the retail store experience for customers. The report highlighted a stark contrast between UAE CEOs, who were confident of using technology to transform the customer experience in-store, in comparison to global CEOs who were less optimistic about the adoption of AI, with only 24 per cent expressing intent to start

using AI over the next few years. The trend of digital transformation is only accelerating. In January 2019, International Data Corporation (IDC) presented insights during the event “Multiplied Innovation: Scaling a Technology Revolution in the Middle East, Turkey, and Africa”: overall digital transformation spending in the Middle East, Turkey and Africa (META), is expected to grow 2.5 per cent year on year in 2019 to reach US$213 billion. Frank Gens, IDC’s Senior Vice President and Chief Analyst, explained why investments in digital transformation are crucial: “In the next two years, the proportion of digitally determined organisations with a fully integrated enterprise-wide technology architecture will grow from 34 per cent to nearly 90 per cent,” he said. “By 2022, 25 per cent of endpoint devices and systems worldwide will be executing AI algorithms, and between 2018 and 2023, more than 500 million new apps will be created, equaling the total that was built during the preceding 40 years.” Consumers drive digital transformation. Countries increase their investments and spending in digital transformation. According to McKinsey, this is a virtuous circle: The analysis reveals a strong correlation between a country’s GDP per capita and its score on the McKinsey Digitisation Index: a higher GDP allows countries to spend more on digital adoption, which increases a country’s performance on the Digitisation Index. And a high level of digitisation contributes to economic growth, leading to higher GDP. Digital can also have a positive impact on inclusion and poverty reduction, increase access to and quality of healthcare and education, and reduce CO2 emissions, benefitting the consumers who are driving the change. 47

The Sustainabilist | GREEN INVESTMENTS


World Future Energy Summit 2019

The annual event resulted in industries and companies converging into US$ 10.5 billion deals.


h e 12th edition of World Future Energy Summit took place in Abu Dhabi between January 14t hand 17th, at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, and was held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces. The event, an integral part of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW), was organised under the theme of Industry Convergence and focused on five main pillars: The Future Summit, WFES Expo, WFES Forums, WFES Initiatives, and WFES Hosted Events. Since its inception, WFES has become a global platform connecting business and innovation in energy, clean technology and efficiency for a sustainable future. 48

WFES 2019 welcomed more than 34,000 attendees in addition to 3,000 students from over 150 countries, including 15 heads of state, as well as more than 100 ministers and 3,000 C-level participants from some of the world’s largest companies operating in the sustainability and renewables sectors. The event enabled attendees to share best practices, unveil new products, and discuss innovative solutions to present and future challenges across the entire sustainability spectrum. More importantly, the event facilitated deals worth US$ 10.5 billion:

its renewable energy capacity to 60 gigawatts by 2030. • Abu Dhabi Waste Management Center (Tadweer), the strategic partners of the sixth EcoWASTE exhibition, awarded new operating contracts, cumulatively valued at AED1.099 billion, to leading providers of solid waste collection and transportation and street sweeping and cleaning services in the third, fourth and fifth sectors of Abu Dhabi Mainland and Al Dhafra Region.

• A consortium led by Masdar (Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company) and France’s EDF won a tender to build a US$500-million 400-megawatt wind farm in northern Saudi Arabia as part of the country’s efforts to increase

• Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI), a company of the Indian Ministry of New and Renewable Energy and the only central public sector entity dedicated to solar energy in the country, unveiled its US$7


Water Forum, presenting the latest thinking and technology that will help outline solutions to the world’s significant water scarcity challenges and enable the UAE’s Water Security Strategy. Entitled “Disrupting the Water-Energy-FoodNexus to Optimize Efficiency, Security and Sustainability’’, and organised in partnership with the International Desalination Association, the WFES Water Forum will explore the evolving interrelationship between water and energy production and technological advances that are creating a low-carbon, more cost-efficient future in clean water production.

billion Cold Desert Regions UltraMega Solar Power project. SECI invited global investors to participate in the multi-billion-dollar alternative energy investment opportunities created by the state-backed scheme. • Abu Dhabi National Energy Company PJSC (TAQA), a leading water and energy company with assets in 11 markets around the world, and LakeDiamond, a leader in the production of laboratory grown diamonds for high-tech industrial applications, signed an agreement at WFES to launch a partnership to strengthen TAQA’s energy evacuation system and redundancy by leveraging LakeDiamond’s power-beaming technology and use of photovoltaic cells to make electricity more accessible across one of TAQA’s core markets and reduce energy costs. One of the key forums established during this year’s edition of WFES was WFES

The WFES Expo saw more than 850 exhibitors from more than 40 countries showcasing the latest solutions in clean energy, solar, water, ecowaste, green buildings and mobility. One of the exhibitors and the Efficiency Partner of the event was Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA). The organisation highlighted some of its key projects and initiatives in clean and renewable energy: the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, the largest single-site solar park in the world, which will produce 5,000 megawatts (MW) by 2030 with investments up to AED 50 billion; Shams Dubai initiative to connect solar panels on buildings to DEWA’s grid; the Green Charger initiative to build the infrastructure and electric vehicle charging stations; a model of the smart grid station, and a model of the pumped hydro storage island in the Arabian Gulf. DEWA’s stand also featured a model of its new headquarters named Al-Sheraa, which will be the tallest, largest, and smartest government net zero-energy building in the world. “We are proud to once again sponsor the World Future

Issue 14 | April 2019

Energy Summit as the Efficiency Partner. WFES is a leading platform that brings together experts and specialists to discuss the security and future of energy, share ideas and best practices, and explore the growing investment opportunities in the clean energy sector in the Middle East and Africa, which is one of the world’s most promising renewable energy markets,” declared HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA. In its seventh consecutive participation at the event, Bee’ah also took the opportunity to offer visitors exclusive insights into the development of the UAE’s first waste-to-energy plant, which is being built by the Emirates Waste to Energy Company, Bee’ah’s joint venture with Masdar and into the iconic new headquarters, a net-zero energy building designed by Zaha Hadid Architects. The building is expected to receive a LEED platinum certification on completion and it will be the first fully AI integrated office in the UAE, aiming to establish a premiere to be recognised globally. ION Bee’ah’s joint venture with Crescent Enterprises, was selected as the official sustainable transport partner for the event and deployed a fleet of electric vehicles, to provide a zero-emissions, hassle-free commuter experience at the event. Naji El Haddad, Group Event Director at REED Exhibitions, said: “Having facilitated over 11,000 meetings with our Sustainability Business Connect Programme at WFES, we are proud to provide a platform where government, business, innovation and finance can connect to accelerate sustainable development.” WFES 2020 will take place in 2020, between January 13th and 16th. 49

The Sustainabilist | GREEN INVESTMENTS

Issue 01 | 23rd October 2017


Real Estate Self Transaction Disrupts the Real Estate Industry As part of the 10X Initiative, Dubai Land Department launched the digital platform, Real Estate Self Transaction, REST, enabling customers to manage all transactions related to real estate online.


n 2018, as part of its participation in the 10X Initiative, Dubai Land Department launched Real Estate Self Transaction “REST”, a platform for conducting real estate trading and transactions with multiple parties anywhere and anytime. The new platform enables the complete digital management of real estate transactions, eliminating paper documents and reducing brokerage procedures. Emirates Real Estate Solutions, the technical arm of Dubai Land Department, is 50

developing and implementing the project in partnership with leading technology providers. Developers, banks and relevant government entities partnered with DLD to implement the project. “By removing many traditional limitations in the real estate transaction process, the smart real estate system allows landlords to trade and sell their properties anytime and from anywhere in the world. We have deployed advanced technologies and real estate systems based on a deep

understanding of the needs of property owners. By enabling customers to directly manage all elements of the real estate transaction process online, the platform helps them save considerable time and effort,” His Excellency Sultan Butti bin Mejren, Director General of Dubai Land Department, declared in a statement announcing the initiative. The platform is expected to be fully functional by the first quarter of 2020 and it represents DLD’s contribution to

Issue 14 | April 2019

The system’s functionalities benefit all parties involved in real estate transactions: • The availability of all property online allows parties to interact via the system, without having to meet in person. • The owners can directly connect with the bank through a smart application in order to access mortgage services more easily. • Banks can manage all transactions: offer direct mortgage, deposit the mortgage amount in the client’s account, or decommission the mortgage directly in case of sale and purchase, through the platform. • Landlords, residing inside or outside the country, can rent their properties and pay for electricity, water and Internet bills remotely. By providing access to online floor plans, owners can appoint furnishing and decoration companies to manage the interior design and furnishing process. The launch of REST was welcomed by stakeholders. In a statement for Arabian Business, Lukman Hajje, Chief Commercial Officer of Propertyfinder Group, said: “We welcome any initiative that promotes transparency and eases the

We have deployed advanced technologies and real estate systems based on a deep understanding of the needs of property owners.

the emirate’s plans of advancing its digital economy and making public bodies more efficient. The launch of REST was made in the context of the UAE government announcing plans to permit 100 per cent foreign ownership of companies in certain sectors. The change was intended to encourage new inflows of foreign direct investment and to give greater certainty to investors, including in real estate.

demanding. An experienced broker wears many hats that really cannot be removed from all transactions.” Samer Abdin, General Manager of Dubizzle Property, also emphasised the benefits of the REST launch. “The recent announcement of REST by the Dubai Land Department will have far-reaching impacts on the property market in the UAE and is a testament to the Dubai government’s commitment to driving the digital economy and boosting the UAE’s regional and global competitive edge. We see the introduction of paperless technology as a facilitator rather than a disruptor in the real estate industry. REST will make transactions faster and more efficient, especially for overseas buyers, we believe real estate agents will continue to have a critical role to play,” he said .

GREEN JOB buying or renting process for consumers.” While the role of the real estate agent will be disrupted by the digital transition, his belief is that the role will continue to remain relevant. “Online platforms cannot conduct inspections, negotiate price and terms, qualify buyers and haggle with landlords and sellers. Good brokers add a lot of value and expertise to the experience that more than justify the commission they charge,” he added. In the same published article, Jackie Johns, Managing Partner of Premier Estates, shared a similar view: “I welcome any initiatives from the government, however feel that a broker’s role is more than just buying and selling a property. We are advisors, conveyancers, sometimes even councilors when a transaction gets delayed or if one party becomes too


We are looking for a bright and enthusiastic intern to work in a growing, dynamic and professional environment. Should possess excellent communication and writing skills and be a versatile team player. The successful applicant will get exposure to several functions within the business such as Marketing and Editorial. If interested, please send your CV to :


The Sustainabilist | GREEN INVESTMENTS


Green Pipeline

Scan here to comment!

Renewables investment soars amid failing solar and wind energy costs in the Middle East and North Africa.

91.6 bn


Value of renewable energy projects in the pipeline



Estimated value of clean energy projects

2,350 MW Installed solar capacity in the Middle East in 2017




GCC annual fuel savings to 2030


Capacity of renewable energy planned in the region

434 MW Installed wind capacity in the Middle East in 2017

Issue 14 | April 2019

REPDO is now embarking into the second round of the NREP and is therefore pleased to invite expressions of interest (“EOI”) for the development, design, permitting, engineering, financing, procurement, construction, commissioning, testing, completion, ownership, insurance, operation and maintenance of seven (7) additional greenfield solar PV IPPs with a combined potential capacity of 1.515GW. REPDO expects these projects to employ around 5,000 people in the Kingdom and supply more than 220,000 households. Round 2 of the NREP includes the following projects (each a “Project”):

Rabigh Solar PV IPP with a capacity of 300 MW to be located in the Makkah Province, approximately 145 km north of Jeddah city


Jeddah Solar PV IPP with a capacity of 300 MW to be located in the Makkah Province and approximately 50 km south-east of Jeddah city


Mahd AlDahab Solar PV IPP with a capacity of 20 MW to be located in the Al Madinah Province, approximately 150 km southeast of Madinah.


Qurayyat Solar PV IPP with a capacity of 200 MW to be located in the Al Jawf Province, approximately 15 km away from Qurayyat city,



Al Faisaliah Solar PV IPP with a capacity of 600 MW to be located in the Makkah Province, approximately 80 km south of Jeddah city,


Rafha Solar PV IPP with a capacity of 45 MW to be located in the Northern Borders province, approximately 16 km away from Rafha city,


Madinah Solar PV IPP with a capacity of 50 MW to be located in the Al Madinah Province, approximately 26 km from Madinah city,


The Sustainabilist | GREEN INVESTMENTS


UAE - Regional and Global Pioneer in Green Investments

Innovation and green investments are used by UAE-based companies to establish green projects regionally and globally.


uring the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI)’s Assembly and Council, held in Seoul in November 2018, HE Dr Thani Bin Ahmad Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, said the UAE will contribute US$1.5 million annually from 2019 to 2021 to fund projects carried out by the institute. “In the UAE, we are resolved to achieving a green economy as per the UAE Green Agenda 2030 adopted by the UAE Cabinet in 2015. During 2017-18, we have made a lot of progress in the implementation of the Green Agenda 2030 and key policy developments with the assistance of the GGGI Abu Dhabi


office team,” declared HE Al Zeyoudi, reiterating the country’s commitment to green development.

Abu Dhabi, Oman, Jordan, Mauritania, Egypt, Morocco, the UK, Spain, Seychelles, and the Pacific Islands .

The UAE is clear on the internal milestones it needs to achieve to build a green economy and a sustainable lifestyle for its residents. The strategy expands outside the borders of the country through several UAE-based companies which are investing in or developing green regional or international initiatives.

In February 2018, the company announced that it would contribute to building a 5 MW solar power plant with battery storage in the Republic of Seychelles. The project is being financed by Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), the national entity for development aid with a AED31 million loan, and by the Public Utilities Corporation’s (PUC) own equity.

Masdar, the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company, has invested around US$2.7 billion in projects around the world over the last ten years, with 1 GW of installed capacity and 0.7 GW under development. Masdar’s renewable energy projects span

The 5 MW Ile de Romainville Solar Park will be located on the same site as the existing ADFD-financed AED103

Issue 14 | April 2019

“Seychelles has placed climate change at the centre of its sustainable development strategy. Contributing to the financing of this solar park with integrated battery storage will bolster ADFD’s efforts in supporting the island country’s priorities, especially with regard to mitigating carbon emissions through the deployment of renewable energy,” said Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director General of ADFD, in a statement. Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar, said: “Masdar is honoured to have been selected to partner with ADFD and PUC in the development of Seychelles’ latest renewable energy project, and to build on our successful involvement in the Port Victoria wind project. This collaboration will be an opportunity to harness the latest efficiency enhancements in solar power technology, including the optimisation benefits of battery storage.” Later in the year, Masdar announced plans to build wind and solar power plants in Uzbekistan. The company signed the agreement on the joint construction of wind and solar power plants at the Uzbekistan-UAE business forum in Tashkent. In November 2018, as part of the United Arab Emirates-Caribbean Renewable

Energy Fund (UAE-CREF), Masdar launched the construction on 2.35 MW of solar photovoltaic (PV) plants in the Bahamas, Barbados and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. UAE-CREF is being fully financed by

Masdar is honoured to have been selected to partner with ADFD and PUC in the development of Seychelles’ latest renewable energy project, and to build on our successful involvement in the Port.

million Port Victoria Wind Farm. Built by Masdar, this 6 MW renewable energy wind farm has been generating power for the Seychelles’ capital since 2013. Both green iniatives are meant to reduce Seychelles’ current reliance on fossil fuels, accounting for around 20 per cent of the country’s imports. In response, it has set a target of 5 per cent renewables by 2020 and 15 per cent by 2030.

the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD). The initiative is a partnership between UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MOFAIC), ADFD and Masdar. The total value of the partnership is US$50 million to support renewable energy projects in

the Caribbean over the next three years. The first projects under the partnership are the three solar plants: a 900 kW carport PV array with an electric vehicle (EV) charging station at the national stadium in the Bahamas, a 350 MW solar carport, also with an EV station, and a 500 kW ground-mounted PV facility in Barbados. The third scheme is the construction of 600 kW solar plant in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, to be connected to a 500 kW battery storage facility, covering the entire island’s power demand during the daytime. The facilities will become operational in the first quarter of 2019 . In July 2018, Enviromena Power Systems, a renewable energy provider from the UAE, announced it had started construction on solar power plants in Egypt and Jordan. In Egypt, the company is constructing 256 MW of solar PV projects which will help provide power to nearly 370,000 homes while displacing 454,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually. The facility is part of a wider solar complex of 32 plants which will collectively provide 1,650 MW of power, contributing to Egypt’s plan to achieve 20% renewable energy by 2020. In Jordan, Enviromena already completed the Quweira site, the country’s largest solar park, in a joint venture with Spanish company TSK. In 2018, the renewable energy provider started work on a 247 MW project in Al Muwaqqar, Jordan. The project will bring electricity to 320,000 homes while displacing 408,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually . UAE understands the importance of achieving local sustainability goals and the potential of exporting innovation to drive regional and global standards. 55

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Issue 14 | April 2019



Douglas Coupland

Sustainability Bloggers

We are looking for passionate green minded keyboard happy writers to stream their contributions straight into our publications. We are building an empowered community of storytellers who would be invited to events, interview VIPs or simply research topics. The role will be freelance and autonomous and whether you have previous writing/journalism experience or not, we want to hear from you.

Insights from the author of Generation X.


hat causes you the highest level of anxiety when it comes at looking at the future? What about excitement? I don’t get anxiety about the future — I think it’s a terrific place. I’m always baffled when people think the future is somehow doomed. Throughout my entire life the world has only gotten better. Why should that stop? Will there be room for art in a world dominated by robots and AI? A: I think that’s like asking if there will be art in a world filled with TVs and cars. Robots and AI are simply tools created by human beings. They’re not from outer space. Mostly, the human need for art is permanent, these new tools will just allow us to create new art forms. I find it

If interested, please send your CV to :

impossible to get agitated or engaged by this line of thinking.

much free time on their hands! What a mess that would be.

In a world dominated by instant gratification, what are the messages that convince people to stop and think and make sustainable decisions?

Are you optimistic or pessimistic about the future? Why/why not?

A: You think the world is about instant gratification? I think it’s about zero gratification. And telling people to stop will only make them go faster. Also, who am I to try and convince people that my way or your way or anyone’s way is somehow better or sustainable? And maybe making people stop is a terrible idea. It sounds nice, but slowing everyone down would have 7.7 billion humanoids out in the real-world wrecking things; it’s possibly better to have people glued to devices and not destroying the physical world. Imagine 7.7 billion people with too

A: I grew up in the 1970s when the future — usually described as the year 2000 — was supposed to be a horrible place with no food or clean water or oil or sunlight… and yet here we are in 2019 and it’s actually a really great place. Negativity makes for catchy magazine articles, but the truth is that the world is in a very good place, and it’s our perverse human nature that fools us into thinking otherwise. All of the truly intelligent people I’ve ever met are optimistic — all of the people with genuine measurable intelligence and proven track records of wisdom. 57

The Sustainabilist | GREEN INVESTMENTS


UAE’s Legislative Lab: World Premiere

In November 2018, President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, issued a federal law, authorising the UAE Cabinet to grant temporary licenses for the testing and vetting of innovations that utilise future technologies and its applications such as Artificial Intelligence (AI).


uring 2018’s Annual Meeting of the Global Future Councils organised by the UAE Government and the World Economic Forum, HE Mohammad Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and the Future announced the launch of the first Legislative Lab in the world. “The future belongs to those who can imagine it, shape it and implement it. In today’s world, governments cannot create the future singularly; it is important to 58

involve everyone from the private sector to youth, international partners and others in creating policies,” Gergawi declared during the opening address.“The Legislative Lab, RegLab, is meant to support technological transformation which can improve productivity of the UAE public sector by at least 20 per cent. Improved and updated legislation can contribute US$4 trillion in value to the global economic output”, he added. The President of the United Arab Emirates, issued a federal law authorising

the country’s government to grant temporary licences for testing innovations that use emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI). The law is intended to create a framework for developing and testing legislation to govern the use and applications of AI, 3D printing, and other future technologies. In January 2019, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai visited the Legislative Lab where he witnessed the issuance of the first license for the preparation of legislation for distance learning. On the occasion, the Vice-President acknowledged the importance that strong legislation plays in developing a future-proof country.“The Legislations Lab ensures our vision in the race towards the future. We won’t work to develop futuristic legislations only for the UAE, but we will export it for the world to benefit from it,” HH Sheikh Mohammed said during his visit at the Legislations Lab.” “The UAE pioneers the world in terms of futuristic legislations. Given its achievements, the UAE is able to host all global innovations and creativity,” His Highness added.

Issue 14 | April 2019


Green Financial Support for Green Drivers UAE banks are responding to local initiatives of transitioning to greener, emission-free roads through targeted green auto loans.


trong Local Commitment The Middle East, and especially the UAE – which aims to reduce carbon emissions by 2020 – are active early adopters of EVs. Dubai will spend millions of dirhams on incentives to have 42,000 EVs on its streets by 2030. Agencies across the board are supporting the transition to EVs, such as Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), who have invested in 300 hybrid taxi, or DEWA who have already implemented 100 electric-car charging stations in Dubai (budget allocated AED 10 million). With such a considerable support, there is no wonder that banks across the UAE are providing green car loans for citizens and residents who wish to drive in environmental style. The Pioneers Emirates NBD (ENBD) and HSBC UAE were the first banks in the UAE and in the

Middle East to offer green auto loans. ENBD launched the Green Auto Loan in January 2017, in response to the growing interest from residents in supporting a green and sustainable economy in the UAE. Customers interested in investing in electric or hybrid cars sold from approved auto dealerships in UAE are eligible to apply for the Green Auto Loan, which offers half day approvals, 0.50 per cent discount on reducing interest rate and 50 per cent cash back on processing fees. Citizens and expatriates aged 21 to 65 years old, who earn a minimum monthly salary of AED 7,500 can apply for the HSBC Green Auto Loan and can borrow a minimum of Dh30,000 and a maximum of Dh918,000, depending on their eligibility, which offers 50 per cent discount on the applicable arrangement fee and up to 0.25 per cent discount on

the applicable interest rate. Sharia-compliant Green Auto Loan As part of its commitment towards the green initiative, Emirates Islamic introduced the Sharia-compliant Green Auto Finance Loan in 2018. The financial product is available to customers earning more than AED 5,000 per month. National Bank of Fujairah National Bank of Fujairah (NBF), signatory to the Dubai Declaration on Sustainable Financing since early 2017, launched their own green auto loan in 2018. Customers who are UAE nationals and expat residents aged 18 years are eligible to apply for the Green Auto Loan, up to AED 1 million in financing, over a period of up to five years. NBF’s Green Auto Loan offering has an interest rate of 2.2 per cent. 59

The Sustainabilist | GREEN INVESTMENTS


Total Global Green Bond Issuance by Category 2007-2017, US$BN

ABS/MBS* Municipal Project Corporates Financials


Government Agencies Sovereigns Supranationals 97.3

49.9 36.8

14.6 1.5 2007











*ABS - asset-backed securities

MBS - mortgage-backed securities

Source: Bloomberg New Energy Finance








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Cash, money, and climate change - how green finance is transforming the economy in Dubai.

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Cash, money, and climate change - how green finance is transforming the economy in Dubai.