Progress on environmental, social and corporate governance in the United Arab Emirates
CLEANUAE TOP SUSTAINABLE COMPANIES
They used to say that agriculture has no future, but with Godâ€™s blessing and our determination, we have succeeded in transforming this desert into a green land. Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the late President of the United Arab Emirates
CLEANUAE TOP SUSTAINABLE COMPANIES
Publisher & Managing Group Editor Lisa Durante Managing Partner Karl Hougaard Consultant Editor Wafa’ Tarnowska Muaz Shabandri Creative Director Ravi Handve Project Director Rolan Huisamen Editorial Team Reena Raghavamoorthy Ritesh Matlani Wafa Tajdin
Published by GVPmedia FZLLC, a division of Global Village Partnerships Ltd. Fujairah Creative City United Arab Emirates
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word from the editor Welcome to this first annual edition of ‘CleanUAE’ which highlights stories of progress within the fields of environmental, social and corporate governance in the United Arab Emirates. There is a renaissance sweeping the world and the topic of sustainability is at the vanguard of the paradigm shift we are all witnessing at different levels. It is leading us to enshrine this vital consciousness into the fabric of our strategy and products in order to evolve - global vicissitudes and growing pains notwithstanding. Ultimately, this is why we have created an integrated concept such as ‘CleanUAE’. As part of the Global Village Partnerships publishing network (GVP) that develops titles in 20 countries worldwide, this publication represents a first step in highlighting sustainability challenges and remedial initiatives to a global readership. How does the publishing model work? By tailoring country-specific content, this innovative title is then rolled out to territories globally, so that the debate on sustainability can advance with heightened relevance. This is why a CleanBAHRAIN and a CleanSAUDIARABIA are set to follow the UAE edition. If our aim is to raise awareness about a topic that touches us all poignantly, then the only meaningful course of action is to shed light on it in whichever way possible. By offering value to our editorial participants we strengthen international business networks through the diverse titles we conceptualise in the UAE and then disseminate internationally. This is the foundation of our GVP sustainability strategy that has allowed us to flourish where others have floundered. Why have we chosen to start the CLEAN series with the UAE? This is undeniably a unique emerging environment that boasts numerous prime positions across diverse spheres. From its iconic successes to its dramatic lapses, this small nation resonates larger than life, captivating worldwide attention as it matures towards wider socio-economic diversification. It is therefore appropriate for the region’s first carbon neutral book to be published in the country that boasts one of the world’s highest per capita carbon footprints. This paradox reflects the inevitable duality that exists in all people, places and things. With this realisation in mind ‘CleanUAE’ represents a platform that aims to raise awareness and questions, without presuming to give answers. Thanks to the support from all our editorial participants, the significance of this publication in providing a comprehensive voice to sustainability in the UAE has been strengthened by their inputs. May your discovery of ‘CleanUAE’ begin here. Lisa Durante GVP Group Managing Editor GVPedia.com
CONTENT Chapter One
Greening the nation....................................................................14 - 17
Voices of the people....................................................................78 - 79
Top Global Institutions.................................................................18 - 19
Weaving a new fabric of society...................................................80 - 81
Emirates NBD: Sultan Al Owais Pearl Museum...............................20 - 23
Sustainability: What does it mean for PepsiCo?.............................82 - 85
Shell Foundation: Scale, Sustainability and success........................88 - 91 Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation................................................92 - 93
Reduce, reuse, recycle ...............................................................26 - 29
Going hungry? The irony of wealth...............................................94 - 95
Redefining Recognition................................................................30 - 31
Low carbon on the menu.............................................................94 - 97
Top Offenders.............................................................................32 - 33
Sustainable nourishment explored............................................ 100 - 105
Carbon Footprint.........................................................................34 - 35
Siobhanâ€™s sustainable selection................................................. 108 - 109
Green thinking, Green living.........................................................36 - 41
Ali Al Saloom: As I see it.......................................................... 110 - 111
Liquid of Life: Creating water from air..........................................42 - 43
From the big screen to the board room.................................... 112 - 113
Aqua Vitae..................................................................................44 - 49
Lights, camera, action!............................................................ 114 - 117
Bottled Water: Do we need it?.....................................................50 - 51
Pioneering ship building........................................................... 118 - 121
Desert Ferries.............................................................................52 - 57
Transport in the UAE............................................................... 122 - 123
Sustainable travel and tourism.....................................................58 - 61 Booking into green hospitality......................................................62 - 63
Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve..............................................64 - 65
Pearls of wisdom..................................................................... 132 - 133
EcoVentures: Encouraging sustainability.......................................68 - 71
Keeping the faith..................................................................... 134 - 135
PTL Solar: Powering sustainable growth.......................................72 - 73
Responsible business and investment....................................... 136 - 139
Clean Green................................................................................74 - 75
Credit Crises aftershocks.......................................................... 140 - 141 Sustainable dispute settlement................................................. 142 - 143 MENA Markets & ESG: The next phase of investment................ 144 - 147 DLA Piper: Leading the way in sustainability.............................. 148 - 151 Corporate responsibility: A coming trend in the Middle East?...... 152 - 155 Transparency pays.................................................................. 156 - 157 Warren Buffett........................................................................ 158 - 159 Sense and Cents: Sustainability in the UAE real estate market.... 160 - 163
“Example isn’t another way to teach, it is the only way to teach” claimed virtuoso thinker, Albert Einstein. Leading by example, this ethos was embraced by extraordinary men and women down the ages that each found unique ways to commit to safeguarding the delicate global eco sphere through their groundbreaking initiatives.
Greening the Nation VISION ‘Turn the dessert green’ by investing oil revenues into projects to improve the harsh desert environment. FAMOUS FOR As the ruler of Abu Dhabi and president of the UAE for over 30 years (1971-2004), Sheikh Zayed developed a progressive brand of leadership that was always underscored by his personal zeal for environmental protection. The principal architect of the UAE, his environmental strategies were implemented hand in hand with the nation’s rapid socioeconomic growth. To ensure the conservation of his country’s ecodiversity, he outlawed hunting, created his own island reserve for endangered species and elevated tree planting to a national priority.
HIS DREAM “We cherish our environment because it is an integral part of our country, our history and our heritage. On land and in the sea, our forefathers lived and survived in this environment. They were able to do so only because they recognized the need to conserve it, to take from it only what they needed to live and to preserve it for succeeding generations.” WHY WE LOVE HIM ”By encouraging a mix of traditional and modern technologies and by stimulating agriculture, His Highness has helped the United Arab Emirates, to quite literally, bloom. Myriad species of plants and flowers now flourish in this beautiful country, contributing to the well-being of its people.”
sheikhzayed.com Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan (1918-2004) Late President of the United Arab Emirates
By saying â€˜khalasâ€™ to his prized sporting passion of hunting with firearms, a sport at which he excelled, Sheikh Zayed set an enduring example for wildlife conservation in his fragile desert homeland that is under threat from species extinction. Clean UAE
Sheikh Nahayan Mubarak Al Nahayan Our founding father and late President, His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahayan had a bold and imaginative mission for this country and its people. By dedicating his life to making the United Arab Emirates a country of progress, prosperity and stability, his enduring legacy has created the foundation for socio economic diversification that is the mainstay of sustainability. Despite the inevitable periods of unpredictability that the world has historically faced, each challenge is the precursor of change, resulting in innovation and opportunity. Given heightened globalisation, todayâ€™s new and unforeseen scenarios require a fresh perspective and integrated action. We must all commit to ensuring that future development will advance everyone, not just the few. This mind shift towards inclusiveness that questions old systems and espouses fresh strategies is represented by a higher state of social consciousness. Propelled by sound education, corporate governance and environmental protection awareness, there is no limit to how far and how meaningful advancement can be. In many ways, the United Arab Emirates is a microcosm of what the new world order is all about. We share with communities worldwide the challenges of economic development, health, the environment and education. As well as the goal of international peace and the upliftment of human dignity, we realise that true
understanding and positive action will give rise to a plethora of new opportunities to shape the enduring future of our planet. Education has always been a top priority for our country. Our leaders continue to stress its value in helping the UAE achieve its goal as a prosperous, knowledge-based economy with a high quality of life for its residents. Education however, is not limited to students. We all need to continuously broaden our horizon and thereby contribute to a more sustainable society. Unfortunately, much of the worldâ€™s growth and development during the last century has come at the expense of our natural environment. As societies strive to improve their quality of life, issues such as global climate change, waste management and renewable energy sources become increasingly vital in retaining the quality of our environment. The UAE is uniquely positioned to take a leadership role in developing solutions to these critical environmental issues. While the UAE is blessed with plentiful oil resources, we also have nearly unlimited solar energy and plentiful wind which we can converted to renewable energy sources for our country and kickstart research in technology to assist other countries in developing their own renewable energy resources. If the human assault upon our environment continues unabated, we will witness rising ocean levels,
Sheikh Nahayan Mubarak Al Nahayan UAE Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Chancellor of United Arab Emirates University and Higher Colleges of Technology, President of Zayed University. threatening both coastal regions and agricultural patterns. Drought, disease and instability can only be avoided by providing increased impetus to enlightened environmental living. Together, we must reaffirm our conviction that we all exist in an inter-dependent world. No individual, institution or country, can successfully work in isolation. We must all work together to create and preserve a world order that promotes peace, hope,
understanding, stability, cooperation and prosperity. Within the pages of this book, you will read about the positive impact that sustainability has on businesses, and even more importantly, on life in general. I truly believe this annual publication will inspire readers to appreciate the unique ways in which grass roots action can contribute to the development and progress of the United Arab Emirates and its people.
Top Global Institutions Sustainability is a g lobal imperative that cuts across borders. Several institutions represent the five largest global attempts at creating a common culture of sustainability.
International Union for Conservation of Nature The oldest and largest global environmental network – with over 1,000 government and NGO member organizations, and almost 11,000 volunteer scientists in over 160 countries – aiming to find solutions both practical and inspiring for the world’s greatest developmental and environmental challenges.
f The IUCN set up the IUCN Red List, evaluating the conservation
status of species and subspecies on a global scale. Since 1963,it has been highlighting those species threatened with extinction and promoting their conservation.
The United Nations Division for Sustainable Development
f In 1998, the UN created Agenda 21, a comprehensive blueprint
of action that is overseen by the UN Division for Sustainable Development. It is a plan that requires cooperation on the global, national and local levels by organizations of the UN, governments, and major groups in every area in which humans impact the environment.
Worldwatch Institute A globally recognised independent research organization that aims to promote ideas that can empower decision-makers to help build a society that can sustainably meet human needs.
f Greenpeace has actively been involved in stopping illegal activities that may harm the environment – such as the smuggling of whale meat in Japan. This effort has set off protests around the world.
International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development
Promotes issues of sustainability within the world’s greatest international organization, as well as technical cooperation at the international, regional and national levels.
f A major name in sustainability, Worldwatch was identified as one
of the top ten sustainable development research organizations by Globescan Survey of Sustainability Experts.
Greenpeace A voluntary, non-profit organisation that raises awareness about various environmental threats through non-violent forms of activism around the world.
f Of the many initiatives it undertakes, the ICTSD’s Aid for Trade
Programme aims to create a package that will enable poor countries to participate fully in the trading system, meet adjustment needs, and build the capacity to produce and trade competitively in global markets.
A United Nations-accredited organization that works to contribute to a greater understanding of development and environment concerns in the context of international trade.
Emirates NBD Pearl Museum Emirates NBD, the largest banking group in the Middle East in terms of assets were formed on 16th of October 2007 when the shares of ENBD were officially listed on the Dubai Financial Market (DFM).
Preservation of the UAE culture and heritage are at the heart of these initiatives which lead to the launch of the first Pearl Museum in 2003, in the region, containing the largest collection of natural pearls in the GCC.
The Emirates NBD 2007 merger between Emirates Bank International (EBI) and the National Bank of
The Emirates NBD Pearl Museum is a gift from the Late Sultan Al Owais to the people to remind them of the pearl divers and merchants of Arabia, etched in pages of history this represents the way of life and heritage before the discovery of oil. Pearl diving is among the oldest traditions of trade in the UAE.
Dubai (NBD), has become a regional consolidation blueprint for the banking and finance sector as it combined the second and fourth largest banks in the United Arab Emirates. This combination has proved to deliver enhanced value across corporate, retail, Islamic and investment banking throughout the GCC region. Currently, more than 7.500 employees from over 50 nationalities are employed by Emirates NBD, making it one of the largest and most culturally diversified employers in the UAE. Emirates NBD and CSR As a socially responsible corporation, Emirates NBD engages in several activities, promoting important causes such as charity, education, environment, culture, art and sport in the UAE.
The museum is an ideal example of the benefits of sustainable living. Itâ€™s all about going back to your roots and learning from the past. Situated on the 15th floor of the Emirates NBD Head Office, overlooking the mighty creek, the Pearl Museum has become iconic as a tourist, educational and cultural site. Displaying the largest collection of natural pearl in the gulf; local, regional and international delegates have been fascinated by its beauty and glamour. A visit to the exquisite Pearl Museum is by appointment only.
Often in organisations CSR is merely limited to a department or initative. But at Emirates NBD it is truly a way of life, with active participation at all levels. We support the communities that have helped sustain us as a banking leader with the largest asset base in the region
Pearls have been compared to tears of angels, moonlight dew, rays of sunlight and flashes of lightening. Myths have surrounded their origin and they have been favorite adornment of great men and women. The most exquisite ones are found in warm waters of the Arabian Gulf and are desirable all over the world. In the UAE, Pearl diving was once the backbone of the economy helping families earn their incomes and survive. The activity declined with the oil boom and remains a testament of the UAEâ€™s ability to sustain in times of adversity. Pearl divers, with nothing more than a basic nose clip, greased skin to keep out the cold, and a lungful of air, were required to dive to depths of more than
100 feet to retrieve baskets of Arabian oysters from the rich sea bed. During its modest beginnings in the UAE, pearling constituted just another means of exploiting all the resources available to the tribal people. They cared for their camels and tended the date palms - often in locations which were many daysâ€™ travelling apart - and then, as pearling flourished, an increasing number of the able-bodied men participated in the dive (ghaus) during four months in the summer. Some divers were so practiced that they could stay for up to five minutes under the water, filling their buckets with the precious clams. But the dives claimed many lives too. For the survivors the CLEAN UAE
People Power - Emirates NBD staff volunteer initiative
practice was a grueling task. With only an average of one oyster in every 1000 shells containing a precious prize, many divers were required to make hundreds of dives for a single pearl.
Believing in creating a culture of contributing to the society through its resources, Emirates NBD launched a staff volunteer program for its employees to encourage their participation in community activities undertaken by the Group. The program aims at re-enforcing Emirates NBD’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities by involving the largest number of its Group employees in community events.
But the 3,000 year-old tradition was not to last. In the 1930’s, the Japanese invented the cultured pearl that led to an industry which created uniformly shaped and quality coloured pearls, all under strictly controlled conditions. Literally overnight, the Gulf pearl trade crashed, and the residents of the south east Arabian Peninsula were forced to diversify. The discovery of cultured pearls, together with Dubai’s growing interests in other economic areas, meant that - for a while at least - the pearl industry began to take a back seat. However, things have now come full circle and Dubai is poised once again to become the dynamic pearling capital of the world. A place where the past meets the future - and determines its direction, Dubai is led in a number of significant pearling initiatives under the auspices of the Dubai Pearl Exchange.
Emirates NBD’s staff volunteer program include a series of activities, ranging from field visits by employees to homes of the elderly, as well as patients in hospitals as a show of support to them. The program also includes voluntary work to promote environment awareness and provide assistance and support to people with special needs.
The Sultan Al Owais Pearl Museum at EmiratesNBD is just one of the initiatives reflecting the bank’s belief in protecting its culture and reviving the past.
One of the exquisite earl necklaces on display in the Sultan Al Owais Pearl Museum at the Emirates NBD bank in Dubai.
As a leading bank in the region, the program reflects Emirates NBD’s objective to re-enforce its position, not only as an institution which plays an important role in economic growth and financial development, but also as a strong supporter of the various community initiatives relating to the environment, charity, culture, education, art, and sports. The bank also plays a significant role in encouraging small National entrepreneurs in the UAE through ‘Al Tomooh’ program”.
Business, Finance & Investment
Reduce, Amazon reuse, Angel recycle Vision An iron-clad will behind her understated demeanour, Habiba epitomizes the statement ‘think globally, act locally,’ through her tireless efforts to introduce environmental concepts and themes in the UAE. Building awareness and organizing green schemes towards a sustainable future by involving the local community is her winning strategy. Since the World Wildlife Fund claims that the UAE has the world’s heftiest per capita eco footprint, ensuring the spread of eco knowledge from a snail’s pace to fast paced mode is no longer optional. Famous For Chairperson of Emirates Environmental Group (EEG) established in 1991, she has spread eco-consciousness in the UAE. As a Board Member for the UN Global Compact, (a policy platform and practical framework for companies committed to sustainability and responsible business practices), Al Marashi is widely acclaimed for her continuous efforts at greening the
region. Do not be misled by her self effacing style, her indomitable will is legendary. Active in educational institutes, scores of businesses and community practices, she has set up the Corporate Social Responsibility Network and Arabia CSR Awards Program to further encourage inclusiveness. By increasing the publics’ capacity to be proactive by instituting innovative solutions to tackle issues like waste, energy, and water, she advocates the ‘R’ mantra- Reuse, Reduce, Recycle. Her Dreams “To live in a truly green and sustainable UAE.” Why we love her “In an environment where lethargy is the order of the day, Habiba Al Marashi is the epitome of the real eco warrior. The UAE’s fragile ecosystem needs a friend like her.” eg-uae.org
Habiba Al Marashi Co-Founder and Chairperson of Emirates Environmental Group
The EEG is the first non-profit NGO in the world to be accredited with the ISO 14001:2004 certification for its environment management system. Winner of the Emirates Professional Businesswoman Award, Al Marashi, is a figure of substance, strength and integrity.
Green Renaissance The UAE loves to hold records. From erecting the world’s tallest in tower in 2010, the Burj Khalifa towering high at a dizzying 828-metres, to Kizad, the region’s biggest industrial zone a year later, to be based in Abu Dhabi’s hinterland, welcome to pole position central. A more sombre ranking has recently come from the 2010 Living Planet Report by World Wildlife Fund, which continues to list the UAE as the highest ecological footprint holder worldwide. If everyone lived like a UAE resident in terms of energy expenditure, we would need six more planets to replenish the resources and absorb carbon emissions generated. Now that’s calling for global attention, albeit of a different kind. Clearly some may believe, as Oscar Wilde said that, “it’s better to be talked about than not to be talked about at all.” Despite the plethora of sustainability awards that proliferate in this neck of the desert, surveys conducted by the Road and Transport Authority (RTA) have shown that Dubai has more vehicles on the road per capita than other major cities in the world with each vehicle
adding to air pollution. Dubai scored comparatively 13 percent air pollution due to traffic, to a 4.7 percent in major cities in Canada. As if all of this paradox were not sufficient to bring home a drastic point, local reports claim that one in two camels die from ingesting plastic waste. Rocks of calcified plastic weighing between 10 to 60 kilos have been found inside animal stomachs. Moving on to the most precious of resources (not black gold), 250 litres of water per capita is consumed in the UAE. When 100 percent of usable water comes from desalinated plants which add dangerous pollutants to the air, each person can save up to 46 percent of water daily without making major sacrifices. In a year that could fill 164,250 Olympic swimming pools. The situation is undeniably dire when it comes to sustainability, but the UAE is trying hard to address some of the stark challenges… For instance, the Dubai Metro has
brought 25 per cent reduction in carbon emissions from fuel. With 30 million passengers travelling on its two lines in its first year, the RTA has played its part in reducing carbon consumption in the emirate. As we write, the Metro in Abu Dhabi is also being planned in order to meet the challenges of sustainable mass transit. A traveller spends an average of AED 80 a month on the Metro compared to AED 600 in carrelated costs, making it an economic sustainability imperative too. Despite its inevitable initial teething problems, Abu Dhabi’s Masdar City is seen as a beacon of hope in green constructions. The $22 billion project is years away from completion but its aims are lofty: to become amongst the world’s first zero-carbon, self sufficient settlements. In addition, green buildings such as the Dubai International Academic City already exist. Many of them are in the process of attaining the LEED rating developed by the US Green Building Council. These aim at sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, eco-friendly materials selection and indoor environmental quality. The UAE, the so-called ‘late bloomer’ in global ecological sustainability is taking concerted baby steps to get its carbon footprint act together. Increasingly, Clean Up drives in public areas are being organised by Emirates Environmental Group involving schools and colleges in an effort to foster a culture of recycling in a society that has embraced a consumerist modus vivendi with shocking alacrity.
In a nutshell, the major environmental challenges that the UAE faces reflect those of other rapidly developing nations. The transition from a traditional economy based on subsistence fisheries, oasis agriculture and livestock, to a modern, highly urbanised country in three decades is affecting the environment and the cultural fabric of the UAE. Fundamentally, it is vital to respect that this region has a delicate geophysical ecosystem which must be protected from manic expansion, if it is to flourish. Conservation priorities for the UAE as suggested by the WWF • To involve more entities; public and private; in the process of conservation that will make sustainability constitutional • To ensure promises are kept on planned conservation programmes and to inspect the process of fulfilment of sustainability goals • To promote and assist in establishing a national network of protected zones that may need regular attention and investment from conservation authorities • To establish and help implement clear and realistic conservation plans for endangered species that the UAE holds important to its heritage • To aid in the implementation of international conservation efforts and participate at all levels in green activities • To promote sustainable lifestyle in the UAE through policies • To raise awareness among the local population on the sustainable use of natural resources • Promote Reduce, reuse and recycle
Global Eco Pioneers
Redefining Recognition THE ability to manage ‘extra financial’ aspects, such as those related to environmental, labour and management issues for instance is a leading indicator for a countries’ overall corporate governance. Today, the UAE is not only beginning to understand the vital importance of sustainability in these areas; it is putting its money where its mouth is by recognising individuals, groups and organisations that devote themselves to engaging in sustainable practices.
Top Accolades Zayed Future Energy Prize 2010 First Prize Winner: $1.5 million Toyota Motor Corporation Toyota was singled out for its ground breaking fuel efficient system of the thirdgeneration Toyota Prius, the world’s first mass-produced hybrid vehicle. Runner- Ups- $ 350,000 Suntech Power Holdings Co. Ltd, China – world’s largest manufacturer of silicon solar modules. International Development Enterprises India (IDEI) All three finalists exuded the qualities associated with the Prize criteria, leadership, innovation and long-term vision, and are true ambassadors of renewable energy innovation. Winners Public Corporation Bahrain Petroleum Company (BAPCO) for “Mass Loss Reduction Program” Private Corporation Aramco, Saudi Arabia for “Saudi Aramco Energy Management Program” Major project award Al Khaleej Sugar, UAE for “UTILISATION OF LOW PRESSURE (WASTE VAPOUR) VAPOUR USING MECHANICAL VAPOUR PRECOMPRESSOR”, Minor project award TECOM Investments, UAE for “Water Conservation Project at TECOM Site A” Education & Research Aramco from Saudi Arabia for “Combined Heat and Power Model Development” Energy Engineer D.S. Narayana.
Maverick in Sustainability Saeed Al Abbar, a 26-year-old Emirati, was recently named the International Young Consultant of the Year by the British Expertise International Awards 2010. As a sustainability consultant in Halcrow, a multinational firm, his role essentially revolves around the future of the UAE: sustainable design of communities, infrastructure and buildings. Al Abbar recently took on the offer to project manage the Emirates Green Building Council’s new headquarters in Dubai which will strive to achieve the highest LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) ratings as well as demonstrate leadership in sustainable design and construction practices.
ARABIA CSR AWARDS 2010 The 3rd Cycle of the Arabia CSR Awards, witnessed 62 companies across the Arab world competing for the Awards, which would make them stand out as trailblazers in the field of CSR. In 2010, the Awards had applications from 12 Arab countries – a feat never accomplished before! Applications from countries such as Palestine, Sudan and Yemen prove the commitment of the region towards business excellence in sustainability. Arabia CSR Awards are pioneered by Emirates Environmental Group in cooperation with United Nations Global Compact under the stalwart leadership of Habiba Al Marashi and patronage of HH Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the President of the Department of Civil Aviation and Chief Executive and Chairman of the Emirates Group. Winners Dubai Customs in the large category, RSA Insurance in the medium category First Select in the small category Best Newcome: Aldar Properties – Abu Dhabi Best Project: Sayga - Sudan
GREEN TOURISM AWARDS 2010 The award launched in 2009 honor environment-friendly hotels that have made significant improvements to services and systems through internal and external initiatives such as waste recycling, energy conservation, and environmental awareness campaigns. Winners 5 Star Hotel Category: Park Hyatt 4 Star Hotel Category: Qamar Eddine Hotel took first place 3 Star Hotel Category: Regal Plaza Hotel took first place
World Trade Centre Dubai World Trade Centre stands for Al Abbar specifically for reasons that the design incorporates the environmental conditions and availability of natural resources. “Built in the 1970s, I think it has stood the test of time and remained an iconic landmark. It also has numerous sustainable design features before the term ‘green buildings’ even existed and it was simply known as ‘common sense design for the Middle East climate it is somewhat disturbing to note that it is probably more energy efficient than a lot of new buildings in the UAE,” he said.
RTA Dubai Award for Sustainable Transport The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has devised a long-range comprehensive transportation strategy that addresses current and future transportation issues and provides a wide range of solutions that will enable Dubai to have an efficient, safe and environmentally sound transportation system. Promoting sustainable practices in the way people choose to travel and to manage the negative consequences of transportation are of paramount importance. To achieve this, there is a great need for public and institutional awareness to actively apply practices with the objective of making transportation more sustainable across the board. Bearing this in mind, the RTA supported by the Dubai Executive Council initiated the Dubai Award for Sustainable Transport (DAST). This annual award strives to encourage the implementation of a sustainable culture among various segments of the UAE community.
TOP Offenders Meat industry The United Nations has suggested that shift from meat to a vegan diet is the best possible way to tackle climate change at an individual level. a person switching from a typical American diet to a vegan diet with the same number of calories would prevent the emission of 1485 kg of carbon dioxide over a period of time. Researchers at the University of Chicago concluded that the change in diet may be more effective than a shift from standard American car to a hybrid. Itâ€™s true that a plate of meat takes many more resources than a vegetarian plate of food. And it possibly generates seven times the carbon emissions compared to vegetable produce. The
Gallons of Water
animal industry is responsible for majority of methane in the atmosphere. Waste from animal factory farms enters the water ways and disturbs other species. According to Environmental Defense, a green stats agency, if every American skipped one meal of chicken per week and substituted vegetarian foods instead, in the long run the carbon dioxide savings would be the same as taking more than half a million cars off U.S. roads. John Robbins, a vegetarian author mentions the amount of water, one of the many resources that go in producing crops, vegetable and meat:
One Pound of Product
60 Potatoes 108 Wheat 168 Corn 229 Rice 12,000 Meat
Researchers at the University of Chicago concluded that the change in diet may be more effective than a shift from standard American car to a hybrid.
Hotel Industry Dubaiâ€™s boom of luxury hotels and hospitality services has a been leading factor in making it the most popular tourist destination in the Middle East and will take it to top spots in comparison to holiday hubs all over the world. This economy has shifted from traditional trade methods of survival to a more service based economy. Best hotels, malls and brands; the biggest and showy of them all; have found shelter and success in Dubaiâ€™s retail maze. Farnek Avireal, a UAE based management consultancy, proved in a study that Dubaiâ€™s hotels
consume an average of 275 to 325 kilowatt-hours (kwh) of power for every guest, while a similar hotel in Europe consumes only about 100 kwh for each guest, a difference of 225 per cent. It also shows that a five-star hotel in Dubai emits 6,500 tons of carbon dioxide each year, while a similar hotel in Europe produces barely half, or 3,000 tons, annually. One can ponder over whether resources are being put to the right use when Emirates Palace, the most luxurious hotel in Abu Dhabi put up an extravagant glitzy bejeweled Christmas tree valued at more than 11 million dollars last Christmas.
Dubai emits 6,500 tons of carbon dioxide each year, while a similar hotel in Europe produces barely half, or 3,000 tons, annually.
Downsize Your Carbon Footprint Going Green Reducing your carbon footprint, one step at a time
As the ‘green’ bandwagon gains momentum, understanding what a carbon footprint is and how you go about reducing it, is vital. Using the word ‘carbon’ as the basis for the definition, carbon footprint is linked to carbon pollution, the main perpetrator of the world’s climate change which has resulted in extreme weather, higher temperatures, severe droughts and famine; as well as rising sea levels.
Therefore, your carbon footprint is a measure of how your domestic and social activities are affecting the environment in terms of the amount of green house gases you produce per year, measured in tonnes of carbon dioxide. Every time you drive a car or travel by air, consume electricity or a any product a carbon footprint is left. Reducing it implies eliminating unnecessary actions and activities, replacing them with environmentally friendly alternatives.
Living in a so-called knowledge economy, it is possible to approximate the impact of lifestyles on the environment. To gauge carbon footprint precisely, environmental lifestyle organisations offering diverse metrics are eager to offer their services. From online carbon footprint calculators, to dedicated consultancies to assist in overhauling the way you think, live and work today it is inexcusable and even unfashionable not to attempt to slash carbon footprint.
Experts suggest that carbon footprint per capita needs to fall by as much as 80 percent to effectively reverse global warming.
IN THE HOME Place a bucket in the shower or bathtub while waiting for water to get warm before you lather up. Gallons of water are wasted as you wait, so save it and reuse it for things like watering plants or rinsing dishes. Shaving minutes off your shower time also helps.
Avoid using harsh insecticides to kill bugs. Try using cayenne pepper or lemon juice if you have an ant problem – ants taste with their feet! Make good use of a sunny day and hang-dry your laundry. Clothes dryers are one of the most energy inefficient household appliances.
AT THE OFFICE Think twice before printing out documents. If you must, print double-sided and make sure to use recycled paper. Be sure to recycle your printouts when you are finished with them. Use recycled printer cartridges and soy based ink which is less toxic. Before leaving the office each night save energy by turning off your computer and monitor. There is no need to keep it on for hours if you will not even be in the building.
ON THE ROAD There are more advantages to taking your foot off the pedal than just cutting the risk of getting a speeding ticket. Driving slower on the freeway saves fuel, meaning you save money and produce less smog – so slow down. It is what is on the inside that counts – save water by cutting the number of times you wash the car each month, and make sure to turn off the tap between rinses.
Think twice before hopping in the car for a ride to the shops. Do you really need that loaf of bread or bag of cookies today? Try shopping once every one or two weeks instead of making multiple trips for just a few items. Make an effort to shop at the grocery that’s on the way to work or vice versa instead of the one across town. Limiting the number of trips helps save fuel AND money! OR Buy online!
IMPORTANT EXTRAS Try to reduce the number of flights you take. Do NOT buy bottled water if your tap water is safe to drink. Buy local fruit and vegetables, or even try growing your own. Buy foods that are in season locally. Do NOT buy fresh fruit and vegetables which are out of season, they may have been flown in from far afield.
Reduce your consumption of meat. More land has to be put into agricultural production to produce meat than to produce plant products. Because the methane they belch is 23 times more effective at retaining heat than CO2, domestic animals contribute more to global warming than all human transportation combined. Try to only buy products made close to home (look out and avoid items that are made in the distant lands).
Even if you have never knowingly done anything green in your life, incorporating a few or even all of the steps outlined above will ensure a substantial slice off your carbon footprint. Simply reducing the energy you waste in the home will almost certainly bring down your carbon footprint by about 10 percent – and if that isn’t a good start then I don’t know what is. Environment
Landmark Green thinking - Green living Since 2008, with over half of the world’s population living in cities, reducing carbon footprint in urban areas is no longer the preserve of ‘tree huggers’ on the margins of society. Using the word ‘carbon’ as the basis for the definition, carbon footprint is a measure of how domestic and industrial activities affect the environment in terms of the amount of green house gases produced annually. As a contributor to the world’s climate change which has resulted in extreme weather, higher temperatures, more droughts and famine, as well as rising sea levels; sustainable urbanisation is inextricably linked to the challenge of ensuring sustainable carbon footprint levels. The 2006 World Wildlife Fund (WWF) concluded that the UAE was five times more unsustainable than any other country. Saddled with the world’s highest carbon footprint, UAE residents boast amongst the highest per capita consumption rates worldwide for electricity and water. Measured in tonnes of carbon dioxide, every time you switch on a light, turn on a tap or power a lawnmower, a carbon footprint ensues. Therefore reducing it implies eliminating unnecessary actions and activities and replacing them with environmentally
friendly alternatives. “Between 2007 and 2008, had Dubai’s urban growth continued on the same trajectory, we would have been experiencing black-outs in the emirate by the year 2012. This is because infrastructure development could not keep up with the pace with growth in electricity consumption,” explains Charles Neil, CEO, Landmark Properties. “Therefore it stands to reason that the current slowdown in Dubai’s real estate explosion is giving real estate developers and home owners the chance to assess their status in this area and adopt responsible techniques to lower carbon footprint whilst slashing utility and maintenance bills too,” he explains. Even though the 2008 WWF report again found that the UAE was the worst worldwide in terms of its environmental footprint per capita, awareness for the need for change is dawning. With its in-house property management division, Landmark Property is discovering that end-users are becoming more aware of the urgency to opt for eco-friendly construction or refurbishment, given that many relatively new properties have been shabbily built and the result is excessive property depreciation and
Increased consumption generates economic and job growth, which leads to additional population growth, creating a positive feedback cycle.
Charles Neil CEO Landmark Properties LLC
Charles Neil is an experienced senior Financial Executive who joined Landmark in 2008 following his tenure with the Dubai International Financial Centre (difc). In difc, he held many executive posts, including Director of Special Projects (Legal), commissioner for data protection and commissioner for anti money laundering and counter financing of terrorism.
utility bills. “This is done by using green building techniques that embrace proper insulation for instance and the correct installation of quality doors and windows that ideally should be done once, but done right, with the environment and energy costs in mind.” This is one reason why the organisation has joined forces with manufacturers of construction products designed with genuine sustainable criteria aimed at giving home owners the opportunity to upgrade their existing properties according to sustainable parameters. This will extend the life-cycle and value of the property, as well as decrease its operational costs, such as air conditioning expenses. “We find that the more educated and aware our clients become about sustainability measures, the more we receive requests. This is why we are developing offerings to meet this demand. Services most often requested are related to AC and insulation given the hot climate”, Charles Neil says. What is needed to ensure that quality construction becomes the standard benchmark of the industry in the UAE? “Before and after scenarios help to educate clients and developers to raise standards in the UAE. By showcasing two properties (one with the current construction standards and another with sustainable materials and precautions taken) the UAE audience can directly compare energy conservation. By comparing DEWA bills between the two units, the audience learns what end result could occur from higher building standards in the market,” Charles Neil explains.
In so doing there are long term
benefits that derive from investing in eco-sustainable construction. These
include enhancing the life cycle of a building, reducing the energy consumption by adequately insulating a property during construction, whilst improving health and safety aspects by using the eco-friendly materials to ensure clean air and proper air circulation for inhabitants. At the moment, in terms of budget, about 25 percent goes into the construction of a building and 75 percent goes into the maintenance of it over the following 25 years. (Approximately AED100 million to build, and AED 400 million to run – in essence the cheaper they are being built now,
the more they will cost later on.) To ensure a sustainable investment, 60 or 70 percent should be invested in smart property building materials upfront in the construction of a building which will help reduce the operational cost of maintenance over time. “This can only happen with a mind shift as many buildings are being built with no foresight in mind,” Charles Neil concludes.
When it comes to combining technical innovation with design expertise, who better to hook up with than with Italian manufacturers? Where do I live? “I live in Florence, along the road that leads to the Chianti region of Western Tuscany in a 100-year old renovated hay barn, built in 60cms thick local stone. The load bearing beams of the 60msq property are made from chestnut wood, and the roof with handmade terracotta tiles. The windows are hardwood, varnished with a water-based paint that ensures minimal thermal leakage in order to keep out the elements; either heat or cold. I have furnished my home in solid Fir wood, treated with beeswax so as to protect the wood and minimize the need for cleaning agents. Accessories are in wrought iron with ivory linen upholstery. Opting for design products that last and are produced with the minimum use of energy, I exist to build doors and windows that ensure both natural comfort and whilst
ensuring maximum thermal and acoustic safeguards.” With Cipriani’s triple-glazing windows built to withstand the onslaught of the elements, which is especially relevant in the UAE: keeping the interiors cool and keeping out the heat. With proper insulation, he claims that his range can bring down energy expenditure by 66 percent. Built with fully recyclable materials – wood and aluminum – it’s an investment that makes a substantial difference to the overall quality of any property. Europe, and Italy in particular are at the forefront in terms of energy saving. A law passed in 2005 outlines parameters that guarantee and certifies the transmission of heat in all perimeter walls, from the roof to the doors and windows. Another law passed in 1997, obliges builders to ensure
Opting for design products that last and are produced with the minimum use of energy, I exist to build doors and windows that ensure both natural comfort and whilst ensuring maximum thermal and acoustic safeguards.
ALBERTO CIPRIANI scion of the CIPRIANI doors and windows factory. Founded in 1917 in Florence
ALBERTO CIPRIANI, scion of the CIPRIANI doors and windows factory. Founded in 1917 in Florence, today the company exports their eco range of doors and windows products worldwide.
appropriate acoustic exterior isolation for all dwellings. Each region of Italy has legally binding climatic reference tables that set the allowances for thermal transfer between perimeter walls. After many visits to the UAE to check out property inventory, he claims that market is still in a nascent phase, where quantity has often overshadowed quality. “You find stunningly designed furnished villas for instance that are structured with walls, doors and windows that remind me of what was used in Italy in the 1950’s. It’s as if we buy the chassis of a luxury car and place a lawn mower engine inside it instead.” In an effort to avoid these discrepancies, the Emirates Green Building Council (EGBC) established 2006, has been instrumental in establishing the rules - often referred to as a green building code – that govern the construction of new buildings and maintenance of existing ones in Dubai. With a green building certification system for developers to follow loosely based on
the US rules on Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), change is underway in phases. The focus is on upgrading air conditioning systems and a 30 percent saving of energy costs. With the US Green Business Council claiming that buildings account for 72 percent of electricity consumption in the US, investing in eco-sustainable construction is paramount. After all, “given its increasing scarcity, the price of energy is increasing, so why let it literally escape out of the window?” Alberto Cipriani warns that real estate investors and developers need to act fast. “Paying scarce attention to the quality of wall insulation and doors and windows is like suicide. It kills the sustainability of any home. I see a growing market opportunity to supply our quality of products for home owners actively seeking to lower their energy consumption at home as utilities bills for many have spiralled out of control. I’m all for aesthetics, but not at the cost of sustainability.”
Where do I live? “I live on the outskirts of Perugia in Umbria in a 600 square metre villa built in 1972. I have always been keen to adopt progressive technologies to contain energy consumption. For instance, correct thickness of perimeter walls, triple glazed windows with air chambers to reduce the risk of shattering; as well as the level of noise and thermal transfer. I can say that the quality of living that I enjoy here more than amply justifies the minimum construction costs involved in adopting these enlightened construction techniques.” For him, sustainability only has one meaning; “to build a home that does not cause anxiety: a space to be loved without construction defects and manageable maintenance expenses.” His products reflect this philosophy. Made from totally recyclable materials, the reflective insulation products are patented and independently certified by government laboratories in five
European countries. In 47 years of professional activity in the construction industry he has always searched and developed products with a high level of technological innovation. “With its perennially hot climate, the UAE needs permanent thermal barriers and not merely brakes to heat transmission, for which reflective products are the most viable technology to reduce energy consumption and monthly bills too. This can be applied in different ways; either in between a perimeter wall, or even a complete external cladding that allows a energy reduction of at least 50 per cent,” he explains. Essentially, the aim of his products is to stop the external heat permeating the inside of a building and the cool air from escaping. “You will spend less on electricity to cool the building, use less petroleum to produce electricity and thereby have reduced Co2 emissions in the air. That’s what makes a construction product smart and the home a haven to be enjoyed.”
With its perennially hot climate, the UAE needs permanent thermal barriers and not merely brakes to heat transmission, for which reflective products are the most viable technology to reduce energy consumption and monthly bills too.
BRUNO SARGENTINI founder - SA.M.E.
A household name in the world of reflective insulation, Bruno Sargentini, Founder of sa.M.E. Has supplied hundreds of thousands of metres of reflective insulation material since inception in 2004. Working closely with university researchers to monitor the level of thermal and acoustic insulation of his patented products, his leed certified range is being exported to Europe and the Middle East.
REDUCE CARBON FOOTPRINT AT HOME To get a precise measure of individual carbon footprint, environmental lifestyle companies offer their services, from websites with free carbon footprint calculators, to dedicated consultancies that assist in overhauling the way people live and think. Today it is inexcusable and even unfashionable not to attempt to reduce personal carbon footprint. • Place a bucket in the shower or bathtub while waiting for water to get warm before you lather up. Litres of water are wasted as you wait, so save it and reuse it for things like watering plants or rinsing dishes. Shaving minutes off your shower time also helps. • Avoid using harsh insecticides to kill bugs. Try using cayenne pepper or lemon juice if you have an ant problem – ants taste with their feet. • Make good use of a sunny day and hang-dry your laundry. Clothes dryers are one of the most energy inefficient household appliances. • Purchase reusable cloth shopping bags to use at the grocery store. If you have mountains of plastic bags, use them until they wear out and then recycle them. • Make sure to recycle disposable water bottles after they have been used, and opt for a reusable bottle instead. • Be sure to run your dishwasher only when it’s full. Running several smaller loads instead of a full load wastes both water and energy. • Take mainly cool showers if you are healthy or if you want to boost your immune system and save energy and water at the same time. • Replace any incandescent light bulbs with Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CFL) or Light-Emitting Diodes (LEDs). These types of light bulbs are more expensive, but replacing just one incandescent light bulb will save 150 pounds of carbon dioxide and, because it lasts eight to 15 times longer than an incandescent bulb, you end up
saving a substantial amount of money over the course of the bulbs lifetime. • Use the microwave more because they use a lot less energy than conventional ovens and stoves, especially for heating water. • Turn off your lights when they are not being used, even when you leave a room for a short period of time. • Regulate your home temperature: Move your thermostat two degrees cooler in winter and two degrees warmer in the summer. • Clean or replace air filters on your AC unit at least once a month. • Lower the thermostat on your water heater to 120 degrees and wrap it with an insulated blanket. • Set refrigerator temperatures at 2-3 degrees and your freezer to 0 to -5 degrees. Pack your refrigerator tightly to reduce the amount of cooled air. Ensure that the refrigerator is levelled properly to ensure that it operates efficiently. If you are buying a new refrigerator, ensure that it is Energy Star approved. • Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth. You will save 25 gallons of water a month. • Unplug your electronics: Most electronics still use some energy even when turned off. This ‘standby mode’ or ‘phantom load’ drains up to 10 percent of electricity used in most homes. • Turn off your computer when you’re not using it. Or adjust your computer’s power management to reduce the amount of power it uses while idle. Do this on any computer’s you have access too.
Isoliving: Reflective thermal insulation made from alkaline resistant alluminium with two layers of flame retardant Polyethylene bubble material with a thickness of 7/8 mm. This can be placed in single or double sheets between horizontal or vertical walls in addition to being mounted as a cladding wrapped around the entire perimeter of the building. Thermoliving: High performing acoustic isolation which is ideal to reduce noise and echoing between floors of a building or between the walls.
Wood and aluminum window frame guarantees low levels of thermal transfer and acoustic protection. The exterior aluminum does not require maintenance and the indoor wood frame can be matched with the décor as well as the internal doors. Internal wooden doors with patented internal fire resistant panels can be produced in any colour and finish. Environment
Liquid of Life Creating water from air Water is essential for all dimensions of life, yet its scarcity creates many challenges around the world. In the Middle East economic and population growth continues to put pressure on already depleting freshwater supplies and overstretched water supplies will increasingly influence and affect the way we live. Many consumers are seeking an alternative to plastic bottled water consumption which is harmful to the environment on many levels and the quality of which is sometimes questionable. It is estimated that the UAE consumes almost 500 million plastic water bottles a year, and the costs to the environment of using plastic bottled drinking water are numerous: • Use of fossil fuels and the related carbon emissions from transporting plastic bottled water throughout the UAE contribute to poor air quality. • It takes three times as much water to produce a one litre bottle as it does to fill it. • Plastic water bottles are also
often disposed of in the natural environment, which has devastating consequences for wildlife. • Most plastic bottles end up in landfill sites where they take up to 450 years to degrade. Guided by a relentless focus to conserve our natural water resources and reduce the negative impact we have on our environment, Liquid of Life LLC was established to provide a technology that produces a quality source of drinking water that does not degrade the natural ecosystem around us. The technology generates drinking water purely from the air we breathe thus providing an alternative and sustainable source of drinking water. Liquid of Life provides a number of water generators that generates water from the air, which is then piped to a dispenser where the water is purified. The water passes through a set of filters, including a mineral filter and then is also passed through a UV lamp. Ozone is also injected into the water tank to keep the water fresh and clean
There is a high carbon footprint associated with plastic bottled water consumption. By eliminating the use of plastic bottled drinking water, individuals and businesses are able to demonstrate that they have taken steps to reduce their carbon footprint and also their water footprint 42
ready to be dispensed for drinking where and when it is required. The advantage is that the technology can be used in locations with no water infrastructure and can also be retrofitted to any existing building to supply a sustainable source of drinking water. Liquid of Life are able to bespoke a system to meet the needs and requirements of any business with the systems capable of producing hundreds of liters a day. Rukhsana Kausar, a founding partner of Liquid of Life, highlights some of the key areas of benefit of implementing the airto-water systems: “There is a high carbon footprint associated with plastic bottled water consumption. By eliminating the use of plastic bottled drinking water, individuals and businesses are able to demonstrate that they have taken steps to reduce their carbon footprint and also their water footprint” “Furthermore, another major benefit of implementing the air-to-water systems is that it can help businesses to achieve long-term savings on their costs of providing quality drinking water to their staff and customers. Many businesses have looked at the technology as a way of being protected against future hikes in the cost of plastic bottled drinking water, particularly in the Middle East where water scarcity is a major issue.”
Furthermore, another major benefit of implementing the air-to-water systems is that it can help businesses to achieve longterm savings on their costs of providing quality drinking water to their staff and customers. Many businesses have looked at the technology as a way of being protected against future hikes in the cost of plastic bottled drinking water, particularly in the Middle East where water scarcity is a major issue.
By installing and implementing the technology in your home or business premises, you can eliminate plastic bottled water consumption and contribute towards living a more sustainable lifestyle and a cleaner environment for all. liquidoflife.net
Aqua Vitae Chip Harris, North American Chief Technical Officer, Aqualyng “The trouble with water—and there is trouble with water—is that they’re not making any more of it. They’re not making any less, mind you, but no more either. There is the same amount of water on the planet now as there was in prehistoric times. People, however, they’re making more of—many more, far more than is ecologically sensible—and all those people are utterly dependent on water for their lives (humans consist mostly of water), for their livelihoods, their food, and increasingly, their industry. Humans can live for a month without food but will die in less than a week without water. Humans consume water, discard it, poison it, waste it, and restlessly change the hydrological cycles, indifferent to the consequences: too many people, too little water, water in the wrong places and in the wrong amounts.” Marq de Villiers, Water, 2000 Thinking of Water? When one thinks of water in its various
forms, what does one think of? Oceans, icebergs, lakes, rivers….or small empty plastic bottles littering the landscape? In many cases the latter is the most prevalent sight, and we as a people become more dependent on a manufactured commodity rather than a renewable resource. Water is of major importance to all living things. In some organisms, up to 90 percent of their body weight comes from water. Up to 60 percent of the human body is water; the brain is composed of 70 percent water, and the lungs are nearly 90 percent water. About 83 percent of our blood is water which helps digest our food, transport waste, and control body temperature. Each day humans must replace a minimum of 2.4 litres of water, some through drinking and the rest taken by the body from the foods eaten. And water has become a commodity. The definition of a commodity, as ‘... substance or product that can be traded, bought or sold...’ definitely addresses water as a consumable product for
..If we could ever competitively, at a cheap rate, get fresh water from salt water this would be in the long-range interests of humanity and would dwarf any other scientific accomplishments. John F. Kennedy in 1962 while he was President of the United States
human needs. It also addresses water as a processing commodity, as a manufacturing necessity, as an industrial component and as a recreational component. A recreational commodity, you ask? Think of being charged for admission to a water park or aquarium and you have defined the word commodity. The only water to be had for no remuneration is a sip from an unpolluted stream, and one is invited to try and find such nearby, wherever you are.
There are, however, serious sustainability issues regarding these vital needs. The discussion for us here is around water, as food and air raise even more political and social boundaries than water. However this situation is changing radically and rapidly. Water is scarce in many parts of the world today. And while there are countless social, economic and political issues regarding this problematic deficiency, most of these issues are too interwoven to address in isolation.
Sustenance and Sustainability Think of what you need to survive, really just survive. Nice House? Cool Car? AC? MTV? Humans, as most mammals, really need only three major things for sustenance of life: air, food and water. Everything else; energy as in artificial heat, artificial light and artificial cooling, skin coverings, transportation, etc. is, as they say, ‘just gravy’.
With the notion of ‘sustainability’ gathering momentum - defined as ‘... able to continue over a period of time...’ as well as ‘...causing little or no damage to the environment and therefore able to continue for a long time...’ - both issues of source and consumption with regards to water are important as never before.
There just wouldn’t be any you, me, or Fido the dog without the existence of an ample liquid water supply on Earth. The unique qualities and properties of water are what make it so critical to life. The cells in our bodies are full of water. The excellent ability of water to dissolve numerous substances allows our cells to use valuable nutrients, minerals and chemicals in our biological processes. Water is also called the ‘universal solvent’ because it dissolves more substances than any other liquid. Wherever water goes, either through the ground or through our bodies, it takes along valuable chemicals, minerals, and nutrients for disbursement.
The source IS the problem The ‘grandfather’ of water sustainability is, in one word, precipitation. As shown by the ‘Water Cycle’ below, the Earth has, up until recently (in geological terms), been able to sustain life through this natural water cycle. As quoted by author Michael McClary, “Irrigation of the land with seawater desalinated by fusion power is ancient. It is called ‘rain’.” Since we, as a people, have encouraged the growth of our population in numerous areas where the ‘natural’ water consumption source is considered challenged, depleted or unavailable; we need to artificially make up for this deficit in some way. The need for migration of the species
was once considered historically vital. Such was the need for life in terms of following herds of movable foodstuffs (livestock) in our primal years, or in search of financial sustenance to provide that which nature could not (when the species was more mature). Our needs as a species for ‘more’, in terms of comforts and playtime, have definitively led us to a precipice, as far as water sustainability is concerned. We are migrating now not to follow the herd but rather to follow the money. And the problem IS the source ... Of technology, that is. If necessity is the so-called ‘mother of invention’, then the problems faced by those who live in arid or otherwise water-challenged areas are giving birth to technologies which do work and may, or may not, be sustainable. These technologies can be generalised into three groups, each with their success and/or failure viabilities: • Desalination The art/science of extracting potable water from the oceans • Reuse The art/science of extracting potable water from waste products • Conservation The act of reducing water use for non-life sustaining needs Desalination is by far the largest contributor to potable water in the most of the Middle East. It is, however, by the nature of the treatment types and the infrastructure necessary, a relatively expensive technology for the production of potable water. There are currently two basic technologies for desalination in use: thermal based and membrane based. Both have their preferred application regimes as well as positive/negative 46
impacts, but also yield sustainability issues. Both yield a substantially large waste product (concentrated saline water, or brine) due to the potable extraction processes. In some cases this brine is of a volume of 55-65 percent of the water originally drawn from the source. Thermal technologies also discharge their brine at an elevated temperature, usually in excess of the ‘normal’ seawater temperature. The combination of elevated salinity and higher than nominal temperature has led some environmental pundits to condemn that type of desalination, but usually without proposing an alternative method to create the water necessary to supply the population. Membrane technologies also have their own imperfections. The discharge from those facilities not only generates a brine solution, but often so by discharging some form of sludge related to the filtration of suspended solids (found in the feed source) which cannot be treated by the desalination membranes. In both cases, energy required for the process is also a factor. Energy and chemical addition (for pre-treatment as well as potable enhancement) are the leading cost indicators for desalination production, sometimes making up 50 percent or more of the production costs on their own. The use of reuse Wastewater reuse has been a viable technology for several years used for agricultural, industrial and architectural applications in many areas. What tweaks the human psyche however is the even remote possibility that it could be used for potable applications. The social and ecumenical issues
surrounding the possible ingestion of what once might have been waste water are vast.
the country demands sustainable infrastructure, will you be ready to deliver?”
When our species sent astronauts to the moon (in the Sixties no less), is it more acceptable for some to imagine that there was a water tanker somehow attached to the Apollo module. The answer is, of course, no; but we would rather not think about that.
Clean cars and other dwindling resources The debate to conserve things which were not on the ‘actual needs’ list as stated above is as rampant like never before. Things like energy (turn off that light), fuel (no vacation this year), money (saving the loose dirhams) generate more platitudes than some of those starkest of needs.
There are forms of wastewater (greywater for example, which is the offal from sinks, baths, showers and washing machines) which can be treated easily for potable and nonpotable uses, and such treatment can usually be done in a self-contained system, even down to an individual apartment block, if properly designed. It is also known (although perhaps not widely) that many communities use blackwater (you know, the OTHER wastewater), once thoroughly treated, to irrigate green areas where public contact is limited. The basic question here is “When
For instance, in some countries the use of water can be conditioned by religious tenets. The resource is so precious that Islam has rules for its usage; even when washing oneself before prayers, one is supposed to use a modest amount. Historically, many arid countries held water usage in a nearly sacred manner. With the advent of water technologies and the influx of other cultures, this belief has been somewhat diluted. As put forth on a web site, “increased water conservation and water use
efficiency remain the most cost effective priority for supplying water.” And yet we still continue to consume water at an alarming rate. As we look at the numbers, one can see why this might be so. Having a garden hose running for one hour, either for irrigation or cleaning duties, can use over 1100 litres of water (conservatively figured). That is enough to supply the daily personal water health demands of over 100 people. And yet in many countries such measures are squandered daily to beautify gardens, wash cars and objects which do not have the power of thought of humans. Naturally, most of these homes do not have separated Grey/Black water systems for those uses. Substantial penalties for water overuse exist elsewhere. As well as making such overuse illegal on some days in certain circumstances, in Florida, for example, during drought periods police fines for washing a car in public are applicable. Or in
another US state, there is a cost doubling for the water price if the relative normal usage is exceeded during a metered month. Appealing to the economic interests of the consumer seems to have more impact than assuming environmentally friendly cooperation, it seems. And the lottery results are in The conclusion is far from attractive. In terms of the quality of life we enjoy in cooperation with the sustainability of water, we are in deep blackwater. And floating is not an option. We must, as a species, take responsibility for our own things, and further the advances in technology that will allow our needs to be sustainable. Technology answers and planning must be combined in order to promote the extended life of the species. The current ‘Water Cycle’ consumed in many areas of the world today is not sustainable, as we use more, waste more and conserve less. Clearly the opposite - use less, waste less and conserve more - is the only sane direction.
The conclusion is far from attractive. In terms of the quality of life we enjoy in cooperation with the sustainability of water, we are in deep blackwater. And floating is not an option.
And Allah has created from water every living creature: so of them is that which walks upon its belly and of them is that which walks upon two feet and of them is that which walks upon four; Allah creates what He pleases; surely Allah has power over all things. The Holy Qur’an 24.45 “Be praised, My Lord, through Sister Water; she is very useful, and humble, and precious, and pure.” St. Francis of Assisi (1181-1226) Canticle of the Sun - circa 1225 “Water and air, the two essential fluids on which all life depends, have become global garbage cans.” Jacques Cousteau (1910-1997) “Water is fundamental for life and health. The human right to water is indispensable for leading a healthy life in human dignity. It is a pre-requisite to the realisation of all other human rights.” The United Nations Committee on Economic, Cultural and Social Rights, Environment News Service, 27-11-02 An estimated 1.1 billion people worldwide lack clean drinking water and 2.4 billion lack access to basic sanitation. Targets adopted by the United Nations in September 2000 aim to halve these figures by 2015; but projections suggest those goals, which would require more than 100,000 people every day to be connected to clean water supplies, will not be met. Patricia Brett, Water supply bogs down in complexity, International Herald Tribune, 20 Aug 05 “Filthy Water cannot be washed.” West African Proverb - About 1/3 of the water each person uses on a daily basis is wasted – it runs straight down the plughole or down the toilet without being used. 48
- Each person in the UK uses 150 litres of water a day. This takes into account cooking, cleaning, washing and flushing. This has been rising by 1 percent a year since 1930. This consumption level is not sustainable in the long-term. - A running tap uses 6 litres of water a minute, a shower can use anywhere between 9 – 45 litres per minute, a hosepipe uses as much as 1000 litres per hour. - Toilet flushing accounts for 30 percent of our daily water use – with old toilets using as much as 14 litres per flush compared to new dual flush models which use as little as 2.6 and 4 litres per flush. - Fixing a dripping tap can save as much as 5000 litres a year – if everyone in the UK fixed their dripping taps we would save enough water to supply 120,000 for one day. - Americans now use 127 percent more water than they did in 1950. - A water-efficient dishwasher will use as little as 4 gallons per wash cycle, whereas some older models use up to 13 gallons per cycle. - Over a quarter of all the clean, drinkable water you use in your home is used to flush the toilets. - A garden hose or sprinkler can use almost as much water in an hour as an average family of four uses in one day. - Some experts estimate that more than 50 percent of landscape water use goes to waste due to evaporation or runoff caused by over-watering.
Chip Harris North American Chief Technical Officer Aqualyng
Chip Harris has been active in the water treatment field from the mid Seventies and involved with membrane treatment since 1979. Responsible for service, commissioning, training, construction supervision and management of membrane facilities for potable, industrial and waste treatment applications; he is also involved in the process, mechanical and electrical design for numerous types of membrane facilities including Ultrafiltration, Nanofiltration, Brackish RO and Seawater RO. He is a member of the International Desalination Association (IDA), European Desalination Society (EDS), American Water Works Association (AWWA), American Membrane Technology Association (AMTA), Southeastern Desalting Association (SEDA), South Central Desalting Association (SCDA) and the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).
BOTTLED WATER: DO WE NEED IT?
Many people tend to worry about the quality of municipally treated tap water. This, along with the desire for better-tasting drinking water, has fueled tremendous growth in the bottled water industry the world over.
The average price of a 500 ml branded bottle of water is USD$ 1.50
FACTS & FIGURES In 2004, in the US alone, 26,000,000,000 litres of water was used
1500 bottles end up as garbage every second, according to the Earth Policy Institute (EPI)
This translates into 28,000,000,000 plastic bottles in one year 86% of that ended up as garbage
According to recent research carried out in the US this translates into 1900 times the price of tap water.
This can have a negative effect on your Finances: the average US citizen spends over USD$ 400 per annum on bottled water Health: toxic chemicals like Bisephenol â€“A (BPA), leached from bottled water can cause cancerous cells in your body Environment: the production, transportation, packaging and disposal of plastic bottled water has a detrimental effect on nature.
26,000,000,000 litres = 17,000,000 barrels of oil used to produce plastic bottles, enough to fuel about 100,000 cars per year
26,000, 000, 000 litres also contributes to an addition of 2,500,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide that was produced in the manufacturing of plastic bottles.
Based on research carried out by EPI, One Hundred Billion Dollars is spent every year by consumers on bottled water.
OTHER ‘DANGERS’ OF CONSUMING BOTTLED WATER
Usually they are transported in trucks where temperatures can be as high as 65 degrees Celsius and are unloaded and loaded at least twice before you purchase them
Moreover, the bottles have been subjected to extreme temperatures before you purchase them.
For a fraction of this amount everyone on the planet can have access to safe drinking water and proper sanitation (Source: OneWorld.net)
OTHER ‘DANGERS’ OF CONSUMING BOTTLED WATER Many of us tend to leave a bottle in the car to quench our thirst whilst on the road...however the heat in the car can cause the plastic bottles to leach out chemicals that can lead to various types of cancer.
They are stored in warehouses where temperatures vary from -6 degrees Celsius to 30 degrees Celsius. Environment
Camel Reproduction Centre Sustainable species - Desert ferries An animal of surprising versatility and hardiness, this is more than meets the eye than humps and long eyelashes. The Camelidae family is divided into two genera: the Old World camelids comprising of the two species, Camelus dromedarius, the dromedary or onehumped camel and Camelus bactrianus, the Bactrian or two-humped camel. Add to this, the New World camelids of South America encompassing the domesticated llama (Lama glama), alpaca (Lama pacos), the wild guanaco (Lama guanacoe) and the vicuna (Vicugna vicugna). A nomadic treasure For centuries, the camel has been a vital desert animal for its ability to provide milk and meat, as well as a means of transporting people and goods over long distances in harsh climates. Today, in the Middle East, rapid desert urbanisation has resulted in camels being used mostly for camel racing only. This traditional sport, where good racing camels are valuable, can fetch approximately upwards of AED 2 million at auction, becoming highly prized to breed from as well.
Ship of the Desert Recently however, increasing research shows that camel milk offers excellent nutritional benefits as it is high in vitamin C and low in fat and therefore good for diabetics too, so dairies are being set up for milking large herds of camels so that camel milk is now available in all local supermarkets. Elsewhere, camel milk forms a staple part of the diet for tribesmen and camels are still used to pull a plough and carry goods. Thanks to this animal’s versatility and its unique ability to withstand high temperatures as well as long periods without water, it is the animal of choice for the desert. Surpassing other large domestic animals such as cows, the camel is superbly adapted to the desert in both physiological and behavioural aspects. They are, for example, particularly efficient at conserving water as their body temperature can vary widely during the day. Therefore, as temperatures increase, the body heat can rise 4 – 50C and the camel can absorb this heat that would otherwise have to be dissipated by sweating large amounts of water. This energy
Thanks to this animal’s versatility and its unique ability to withstand high temperatures as well as long periods without water, it is the animal of choice for the desert.
Dr. Lulu Skidmore Scientific Director, Camel Reproduction Centre, Dubai, UAE
With a BSc degree in Animal Science from London University Dr. Lulu Skidmore spent five years working with Prof. WR Allen at the Equine Fertility Unit, Newmarket involved in diverse aspects of equine reproduction. In 1991 she joined Cambridge University for her PhD and started her project entitled ‘Reproduction in the dromedary camel’. Dividing her time between the Camel Reproduction Centre in Dubai doing practical work, as well as at the Equine Fertility Unit doing lab studies, after completing her PhD, Dr. Skidmore stayed on as Scientific Director of the Camel Reproduction Centre to continue projects involving all aspects of camel reproduction.
gained disappears at night when the hot weather subsides and body temperature declines again. In addition, camels lose heat more easily from their body surface as, unlike other mammals where fat is spread over the body surface just under the skin; in camels the fat (not water) is stored in the hump. This enables sweat to evaporate from the surface of the skin more easily and heat to be lost from the rest of the body surface. Camels can also drink large quantities of water in a short time (e.g. 180 litres in 24 hours). Going for long periods without water means that they spend minimum time at the usually overgrazed areas around water wells and can graze on pastures far from wells. Their long neck enables them to reach twigs and leaves 3.5m above ground which is out of reach of smaller animals, utilizing thorns, dry vegetation and saltbush that other animals avoid so they are not competing with them for food. As camels can survive these harsh conditions so well and yet still provide milk, meat and transport for far less feed intake than say the domestic cow (for example a camel may eat 5 – 12kg of dry matter per day whereas a lactating cow needs 15 – 20kg), they are the ultimate sustainable desert community animals. Under natural conditions their reproductive efficiency is generally low, for many reasons such as a long gestation period of 13 months, a prolonged (8 – 10 month) lactation period and related anoestrus (i.e. when they are suckling a calf, they do not cycle) added to a short breeding
season. Nevertheless, assisted reproductive techniques such as embryo transfer or artificial insemination can be used to produce multiple progeny from desirable genetic combinations of sire and dam. In embryo transfer the female donor, with the best racing, milk or meat producing genes, is stimulated with hormones to produce several follicles (eggs) before she is mated to the chosen good male. Her uterus (womb) is then flushed with embryo flushing solution to wash out the embryos (anything between 2 – 25 maybe recovered). These are transferred non–surgically into the uteri of other female camels that are not good racing or milking camels, acting as surrogate mothers that carry the calf to term. The result is that all the offspring born will have good racing, milk or meat production genes. With artificial insemination, semen is collected from genetically sound males, extended to promote the lifespan of the spermatozoa and divided into aliquots so that instead of just one female getting mated by the male, 3 – 4 females can be inseminated instead. This vastly increases the number of females that get pregnant to that one male per season. Clearly, these methods can jumpstart the number of progeny produced by genetically desirable camels. This is crucial if trying to increase the racing ability, milk or meat production of camel’s herds to provide sustenance.
Boasting several firsts that have put Dubai squarely on the sustainability radar in terms of scientific innovation, since its inception about twenty years ago, the Camel Reproduction Centre has produced the world’s first hybrid between llamas and camels, given birth to identical twins from embryo micromanipulation; as well as creating the world’s first cloned camel.
UAE’s top camel auctions and festivals Camel races and events come to life from October to April Al Dhafra Camel Festival Organised by the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH), this camel festival is touted to be the world’s largest attracting over 24,000 camels to take part in myriad competitions. They include the camel beauty pageant, camel auction, traditional bazaar, handicrafts market, dates presentation competition, poetry contests, heritage activities, photo competition and folklore music and dance. The most expensive camel was sold at AED 15 million in 2007. www.aldhafrafestival.com Arab Pedigree Camel Contest Organised by the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH), the contest is the first Presidential Camels Festival. Held at Al Wathba in April 2009, the closing ceremony included a three-hour celebration of poetry, music and dance to mark the end of the camel-racing season. www.uaeinteract.com Zayed Grand Prize camel races Held annually to celebrate UAE National Day at Al Wathba racetrack, the race is sponsored by the late UAE President, Sheikh Zayed Al Nayhan. The total cash prizes are worth around AED 10 million for the winners of the 112 individual races. www.camelraces.net Abu Dhabi camel auction Held annually in the capital, the proceeds from the event go towards camel research. Supremely popular with Emiratis, prize winning animals can fetch up to AED 2.5 million. 56
Racing Camel races take place generally during the late October to early April racing season and periodically throughout the year. There are around 15 racetracks across UAE. The Meydan racecourse, formally known as Nad al Sheba is one of the popular racetracks. Feb/March Gold Cup Camel Race Meeting – Dubai End of March Derby Camel Race Meeting – Abu Dhabi Nov/Dec UAQ Camel race meeting – Al Labsa race track Nov/Dec RAK camel race meeting – Al Sawan race track
What about chocolate?
Johann George Hochleitner, a Vienna-based chocolatier, launched Al Nassma, a Dubai-based company that uses Camelicious products to produce the world’s first camel chocolate. Al Ain Dairy also manufactures camel milk ice cream which comes in strawberry, caramel and chocolate flavour. The search is now on to develop other camel’s milk products such as cheese, laban, yoghurt and milkshakes. Aside from camel’s biological attributes, ranging from powerful hearing, three-chambered stomachs and two rows of thick eye lashes; products derived from camels are both healthy and gaining in popularity. Take milk for instance, Camelicious, established in 2006, by Emirates Industry for Camel Milk and Products and produced to international health and hygiene regulations, has transformed an indigenous Bedouin beverage – camel’s milk – into a mass market product. The milk comes in flavours including saffron and date. Low in fat, high in vitamin C and an excellent, non allergenic immune booster. “Camel milk has always been a traditional staple of the Bedouins throughout the Middle East, and our research has now scientifically proven that it has incredible health benefits,”
says Hareb Juma Bin Subaih, General Manager of Emirates Industry for Camel Milk and Products. Rather than relying on food imports, now the UAE is making headway with its traditional products evolving on viable commercial lines. Other camel-derived products include bags made from camel hide. Camel hair is also used for making tents, rugs, and fine cloaks, or bisht. Bedouins traditionally used camel milk as a moisturiser and sunscreen. A camel diary in Mauritania, for example, is launching camel milk-based beauty products including creams and soaps. Perhaps this is another avenue that can take off in this neck of the desert? Environment
Sustainable Travel & Tourism The conglomeration of people from over 200 countries working and living in harmony is why the UAE is special. Another attraction is the emirate’s bold initiatives to diversify its economy and fuel growth. With the tourism and hotel sector directly contributing 19 percent to Dubai’s GDP, fostering this sector has always been crucial in Dubai, and has become so lately in Abu Dhabi and other emirates too. However, the tourism vibe today is very different from when the Jumeirah Burj Al Arab was built in 1999. In those days, luxury was prized, size was revered and ostentation was not considered vulgar. Today, the model of tourism in terms of its product offerings and its overall positioning is turning decidedly green. Sustainable tourism, often mistaken for eco-tourism involves economic, social and environmental aspects of sustainable development that include the interests of all stakeholders including indigenous people, local communities, visitors, the tourism industry and government too. When tourism is conducted in a responsible manner, creating a positive experience for the local community, tourist agency and the tourists, then it is considered
sustainable. Ecotourism however is where flora, fauna and cultural heritage are the location’s primary attractions. In other words, sustainable tourism balances the economic arguments of tourism with the social and community related arguments. And it is not restricted to just natural areas but urban areas as well. Tourism is often one of the primary income generators in a country and world’s largest employer for many developing and underdeveloped countries. However, while developing the sector is crucial, it is important to not overdo it with regards to the consumption of natural resources. Especially a water-starved nation like the UAE that depends on desalination has to maintain a check on its carbon
Sustainability implies meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Gro Harlem Brundtland, Former Prime Minister of Norway & DG, World Health Organisation 58
Did You Know? Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria (GSTC) is a partnership of 32 international organisations initiated by the United Nations Foundation, the Rainforest Alliance, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO). Launched in October 2008, the coalition aims to provide a shared global definition of sustainable tourism and act as a standard against which certification programmes can be measured and assessed. Still at a relatively nascent stage, it is a sign of the sustainable turns to come within the tourism industry.
footprint. And this is not the only challenge towards developing sustainable tourism. The lack of Emirati workforce is another challenge to contend with. With less than one percent of the tourism workforce being Emirati in Abu Dhabi, the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority aims to increase that to five percent by 2012. Although each of the seven emirates in UAE has unique features to boast about, it is Dubai that is undoubtedly the most popular of all among foreign tourists. Think ‘DUBAI’ and the mind conjures up images of turban-clad men in white flowing robes standing next to a camel under a date palm tree. Never mind the vast changes to Dubai over this past decade; these images have imprinted firmly in our minds and have become stereotypical. Unlike in other countries where largely, the traditional costume is relegated to festivals and funerals, kandoora is an integral part of the daily wardrobe of an Emirati male. However, the scenario is changing. An increasing leaning of the UAE youth towards westernisation is frowned upon by the country that declared 2008 as the year of the national identity. Extensive efforts are being taken to integrate the youth towards heritage. Watani, a national programme for social development that was launched in 2005, offers citizens, residents and visitors to experience for themselves the life in UAE before the discovery of oil. Conducted by volunteers, Watani showcases UAE’s national identity through organising educational and entertaining camps. Here is what one of the volunteers had to say…
The most eco-friendly way to travel is by foot, which was what our ancestors did. However, some people would consider it even stupid to think about it these days. Only the most adventurous person takes the initiative to explore the earth by foot. Adrian Hayes is one of them. Along with two Canadian adventurers Devon McDiarmid and Derek Crowe, he undertook a sustainability awareness expedition across the Greenland icecap and carried
out scientific monitoring tasks on behalf of a support team of international scientists. Here is what Adrian Hayes says in his website…
Did You Know? The World Tourism Day falls on 27th September.
While efforts are being taken across various spheres in the tourism industry, the sad but true fact is that tourism will never be entirely sustainable. However, that should not deter the stakeholders from taking every measure to be nothing but sustainable.
We are working to become a leading tourism authority that is positioning Abu Dhabi as an outstanding, globally recognised, sustainable tourism destination, while enriching the lives of the Abu Dhabi community and visitors alike. Sultan bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Chairman, Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA)
As part of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketingâ€™s plan for sustainable tourism in Dubai, we are pursuing united commitment to health, safety and the environment, both locally and globally. Aimed at combating the effects of global warming, DTCM has launched an initiative to reduce carbon emissions by 20 percent in the hotel sector by the end of 2011. DTCM is committed to a sustainable future for tourism in the Emirate. Khalid A bin Sulayem, Director General, Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing (DTCM)
There have been periods in the recent evolution of mass tourism where everybody embraced the right to travel. There have been horrible mistakes made, many of them well documented. These have had both social and economic repercussions for affected destinations. Can you say that it is the airlines fault? I donâ€™t think so. It is the fault of policy makers in these destinations, for overlooking vital issues like environmental impact. Tony Williams, Senior Vice President, Emirates Hotels & Resorts
Sir Bani Yas Island in Abu Dhabiâ€™s western region and Al Samaliyah Island are well-known for preserving bio-diversity and heritage.
In 1998, UNESCO declared Sharjah as the Cultural Capital of the Arab World due to its commitment to art, culture and heritage. Besides, there are over 15 museums, an aquarium and a centre for Arabian wildlife.
The Fujairah Paradise project comprising about 1,000 villas between three mountains, a 250-room hotel and other tourism-related facilities is the most expensive project so far to attract tourists.
Ras Al Khaimah
Three natural springs of hot mineralised water, which reaches temperatures of 40 C are situated at the oasis town of Khatt in the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah. The mineral water is believed to offer relief to rheumatic ailments.
Umm al Quwain
On the eastern coast of Um al Quwain are sandy islands with dense mangrove thickets. The islands are separated from one another by narrow creeks. Al Siniyah, a marine sanctuary, is the largest of the islands with the fragile mangrove ecosystem and home to migratory birds and animal life. Boat trips are made to Al Siniyah. However, one cannot disembark on the island.
Ajman is also home to the largest dhow-building yard in the world.
Booking into green hospitality Sustainability is a fast moving global imperative which is slowly but surely inching its way into UAE’s business and consumer sphere; even in the leisure, entertainment and hotel industry, where excess is often the order of the day. A country known for one of the highest eco footprints the world over, the UAE is ready for a green change. This shift is not only ‘new age’ as a concept, but is a ‘new age’ of people’s preferences and informed choices that establishments are now responding to in the region. The increasing level of eco-awareness has awakened the spirit of product delivery whereby the local government, hotels and suppliers are understanding the need to ‘go green’ amidst heightened levels of eco-knowledge recently. Novel and innovative business opportunities beckon this newfound demand for eco-conscious products and services; one such concept that has caught on globally is ‘barefoot luxury’. Aptly termed, it is being adopted by many hoteliers from Seychelles to the Bahamas and is about getting back to nature by being one with the environment whilst holidaying at these picturesque locales. This earth-friendly philosophy is an eco-experience entirely from recycled roofs to organic meals. Environmental sustainability aside, this movement benefits the economic development and local communities by creating new prospects and jobs, which in turn relates to self-sufficiency; a vital part of sustainable ecotourism. Another old but fairly new-to-theregion concept is eco-hotels. Recent research has found that a Dubai hotel produces an average of 6,500 tons of carbon emissions per year. In Europe, that figure is 3,000; less than half that of the emirate. This and many more shocking statistics have given 62
the local government a wakeup call as talks of climate change are high on the agenda the world over. Aimed at combating the effects of global warming, the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) launched an initiative in June 2009 to reduce carbon emissions by 20 percent in the hotel sector by the end of 2011. “This is a start for a lot of new initiatives. It’s about transparency; a shift which we are seeing today,” says Markus Oberlin, General Manager of Farnek Services, UAE, who is working closely with DTCM to achieve their goal by providing energy monitoring and saving technology by way of the ‘Hotel Optimizer’. “You can only control what you can measure. The Hotel Optimizer is an energy accounting system that gives full transparency, a monitoring process benchmarking hotels to promote transparency and healthy competition. This shows the saving potential- money wise and energy wise. We then provide solutions.” Eco-benefits of energy reduction aside, this fits well into pocket books of businesses as local utility provider Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) increased tariffs recently. The new tariffs saw an increase of 66 percent in the price of electricity and 28 percent for water; the impact of which has forced businesses to rethink their financial plan and eco-stance. For example, the yearly fiscal impact on a five star hotel with 150 rooms and a floor area of 20,000 m2 has been AED 1 million. “When it pinches monetarily, people will do something about it,” says Oberlin. A case of hitting two targets with one arrow. Whilst hotels in Dubai gear up for the upcoming compulsory change, InterContinental and Crowne Plaza
Dubai Festival City (DFC) already have their eco-priorities in order with plenty initiatives. “Once in place, we will claim regional leadership in ‘green’, saving more than 2 million kilograms of CO2 emissions per year,” says Steven Greenwood, Manager of InterContinental DFC. Partnering with Eco Ventures for carbon reduction solutions; Philips for energy efficient LED system; Al Futtaim Motors for a fleet of Lexus Hybrid limousines and ongoing recycling programs have put them ahead in the green game. Whilst the luxurious, yet sustainable Lexus Hybrid reduces carbon emissions by 70 percent, their in-house online energy solution tool ‘Green Engage’ used in all InterContinental hotels worldwide, is proven to reduce their carbon footprint by 25 percent, aligned and ahead of DTCM’s initiative. “Corporate responsibility is about how
Dubai Hotels in Numbers 850 litres of water- The average consumption per guest per annum in a Dubai Hotel. In 2008, Dubai hotels played host to 7.5 million guests. European hotels use an average of 350 litres. 500 million kilos a year - The size of carbon footprint produced by 300 hotels in Dubai. This is equivalent of 60,000 round-trip flights between Dubai and London! 7 million AED - The total energy bill of a typical five-star Dubai city hotel. 225 kilowatts - The average energy consumption per square metre of a Dubai Hotel. An average European hotel consumes 100 kilowatts of energy per square metre.
Preservation in Al Ain Park 35,000- The number of man hours it took to relocate 500 trees at Al Ain Wildlife Park. Gallons on Golf A 2007 report released by the international consultants KPMG estimated the use of water for each golf course in the region at an average of 1.16 million cubic metres per year, reaching 1.3 million cubic metres in Dubai. Coldplay’s Carbon Neutral Concert Coldplay’s Viva la Vida Abu Dhabi concert in March 2009 was the first carbon-neutral concert held in the region, with an estimated 600 tonnes of carbon dioxide being generated. In order to offset these energy
emissions, organisers are now funding a wind farm in New Zealand. Abu Dhabi’s Smart Park Irrigation Sewage water is used to irrigate UAE public gardens with water that has never been used to irrigate agricultural crops. This scenario is changing with the Abu Dhabi Government adopting reverseosmosis filtration technology to transform sewage water so that it’s safe enough for agriculture. Used to remove solid particles, ultraviolet purification will kill harmful microorganisms ensuring the safety of sewage water for diverse uses. DEWA Appreciation Award Coral Deira Dubai Hotel has been
awarded a certificate of appreciation from Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (DEWA) for its distinguished efforts in saving water and energy throughout 2008. Green Bollywood International Indian Film Academy’s (IIFA) Green Global Foundation which champions the issue of global warming through various international events was launched on the ‘Green Carpet’ in Bangkok in 2008. Popular and glamorous movie stars of the celebrated film industry have come together to spread eco-knowledge to their Indian and international fans alike. The foundation is the initiative of IIFA, United Nations Environmental Programme and The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI).
Hotels in Dubai so far have adopted a kind of ‘head in the sand’ approach. It has been a challenge in the past for hotels to find partners/ suppliers who will assist in environmentally friendly practices.
we do business and drive value for the company as well as society. Every action requires thorough thought into how it would impact a) guest experience, b) financial returns, c) responsible business, and d) people for a more efficient organisation with strong core capabilities,” articulates Greenwood. In an embryonic stage, clearly a major sustainability shift is beginning to flourish in and around the UAE without compromising on the luxury factor. “Hotels in Dubai so far have adopted a kind of ‘head in the sand’ approach. It has been a challenge in the past for hotels to find partners/suppliers who will assist in environmentally friendly practices. With more education, a greater flow of information, and demand for green tourism supported by the DTCM, this outlook is quickly changing,” believes Steven Greenwood.
Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve Set up under the Chairmanship of HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group, the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve (DDCR) is the largest single land mass devoted to this project genre in Dubai so far. Established in 2002, key operation channels were ensured via the hiring of tourism and conservation specialists to senior government figures, each bringing complementary skills and farreaching powers to the table. Goals • To create a permanently protected area which ensured the future of the region’s desert habitats and bio-diversity, managed according to sound, scientific ecological principles, aimed at protecting natural resources, (water being the most obvious one, but extending to many others as well) and maintaining original desert landscapes. • To ensure that the community and visitors had access to the Reserve through the sustainable and responsible development of commercial practices that would not impact on the primary role of conservation and habitat protection. • To protect the heritage and traditional activities which have become a part of the region’s history and Culture, and maintain the identity of Dubai’s tribal beginnings. • To register and gain international recognition for the Reserve under the United Nations’ Protected Areas Management principles, amongst others, and to ensure that the 64
DDCR was adequately protected under the law. Stretching over 225 square kilometres, the reserve accounts for nearly five per cent of Dubai’s total land area. The challenge facing both the government and Emirates was to integrate the needs of the Reserve with the demands of the region’s growing tourism industry. As surveys indicate that the most common reason for selecting a holiday destination are heritage, culture and the opportunity to experience nature, most visitors to Dubai as well as residents want to experience the unique desert environment. But when desert trip visitor figures show such great increases over the short term, the impact on this environment cannot be ignored. Even though Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa is the only resort that offers visitors the opportunity to stay overnight within the Reserve, its management team have drawn up a blueprint forming the basis for controlling impact and nurturing Dubai’s wildlife and natural habitats in the years to come. Central to the ethos of the Reserve, and indeed most conservation areas, is the belief that it makes better financial sense to maintain a natural environment than it does to, attempt to repair damage - a task beyond the economics of even the wealthiest nations. Dubai Government and Emirates Airline have provided considerable funding for the Reserve in order to ensure that 100 per cent of the revenues collected from visitor entry fees are used directly for conservation projects and wildlife care.
We are increasingly aware of the urgent need to take good care of our priceless natural heritage, all the more so as Dubai is expanding so fast. The Reserve protects our last unspoiled desert and unique Arabian way of life for future generations to enjoy. Conservation measures • Limits on daily visitor numbers and vehicles entering the Reserve at any time. • Training of safari guides in best practice methods for conducting desert excursions, and increasing knowledge of wildlife and conservation practices. • Placing strict limits on all activities which place pressure on the habitat. Activities such as irrigation farming are soon to be prohibited within the Reserve, and even camel farms are restricted to prevent overgrazing. • Careful zoning within the Reserve to ensure the more vulnerable habitats
and particularly sensitive locations are spared heavy visitor traffic, and unneccessary interference. Limited access to designated areas of the Reserve has also been given to a small group of Dubaibased tour operators to allow visitors to see Arabian wildlife in their natural habitat.
HH Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al-Maktoum Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group Chairman of Dubai Conservation Board
EcoVentures Encouraging Sustainability EcoVentures was launched as a consultancy and management company for environmental innovations in the Middle East. Concerns such as greenhouse gas reduction, renewable energy dependency and creating sustainable water resources form the core inspiration of services encourage sustainability in business.
With the motto of building awareness, fostering innovation and building exciting business around the sustainable management of resources, EcoVentures ensures commercial benefits to its customers by reducing their environmental footprint from all aspects of operation of their business.
• The Ministry of Presidential Affairs was established in November 2004 and combined both the Office of His Royal Highness the President and the Presidential Court. The Ministry aims to provide high quality services to support national policies and decision makers. EcoVentures conducted workshops for the Studies and Research Division to educate and raise awareness about climate change and developed emissions reduction strategies.
“To a certain extent, carbon management encapsulates all several delicate aspects of the business, so chose that as our initial goal,” explains Shezan Amiji. Co-founder of the firm. He added, “The target audience is large local corporate businesses, as well as multinational companies that already have an environmental policy in place, so we can help them meet those requirements locally.”
EcoVentures has conducted several greenhouse gas assessments with existing reputable organizations with the objective to provide inputs on revamping practices and reinforcing sustainability through sensible policy making and regular review of practices:
• German Emarati Company - Bena, uses the latest German technology to produce reinforced load-bearing Precast Aerated Concrete units, in the form of floor slabs and wall panels, and non-reinforced PAC units in the form of large size blocks
To a certain extent, carbon management encapsulates all several delicate aspects of the business, so chose that as our initial goal
Shezan is the Founder and Managing Director of EcoVentures and is responsible for spearheading the establishment and growth of the business. Prior to forming EcoVentures, Shezan started and ran 7DAYS newspaper in Dubai, of which he sold a majority stake to The Daily Mail Group. Previously, Shezan was also an investment banker at Goldman Sachs in New York and Standard Chartered in Singapore. Shezan has an MA (Oxon) from the University of Oxford and has an MBA from the Wharton School of Business, at the University of Pennsylvania.
and some other special elements. EcoVentures performed life cycle assessment of PAC products and provided alternatives within industry according to benchmarks set by MASDAR. A report was submitted on the lifestyle impact of Bena’s PAC products from manufacturing to demolition.
The already scarce groundwater supplies in the UAE have nearly depleted and like many other many oil producing countries, the nation now has to look toward alternatives to hydrocarbon fuels to meet largely increasing energy consumption. The UAE needs to pursue renewable energy resources costs and emissions to stay competitive.
• Enviromena Power Systems is an Abu-Dhabi based solar power systems integrator who created the largest solar power installation in the Middle East on the MASDAR site, saving 15,000 tons of Carbon dioxide. It aims to become one of the first CarbonNeutral® companies in the Middle East. EcoVentures helped in carbon assessment to boost the goal to attain carbon neutrality. It also raised awareness of its efforts through public events such as ColdPlay’s CarbonNeutral® Abu Dhabi Concert and differentiated Enviromena as an eco-friendly, innovative, entrepreneurial firm. • Jumeirah Group, a member of Dubai Holding, was founded in 1997 with the aim to become a hospitality industry leader. It aimed to reduce CO2 emissions and understand real cost and also reducing energy consumption. EcoVentures through its assessment helped in realizing carbon footprint per room/ per night basis and provided opportunity for implementing a comprehensive energy-efficiency program across all hospitality properties which became a part of CSR report last year. Being cleaner to be competitive It is critical that the countries of the MENA region embrace new innovations in the fields of environment sustainability. This makes them entities responsible
towards the need for material reductions in global greenhouse gas emissions. With clean technology and cleaner practices, the backlash suffered by society reduces and less needs to invest in taking corrective measures. It becomes essential for corporate giants to lead by example and inspire carbon neutrality in the smallest of initiatives. Studies by the UAE Ministry of Economy and Commerce have shown that 70% of Dubai’s power consumption is utilized in commercial and residential buildings. The already scarce groundwater supplies in the UAE have nearly depleted and like many other
many oil producing countries, the nation now has to look toward alternatives to hydrocarbon fuels to meet largely increasing energy consumption. The UAE needs to pursue renewable energy resources costs and emissions to stay competitive. Dubai Green Tourism Awards The largest, and perhaps most impactful project by EcoVentures in the UAE, has been the development and implementation of the Dubai Green Tourism Awards alongside with Dubai Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), in addition to the planned mandate calling for the carbon footprint Environment
measurement and 20% reduction in emissions of all hotels in the Emirate of Dubai in the future. The major objectives of this initiative were to increase awareness about the global warming and CO2 emissions and energy usage in the tourism industry, encourage environmental practices in the hospitality industry, introduce new initiatives that highlight the importance of CSR program, improve the service standards and excellence in tourism industry, and develop awareness and educational culture within hospitality sector about the sustainable tourism. Our Partners in sustainability We have helped organizations such as the Ministry of Presidential Affairs, Tecom, BDO Chartered Accounts and Advisors, Atraco, Philips, Bena, Enviromena Power Systems, and Al Habtoor Leighton and Green Technologies, conduct greenhouse gas assessments, develop reduction strategies, and implement companywide carbon management programs
for specific corporate divisions and operations. For example, with Jumeirah Group, we developed an internal carbon calculator for all of their local and international properties which constantly monitors and compares their environmental impact on a seasonal, quarterly, and yearly basis. Furthermore, we have partnered with numerous events and conferences across the UAE to reduce the immense carbon footprint generated throughout each and offset emissions through the purchase of carbon credits, such as the World Future Energy Summit, Abu Dhabi Yacht Show and many others to provide customized carbon management services to help them reduce their environmental impact, increase sales and revenues, introduce cost savings, meet various regulations, and increase the efficiency of their operations through services such as life cycle assessments, offsetting portions of business operations, and climate change workshops. ecoventures.ae
The major objectives of this initiative were to increase awareness about the global warming and CO2 emissions and energy usage in the tourism industry, encourage environmental practices in the hospitality industry, introduce new initiatives that highlight the importance of CSR program
We developed an internal carbon calculator for all of their local and international properties which constantly monitors and compares their environmental impact on a seasonal, quarterly, and yearly basis.
PTL Solar Powering sustainable growth Leading the way in energy solutions, PTL SOLAR (a trademark of PTL SOLAR FZ LLC), has spearheaded efforts in promoting world class energy efficient and renewable energy solutions in the Middle East and Africa. Determined to minimise environmental impact of its products, PTL SOLAR™ has paved the way to neutralise carbon emissions and save energy for future generations in an attempt to protect the surrounding ecology. Energy is one of the most important resources of the 21st century and it is the bloodline of our economy and also one of the most central commodities in our households. And along with all that, it is one of the major costs you incur. We at PTL SOLAR are leading solar energy solutions provider. Founded in 2005, we offer best solar energy solutions customized to meet any power requirement with the support of some of the largest international renewable energy companies. “The global PV market of newly installed PV Systems is rising from 20.4 gigawatts in 2011 to 125 gigawatts in 2020.” (Sources: SolarBuzz).
What is the future of solar energy in the UAE? Where do you see UAE in the next 10 years? The framework for solar power expansion is already there, and the strategic and economic advantages are clear. The next step is to foster international collaboration and raise the necessary funds to implement a true solar power network. Solar Energy is viable for many applications, from powering lights to powering home systems. We strive to make solar solutions and products available at affordable prices. The company has adopted several initiatives over the years to fulfil its responsibility to society at educating students to use energy efficiently so as to conserve energy for future generations. Republic of Solar™ is a program powered by PTL SOLAR which aims to facilitate the long-term development of our ecosystem and we foresee a nation in which each building will both conserve energy and produce its own supply to neutralize the carbon emissions and reduce greenhouse gases to stave off climate change and provide a safe and healthy environment. We want to inspire the individual to
Growth doesn’t always mean sustainable; but sustainable is always growth. Let’s make conscious efforts towards “Powering Sustainable Growth”, says Mr. Prabissh Thomas, Managing Director of PTL Solar FZ LLC 72
Prabissh Thomas Managing Director PTL Solar
With a BSc degree has in Animal Prabissh Thomas over Science from London University seven years of experience in the Dr. Lulu Skidmore five years renewable energyspent industry. In working with Prof. WR Allen at the 2005, Prabissh founded Green Equine Fertility Newmarket Energy LLC asUnit, a leading regional involved in diverse aspects of SOLAR technology solutions equine reproduction. In 1991 provider. With a growing list of she joined Cambridge clients, Green EnergyUniversity remains for her PhD and started the most preferred andher reliable project entitled SOLAR energy‘Reproduction company. Toin the dromedary camel’. Dividing support climate change actions her time between the Camel in MEA Region, Prabissh founded Reproduction Centre PTL SOLAR FZ LLC in in Dubai 2007 doing practical work, as well as under ENPARK, headquartered at theIMPZ, Equine Fertility doing from Jebel Ali,Unit UAE. He lab studies, after completing her has also received an appreciation PhD, Dr. Skidmore on as certificate from thestayed UAE Ministry Scientific Directorand of the Camel of Environment Water for his Reproduction to continue efforts in ecoCentre - sustainability. projects involving all aspects of camel reproduction.
become solar in a cost effective manner – solar products like solar powered lanterns, solar mobile chargers and solar torches exist. It’s just a matter of creating awareness and educating the young generation on the basics of solar energy. In the Jebel Ali Free Zone, Dubai, many companies like Scania, MARS, Euro Star Shipping, Primetech and CEVA Logistics have selected GRENLite, a solar lighting technology from PTL SOLAR to support their external lighting requirements. What are the major challenges facing the development of solar energy? Renewable energies face significant challenges: large space required to build solar power plants, dwindling government support, severe price and cost pressures, increasing competition and the sector’s rapid globalization. Nevertheless, production capacity continues to be expanded across all technologies, and the solar and wind industries in particular are evolving from a niche into a mass market. Are there any specific measures that have to be taken at the national, public and private level to ensure practices are sustainable and environment friendly? Which of those practices can the UAE follow? UAE has one of the highest energy consumption rates per person in the world. Power generation bills are expected to top US $ 150 billion over the next 20 years in the GCC area alone. If every person were to replace just one incandescent bulb to a compact fluorescent bulb (CFL’s), we would save considerable amount of electricity bills every year.
Sustainability is not simply ensuring that development in the present does not compromise the needs of future generations of humans, but also about facilitating the long-term sustainability of ecosystems - a prerequisite for the sustainability of our children and future generations. UAE Government is playing a leadership role in developing solar energy applications in the region implementing solar lights a must for all new constructions in Free Zones. One of the DEWA’s Green Building Regulations stipulates that, where the light power density of external lighting exceeds a certain level, any additional lighting load must be supplied through renewable sources. What would be your advice to aspiring environmental workers who do not know where to begin from, their work towards mother earth’s preservation? Creating awareness about global warming and its negative impacts on our environment can be the best strategy adopted by governments to face these hurdles. In a solar future, your mode of transportation, and the clothes you wear, could produce clean, safe electric power. The benefits of solar power go beyond the power to improve the environment. What is the future of energy efficiency and how can the development of renewable energy resources help in protecting natural resources? Over the coming years, fossil fuel resources will become far more expensive due to rising extraction costs and an overestimation of reserves levels. Greater energy efficiency and
the extraction of renewable energy will become an important economic costsaving potential. It is critical that the entire solar energy global supply chain continue to focus on bringing cost efficient solutions to the table. Today’s energy challenges require multiple solutions, and the diverse capabilities and extraordinary potential of solar energy will play a significant role in solving these challenges. Leading several energy initiatives for Abu Dhabi Government, Dubai Electricity & Water Authorities, US Army and Canadian Army among a host of other global and local companies, PTL SOLAR™ has placed itself at the forefront of energy efficiency and sustainable development in the region. ptlsolar.com
Clean Green Get Eco-Friendly with your Cleaning
Today everyone knows that the numerous harmful ingredients present in products that are meant to aide in improving quality of life is widespread. However, some consumers are unaware of the hidden dangers that popular cleaning products pose, whilst others have become more ‘eco discerning’. With consumer demand growing, recent advancements in chemical technology have made it possible to develop cleaning products that are as effective as traditional ones, minus the harsh ingredients.
Natural cleaning products, or as they are more commonly known, ‘green cleaning products’, are substances meant for cleaning, deodorising and disinfecting. They increasingly have natural substances as their active ingredients, as opposed to purely chemical based options. They are considered less damaging to the environment, safer for humans and pets than conventional cleaning products are. While cleaning products which contain toxic chemicals, sometimes emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that cause respiratory and dermatological problems among other adverse effects.
Health Harmful chemicals are prevalent not only in general consumer cleaning products but also in foods, cosmetics, home construction, clothing and many industrial products. Around 63 synthetic chemical products can be found in the average home, equating to approximately 10 gallons of hazardous chemicals. By using more ecologically-friendly products, including green cleaning formulations and products, consumers may be able to reduce human health risks by reducing exposure to these and other harmful chemicals.
Economic Green cleaning can mean adopting a less invasive approach to household and industrial maintenance providing health benefits, improved productivity, reduced liability, cost savings and improved community relations on a macro level. Benefits of a well-designed green cleaning program in an industrial setting Improved productivity and morale of building occupants Improved health, which helps reduce sick days Recognition in the community for reducing resource usage and pollution
Benefits of using green cleaning products in the home - Reduced risk of allergic reactions. Many chemicals found in cleaning products contain allergens that cause or trigger allergies - Decreased risk of toxic poisoning. Chemically based cleaning products contain toxins, including poisonous elements, cancer causing irritants, skin irritants, and harmful products for the human respiratory system - Reduces the environmental impact of home and family on the surroundings
Green cleaning with household items An option that many don’t consider is resorting to products with natural ingredients - made with everyday household products. In these tough economic times not everyone has the liberty to stock up on commercial green cleaning products – which can be pricey. However, ordinary store cupboard can be effective, recalling simpler times and the natural approach taken by our grandparents’ generation.
Baking soda coupled with a bit of elbow grease is a common cleaning agent just as baking soda scours dirt. When mixed with water and salt it can be used effectively to scrub surfaces, eliminating tough grime. Lemon juice and vinegar are also good, used to remove stains, mildew and grease with the aid of a stiff brush. Tired of inhaling toxins given out by disinfectants and bleach? Make your own by mixing two cups of water; three tablespoons of liquid soap and twenty to thirty drops of tea tree oil. And hey presto you’ve got your very own homemade disinfectant.
Give it a try - It’s easy A comprehensive green cleaning program should consist of procedures that maximise cleaning results while protecting the family, cleaning workers and facility occupants. It is important to ensure that green cleaning products are used properly. Finally, products that are more environmentally-friendly compared to traditional brands are necessary today. No excuses allowed since ecologicallyfriendly products are increasingly accessible to consumers as they are easily concocted at home. Environment
Voices of the people “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead
Scholarly Diplomacy H.E. Dr. Anwar Gargash is a prominent businessman, scholar and government official in the UAE. Currently serving as the UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, he gained prominence when, as chairman of the National Elections Committee, he oversaw the first elections held in the UAE in December 2006. The election was significant in signaling that the UAE had finally joined other Gulf Arab countries in introducing the electoral process to its political system. Internationally, Gargash is respected for helping the UAE make this important step toward popular representation in government; as well as for diplomatically managing the stalemate with Iran over the contested Tumb Islands in the Strait of Hormuz that divides the two nations. Additionally renowned for fighting tirelessly to root out the spectre of human trafficking in the region; he is a Cambridge scholar and Political Scientist, the scion of one of Dubai’s most respected family business conglomerates. As an avid art collector and patron of the regional Arab Art scene overall, his benevolent and enlightened influence adds
credibility and substance to the UAE’s political cadres. A Legacy of Political Reform Although committed to the principle of increased involvement of the people in the nation’s affairs, Gargash appears comfortable with the government’s adoption of a gradualist approach. He justifies the limited scope of the election on three grounds: the UAE’s lack of an electoral legacy, current political tensions in the Gulf and wider Middle East, as well as the sectarian and regional divisiveness of elections elsewhere in the Arab world. With his successful planning and implementation of the UAE’s first election, Anwar Gargash has emerged as an important political actor, adding to his regional and international reputation as scholar and businessman. Less visibly but perhaps equally importantly, he is also positioned to exercise an international impact through his leading role in the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which actively promotes Dubai’s worldwide business networks.
Anwar Gargash UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs
We must continue to pursue political reform and expand opportunities for participation in order to preserve political stability. Since the birth of the UAE in 1971 the region has witnessed consecutive conflicts and crises.
Weaving a new fabric of society Our globe will be at its most productive when the elements of free movement of capital and free movement of labour are enabled so that comparative advantages may be exploited to the fullest and prosperity disseminated globally. These are lofty words and panaceas cannot co-exist while vested interests block the way to this healthy scenario. As the world population reaches the 7 billion mark in December 2012, more people will choose to migrate by choice from one location to another in search of opportunities and a better quality of life. Adding to the difficulty of finding a place in any adopted country, the depressing reality for many is that they are not truly wanted nor appreciated in any environment other than their own country of origin â€“ if that. When the pressure is on, sadly it is religion, ethnicity and culture that predominate, overshadowing the human ability to add value to society through diligence, inclusiveness and a thirst for excellence. Despite the upheavals of leaving home for greener pastures, more than 215 million people live outside their country of birth, according to UN statistics. Like it or loathe it, international migration helps fuel economies across the globe. The World Bank estimates that migrants sent home more than US$440 billion in 2010, $325 billion of which went to developing countries. A nation such as the UAE which has emerged at an astonishing pace in
just 40 years to experience a massive cultural, economic, political and social evolution is facing challenges in this area, which are becoming critical. With such a tiny indigenous population estimated at 20 percent of the overall UAE population of nine million, the country is now assertively trying to protect its vanishing local heritage. As its youth under the age of 25 now forms over 50 per cent of the local population, it is more exposed than at any time to the onslaught of globalisation disseminated by international media, advertising and western popular culture. A pervasive ethos of rampant consumerism, coupled with a growing foreign presence on their own soil makes the retention of a national psyche and identity increasingly difficult to uphold. In addition, the elevated standards of living that Emiratis have come to expect can be considered, in some ways, as another threat to their sustainability. Whereby in order to preserve the prosperity and lifestyle nowadays enjoyed, the local population expects more skilled and unskilled labour to be imported. And yet paradoxically, this inflow is often not appreciated with recent calls for imposing quotas on the number of foreign nationals allowed to work in the UAE. Perhaps the key going forward is not to perpetrate a strategy of exclusiveness, but to foster a policy of inclusiveness enhanced by better education for Emiratis and the evolution of a sound culture of meritocracy.
A pervasive ethos of rampant consumerism, coupled with a growing foreign presence on their own soil makes the retention of a national psyche and identity increasingly difficult to uphold.
The stark realities In the UAE, in 2007, a total of 3,113,000 foreign, migrant workers of over 200 nationalities worked in 250,000 enterprises as domestic workers. With migrant workers making up some 80 per cent of the total resident population of the UAE, there have been numerous well documented cases of abuse, with domestic workers and labourers – two of the most vulnerable cadres of workers suffering enormous distress and injustice. With late or unpaid wages and various types of domestic abuse categorised as the typical forms of difficulties faced by foreign workers, the Government is addressing these problems on various fronts. By enacting legislation to protect worker’s rights, to address labour exploitation and human trafficking, the policies that made it hard for migrants even to approach authorities for help are now being loosened, making transparency permeate more strongly. The UAE is trying to progress in this area. It has taken steps worth applause in promoting women’s education, entrepreneurship and political involvement through semi elected bodies such as the Federal National Council (FNC). When it comes to seeking justice for sexual violence, however, women in the UAE still face obstacles from the judiciary. For children, the UAE has shown eager commitment, working towards a better, safer future. With the judicial system expressing zero tolerance in cases of child abuse and trafficking, a firmer stand to protect the vulnerable sectors of society is taking shape. Also, the UAE has shown signs of openness by allowing Amnesty
International to investigate and repair severe cases of migrant worker exploitation, and has taken a major stance by repatriating a generation of young camel jockeys and setting up rehabilitation programmes to re-unite them with their families in their home countries. It is obvious that there is much more social change that needs to take place in order for the nation to fulfil its legal and moral obligation to societal equality. However, in such a relatively nascent environment such as the UAE, like any nation that has reached a state of civil society over decades, it has the historical imperative to progress and will do so in feasible timeline. To expect miracles is unrealistic. International Labour Organisation (ILO) Calls for improvement [in an info box] • Ensure proper documentation in the process of attaining migrant workers in the country which will make exit
more convenient. • Reform labour laws to protect interests of labourers and improve living conditions. • Migrants need to be given a government-appointed attorney to defend their rights. Provide efficient complaint mechanisms and dissolution of dispute. • Allow worker organizations to set their own rules, operate freely, and elect their representatives in full freedom, and such organizations must be truly independent and free of external interference. • Establish a legal body to overlook standards of detention and in severe cases access to medical care. • Conduct independent reviews of policies to ensure migrants face no
discrimination on grounds of ethnicity or nationality. • Developing comprehensive national strategies and strengthen international cooperation to combat trafficking, and provide access to services and rehabilitation. • Police, investigators, public prosecutors and judges should receive proper training to handle cases even those relating to women and children. • The UAE should also improve law enforcement and judicial practices, and offer health and other services to sexual violence victims. rape. Instead of being thrown behind bars, rape victims should receive medical treatment, psychological counselling and other support services. Social
PepsiCo Sustainability: What does it mean for PepsiCo? As one of the world’s largest companies, we recognize our responsibility to make a positive contribution to a planet experiencing its share of environmental challenges. Clean UAE is just one of a broad number of initiatives – both inside and outside PepsiCo – that we support to advance our progress on this front. Our approach to sustainability is grounded in our Performance with Purpose mission: a balance of achieving continued financial success while leaving a positive imprint on society through three defined areas of influence: environment, human and talent sustainability. These three focus areas guide the way we operate when it comes to our planet, our products and our people. They have been and will continue to be shaped by ongoing dialogue with key stakeholders. In this way we intend to maintain our long term commitment to the overall sustainability of our company.
We focus our environmental sustainability efforts on the areas where, because of our expertise, we can have the most impact: water, climate change, agriculture and packaging. Our nearly 300,000 employees also play their part through volunteer efforts in the communities where they live and work. PepsiCo is constantly working to improve water use efficiency in our operations, and we provide public access to clean water through our alliances with non-profit groups. We continue our efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and we engage in a range of public-private partnerships to spur action and solutions to address environmental issues. Environmental Sustainability We rely on the earth’s natural resources to run our businesses. As a company that is expanding across many developed and emerging markets, we
Chief Executive OfficerPepsiCo Asia, Middle East & Africa
PepsiCo’s commitment to environmental sustainability is an integral part of how we do business every day. We are continuously looking for ways to innovate and bring to scale the good ideas being implemented across our businesses.
Saad Abdul-Latif is Chief Executive Officer of PepsiCo’s Asia, Middle East and Africa Sector, comprising all PepsiCo food and beverage businesses in the region. He has led the business since September 2008, having previously led PepsiCo’s South Asia, Middle East and Africa business and, earlier, its Middle East and Africa unit. As CEO of the AMEA Sector, based in Dubai, he is responsible for a territory that spans more than 90+ countries and is home to more than two-thirds of the world’s population. A 28-year PepsiCo veteran, he has held a wide range of international roles in the corporation’s food and beverage businesses.
are committed to minimizing the impact our business has on the environment with methods that are socially responsible, scientifically based and economically sound. In 2009, we announced 15 global goals and commitments to guide our work to protect natural resources through innovation and more efficient use of land, energy, water and packaging in our operations. These commitments include reducing water consumption by 20%, electricity consumption by 20% and fuel consumption by 25% per unit of production by 2015 as compared to our 2006 consumption. We’ve made notable progress in all three areas. In Asia, the Middle East and Africa in particular, we are on track to achieve these targets well ahead of schedule and we’re continuing to extend our conservation efforts even further. In addition to our own efforts, we consistently rely on partnerships that help us address the urgency of the world’s environmental challenges. With expert knowledge, world-class skills and breakthrough technology that empowers our environmental team across the globe, we’re committed to continuous progress to protect the earth’s natural resources. Pioneering initiatives to Preserve Water resources Clean drinking water is required to make our products with the highest quality standards for consumers – and water is required to ensure a clean and safe workplace for our employees and our suppliers. In turn, efficient use of water across our operations is nothing short of imperative. We are committed to minimizing our global water use through greater efficiency and new technologies and to ensuring that we source our water in ways that do not have a negative
We are proud to tell the PepsiCo sustainability story as a participant and sponsor of the UAE’s publication, and we look forward to new and exciting partnerships in sustainability that create a better tomorrow for future generations. impact on local communities and ecosystems. We also partner with nonprofit groups to help provide acess to clean water around the world. PepsiCo Supports the u nited Nations’ Policy of h uman r ight to Water In 2009, PepsiCo became the first company of its size to publicly recognize water as a basic human right in the context of guidance established jointly by the United Nations and the World Health Organization. PepsiCo agrees to ensure that our businesses across the globe respect people’s right
to safe, accessible and affordable water. We established a Sustainable Agriculture Council to ensure that environmental impact is considered in our agricultural, research, development and management decision making. PEPGreen In the UAE, PepsiCo runs its flagship program, PEPGreen - an employee-led initiative to encourage recycling of paper, glass and plastic waste in addition to raising environmental awareness both internally and in the community. Through PEPGreen, PepsiCo supports various UAE-based environmental activities including SOCIAl
volunteer community clean-ups and an annual aluminum can collection campaign in close partnership with the Emirates Environmental Group (EEG). In addition, PEPGreen supports Robert Swan’s 2041 mission to raise awareness about climate change and has organized activities to celebrate Earth Hour and World Environment Day. PEPGreen also engages in an electronic waste recycling campaign with community partner Enviroserve. About PepsiCo PepsiCo offers the world’s largest portfolio of billion-dollar food and beverage brands, including 19 different product lines that each generates more than $1 billion in annual retail sales.
Our main businesses – Frito-Lay, Quaker, Pepsi-Cola, Tropicana and Gatorade – also make hundreds of other nourishing, tasty foods and drinks that bring joy to our consumers in more than 200 countries. PepsiCo’s people are united by our unique commitment to sustainable growth, called Performance with Purpose. By dedicating ourselves to offering a broad array of choices for healthy, convenient and fun nourishment, reducing our environmental impact, and fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace culture, PepsiCo balances strong financial returns with giving back to our communities worldwide.
In the UAE, PepsiCo runs its flagship program, PEPGreen - an employee-led initiative to encourage recycling of paper, glass and plastic waste in addition to raising environmental awareness both internally and in the community.
Shell Foundation Scale, sustainability & success When Shell Foundation (SF) was established in 2000, we had ambitious objectives to catalyse scaleable and sustainable solutions to global development challenges. We set about doing this in ways that were new at the time by pioneering an ‘enterprise-based’ approach. We concentrated our efforts on tackling social and environmental issues in which the energy industry had a particular responsibility. We also sought to test whether we could harness value-adding links to our corporate parent to maximise charitable benefit. SF has committed almost US$94 million since its inception. To ensure we assess our performance most accurately, this report only covers the US$78 million committed to initiatives that targeted achieving scale from the outset and which were completed by the end of 2008. Of this total, 65% achieved scale according to our evaluation criteria, 19% was implemented successfully but showed no evidence of going to scale, and 16% failed to achieve intended outcomes. But these changes mask considerable changes in performance over time that resulted from us adapting
our strategy in response to the lessons we learned. In our inception phase (from 2000 to end 2002) – where we largely provided short-term project-based support to multiple not-for-profit organisations – 80% of the initiatives we supported failed to achieve scale or sustainability. This reflected either poor execution or lack of market demand for the proffered products and services. Having changed our strategy to focus on co-developing and implementing new business models with a few carefully selected strategic partners, we now find that 80% of our grants meet our criteria for having achieved scale or sustainability. Today, two of our strategic partners (EMBARQ and GroFin) have achieved verifiable global scale and sustainability while two others (Envirofit and The Better Flower Company) are well advanced in this respect. Our success to date reinforces our view that while scale can be achieved
Shell Foundation also sought to test whether we could harness value-adding links to our corporate parent to maximise charitable benefit.
Clare Woodcraft Shell deputy Director, UK. Clare Woodcraft joined the Shell Foundation in april 2010 as the Deputy Director, UK. Previously she worked as the Regional Director Of Communications for Shell in the Middle East and North Africa (mena) managing Shell’s social investment portfolio in the region and government relations. Prior to this role, clare headed up visa international’s emerging markets public affairs department working closely with governments and financial sectors. Clare has spent a total of 16 years living in emerging economies and has written extensively on issues related to development in the middle east. She worked in various capacities including as a development practitioner, a journalist and in the corporate sector in social investment, government relations and communications. Clare holds a ba degree in arabic and french from salford university and an msc in development from the london school of economics.
through public sector programmes and community-based initiatives, the greatest untapped opportunity lies in developing more ‘enterprise-based’ solutions. CATALYSING ‘DISRUPTIVE’ CHANGE THROUGH ‘ANGEL PHILANTHROPY’ The importance of ‘new’… We find it striking that in every instance where we have succeeded in building partnerships that have achieved scale, it has been with newly created entities that we helped co-found using new business models we co-developed. In all cases we were also the sole partner and subsidy provider during the development and testing of these business models. By contrast, despite our various efforts, we have never succeeded in helping an existing organisation go to scale. …and getting the ‘right’ entrepreneur as a partner… Testing new solutions with new partners in new markets is inevitably risky. Where we chose the wrong partner with insufficient business acumen, we failed. Our partner selection process has thus evolved considerably such that now we look for ‘entrepreneurial’ partners who focus entirely on the venture and share the start-up risk by investing their own resources in it. We no longer encourage unsolicited proposals but instead proactively use our networks to identify the best people to partner with. …who shares an aligned vision of scale It is important to have an aligned vision with partners, from the outset, with respect to achieving scale and sustainability. This means having a plan from inception that is based on recruiting the best staff and developing the most efficient operating systems essential for
managing the complex multi-locational operations that scale entails. BUILDING SECTORAL PIONEERS Supporting the ‘building’ of a sustainable enterprise… Building sustainable enterprises means investing in core capacity and systems as a pre-requisite for scale. It also requires additional input over and above grant finance in the form of business advice, market access and appropriate governance support. This means that large amounts of up-front subsidy as well as dedicated staff resources must be committed before verifiable developmental benefits start to materialise in the longer term. …takes time, patience and considerable investment… Building sustainable enterprises that can effectively address global development challenges takes time, patience and considerable investment. We have invested between US$10-15 million of grant support over five to seven years to help our strategic partners achieve scale and sustainability. Testing new partners to provide new services in new markets will always be difficult and demands a high risk approach. …and ‘more than money’ SF has invested considerable time in providing a range of expertise, business advice and skills-based support to our partners. We believe that this ‘more than money’ input forms a critical part of our differentiated business model and serves to significantly reduce the risk of working in a start-up environment. We have also sought to apply the same approach to harnessing our “independent yet linked” relationship with Shell. Our shared branding has been of tremendous value to our Social
partners in leveraging support from others and “opening doors”. FROM SUBSIDY TO EARNED INCOME Adopting a market-based approach… A strong market-based and value-chain approach underpins all the ventures we have supported that have gone to scale. This has reinforced our belief that only by offering good quality products or services to the poor that they value and can afford, can one achieve the financial viability that is essential for lasting and scaleable solutions. …and targeting financial viability is paramount We have found that a disciplined focus on financial returns and ‘earned income’ is critical to ensure sustainability and an end to depending on subsidies. This
shared commitment to financial viability has enabled our strategic partners to leverage investment from other parties. SCALE IS NOT ENOUGH We now realise that achieving scale alone is not enough. No matter how successful our partners are at pioneering new business based solutions to development challenges, they alone will never fully address the un-served needs of the millions of poor people around the world. There is a need for wider system change. ‘Angel philanthropy’ requires focus, patience and flexibility and it represents a high risk approach given the time needed to achieve developmental returns. But we believe that more ‘angel philanthropists’ are needed to catalyse and support the growing number of
social entrepreneurs until they are ready to source second stage finance from others. Opportunities exist for syndication between ‘angel philanthropists’ and such “impact investors”. We have learned a lot over the past decade that has helped us chart our journey for the next one. We will retain our enterprise-based approach and our focus on building strategic partnerships. We will endeavour to do more to incubate, scale-up and spinoff strategic partnerships by enhancing our networks, facilitating dialogue between our partners and allocating time and effort to critical self-analysis. We will seek to leverage greater value-adding support from Shell to achieve our mission and we will continue to share our success and failure along the way.
No matter how successful our partners are at pioneering new business based solutions to development challenges, they alone will never fully address the un-served needs of the millions of poor people around the world.
BILL AND MELINDA GATES FOUNDATION MAKING A DIFFERENCE ON A GLOBAL SCALE
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is the largest transparently operated private foundation in the world, founded by Bill and Melinda Gates. Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, the focus is on improving people’s health and assisting them in lifting themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty.
In the United States, the foundation seeks to ensure that all people—especially those with the fewest resources—have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life. Based in Seattle, the foundation is led by CEO Jeff Raikes and co-chair William H. Gates Sr., under the direction of Bill and Melinda Gates as well as Warren Buffett.
Activities To maintain its status as a charitable foundation, it must donate at least 5% of its assets each year. Thus the donations from the foundation annually amount to over USD$ 1.5 billion at a minimum. Grant Making Areas Global Development Programme Global Health Programme United States Programme
Global development programme Mission - Increase opportunities for people in developing countries to overcome hunger and poverty. The focus is on areas with potential for sustainable solutions that can reach millions of people. Areas of work - Agricultural development, Financial services for the poor
Special initiatives The foundation seeks to have impact across a range of development issues and explore how best to make a difference in areas such as water, sanitation, and hygiene; urban poverty and emergency relief. Policy and advocacy Lasting progress against global hunger and poverty will take international attention and commitment— from all corners and across all sectors.
Global health programme The programme helps ensure that life-saving health advances reach the most needed. The spotlight is on major health problems in developing countries that get little attention and funding. Where proven tools exist, the foundation supports sustainable ways for improving delivery. Where they do not, research is undertaken and new interventions developed, such as vaccines, drugs, and carrying out diagnostics.
Priority areas of focus The foundations work in infectious diseases focuses on developing ways to fight and prevent enteric and diarrheal diseases, HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis and other infectious diseases. Three cross-cutting programs assist in successfully addressing their areas of focus: Discovery, Delivery, Policy & Advocacy
Bill & Melinda’s Approach to Giving Step One - Develop Strategy - The foundation decides if an issue can be helped with their money and ability to bring partners together. Step Two - Make Grants - The foundation consider grants that will support a decided strategy and look for partners who can carry out it out and make threeto five-year grants in addition to establishing formal agreements with expected outcomes.
United States Programme Mission - Help ensure greater opportunity for all Americans through the attainment of secondary and postsecondary education with economic value. Areas of Work - The focus is on these priority areas: Education - They work towards ensuring high school students graduate ready for success and prepared to earn University degrees. Assistance in the form of college funds and graduate school scholarships is given.
United States Programme Libraries - Supplying and sustaining free public access to computers and the Internet. Pacific Northwest - Assisting families by supporting community organisations in the Pacific Northwest and efforts that help break the cycle of homelessness. Special Initiatives - Increasing opportunities or responding to unique challenges in the United States, such as grants supporting Postsecondary Education and Emergency Relief efforts.
Step Three - Measure Progress - Once they have made a grant, they expect the grantee to measure progress and report on the results. Based on this, they decide whether they nedd to make adjustments. Step Four - Adjust Strategy- Once feedback is gathered, the programme presidents and CEO decide whether to continue with the existing strategy or to make adjustments. If necessary, they seek approval from Bill and Melinda to change course.
ALL LIVES HAVE EQUAL VALUE The foundations work begins with Bill and Melinda Gates’ belief that all lives have equal value. It is underscored additionally by the fact that people deserve the chance to have healthy, productive lives. Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett set the overarching grant making priorities as outlined above, ultimately establishing high-level goals for their grant making programmes. Social
International Hunger Facts Going Hungry? The irony of wealth Looking back, the local people of the UAE have evolved over the centuries from a gruelling desert life of subsistence living and a simple Bedouin way of life to an urbanised existence. Having lived days of food scarcity, they were pioneers of sustenance living on locally reared livestock, supplemented by high energy Arabian dates and fish. Their life was hard yet on so many levels, rewarding. Today, the opposite is true. Since the discovery of oil in the late 1950’s, the UAE has grown at breakneck speed. When it comes to health, today the surplus of fast food conveniences, hi-tech life, fast cars and fast food has created paucity with a new and poorly nourished generation. This ‘progress’ has had an adverse impact on health, productivity and overall well being. How can the nation prosper? This is food for thought.
Did you know? For the price of one missile, a school full of hungry children could eat lunch every day for five years To satisfy the world's sanitation and food requirements would cost only US$13 billion - what the people of the US and the EU spend on perfumes each year. Nearly 20 per cent of the population the UAE is diabetic. This is the secondhighest number of diabetics in the world after Nauru, a tiny Pacific island nation which suddenly became prosperous due to the discovery of phosphate. Food waste reaches its peak during Ramadan, at least 500 tonnes of food per day, in the UAE. Authorities estimate an annual food waste of 34 percent of the UAE’s total waste. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), more than 50 per cent of men and women in the UAE are overweight. In essence, the lifestyle in the UAE is unhealthy. If that's not bad enough, 39 per cent of pupils in UAE schools lead a sedentary lifestyle, compounded by the fact that 26 per cent of pupils consume at least two sugar-laden soft drinks each day.
Low carbon on the menu Much of the developed world’s food system relies heavily on fossil fuels to grow, transport and process food. Burning fossil fuels cause carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions but, as a percentage of the world’s and nation’s CO2 emissions, the food system’s share is relatively modest. A much more significant problem is the amount of more powerful greenhouse gases generated by livestock production, agricultural practices, excess water usage and refrigeration gases. Equally concerning is the amount of deforestation and soil erosion that occurs when land is cleared for food production or too many chemical inputs destroys soil fertility. While the food system’s CO2emissions are modest, methane, nitrous oxide and CFC releases are enormous. What the Science Says Lifecycle assessments (LCAs) – studies that examine a range of environmental impacts of a given product from the start of a production process to its eventual disposal – were originally designed to quantify manufacturing impacts but the methodology has now been adapted for food products. The process is exhaustive and highly quantitative. As a result, they are expensive to conduct so LCAs have typically been undertaken only for very high-impact or high-volume food products. With hundreds of studies now complete in Europe, North America, Asia and Australia, some irrefutable patterns are emerging: Meat and cheese from ruminant animals is a ‘high-carbon’ food no matter how you slice it. The science on this matter is clear, despite the intrepid bloggers who genuinely want to believe otherwise. An exhaustive report by the United 94
Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) showed in 2006 that “overall, livestock activities contribute an estimated 18 percent to total anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions (GHGe).” The reasons are primarily due to three factors: large quantities of methane gas released by ruminant animals through their digestive systems (burping) over their lifetime; waste management, which is responsible for methane and nitrous oxide releases; and deforestation for grazing pastures. The impacts from growing grain to feed animals are also environmentally significant, but the humanitarian element – of growing grain for animals rather than for direct human consumption in a world where there isn’t enough food for people – is perhaps cause for greater concern. Grain production also requires enormous water resources, which competes with human needs for water in many places around the globe. With well-documented evidence that the livestock sector is responsible for 18% of the world’s GHG emissions, and the food system is responsible for approximately 33%, the maths is easy: meat and other products (such as cheese) from ruminant animals such as cows, sheep and goats, are the cause of half of the food system’s overall contribution to climate change. Whether it comes from near or far, meat and cheese are “high-carbon foods.” Food waste (and over-consumption) generate emissions throughout the supply chain. Millions of tons of food are produced and wasted every day. One survey, based on Federal statistics, estimated that commercial retail food establishments (full service restaurants,
fast food, supermarket and convenience stores) throw out 54 billion pounds of food each year. Every American household, on average, discards more than 1.25 pounds of food as waste each day (about 14% of total food purchases, measured by dollars), not including what is tossed into compost piles or sent down the disposals. These figures add up to enormous sums but don’t even include on-farm food losses. The figures may also be understated. In 2009, a UN report found that over half of the food produced globally (and in the U.S.) is lost, wasted or discarded as a result of inefficiency in the human-managed food chain, including as much as one-quarter of all fresh fruits and vegetables. From a climate change perspective, food losses carry two burdens: emissions generated by the production, distribution and preparation of “unnecessary” food; and the generation of methane thrown away is not an issue because gas at landfills by organic matter that it is ‘natural and biodegradable’ and decomposes there. that nearly three-quarters of people thought that packaging was more of British household and commercial food a problem than food waste.” From losses have been found to be similar in a climate change perspective, the scope, prompting Waste and Resources opposite is true. Action Programme, an organisation in the U.K., to note that carbon savings could Landfills are a significant contributor be equivalent to taking an estimated of methane emissions, a greenhouse 1 in 5 cars off the road if we avoided gas 23 times more potent than carbon throwing away all the food that we could dioxide in trapping heat close to the have eaten.” WRAP further pointed out earth’s surface. The big contributor to that the “focus on the health advantages methane formation in landfills is organic of fruit and vegetable consumption is matter – including, very significantly, encouraging us all to buy an increasing food scraps. amount of fresh produce, a significant proportion of which is wasted.” They Air-freighting adds a hidden found an interesting dichotomy: people environmental cost with many are “concerned about throwing away popular seafood species. plastic and other waste perceived of as Super-efficient sonar technologies, giant non-biodegradable but less so about trawlers, and simply too many boats biodegradable waste which is not on the water have been responsible generally regarded as an environmental for overfishing many large species and problem.” Their survey revealed that destroying ocean habitats, like coral “Forty percent of people thought that food
reefs, that are ‘home’ to many others. In addition to causing long-term and potentially irreversible environmental damage, many fishing vessels use enormous amounts of energy (and generate greenhouse gas emissions) to catch fish, and many farmed species are grown in systems that use lots of energy. Scientific research is emerging that shows, however, that the greatest greenhouse gas burden for many species is the mode by which they are transported to supermarkets or restaurants. Many types of fish sold as “fresh” is almost certainly flown by air in gel-ice packaging (or in water, such as live lobster). By far the most environmentally benign species are those that are caught or grown within a short distance of being produced, but currently less than 30% of all seafood consumed in the U.S. comes from U.S. waters. For species caught from afar, “frozen at sea” (or individually quick frozen for farmed seafood) products are
Super-efficient sonar technologies, giant trawlers, and simply too many boats on the water have been responsible for overfishing many large species and destroying ocean habitats, like coral reefs, that are ‘home’ to many others.
typically shipped by boat rather than flown by air. The difference is a ten-fold increase in emissions for air-freighting. Lifecycle researchers are also confirming that smaller (low-trophic) species, such as herring, clams, sardines and mussels, are generally low-carbon foods due to the fishing or farming methods that do not use many fossil fuel inputs, including what they are fed. If flown a great distance as a “fresh” product, however, the benefits are largely cancelled. While fruits and vegetables are “lower carbon” options than highly processed foods or proteins, environmental benefits are cancelled if they are air-freighted or hothouse-grown. Ounce for ounce, fruits and vegetables as a whole category contribute fewer emissions than animal proteins, but air-freighting produce is very emissionsintensive. Air-freighting is typically reserved for highly perishable produce that command higher prices, such as fresh berries and asparagus in winter, and pineapples year-round. Tomatoes aren’t flown, but to avoid the common practice of picking tomatoes when they are green and “ripening them” with ethylene gas – a process that seems to ensure mushy flavour and a pinkish colour – producers have taken to growing “winter tomatoes” in hothouses. The result is better flavour, redder colour, and far greater emissions than seasonal crops grown in dirt. This is even true for tomatoes grown in “local” hothouses. The burning of fossil fuels to power the hothouses causes emissions (much more than the transportation of the product after they are produced). High energy usage (and carbon 96
emissions) can be caused by old or worn heating and refrigeration equipment in commercial kitchens and by inconsistent application of operational standards. In the US, the assumption has been that commercial (and residential) equipment that uses energy to run emit greenhouse gases principally through burning fossil fuels to power them. This is a serious source of emissions to be sure, but recent evidence suggests that refrigerant losses varies widely and can be as high as 50% of the corresponding figure for electricity usage. Refrigerants include CFCs, a potent greenhouse gas. European supermarkets, who have been measuring GHG emissions for many more years than their US counterparts, are reporting that refrigerants account for 25% of some stores direct emissions inventory (that is, stores, distribution centres, transportation fleets, but not food production). Research estimates demonstrate how energy usage contributes additional burdens because minor equipment malfunctions or broken parts can cause energy losses of 30% or more. Improper disposal of “eco-friendly” packaging may actually do more harm than good. “Grab and go” packaging has long been an environmental irritant, and Americans still discard many items made from virgin and non-renewable products (such as plastic water bottles) where there is reasonably consistent demand for the product. Whereas many municipalities have developed robust recycling programs over 30 years, municipal composting lags far behind. Independent LCA research comparing different types of packaging materials is very limited (most studies are paid
for by corporate sponsors who could benefit from results reported in specific ways), but marketing claims abound. What we do know is that all types of to-go containers (hot and cold drink cups, salad and entrée containers) are produced with the benefit of fossil fuels at some stages of their lifecycles. Even the so-called renewable products (such as those made from corn), are made possible with nitrogen fertilizer application in corn fields, and to power long-distance transportation from field to manufacturing facility to warehouse to usage. LCAs thus far available show that there is little difference between products made from bio-based materials versus those made from lighter weight “non-renewable” resins. The irony is, of
course, that there is a better developed market to capture and reuse the “nonrenewable” resins than there is for the bio-based products. So-called ‘natural’ products, in fact, partially break down in landfills and cause methane emissions whereas the so-called petroleum-based products do not. Bio-based products, furthermore, potentially interfere with recycling processes, according to a paper from Environmental Defence Fund in 2008, because users think they should dispose of them in plastic recycling bins. (They shouldn’t.) Choosing the most greenhouse gasbenign to-go container, however, won’t have nearly the impact, however, as choosing foods that are comparatively lower-carbon foods.
Conclusion Food choices we make every day can significantly impact climate change. Researchers estimate that the average American diet produces more than 15 pounds of CO2 per day which equals 5,600 pounds of CO2 emissions per person per year. Compare that number to other “practical changes” suggested by respected environmental organisations that ask individuals to cut their carbon by taking shorter hot showers or changing light bulbs. A 10-minute shower is often cited as contributing four pounds of carbon per day (or 1,460 pounds of CO2 per year); this is only about one-third the impact of our daily food choices. Bon Appetit!
Research shows that the livestock sector is responsible for 18% of the world’s GHG emissions and the food system is responsible for approximately 33%. The maths is easy; meat and other products (such as cheese) from ruminant animals such as cows, sheep and goats, are the cause of half of the food system’s overall contribution to climate change. Whether it comes from near or far, meat and cheese are high-carbon foods.
The number of hours a TV can run for by recycling a can of Coke.
minutes - The average time spent eating a family meal in a British household. Twenty years ago, it was 33 minutes. Eat slowly, chew your food thoroughly, and enjoy a happy healthy meal as much as you can.
of people who drink more than two cans of fizzy drinks a day have albuminaria, an early marker of kidney disease. Drink more water to cleanse the kidneys.
The amount of energy saved by recycling an aluminium can versus creating the can from virgin aluminium. That means you can make 20 cans out of recycled material with the same amount of energy it takes to make one can out of new material. Energy savings in one year alone are enough to light a city the size of Pittsburgh for six years.
million Average amount of beverage cans are sold annually all over the UAE. Recycling cans uses 90-95 percent less energy than manufacturing from virgin materials (aluminium deposits found in ores), and produced 95 percent less emissions in the process. It is said that one aluminium beverage can thrown in the garbage is equivalent to throwing away half a can of gasoline fuel.
The number, on average, of aluminium cans recycled each minute of each day.
Reuse, Reduce, Recycle Reuse water bottles or purchase a sturdier water bottle that can be washed. If you do buy bottles of water, remember to recycle. Also, purchasing a filter for your tap water can be an alternative to buying bottles.
Eat Locally Go to local restaurants for dinner. By travelling shorter distances, your carbon emissions are reduced and you are supporting local businesses.
Meatless Day Abstain from meat one day a week. If all Americans gave up meat one day a week, the savings in energy and noxious waste would be equivalent to removing 8-million cars from the roads.
Coca Cola Goes Eco-friendly Coca Cola has pioneered a new drinks can design that will save 15,000 tonnes of aluminium ever year. The new design, which uses 5% less aluminium than traditional drinks cans, will help cut back on how much of aluminium is used in Europe. In addition, using less aluminium means less carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere. In total, the new cans will cut the carbon footprint of the drinks industry by 78,000 tonnes per year, the same as taking almost 20,000 cars off the road. 6.5 billion cans have already been produced and distributed, with major drinks brands and brewers across Europe readily taking up the new design. Coca Cola has also reduced the amount of glass in its iconic 330ml bottle, down 20% from 263g to 210g. Apparently, a can coke releases less carbon emissions than an organic fruit smoothie made by the ethical Innocent brand. The Carbon Trust calculated that a 330ml can of coke is responsible for just 170 grams of CO2 emissions. By comparison, a 250ml passion fruit and mango Innocent smoothie has embedded carbon emissions of 209 grams.
Chocolat: Local Eco-Treats Swiss chocolate makers, Chocolat, produce their treats locally in Ras Al Khaimah which not only ensures fresh preservative-free treats, but also a major cut down freight and fuel footprint. They avoid using plastic and excess packaging and have created their own re-usable containers. Chocolat also encourages a container-return system which allows them to reduce, reduce and recycle. Sensible and yummy! www.chocolat.ae
Sustainable nourishment explored Organic or non-organic? That is the question. For decades, controversy has mired debates about its merits. Be it the profit-making global food giants who downplay its benefits, to sceptics that research the topic to disprove its worth. “There is no evidence today to claim that organic foods are significantly different in terms of their safety and nutritional content to those produced by conventional farming” reported Professor Sir John Krebs, Chair, UK Food Standards Agency in 2000. In the same year, UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) claimed that “organically produced foods have lower levels of pesticide and veterinary drug residues and, in many cases, lower nitrate contents.” Divergent opinions notwithstanding, ‘between 1990 and 2000, the organic market in Europe grew at an average of 25 percent a year to reach an annual turnover of £6 billion by April 2000.
The UAE’s own organic ‘bioneer’ is Nils El Accad, CEO, Organic Food & Café established in Dubai in 20XX. “I’ve been exposed to organic food for a long time and learned more about it when my mother fell ill and passed away from cancer. Later, I fell severely ill myself and visited countless doctors in vain. Finally, a homeopath cured me by detoxifying the built-up toxins in my body caused by eating foods that were laden with pesticides and additives.” Evangelical in desire to change the palate of Dubaians, El Accad says, “I went to food retailers, producers, and packagers to convince them to consider organic, but it’s all about the money and none of them listened. So, I started on my own. If I didn’t do this, I would have left Dubai.”
What are organic foods? Accounting for a mere 1 - 2 percent of food sales worldwide in 2008, since the early 1990s organic food production has boasted growth rates of approximately 20 annually, far exceeding the rest of the food industry in both developed and developing nations. Made by limited usage of conventional non-organic pesticides, insecticides and herbicides, some organic foods nevertheless need certain non-organic fertilizers. With livestock, apart from being fed on a healthy diet, they must be reared without resorting to antibiotics or growth hormones. In most countries, organic produce cannot be genetically modified. Historically, organic farms have been relatively small family-run enterprises; this is why organic food was once only available in small stores or farmers’ markets. Heavily regulated today, currently the EU, the US, Canada and Japan require producers to obtain certification so as to market food as ‘organic’. Most accreditations permit limited chemicals and pesticides to be used, therefore consumers should be aware of the standards for qualifying as ‘organic’ in their respective countries.
Nils’ No No’s Conventional Products to Avoid Chicken, Leafy Green Vegetables, Berries, Eggs, Processed Meats
Divergent views on the use of science in the production of food Nils El Accad, CEO, Organic Food & Cafe
“Most conventionally produced food comes from production systems that rely on a cocktail of up to 350 different chemicals. The World Health Organisation has classified many of these substances as hazardous to our health. Genetically altered foods may mislead consumers with counterfeit freshness. A luscious looking, bright red genetically modified tomato could be several weeks old and of little nutritional value even though it looks as though it was picked off the vine hours before.”
Nils El Accad
Jannie Holtzhausen, CEO, Spinneys (Dubai) “I do not believe there is any scientific proof that organic food is safer or healthier than non-organic food. I believe there is room for organics, and don’t suggest the movement has no merits, but it’s incorrect to suggest that products produced on commercial farms under strict guidelines are not safe”
Genetically modified food Nils El Accad
“This is the first time we’ve been able to cross the species barrier, and we’re playing God. You’ll have companies that use fish genes to keep tomatoes from losing their water, so they can look fresh weeks after they’ve been picked. It will look good a month later, but nutritionally, there’s nothing left in it. Let me ask you, is that tomato still vegetarian? We haven’t even begun to understand this technology and the effect it will have on our eco-system.”
“We do not sell farmed fish, a method which uses artificial feeding, growth promoters and antibiotics. Our seafood is only caught in the wild, and is not cultivated under artificial conditions. It therefore does not come into deliberate contact with any unnaturally present artificial substances.”
“If we don’t farm fish we will soon not have any fish left to eat. There are organic fish farms and we try not to sell fish that is on the red list of endangered fish species, unless it is farmed under approved methods.”
Organic Meat Nils El Accad
“If meat is organic, you know it’s not going to be fed antibiotics and hormones. It won’t be fed animal protein either. If it’s organic, it’s automatically free range. But if something is simply labelled ‘free-range’, I’d draw a big red circle around it. There isn’t adequate legislation to ensure what that really means.”
“Organic meat or chicken doesn’t certify that the growing methods are animal welfare friendly, it states a feeding regime. We have to be clear what we mean by labelling something organic. Responsibly produced non-organic meat farming does not necessarily imply the use of growth hormones or antibiotics. Also there is more than one organic certification body and not all apply the same rules.”
“I believe that in 10 or 20 years, we will be able to use science to feed the growing population, regardless of dwindling water supplies. That is, if we use science responsibly.” *Excerpts from Time Out Dubai, 9 March 2009
Why does organic cost more? Or does it? “You get what you pay for,” says Nils, “organic is expensive yes, but conventional products are more expensive. Premium organic products are free of pesticides, artificial additives and have more nutrients, vitamins and minerals, so even though the price might be higher, the value is more as the health benefits are tremendous.” If more nutrients equals more money, then what about the diplomatic stance of bodies like The Food Standards Agency, UK and French Food Safety Agency who claim there is not enough evidence to say organic food is more nutritious, and that their interest lies in ‘in providing accurate information to support consumer choice?’ El Accad believes that the scales are skewed as far as cost of food is concerned, “currently, only 8 percent of our income is spent on food, whereas 50-60 years ago, it was 50 percent. The quality of life then and now is very different therefore. The unit of measure that is used today is totally wrong; people want the quickest, easiest, and cheapest,” he retorts. “Air freighted vegetables might be cheap, but they are full of residual pesticides and fertilisers and what about the carbon footprint that airplanes cause? Not getting the right nutrients makes you ill and this is the cost the society is paying. We should be buying food on nutritional values and not by weight,” he says. “Look at a conventional cereal box for example, it’s half empty. Where is the value for money in that? In that respect, I’d say we’re the cheapest.” In the midst of stiff competition from supermarket behemoths, he is a true believer and advocator of organic. “We are not driven by profit. As long as we don’t lose money, we’re okay. We’re about feeding people nutritious wholesome food that is good for them.” 102
Splurging Organically In the UAE, reputed organic certified products carry the Soil Association, USDA Organic or Organic Crop Improvement Association stamp. When it comes to organic consciousness, better nutrition is only a part of the equation. Farming methods are more environmentally sensitive, progressive in their community-based farming practices and are humane to animals. So even though research indicates that organically grown apples for instance, have 15 per cent more antioxidants than their conventionally grown counterparts, they do not usually come as cheap as organic farming - based on strengthening biodiversity by promoting sustainable farming methods such as natural pest control and crop rotation - it is more labour-intensive and highly regulated with lesser yields. The Environmental Working Group, a US-based NGO, advises opting for organic fruits and vegetables as pesticides still linger even after washing. Higher pesticide levels are consumed via thin-skinned produce, especially when the skin is eaten, whilst thick-skinned foods such as bananas have a natural protective packaging. Be pocketbook sustainable by buying selectively organic as the cost of organic products can often be a minimum of 40 percent more than ordinary products.
Always check for certification when buying organic. The UK’s Department for Environmental, Food and Rural Affairs and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) share common minimum guidelines. Even though a product can be advertised as “made with organic ingredients” - if it contains at least 75 per cent organically grown products- generally, food must contain at least 95 per cent organically produced ingredients to earn the standard.
FRUIT OR VEGGIE
1 (worst) Peach 2 Apple 3 Sweet Bell Pepper 4 Celery 5 Nectarine 6 Strawberries 7 Cherries 8 Kale 9 Lettuce 10 Grapes – Imported 11 Carrot 12 Pear 13 Collard Greens 14 Spinach 15 Potato 16 Green Beans 17 Summer Squash 18 Pepper 19 Cucumber 20 Raspberries 21 Grapes – Domestic 22 Plum 23 Orange 24 Cauliflower 25 Tangerine 26 Mushrooms 27 Banana 28 Winter Squash 29 Cantaloupe 30 Cranberries 31 Honeydew Melon 32 Grapefruit 33 Sweet Potato 34 Tomato 35 Broccoli 36 Watermelon 37 Papaya 38 Eggplant 39 Cabbage 40 Kiwi 41 Sweet Peas – Frozen 42 Asparagus 43 Mango 44 Pineapple 45 Sweet Corn – Frozen 46 Avocado 47 (best) Onion
SCORE 100 (highest pesticide load) 93 83 82 81 80 73 69 67 66 63 63 60 58 56 53 53 51 50 46 44 44 44 39 37 36 34 34 33 33 30 29 29 29 28 26 20 20 17 13 10 10 9 7 2 1 1 (lowest pesticide load)
Is organic more nutritious? The argument is whether organic food is more nutritious than conventionally grown food or not. While some studies state positive benefits, others conclude that organic food is more dangerous, because of the increased use of manure as a fertiliser. A University of Minnesota research showed that organic produce has significantly higher contamination by E. coli bacteria as it is ‘more susceptible to faecal contamination’. However, other reports dispute these conclusions: “Organic foods retain essential nutrients, such as iron and salicylic acid, which are stripped away in conventional food processing. Our fresh organic produce has an average of 50 percent more vitamins, minerals, enzymes and other micro-nutrients than their intensively farmed counterparts. Organic produce is not covered in a cocktail of poisonous chemicals. The average conventionally grown apple has 20 – 30 artificial chemicals on its skin even after washing,” El Accad explains. Eating organic is closely entwined with eating healthy food in healthy proportions. Studies by the World Health Organisation rank the UAE among the most obese 104
countries in the world; more than 60 percent of UAE nationals are overweight, with women representing the majority of the overweight population, and 17 percent of UAE national children aged between six and 16 are obese. The rate of diabetes is also rising at a distressing rate. Such alarming statistics calls for a lifestyle overhaul. While food giants continue to profit from processed foods and fried snacks, establishments like the Organic Foods & Café promote healthy living in their glutenfree and lactose-free sections along with specific foods aimed for diabetics. El Accad is also diversifying into nutritional consultancy, another rapid growth area in the UAE. “We are helping people plan their personal diets in a first-of-its-kind programme in UAE. This will be based on one’s individual blood analysis; blood values will be taken and a personal diet chart will be made in order to optimise metabolism by eating what is right for that particular person and more importantly avoiding what is wrong. This can be used to reduce weight and also solve many ailments. We are helping the population on an organic basis, by providing foods that heal.”
Health food criteria
“In our family, like in past generations, eating ‘healthy’, means opting for ‘whole foods’ – food as close as possible to the way nature made it. It also implies eating a well rounded meal that includes fruits, vegetables, meat and starch at every meal. If it comes out of a tin or packet, we generally avoid it.”
According to the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) definition, ‘health food’ is a food that is low in saturated fat that contains limited amounts of cholesterol and sodium. If it is a single-item food, it must also provide at least 10 percent of one or more of vitamins A or C, iron, calcium, protein, or fibre.
Leila Al Ghaith, Sharjah
Exempt from this ‘10-percent’ rule are certain raw, canned and frozen fruits or vegetables in addition to various cereal-grain products. These can be labelled ‘healthy’ if they do not contain ingredients that change its nutritional profile.
“We go for a diet high in vegetables, moderate in natural fats and animal based protein with very little sugars and starches. It was not like this before, but my husband has high blood pressure and diabetes.” Fatima Al Hinawy, Abu Dhabi
“Increasingly, industrial, packaged and modified foods no longer appear at our dining table. Nowadays I prepare the food myself and even if it is more time consuming than convenience options, it’s far healthier. Even the children enjoy it.” Ellen Trowbridge, Dubai
“We don’t buy that processed foods are bad for you. Many processed varieties are just as nutritious as fresh foods that have been stored - depending how they are processed. For instance, frozen vegetables usually processed within a few hours of harvest are fine. There is scarce nutrient loss in the freezing process, so they maintain a high vitamin and mineral content. However, fresh vegetables are picked and transported to market and can take ages before they reach the dinner table, especially in the UAE. Vitamins are gradually lost over time no matter how carefully the vegetables are transported and stored. Some processing methods can cause depletion of nutrients during boiling. However, the processing of foods can also add nutritional benefits. For example, lycopene, a powerful antioxidant (a protective substance for the body) found in tomatoes and watermelons, is better absorbed (‘bio-available’) when the tomatoes are processed into tomato paste or ketchup for instance.” Dr. Raj Kantaria, Al Ain
Lexmark Empowering Change At the heart of sustainability lies the desire to maintain a balance between the economic, environmental and social needs of our world today without compromising the opportunities of future generations. Lexmark, a multinational company providing printers, ink & toner and related services, has always strived to be associated with a respect for human rights, safe work conditions and environmentally sound business practices, for itself and its partners. Acting as pillars in Lexmark’s overall commitment to social responsibility are the following areas of focus. Community Involvement Lexmark strives to understand and respect the cultural values and laws wherever it operates. Lexmark actively supports important initiatives in those communities where its employees live and work. Corporate Governance and Ethics Lexmark maintains extensive ethics and corporate governance structures. They include but are not limited to the Board of Directors, Board Committees and Articles and By-Laws of the corporation. The company also actively communicates and enforces a detailed
Code of Business Conduct for all employees worldwide and provides numerous communication channels through which employees, subject to local law, can report possible code violations. Environmental Responsibility Lexmark works diligently to develop and implement industry-leading environmental practices that relate not only to its products, but to everything Lexmark does around the world through its focus in the following areas: • Product design and services • Resource management; and • The way we work and live Human Rights and Labor Standards Lexmark is committed to upholding the human rights of workers and to treating them with dignity and respect as understood by the international community. The company’s commitment includes adhering to and recognizing the critical importance of standards regarding freely chosen employment, child labor, discrimination, harsh or inhumane treatment, minimum wages, working hours and freedom of association.
Lexmark is committed to upholding the human rights of workers and to treating them with dignity and respect as understood by the international community.
Paul Rooke President and Chief Executive Officer
Paul Rooke is an executive vice president of Lexmark International, Inc., and president of the Imaging Solutions Division. He is responsible for meeting the needs of Lexmark’s worldwide customers for inkjet printers, all-in-one products, and related supplies and support, including development, manufacturing, marketing and sales. From December 1999 to July 2007, Rooke was president of Lexmark’s Printing Solutions and Services Division, which provides Lexmark’s worldwide business customers with products, supplies, software, solutions and services.
Diversity Lexmark strives to value and respect the individual differences of our employees, customers and business partners and is committed to achieving diversity in our global work force. We believe workforce provides employees with a better place to work and our company with a competitive business advantage. The company actively seeks out and implements programs designed to foster mutual respect and achievement of personal success, striving for each individual to reach their full potential. Health and Safety Lexmark endorses the principle that quality of products and services, consistency of production and workers’ morale are enhanced by a safe and healthy work environment. Lexmark maintains health and safety programs for its facilities around the world and assists our firsttier suppliers in developing programs appropriate to their facilities. Supplier Requirements Lexmark works with our suppliers to help them treat their workers and employees fairly and with dignity and respect, maintain safe working conditions, and conduct manufacturing activities in an environmentally safe and responsible manner. Lexmark is committed to acting as a socially responsible company in our global community. This means that we will fully comply with the laws, rules and regulations of the countries in which we operate. It also means that we will fully comply with the laws, rules and regulations of the countries in which we operate. It also means we will go further by continually evaluating our business practises using the principle of sustainability.
A Letter from Paul Rooke Over the past two years, Lexmark experienced financial hardships resulting from the global economic downturn. Like so many corporations, we had to make some difficult choices within our business to maintain a strong financial and competitive position. While doing so, we took special care to ensure that Lexmark’s commitment to environmental sustainability and corporate social responsibility would not be diminished. I am proud to report that we have been able to strengthen our commitment to environmental sustainability and corporate social responsibility, as well as the transparency with which we report on our worldwide efforts and impacts, greatly benefiting our customers, employees, stakeholders and global community. Lexmark has introduced a number of product environmental innovations, made significant improvements to our facilities and expanded our community programs. Of note this past year, we began using postconsumer recycled plastics in our cartridges, built our first LEED Gold certified facility in Juárez, Mexico and significantly expanded the reach of the Lexmark Teacher’s Institute. Lexmark’s latest Corporate Social Responsibility Report highlights these and the many other achievements and advancements we’ve made over the last year. In this year’s report, we also reaffirm our commitment to environmental sustainability and corporate social responsibility and our support of the United Nations Global Compact and the Electronics Industry Code of Conduct. In this Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) guided report, we reported on 100 percent of the GRI environmental, product responsibility and society indicators, reaching a new level of openness and transparency for Lexmark. I want to thank our employees around the globe for driving creativity and innovation and remaining committed to our environmental and corporate social responsibility programs. It is their unwavering commitment that enabled us to navigate a challenging economic environment and continue to provide outstanding products, solutions and services to our customers. Sincerely, Paul Rooke President and Chief Executive Officer
ARABIAN RADIO NETWORK Siobhan’s sustainable selection Eco-business, eco-art, eco-fashion, eco-tourism, eco-politics, eco-activism, eco-cities and eco-design; ‘eco’ consciousness has embedded itself into every aspect of how and where we live, work and play. ‘The Green Team’ weekly environment show - part of ‘Siobhan Live’ daily talk radio show on Dubai Eye radio 103.8fm - was born three years ago from the premise that everything we do is connected, impacting the planet. Even though it was initially challenging to find people interested in discussing environment issues, I believe that environmentalism has finally arrived to our airwaves, and further afield. I have been called tree hugging hippy, but as one of the only interactive environmental platforms in Dubai, through the show I have had the opportunity to speak to some truly inspiring people. From divers to conservationists, editors to educationists, there is always a story to tell that hopefully motivates listeners
to want to make a difference, or simply grow their environmental intelligence. I have met several men and women that have laid the groundwork enabling sustainability to flourish across diverse spheres. For instance, Nils Al Accad, the passionate owner and founder of the Organic Supermarket and café who has always been a regular contributor. Creating awareness about what we are eating, where food comes from and how it is grown, he is committed to promoting healthy nutrition, and does so fearlessly. Dr Ryan Penny, a homeopath and co founder of the ‘Time for Change’ wellness programme at the Dubai Herbal and Treatment Centre is also another inspirational individual who has dedicated years to challenging accepted social ideas about health. He is now a driving force in changing mind sets and encouraging a positive approach to achieving optimum wellbeing; providing a wakeup call to so many unhealthy and unhappy people.
I have been called tree hugging hippy, but as one of the only interactive environmental platforms in Dubai, through the show I have had the opportunity to speak to some truly inspiring people.
Siobhan Leyden Irish Radio Producer & Presenter Dubai Eye 103.8FM
Siobhan came to Dubai Eye after a successful career in TV production and during her time at 103.8 she has been charmed by Omar Sharif, verbally sparred with pugilist George Foreman and captivated by bad boy Lord Jeffrey Archer.
Another regular contributor is Ibrahim Al-Zu’bi, Environment Adviser, Emirates Diving Association (EDA) who heads Sustainable Development at Knowledge Human Development Authority KHDA. A friend and sincere environmentalist whose enthusiasm to promote eco diving worldwide and whose awareness initiatives with the United Nations and with schools in the region is contagious as it is commendable. Samer Kamal, managing director of Bee’ah, The Sharjah Environment Company has big plans; to create one of the world’s largest recycling facilities responsible for remediation of waste at one of the world’s largest landfill sites in Sharjah. Kamal is also involved in grassroots activities such as providing recycling bins on the Sharjah Corniche and piloting recycling schemes in the emirate. I met Samer two years ago at the Sharjah Biennale whose theme in 2007 was ‘Art , Politics and the Ecology of change’, a challenging event which in my mind stands as the first time art and environment were linked and debated in the same context in the Emirate. He captured the attention of everyone with his rational and believable solution driven approach about how businesses drive change. Two years later, his talk has transmuted into action with Bee’ah, aptly meaning ‘environment’ in Arabic. Every time we speak, he is brimming with more ideas on how to improve living standards and society overall. We often look to technology and complicated systems for answers when many of the solutions are in our hands and in nature that we are distancing ourselves from. Reed bed technology is just one of these concepts introduced
to me by a now regular contributor Steven Velegrinis, Project Manager with Green Concepts Landscape Architects (GCLA). A powerhouse of ideas whose recent work & research seeks to promote the idea of Landscape Urbanism as the future for sustainable urban development in the Middle East and Asia, he expounds a new technology that is not new but is just now being slowly introduced in this part of the world. These ‘clever plants’ can purify water, capture huge amounts of CO2, provide aesthetic greenery and then can even be used as bio fuel, costing less and doing more than some big machinery. We have all heard of the three Rs: reduce, reuse and recycle, but how
about also three Is? Innovation, invention and ideas… Paradoxically, critical economic times could be the silver lining environmental awareness, the time to take stock and critically reevaluate the endemic unsustainable practices we are all to some degree, responsible for. This is also a time for alliances, for ‘radical collaboration’ so that the corporate fraternity can unite to solve problems by being inclusive instead of exclusive. I believe that people are ready and willing to make changes, are open minded to learn and aspire to live more sustainable and eco-friendly lives. Green is good. What is needed is more awareness, education and incentives in order for these changes
to be implemented in everyone’s consciousness and behaviour. We must stop looking at barriers and start looking incentives, as well as those who can motivate action as positivity is a vital ingredient for transformation and renewal. Being ‘green’ no longer means that you are on your own. Being ‘green’ is becoming an inclusive lifestyle choice, potentially lucrative business decision and most definitely a path to a more fulfilling life. Ultimately, for me, The Green Team is not based particularly on how I can change people but rather on how many people can I reach.
As I see it The UAE has moved from the camel to the Cadillac at break neck speed. Where our Bedouin forefathers once lived just to survive another day in the punishing desert climes, we drive air-conditioned cars to airconditioned malls. So it might seem strange to suggest a return to the camel, yet that is exactly what the next generation of Emiratis must do to allow our country to flourish.
inviting more and more Westerners to live with us; we receive valuable advice, while the expats become ambassadors for our country, telling people back home about how respectful we are toward other cultures and how dedicated we are to our religion. This positive word of mouth encourages more people to come to the UAE to experience our culture and so on and so on.
However, there is no way I’m giving up my 4x4. Modernisation has brought unbelievable things to us, al hamdullah, but as our ancestors knew all too well, resources don’t last forever, and we must plan for a day when our oil wells run dry. What I find interesting is that one of the growing industries here, tourism and hospitality, not only helps diversify our economy, but encourages us to look to our heritage for inspiration. I believe the UAE only gains from
Other Emiratis do not share my optimism. They think that tourism is not a sustainable industry, because Westernisation will surely threaten our way of life. Certainly, there is an ignorance of the Gulf region, which you can witness just by going to a mall in Dubai or Abu Dhabi. There, expats dress immodestly and use offensive language, behaviour that runs contrary to the teachings of Islam. I admit it will be a big challenge when developments Ali Alsaloom cultural ambassador UAE
What I find interesting is that one of the growing industries here, tourism and hospitality, not only helps diversify our economy, but encourages us to look to our heritage for inspiration.
Ali Alsaloom, a rising media star and public speakers in the Gulf. He has delivered intercultural awareness talks to hundreds of business groups. He also hosts ‘Ask Ali’ on TV and writes a column in the weekly magazine M. For his work as a cultural ambassador, Time Out Dubai recognised him as one of their 40 Local Heroes in 2008. From a career at the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority, today Ali runs his own communication company, Maestro Enterprises. His portal ask-ali.com answers questions on all things Emirati. Schooled in the US and Canada, he has lived in Hungary, France, Spain and the UK. Ali holds a degree in Hospitality Management & Tourism and a Master’s in Business Administration.
such as Saadiyat Island and the Palm Islands bring even more diversity. We must make it clear to newcomers that while the UAE is a very open country, we are still an Islamic country. The solution, however, is not to isolate ourselves. We need to invite more local people to study intercultural awareness and Emirati culture, and share their knowledge as cultural ambassadors and tour operators. We must also embrace the positive aspects of Westernisation, and stop exaggerating its effects. Again, part of the solution is to look to our past. When the late Sheikh Zayed founded this country, he invited expat Arabs to live here. No one complained when we started eating Hummous or Tabbouleh. Similarly, we love things from the many Indians, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis and Filipinos who come to the UAE for work opportunities. We love Bollywood movies and sell Persian rugs. Sheikh Zayed built a beautiful cricket stadium, in honour of the sport that captivates so many of the people here. We take what we like from other cultures. So now there are English speakers. And what do you think Emiratis scream when one of our beloved footballers scores? That’s right, “Gooooooal!”
We need to invite more local people to study intercultural awareness and Emirati culture, and share their knowledge as cultural ambassadors and tour operators.
I hope we view the future as an opportunity to strengthen our values. We should be confident that we are capable of handling our culture. Each family will still raise their children themselves, so that no matter how westernised they become, those kids will be Muslim and speak Arabic. In other words, if we teach Emirati youngsters to look to the camel, we will easily overcome any humps in the future. ask-ali.com Social
PR Centrestage From the big screen to the boardroom For me, perhaps one of the most memorable essays on sustainability contains just one word. It is the 1983 movie Koyaanisqatsi, a title taken from the Hopi Indian expression meaning ‘life out of balance’. Its fastpaced images of humanity in a hurry are haunting and thoughtprovoking. They pose the question whether modern mankind, and our natural environment, can survive such a frenetic pace. Since then, movies such The Day After Tomorrow and Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth have continued to deliver warnings about ecological sustainability to cinema-goers everywhere. After the recent global economic collapse, the issue of responsible corporate and financial practices will no doubt receive similar Hollywood treatment.
the societies and economies in which corporations do business. The UNC Centre for Sustainable Enterprise has a succinct definition for this: “A sustainable enterprise employs profitable strategies that approach social and environmental challenges as business opportunities and minimize harmful social and environmental impacts.” Simply put, it’s about earning a financial return by doing the right thing. There is an opportunity to be found in engaging with, and not shying away from, the challenges of the 21st century.
Consumers around the world are taking these warnings to heart. Their purchasing decisions are influenced by judgments about a company’s standards of ethical and responsible behaviour.
In the coming years we will be hearing more about clean and green technologies, such as those to be employed in Abu Dhabi’s Masdar City, the world’s first carbon-neutral city. Importantly, the UAE will also be at the forefront of sustainable development as the world headquarters for IRENA, the International Renewable Energy Agency.
That means the relationship between the financial bottom line and sustainable practices can no longer be viewed as an ‘either/or’ proposition. For the corporate world to thrive, so too must
These are significant first steps towards guaranteeing a legacy for future generations of humankind. And that would definitely be worth making a movie about.
Brian Shrowder Director of Crisis & Training Hill & Knowlton Middle East
Brian Shrowder is the regional director of crisis and training for the communications consultancy Hill & Knowlton. A law graduate and former Australian television journalist and newsreader, Brian has worked as a public relations consultant in Dubai, Qatar and Kuwait.
In the coming years we will be hearing more about clean and green technologies, such as those to be employed in Abu Dhabiâ€™s Masdar City, the worldâ€™s first carbon-neutral city.
Nayla Al Khaja Emirati Film Producer CEO, D-Seven Production
Yaser Al Neyadi Emirati Independent Film Maker UAE University
Good films travel to our soul and can shape our ideas and thoughts. To make such films, you should have the ability to feel deeply about issues. Yaser Al Neyadi
Hetal Pawani Indian Artist & Gallery Owner Co-Founder, The Jam Jar, Dubai
In line with the UAE’s relentless drive for diversification towards a wider breadth of socio economic activities that will one day create jobs, wealth and opportunities all of their own, films and art are integral when it comes to spreading this message creatively. Home-grown talent in films and art may be an embryonic industry that has sprung up thanks to the UAE’s rapid progress; however the passion among people living here is boundless. As is the official support by way of the locally engendered film festivals that now hold their own internationally. Recall the moment when the penny dropped and you realised that film making/art ‘was your calling’? NK: It was during a moment of peace and silence, I was all alone in a cinema looking at the huge silver screen in front of me and it triggered something inside me and I realised I wanted to make movies. It was bigger
than life and I like BIG! YN: Right from my kindergarten days, I knew my career was in media. When I was in KG 1, my dream was to be a presenter in television. In Grade2, I wanted to be an actor and in Grade 7, I wanted to become a director, the king of a film. HP: I was living in Mumbai at the time working in IT and it was an overnight decision, I just packed my bags and headed back to Dubai. I let go of IT happily. Who are your favourite film makers/ artists? Why? NK: I like good old (Stanley) Kubrick, especially his earlier work and my favourite film is A Clockwork Orange, because of all of its innuendos and brilliant script. I am attracted to wonderful scripts. I also like Ismail
Farouqi, a Moroccan independent film maker who made a film called Les Grand Voyage. YN: Marc Forster who directed ‘Kite Runner’ and Mohsen Makhmalbaf, the Iranian film-maker. It is the personal views and mindset of the film-maker that I find appealing, whatever they want to convey to me. At the end of the day, we are all human beings with emotions.
I was living in Mumbai at the time working in IT and it was an overnight decision, I just packed my bags and headed back to Dubai. I let go of IT happily. Hetal Pawani
HP: Christopher Buchel, Dayanita Singh, Nikhil Chopra and the art collective AEF+S who I saw at the Venice Biennial. I love all the Greynoise artists, many of whom I have worked with: Lala Rukh, Fahd Burki, Ayesha Jatoi, Ayaz Jokhio and Mehreen Murtaza. What inspired you towards working in the ‘film’ and ‘production’/ art sector? Social
NK: ENERGY! ENERGY! ENERGY! An absolute volcano of energy and consciousness stemming from a variety of nationalities coming together and producing art. That is what really drives me. YN: When I first watched movies, I did not understand the whole process. My ignorance about films led me to questioning my teachers about it. The experiments that I made with a camera became a game and ultimately I fell in love with the film-making craft. HP: Living with artists in college both during my undergraduate years in Dubai and when I was in graduate school in the US. All my closest friends are in the 116
creative industry. What is your greatest fear?
without actually thinking them through… However, I am making a conscious effort to improve, with time and age.
NK: Not living long enough to realise my dreams.
YN: I can be short-tempered. So I have to be patient.
YN: I want to do a lot of things and time is passing quite fast. There is a competition between time and me.
HP: I’m a scatter brain sometimes.
HP: Cockroaches! What else is there to fear? What is the trait you most dislike in yourself? NK: Being overly impulsive. Making snap decisions out of sheer excitement
What challenges have you had to deal with first as a young woman/ man and second as an Emirati working in this sector? NK: As a young woman waking up every morning and having to deal with my family and their idea of the ‘traditional role’ of women – but in a way I am a rebel. Being a pioneer in the
industry is hard for them to fathom and come to terms with. But with new ideas come new challenges. As an Emirati, the challenge is that it is an extremely young industry that is just about to take off. The question is how do you start? Where do you start? YN: As a film-maker, we need support and confidence. Cinema is an art as well as a science. With technology growing rapidly, formal professional education is important for all directors. HP: The only real challenge that I’ve had to face is putting across my vision. It was especially difficult in the beginning.
What is the trait you most dislike in others? NK: I cannot stand rude people. I also find a very clear link between arrogance and ignorance. YN: When films are not respected in the way they should, I am annoyed. HP: Dishonesty. Which living person do you most admire? NK: My mother for her inner strength and I’ll add Queen Rania of Jordan for her eloquence. YN: I admire my teachers at school, Bashar Abdullah and Kassim Mohammed who introduced me to the world of theatre. Professionally, Sultan Al Neyadi, the Manager of Al Ain Theatre, who supported me to act in plays. HP: My aunt – because she just knows what there is to know. Has your career evolved naturally or is there a BIG PLAN in place? NK: There is definitely a BIG PLAN in place that I am devising myself, because I am completely independent. I would be grateful if I could get a ‘godfather’ who would support me and my ambitions and take them forward into more commercially viable ventures.
I’ve always known this is what I want to do – so I guess it was not a plan per se. I never had a schedule that said by so and so date I’d like to earn this much or to have accomplished this and that; none of that stuff. I’ve let things flow but knowing at the same time having a clear vision. What is your current state of mind? NK: Bohemian, unorthodox and daring. YN: This is the beginning of the path to the future. And I hope to learn. So my mind is thirsting for knowledge about cinema. HP: Relaxed. Chilled out. That is what happens when you have a fabulous team! What are your future career plans? NK: A reality TV show, a privately managed film fund and - believe it or not - a line of women’s sanitary products. YN: I wish to learn and try to fix mistakes that I have made in my previous films. Eventually, I would like to teach others and equip them to become professional film-makers. HP: To grow what we are doing here. There are a few countries I want to take this and all the initiatives we have going. What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
YN: We need planning. But we do not know what happens in the future. Try to help others and wait for tomorrow.
HP: It’s evolved naturally because
ABU DHABI SHIP BUILDING Pioneering ship building Abu Dhabi Ship Building (ADSB) is a world class Ship Builder specialising in the construction, repair, refit and upgrade of Naval, defence and commercial vessels at its impressive facility in Mussafah near Abu Dhabi City.
actively marketing itself regionally with the aim of becoming a valuable strategic asset to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, both in ship building and as a provider of ‘Through Life Support Services’.
ADSB is able to offer vessels built in steel, aluminum and composite materials. It has a highly skilled workforce of over 1200 which is constantly expanding in response to a growing order book.
ADSB is a UAE Public Joint Stock Company listed on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) and its current shareholding is 40 percent Mubadala Development Company, 10 percent Abu Dhabi Government and 50 percent several thousand individual shareholders.
As a major ship builder and ship repairer in the UAE, ADSB is now
Empowerment Initiatives For ADSB, leadership derives from its origins as a strategic corporate asset for the UAE which contributes to the nation’s effective socio economic diversification. Performing well on projects undertaken, and perhaps more importantly, creating the next generation of leaders is vital to growing the company and achieving future success. Throughout the organisation, empowerment is fostered at all levels of the management team. The objective is to foster leaders in diverse remits and and to filter that professionalism throughout ADSB overall.
A three year higher diploma program in shipbuilding for local students has been developed in conjunction with the Higher Colleges of Technology and the Abu Dhabi Men’s College. Already 17 students have gained their diplomas and are now working in the shipyard and another 20 students are currently in their third year. This initiative is supporting the evolution of effective Emiratisation of technical man power in the private sector.
Aside from being founder members of the Emirates Foundation as well as contributors to the Red Crescent, the UAE Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT) and various educational entities, ADSB employs people with special needs. Recognised by the Abu Dhabi Police for its involvement in pioneering the integration of all sectors of UAE society, ADSB also supports teams of employees in various sporting championships throughout the UAE.
Nature of business
Ship Building, Ship Repairing and provider of Through Life Support Services
Naval Ship Building Corvettes, Patrol Boats, Fast Interceptors. Commercial Ship Building Tug Boats, Crew Boats and Workboats Naval Refits and Upgrades Midlife Refits and Combat System Upgrades. Commercial Ship Repairs Routine Dry-Dock and Repairs over 200 vessels per year
Naval Ships and Refits for other GCC Navies and Coast Guards
Bureau Veritas Certification ISO 9001 – 2000 MasTech Award – Most Efficient New Building Yard UAE 2008 International Maritime Organisation (IMO) innovation awards for Emirati Diploma Course in Shipbuilding
Industrial Services & Suppliers
ADSB Responsible Evolution With a very positive increase in revenue and profit in Q2 2009 results over Q1 2009, after netting record earnings through 2008 thanks to a surge in business, what strategy is ADSB adopting in order to ensure its economic sustainability during times of global volatility? The significant increase in revenues and net profit is the result of the completion of key milestones in the second quater such as the launching of the first 72m Baynunah corvette, the commencement of the construction of the exciting new contract announced at IDEX 2009 for thirty four 16m Interceptors for the Critical National Infrastructure Authority (CNIA) and performance on the existing construction and refit projects being according to
plan. ADSB has been able to maintain net profit according to 2009 targets which indicate the soundness of the business since the company is not highly leveraged with fixed cost and debt. ADSB is a project orientated entity and many of those projects are multi year initiatives with significant milestones that vary from quarter to quarter. We advise against evaluating economic sustainability by comparing quarterly financial results for a company like ADSB. Our backlog (order book) is in the range of AED 2.5 billion and the company has never been busier. Accordingly, we believe that our existing strategy is sustainable even in the current economic situation.
When we designed the shipyard and each time we expand facilities, environmental protection features are incorporated to ensure optimal eco protection.
American CEO Abu Dhabi Ship Building
With several thousand UAE National Shareholders, Abu Dhabi Ship Building (ADSB) is a UAE Public Joint Stock Company emerging as a world leader in the construction, repair and refit of Naval, military and commercial vessels at its Abu Dhabi-based shipyard. By establishing joint ventures and diversifying service support areas to offer customers, â€˜Through Life Integrated Logistic Supportâ€™, comprehensive sustainability is ensured. Bill Saltzer, CEO, ADSB, discusses his take on enduring progress.
UAE ‘firsts’ in ADSB’s 10 years of operation •
The first ever Mid-Life Refit of a naval warship by a GCC company
The first ever combat system upgrade on a warship by a GCC company
The first coastal tanker built by a GCC company
The first Cutter Suction Dredger built by a GCC company
The first naval vessel built by a company in one GCC country and sold to another GCC country (Oman)
The first aluminum Troop Transport boats built by a GCC country
The first aluminum Fast Supply Vessel built by a GCC country
The production of 66 aluminum assault boats, including 24 that were produced in just 8 weeks to fulfill urgent security requirements
• And now with the Baynunah Program, ADSB is the first company in the Gulf Region to attain the status of Major International Defense Contractor and is one of only a handful of companies in the entire world with the capability to produce a major naval combatant, including the ability to integrate complex combat and electronic systems
With an increased global attention being given to Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ECG) issues as a means to develop ethical businesses that stand the test of time; what vision is ADSB adopting in this area? One of ADSB’s Core Values is good Corporate Citizenship. Since inception, we have focused on meeting or actually exceeding local environmental requirements. When we designed the shipyard and each time we expand facilities, environmental protection features are incorporated to ensure optimal eco protection. We are continually evaluating new technology to allow us to perform our operations more cost effectively. We also believe strongly in promoting social issues. For instance, ADSB is a founding contributor to the Emirates Foundation, a regular benefactor to the Red Crescent and various UAE Educational Institutions; as well as being recently recognized for efforts to bring physically challenged individuals into the work force. With the challenge of effective Emiratisation amongst the most compelling for UAE policy makers, what role is ADSB playing in training, hiring, and promoting Emiratis in order to collaborate
in this vital human resource sustainability issue? ADSB is totally committed to effective Emiratisation and we are pursuing initiatives to recruit and hire qualified UAE Nationals as a first preference. We provide training opportunities to UAE Nationals that join our company and have recently established a Succession Planning process to help identify and develop UAE Nationals to assume key positions in the company.
We are continually evaluating new technology to allow us to perform our operations more cost effectively.
For instance, our partnership with the UAE Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT) has created a 3-year diploma program in Electro Mechanical Engineering and Shipbuilding Technology for UAE National high school graduates. HCT and ADSB jointly developed the curriculum, jointly evaluating candidates for the program. We then sponsored the first 20 UAE National students, guaranteeing them jobs upon successful graduation. 17 of the 20 students graduated from the program began work at ADSB in September 2008. We now have another 20 students in the third year of the program that will join us in 2010. Pursuing these practical initiatives enhances Emiratisation at all levels of the company, representing the key to sustainability. Social
Transport in UAE Camels and Beyond
With the discovery of oil more than 30 years ago the UAE is the world’s fourth largest petroleum producer standing at 15 million barrels per day (b/d), rapidly transforming from a camel-riding to a four wheel driving multicultural society. Fuel priced at about AED 2 per litre has allowed some families to own several cars. To combat the huge carbon footprint remedial action is now being taken by individual emirates with the development of an integrated public transport infrastructure.
Taxi With a population in 2008 of about 4.765 million and more than 7.5 million tourists, taxis provide fast and comfortable service and are just a phone call away. There are also taxis driven by female drivers for female passengers and vehicles of varying sizes to suit larger groups and suitcases; minimum fares vary.
Water Taxi Abras (wooden boats with a 20 passenger capacity) transported people and goods. Today, the RTA’s, well-priced comfortable air-conditioned water buses are preferred aiming to integrate the metro, taxi and public buses for seamless multi-city transport. Trials were launched in 2007 to use solar power and compressed natural gas (CNG).
Bus In Dubai, there are over 1200 buses connecting different residential and industrial areas with the two central business districts, Bur Dubai and Deira Dubai. Feeder buses and air conditioned shelters also ensure comfort for waiting passengers. In addition, inter-Emirate air-conditioned doubledecker buses make travelling, free from speed cameras, more pleasurable.
Dubai Metro Launched in September 2009, the driverless and fully automated Dubai Metro hopes to decrease traffic congestion saving time and money. With two routes - The Red Line between Al Rashidiya and the Jebel Ali Free Zone and the Green Line between Al Qusais and Al Jaddaf - the future opening of extra lines will further strengthen a mass travel mentality.
Abu Dhabi Metro Abu Dhabi’s Department of Transport has plans for a 31 kilometre-long underground metro rail, connecting Central Business District with Sowwah Island, Reem Island, Saadiyat Island, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi International Airport and Masdar, Capital City District, Emerald Gateway, Zayed Sports City and ADNEC.
GCC Railway Network A 1500-km long GCC railway network has been approved, beginning in Kuwait and passing via Muscat, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar and the UAE, with a possible extension into Yemen. At a tentative cost of $2.5 billion being shared equally among benefiting countries, construction is expected to begin in 2010 with the first line ready by 2015. A sustainability dream across diverse fronts, this railway is expected to bring social, economic and employment opportunities for the region.
Seawings Hover in an aircraft above the Burj Dubai, the tallest building in the world, by taking a Seawings tour. Other tours offered are The World Islands, Palm Islands, Jumeirah Beach, Dubailand, Sports City, Burj Al Arab and Maritime City. The aircrafts have individual leather seats with spacious leg room and a window view, all within a quiet, airconditioned cabin.
Aeroplane According to Airports Council International, the Abu Dhabi International Airport is the world’s fastest growing hub, and the Dubai International Airport is the biggest hub in the Middle East, with 37.4 million travellers in 2008. Emirates is the largest carrier with a fleet of 130 wide-bodied aircraft. Low-cost airlines like Air Arabia and Fly Dubai encourage people to travel more frequently than before.
Space Space tourism, although not eco friendly, demonstrates Abu Dhabi’s sincerity in wanting to diversify its economy sustainably. In August 2009, Aabar Investments, a public joint stock company paid US $280 million for a 32 percent stake in Virgin Galactic’, acquiring “exclusive regional rights” for tourism and scientific research space flights from Abu Dhabi. To the UAE the sky is not just the limit.
Balloon Take a trip on a hot-air balloon for a leisurely float mid-air with nothing but the sky above and the desert below. Licensed by the General Civil Aviation Authority, Balloon Adventures Dubai is one company that operates four of the largest and most advanced hot air balloons in the world, with an overall capacity for up to 82 passengers at a time.
Dubai Award for Sustainable Transport The Roads & Transport Authority (RTA) organises the annual Dubai Awards for Sustainable Transport (DAST). Launched in 2008, companies such as Dubai Police, Aramex, SS Lootah, Arabian Automobiles, Emirates Transport Foundation and Al Shirawi Group won awards in categories ranging from Transport Management, to Conservation of the Environment, Safety as well as Transport Requirements of Special Needs, added in 2009. Social
bayt.com Jobs for all Value Proposition
Training and CSI
- As the Middle East’s #1 Jobsite, Bayt.com is firmly committed to the region and understands the Middle East recruitment marketplace in a unique and absolutely unparalleled manner. This is evidenced by Bayt.com’s fully trilingual recruitment platform, which is the first and only such platform in the region, as well as its 11 regional offices in Abu Dhabi, Al Kuwait, Amman, Beirut, Casablanca, Doha, Dubai, Eastern Province, Jeddah, Manama, Riyadh. With over 3,750,000 professionals and over 30,000 leading organizations using Bayt. com’s recruitment services across all industry categories and career levels, Bayt. com is today the single largest marketplace of professionals and companies in the region. - Bayt’s mission is to empower job seekers and employers with the tools and information they need to find their ideal jobs and top candidates in the region, respectively. It strongly believes in its unique ‘lifestyle engineering’ proposition: that is empowering its users to plan and build their lifestyle of choice and make informed decisions about their careers, education, family, and other aspects of their daily lives.
Training programmes Bayt.com’s emphasis on the training and career development of its Human Resources is well recognized in the industry and our internal HR division is both extremely sophisticated and highly disciplined. Bayt.com policy is for each employee to undergo training on an annual basis. Bayt.com has a highly sophisticated and well-documented week-long training program in place for all new Relationship Management hires and their teams and specialized training for hires in other departments. In addition to the comprehensive in-house training, all Bayt.com personnel are entitled to external training. Moreover, to best facilitate staff training and development, Bayt.com has official and extensive training deals in place with various training institutions for the ongoing training of Bayt.com staff.
Year founded: 2000 Employees Branches
190 as of September 2009 Bayt.com has 11 regional offices in Abu Dhabi, Al Kuwait, Amman, Beirut, Casablanca, Doha, Dubai (Head Office), Eastern Province, Jeddah, Manama, and Riyadh.
Market share Bayt.com has by far the largest share of the regional online recruitment market as measured by any and all key indicators including site traffic (85,000 visits/ day), size of employer databases (over 30,000 registered Employers) and size of jobseeker databases (over 3.75 Million registered JobSeekers). In terms of the key metric which is site traffic, Bayt.com has more site traffic than the next two jobsites combined (as measured in Googletrends). Bayt.com continues to grow at the phenomenal rate of well over 2,000 fresh, new CVs a day; our technologies remain state-of-the-art and very much at the vanguard of the industry globally; and our customer loyalty and satisfaction rate as audited by our independent Corporate Excellence Unit is firmly entrenched at 98%.
- Company of the Year Award: From Tecom in 2009 - E- Entrepreneur of the Year: From Arabian Business Achievement Awards in 2007 - Golden Awards in the Services Category & Special Award for the Best Strategy Website: From UAE Web Awards in 2006 - Best Arab Recruiting Site: From Clic Awards in 2006 124
Empowerment initiatives In addition to the regular team meetings required for management and transfer of knowledge, the CEO of Bayt.com himself holds regular sessions with staff to communicate vision, mission and objectives and stress on such specifically important matters as Ethics and Professionalism in the Workplace. All employees are encouraged to participate in a minimum number of crossfunctional special project teams per year thereby ensuring the company’s dynamism is maintained while individuals have access to new learning and exposure opportunities. Such is the investment of Bayt.com in its human resources that valued professionals very frequently advance within the ranks in quick progression and also are able to change from department to department thereby ensuring staff continuity, transfer of knowledge and best practice and optimal levels of staff well-being and loyalty.
CSI & CSR initiatives Bayt.com recognizes that its business is about helping people. Bayt.com has been responsible for connecting more people to more jobs (and therefore better lives) than any other organization in the region. Its management and staff are strong believers in the collective benefit of doing Good, and are determined to give back, at all times, to the communities they serve, they have thus launched several community outreach initiatives and are regularly involved in charitable projects that enrich not only the middle East region but the whole world (i.e.: Virtual Job Fairs, Active Adoption Program, Cash Contributions, Free Recruiting for Charities, CV Service for the unemployed Outreach Program, University Outreach Program, Bayt’s 2009 Unemployment CV Clinic) Environmental Policies The fact that Bayt.com operates fully online implies we cut down on the use of paper , and in the case of paper use, one environmental ritual we are committed to is recycling paper after being used.
Industrial Services & Suppliers
The market is awash with candidates with fewer jobs available for them - do you have any stats that indicate the increase and specific regional trends emerging during this economic slowdown? Bayt’s Consumer Confidence Index survey- which is a quarterly survey that measures Middle Eastern consumers’ expectations and satisfaction with various elements of the economy, including job opportunities- does show that optimism in a better employment market amongst Middle Eastern professionals has risen very steadily in the past year. What measures does Bayt have in place to ensure employers do not ‘waste time’ searching? Additionally, what’s to stop employers using more specific sites or opting for linked in for recruitment purposes? Jobseeker Searches are extremely easy with the pioneering industryleading Bayt.com InstantMatch
technology. InstantMatch allows employers to search for exact fit candidates using over 23 criteria. Bayt currently enjoys a 98% customer satisfaction rate, we have more CVs and visitors than any other recruitment medium in the region. We have more jobs advertised and will continue to provide more options to job seekers than most other mediums, such as CV writing, B Mobile service and more. 3)
Given that there are few barriers to entry in this sector, what measures does Bayt have in place to sustain market share in the longer term? From its inception in 2000 as the Middle East’s first and #1 fully bilingual Arab-English jobsite, Bayt.com has been a pioneer, an innovator and at the vanguard of its industry in everything it does. From its unique filtration criteria to its leading management tools, Bayt.com commits to innovation and strives to constantly update
its commitment to Empowering people in the region to build better lives by connecting them directly to the best job opportunities and the best talent.
Chief Operations Officer bayt.com
and enhance its users models and its products. That’s what differentiates it and sets it apart from other players in the region: its commitment to Empowering people in the region to build better lives by connecting them directly to the best job opportunities and the best talent. Some initiatives that do set Bayt apart are Video CVs, Virtual Job Fairs, BMobile, Virtual Education Fair, Intilaq amongst many others. Today, as the No 1 Job Site in the region, Bayt has 3 times MORE registered job seekers than the next job site (as per Google Trends), more than 3,750,000 registered professionals at all career levels from more than 94 industries and 185 countries and more than 30,000 registered employers.
4) Since a sizeable chunk of Bayt income derives from Recruitment agencies, how has Bayt handled the downturn in their adv spending? Additionally, what is stopping these Recruitment agencies from taking Bayt’s market share Recruitment agencies do constitute a part of our Bayt community- with the top ME employers, uniquely on Bayt, participating with the largest share of utilization of Bayt’s services. We have, throughout the past 9 years developed a loyal recruitment agency customer base and we strive to extend this to as many agencies as possible. We offer very different services to agencies and thus do not take from each other’s share.
Mission Statement The Charterhouse business strives to achieve success through delivery, integrity and service quality. Through the ongoing development of a structured, educated and dynamic recruitment platform, Charterhouse Partnership aims to become the predominant brand and provider within recruitment services across our international and regional markets and functions. The Charterhouse Approach A True Partnership At Charterhouse we believe in the development of a true partnership, based around building relationships on trust and honesty with both candidates and clients. This rapport is built through understanding client and candidate needs and utilising our recruitment expertise to achieve the objectives set out by their search criteria. International Coverage International reach and global coverage is becoming an increasingly important aspect of the regional recruitment market, predominantly based around attracting and identifying talent and skill sets required to fuel the continued economic growth. The Gulf region is also experiencing strong economic diversification; this means that new skill sets are required to allow embryonic markets and sectors to be established. Fulfilling this challenge is where Charterhouse has excelled. Our local understanding and experience of markets allows our international reach to facilitate the sourcing of the required human capital.
Investment in People Recruitment is a people based business. Our success and growth is reliant upon people; our assets. Our team of consultants is unparalleled in the market; a blend of international recruitment experience coupled with a platform of local market and industry knowledge ensures the development and success of our teams. This consultative approach requires continued focus, ensuring that market data, trends and information are provided along with ongoing and tailored performance and industry training. Benchmark The benchmark for success has been based around developing a brand recognised for quality of service, delivery, expertise within its sector and a reputation based upon integrity and trust. Our services and strengths have evolved to achieve diversity and specialisation, allowing us to deliver across a diverse range of markets whilst adding a specialised and expert dimension to individual markets. We have developed strong relationships
with both local groups and international brands, becoming their preferred supplier in the Middle East. Contingency Search and Selection Contingency methodologies are based around Charterhouseâ€™s ability to access an innovative, sophisticated and expanding database network which has a reach across the Middle East, South East Asia, Africa, Europe and Australia. This is an effective tool to provide clients with the ability to source talent and specific skill sets with an indication on availability and search criteria of individuals that match their needs. Active advertising campaigns in local media and internet applications act as a means to generate further candidate flow to compliment any contingent search. The internet is becoming increasingly productive in accessing new talent pools globally and we continue to invest, strengthen and utilise our internet capabilities.
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Pearls of wisdom Who and What Born in the village of Al Hirah, in Sharjah, Sultan Al Owais is the scion of a renowned literary family from the region. Other prominent scholars include the poet Salim Bin Ali Al Owais, the historian Omran Al Owais and writer Ahmad Bin Ali Al Owais. Sultan was raised in a household drenched in the love of science and literature, providing him an environment where his talent was nurtured from a young age. He became one of the most prominent poets in the Arab World, garnering fame in Syria, Lebanon and Egypt. Through his friendships with other Arab poets, Sultan put his country on the map from a cultural perspective. Traditionally pearl merchants, Sultan’s father Ali Abdullah Al Owais made his fortune thanks to the pearl trade which subsequently elapsed after Japan developed the cultured pearl industry in the thirties. His son took over the reigns of the business, adding to the families’ wealth.
A Legacy of Poetry and Philanthropy Trade took Sultan on long travels, especially to India, and his life was greatly enriched by these experiences. A collection of his poems have been printed and critics consider his literary works a bridge between two generations of poets in the UAE. The UAE Writers Union published a collection of critiques on his poetry in the book Sultan Al Owais, The Merchant Poet. In addition to poetry and business, Sultan was also a prominent philanthropist. He was the founder of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry and chaired the boards of several major joint stock companies such as the National Bank of Dubai. Remembered as the first genuine proponent of CSR in the UAE, Sultan Al Owais elevated the tradition form of Islamic charity – Sadaqa – and corporatised it to a more structured level. This paved the way for other UAE companies to embrace CSR and philanthropy as a strategic imperative.
Though the tribulations of life are fatal, In you I found compensation from life, For the eye sees nothing but what pleases, From the Palace of Saad to the approaching swarm of nymphs.
Sultan Al Owais (1925 – 2000)
Sultan was a poet, a businessman and a visionary whose work contributed to his community and his nation.
Keeping the faith Two years ago, the global recession heralded an era of austerity with unemployment levels rising in tandem with myriad hardships. This was exacerbated by the swiftness of the onset of this daunting new era, with the shockwaves still reverberating today. From major investors, to ordinary families, everyone began to question their faith in a system where banks, corporate giants and institutional investors had taken advantage of lax regulation with rampant capitalist greed getting the better of any sustainable model of development. What happened in the UAE? Lack of viable investment opportunities for foreign residents working in the UAE and those from overseas resulted in excess demand chasing limited supply. This occurred both in the stock market and in the real estate market. In the real estate market, the lack of supply played out through off-plan mania where technically, supply was unlimited. Lack of regulation between 2003 and 2007 effectively meant that any
developer with a captivating brochure and a real estate dream to sell could do exactly that by promoting a project for delivery at a future date. As history has demonstrated, once regulation became more effective and the global financial crisis cut off the endless supply of money to the local banks, developers who had not understood the risks of entering into this business were faced with their projects grinding to a halt, or were unable even to begin them. Where did that leave investors? It left them facing major losses as the money they had paid for real estate was likely never to be realised fully, while others were left over extended with financial obligations they struggled to meet, with many carrying criminal liability. Whilst in the stock markets, even though regulation was more sophisticated, there were problems. The lack of the volume of stocks that foreigners could invest in and a major part of the capitalisation, as well as liquidity of the stock market being in real estate stocks,
Lack of viable investment opportunities for foreign residents working in the UAE and those from overseas resulted in excess demand chasing limited supply.
the collapse of the share index was a natural reflection of the real estate chaos, added to the global financial melt-down. Now, on the road to recovery, investors are taking solace in a buzzword called Corporate Governance. A recent survey by the International Finance Corporation and Hawkamah, the Institute for Corporate Governance catering to MENA, showed that while the overwhelming majority of listed companies ranked corporate governance among their top priorities, 53 per cent of respondents were unable to properly define the term. So what is Corporate Governance anyway? Corporate governance is crucial to the structure and the relationships which determine corporate direction and performance. It is usually driven by the board room and Regulators. Its relevance to the shareholders and management is vital. Employees, customers, suppliers and creditors also demand accountability of businesses. However, the Corporate Governance framework also depends on the legal, regulatory, institutional and ethical environment of the community in which the business operates. Setting up a successful business is commendable but governance has always required an examination of underlying purpose and legitimacy. To hammer the nail on the head, Corporate Governance is euphemistically asking businesses to be
honest, transparent and communicative. Itâ€™s about balancing economic and social goals and the efficient use of resources, coupled with accountability and protection for shareholders. From here on, investors want to deal with companies that have sound Corporate Governance structures in place. Research by McKinsey demonstrates that company share prices with effective Corporate Governance command a premium of at least 20 percent more than those that are saddled with weak Corporate Governance. If the UAE is to progress sustainably there must never be a repeat of the excesses and unrealistic expectations on ROI. Driven by institutions and then filtered down into all layers of the economy, this scenario of checked greed has been damaging for the reputational strengths that the UAE had garnered for itself over the recent past. Also, if it is to flourish, legislation must swiftly move with the current needs of the day. This includes applying the necessary resources to administer and enforce legislation wisely. It also includes developing viable insolvency legislation and regulation, which must be removed from the criminal arena and placed firmly in the Civil Courts where it belongs. After all, everyone should have the right to fail, as this for many is an inevitable milestone on the road to entrepreneurial success.
Authority (ESCA) to name a few have set the ball rolling. More genuine efforts are being made in the areas of governance. In particular, take the case of home-grown jewellery brand, Damas International. Its Board of Directors failed in adequately supervising the management of the company and suffered the ultimate penalty of being removed from the company that they helped create. This incident has sent a warning message to all corporates in the UAE to establish a code of conduct and introduce risk management strategies, appoint a compliance officer as well as allocating independent supervisory responsibilities across its Board of Directors and senior management.
However, there is hope. Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), Hawkamah and Emirates stocks and commodities
The Federal Government of the UAE has already expressed its support for strict Corporate Governance
requirements, by virtue of the Ministerial Resolution No (518) of 2009 concerning Governance Rules and Corporate Discipline Standards. It focuses on prevention of embezzlement rather than punishment of parties that perform such acts. With more robust legislation and checks on implementation and compliance with laws as well as business ethics, the business environment will become more functional and prosperous. Healthy corporate governance will give all investors greater comfort to do business in the UAE. This will propel the nation to more sustainable levels of socio economic diversification and this, in turn, will result in wider global recognition by international rating agencies and supra national bodies. At this point, the UAE will start to come of age in a comprehensive way.
UN partnerships to promote responsible business and investment In today’s interconnected global economy, the long-term value and success of a business is inextricably linked to how well it integrates environmental, social and corporate governance issues into its management and operations. It is also clear that that the private sector has a major role to play in the challenge of achieving core United Nations objectives such as poverty reduction, peace and the sustainable use of resources. Indeed without the involvement of the private sector it is difficult to imagine progress on these fronts. So it is no surprise that recent years have seen an increasingly close relationship develop between the UN and the private sector through initiatives like the UN Global Compact, UNEP Finance Initiative and the Principles for Responsible Investment.
The UN Global Compact The UN Global Compact today stands as the largest corporate citizenship and sustainability Initiative worldwide, with over 5200 corporate participants and stakeholders from over 130 countries. What is it? The UN Global Compact is a strategic policy initiative for businesses that are committed to aligning their operations and strategies with ten universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. The Global Compact provides its Participant companies with a policy framework for the development, implementation and disclosure of sustainability principles and practices. Whilst the Global Compact network includes a wide spectrum of specialised work streams, management tools and resources - as well as issue platforms - designed to help advance sustainable business models and markets. This is aims to contribute to the initiative’s
overarching mission of helping to build a more sustainable and inclusive global economy. The UN Global Compact pursues two complementary objectives 1. Mainstream the ten principles in business activities around the world 2. Catalyze actions in support of broader UN goals, including the Millennium Development Goals Why do businesses participate in the UN Global Compact? For business, a key reason for participating in the UN Global compact is that it makes business sense. Just recently, a two year study of the share price performance of companies recognised for ‘notable’ sustainability performance by the UN Global Compact found that these companies outperformed a major stock market index (MSCI World) by 7.3 percent between 2007-2009. (http://www.unglobalcompact. org/NewsAndEvents/news_ archives/2009_06_18.html
The Global Compact provides its Participant companies with a policy framework for the development, implementation and disclosure of sustainability principles and practices.
The benefits of engagement in the Global Compact go further to include the following: • Adopting an established and globally recognised policy framework for the development, implementation, and disclosure of environmental, social and governance policies and practices. • Sharing best and emerging practices to advance practical solutions and strategies to common challenges. • Advancing sustainability solutions in partnership with a range of stakeholders, including UN agencies, governments, civil society, labour, and other nonbusiness interests. • Linking business units and subsidiaries across the value chain with the Global Compact’s Local Networks around the world - many of these in developing and emerging markets.
• Accessing the United Nations’ extensive knowledge of and experience with sustainability and development issues. • Utilising UN Global Compact management tools and resources, and the opportunity to engage in specialised work streams in the environmental, social and governance realms. Global Compact participation requires adherence to a transparency and accountability policy known as the Communication on Progress (COP). The annual submission of a COP is an important demonstration of a participant’s commitment to the Global Compact and its principles. Failure to communicate will result in a change in participant status and possible delisting. More than 1,700 COPs were submitted in 2009, marking a 25 percent increase over 2007. Simultaneously, over 400 business participants were delisted in 2008 for repeated failure to communicate progress, bringing the total number
of companies removed from the Global Compact to over 900. At the same time, increasing numbers of corporations have emerged as sustainability leaders, taking a proactive stand on pertinent challenges. Consequently, the Global Compact’s special engagement platforms on climate change and water have seen steady growth in signatories in 2008. More than 300 companies now support ‘Caring for Climate’, while the ‘CEO Water Mandate’ has been endorsed by nearly 50 businesses committed to water sustainability. The Global Compact exists to assist the private sector in the management of increasingly complex risks and opportunities in the environmental, social and governance realms. By partnering with companies in this way, and leveraging the expertise and capacities of a range of other stakeholders, the Global Compact seeks to embed markets and societies with universal principles and values for the benefit of all.
The Global Compact exists to assist the private sector in the management of increasingly complex risks and opportunities in the environmental, social and governance realms.
The ‘Principles for Responsible Investment’ initiative While the focus of the UN Global Compact is on companies, the focus of the PRI is on the investment community, and in particular asset owners such as large pension funds.
widely-held belief being that if a company improves its performance on these ESG factors that in turn will drive improvements in company valuations over the longer term”.
What is the PRI? The PRI is a UN-backed Initiative convened by former UN SecretaryGeneral, Kofi Annan, and developed by leading institutional investors. The process was facilitated by the UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative and the UN Global Compact.
By signing up to the PRI, signatories aspire to: 1. Incorporate ESG issues into their investment analysis and decisionmaking processes 2. Engage in dialogue with companies and other entities to improve corporate performance on ESG issues 3. Seek ESG information from companies and other entities in which they invest 4. Promote responsible investment across the investment industry 5. Collaborate with fellow signatories 6. Report on activities and progress towards implementing these Principles.
In essence, the Principles are a set of global best practices that aim to guide investors in integrating ESG issues into their investment processes. The PRI is voluntary and aspirational and not an enforcement or compliance initiative. One of the key ideas behind the PRI is that pension funds and other financial market participants are often too short term in their thinking and that many issues important to long-term value creation are routinely ignored. These factors include a range of issues that have been traditionally seen by Middle Eastern and other investors as ‘nonfinancial’ but are now recognised as having an impact or potential effect on a company’s bottom line in the future. For example, risks associated with climate change, labour and community relations or corruption. PRI Executive Director James Gifford explains, “By signing up to the PRI, signatories undertake to try and seek environmental, social and governance (ESG) information from companies and to engage in dialogue with companies with the goal of improving corporate performance on ESG issues. The
The growth of the PRI Since its launch in April 2006, the PRI network has grown to over 580 signatories, managing a total of around US$18 trillion of assets. The PRI network includes funds based in 36 countries including the UAE, Europe, Latin American and Asia. The recent financial crisis has catalysed additional investor interest in responsible investment, with 160 new signatories – holding assets of over US$5 trillion – signing up to the PRI between October 2008 and May 2009. What does the PRI do? The PRI, like the UN Global Compact, works with its signatories to share best practice examples within the network
and work with them on the challenges of building ESG issues into their day-today business. The PRI also provides a groundbreaking online forum, called the PRI Clearinghouse, where signatories can share information on shareholder engagement activities and collaborate on a variety of projects. Over 90 percent of asset owner signatories to the PRI now take part in some form of active ownership, which includes activities ranging from engaging in dialogue and writing letters to companies, voting at company general meetings and, ultimately, filing shareholder resolutions. While the bulk of these activities remain focused on ‘traditional’ corporate governance issues, increasingly, environmental and social issues are moving up the agenda.
The PRI supports regional networks, and aims to establish a Middle East network in the future, which will allow UAE signatories to come together and tackle regional issues that specifically affect them.
PRI Signatories also receive implementation support, and benefit from being part of a global network of investors and its opportunities to pool resources and influence, as-well as lower the cost and increase the effectiveness of research and active ownership practices. Moreover, the PRI supports regional networks, and aims to establish a Middle East network in the future, which will allow UAE signatories to come together and tackle regional issues that
specifically affect them. The future of responsible business and investment in the UAE Many people increasingly believe that the UN Global Compact and the PRI represent the future for businesses and investors in the UAE. As the world recovers from the financial crisis, both businesses and investors around the world recognise more than ever the material benefits of sustainable
business practices, and they are choosing a partnership approach with bodies such as the United Nations as the best way to â€˜learn by doingâ€™. The UAE has started its movement towards a more sustainable approach to businesses and investing, but more needs to be done. These two initiatives stand at the forefront of making such shifts take place.
unglobalcompact.org unpri.org Corporate Governance
Credit Crisis Aftershocks How to Minimise Your Exposure to Financial Risk
Now that the collapse of Lehman Brothers investment bank - the biggest bankruptcy in US corporate history – is history; the word on the street is that the most compelling fears surrounding recession are over but the recovery will be tough. Sustainability and growth tied into economic recovery is also highly uncertain as it hinges on myriad global interconnections.
Aside from incurring gigantic losses in the US mortgage market, that devastating week in September 2008 that saw the bank’s demise has had far reaching consequences with share prices plunging worldwide and other financial companies coming perilously close to the same fate as Lehmans’.
The top strategic business risks facing companies globally embrace regulation and compliance and deepening recession, according to Ernst & Young’s 2009 Global Business Risk Survey. The survey found that businesses are increasing their focus on several risks as global economic conditions continue to be affected by the aftermath of the credit crunch, albeit the beginning of a recovery in September 2009.
The generalised market volatility and credit crunch has affected the region through a reduced demand for oil and a reduced ability to invest in real estate; both of which have underscored economic stagnation and investor confidence. Clearly this uncertainty has demonstrated just how closely global economies are integrated.
According to the 2009 survey, reputation risk has moved up 12 positions into the top 10 and business model redundancy is a new entrant at ninth among challenges facing businesses in 2009. Credit crunch aftershocks and global recession have displaced regulation and compliance from 2008’s top spot.
Over 100 analysts ranked the credit crunch, regulation and compliance, deepening recession, radical greening, non-traditional entrants, cost cutting, managing talent, executing alliances and transactions, business model redundancy and reputation risks. Is the scenario different today?
What to watch out for For the average investor it is imperative to understand the types of risk you may be facing before making investment decisions: Liquidity risk - the possibility you will not be able to sell or convert a security into cash when you need the money Credit risk - the chance a borrower will default on an obligation
What to watch out for: Principal risk - the degree of probability that your original investment will decline in value Reputation risk - the risk that negative publicity regarding an institution’s business practices will lead to a loss of revenue or litigation Market risk - the likelihood that a broad investment market will decline in value Inflation risk - the chance the money you have invested will decline in value as rising prices shrink the value of the dollar
According to new research carried out by Veda Advantage in Australia, there is a 23 percent chance of finding negative information related to a company’s credit history, when company directors’ individual credit histories are searched in addition to the company’s credit file. Russell Evans, GM, Veda Advantage, said looking at a company’s director information significantly increases the likelihood of finding negative credit information linked to a company.
Veda Advantage has formulated the following steps for businesses to minimise exposure to risk: Plan - Selectively target whom you do business with. Conduct business with organisations that have a capacity to pay your invoices. Research - Investigate whether companies have a history of not paying bills on time to minimise the risk of late payments and bad debts. If possible, investigate the directors behind the business.
Review - With increases in bankruptcies and companies entering into external administration, customers should review the health of their customers and suppliers. Undetake half-yearly or even monthly check ups. Businesses could also set up a credit alert on a company they are notified to adverse changes in credit information including changes in directors, ownership structure, and the appointment of an administrator.
Lessons Learnt: don’t become another statistic Because of increased volatility, organisations need to be nimble and ready to update strategies and plans in response to new macro developments. Accurate cash flow forecasting is now vital. Ultimately, in every major sector, risks fall in the four risks quadrants of financial, compliance, strategic and operations risks. Meaning that taking a broad approach to risk management is vital. Corporate Governance
DIFC Courts Sustainable dispute settlement Small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are acknowledged as an essential component of a competitive and efficient market, and are recognised worldwide for their contribution to economic growth, social cohesion, employment and local development. The UAE is no different - indeed which sector in this country is more critical for knowledge creation, innovation and entrepreneurship? Yet SMEs are faced with significant challenges that vary significantly from those encountered by larger organisations. Generally working within tighter margins, SMEs are more exposed to the environment in which they operate because, by their nature, they do not have the same capacity to influence the environment or absorb market volatility as larger firms do. The fundamental characteristics of SMEs have always been central to the performance of this sector, allowing innovation, speed to market and knowledge creation. However, what is also critical to SMEs is cash flow and transaction pipeline. The findings of a recent Entrepreneur Confidence Survey carried out in the UK revealed that the
primary concern for small businesses there is the likelihood that customers will delay or cancel existing contracts. In total, 69 percent of respondents cited delayed or cancelled customer contracts as a business-critical issue, with half of them admitting that it is by far their biggest worry in the short term, ahead of general concerns about cash flow (cited by 59 percent of respondents). It is not being suggested that the UK economy be compared to that of the UAE, or Dubai, but lawyers claim that many businesses are examining their contracts for the first time since they were signed. So, what are the challenges they face in trying to enforce these contracts or collect payment? For many SMEs, the realisation is dawning that these contracts are only valuable if they are enforceable. And so, it is important for businesses in the UAE to understand the options available to them for enforcing contract terms and conditions. There is the perception that this will be a slow, expensive process with uncertainty over the result. But is this really the case? Efficient and effective settlement of
The fundamental characteristics of SMEs have always been central to the performance of this sector, allowing innovation, speed to market and knowledge creation.
H.E. Justice Ali Shamis Mohamed Al Madhani Justice Dubai International Financial Centre
H.E. Justice Ali Al Madhani was appointed as a Justice of the DIFC Courts in 2008 and prior to that he was appointed a Small Claims Tribunal Judge in 2007. Prior to his career at the DIFC Courts, H.E Justice Ali Al Madhani worked with the Dubai Financial Services Authority, where he consulted on the application of UAE and Dubai legislation throughout 2004. From 1994 until 1998, he was a Public Prosecutor for Dubai Public Prosecution. In 1998, he was appointed by the Ruler of Dubai to serve as a Judge in the Dubai Courts. He obtained his Masters in International and Comparative Commercial Law at the School of African and Oriental Studies, University of London in September 2007.
contractual disputes is critical to the functioning of an economy, and is particularly vital in sustaining the SME sector, the knowledge it creates, the innovation it delivers and the talent it employs. The Gulf has always been a region that has supported entrepreneurship. Nowhere is this more so than in Dubai, in particular the freezone commercial clusters areas. SMEs are dependent on the clarity and certainty of the legal framework in which they operate and need to have confidence in the predictability of the application of the law. It is for this reason, among others, that the DIFC Courts established its Small Claims Tribunal (SCT). The only operating tribunal of its kind in the region, the SCT was set up to enable access to justice in a swift and efficient manner following extensive consultation and review of international best practices to provide a clear framework. The SCT can hear any type of case up to the amount of AED 100,000, but the jurisdiction has been expanded to include non-employmentrelated disputes of up to AED 500,000 and uncapped employment disputes where the parties agree in writing to use the SCT mechanism. The new order follows requests from the business and legal community to allow greater use of the SCT, especially for employment and debt related disputes. • 90% of disputes resolved in less than three weeks. Cases in the SCT are resolved in an expeditious, costefficient manner without the need for lawyers. • The process requires the claimant to fill in a simple claim form and lodge
it with the SCT Registry. Concerned parties then attend a Consultation before a SCT Judge, who will attempt to mediate the dispute. Since the UAE is a country which actively encourages entrepreneurship, it is vital that SMEs in the DIFC recognize the options and facilities available to help them enforce business agreements, following up on neglected terms and, ultimately, seek and obtain justice.
Furthering regional justice In addition to the SCT, since their inception in 2005, the DIFC Courts have implemented a number of significant initiatives to strengthen their offering of swift, fair, consistent and accessible justice. Below are some recent examples of best practice furthering regional justice at the DIFC Courts: Code of Professional Conduct In support of a movement to regulate professional legal standards in the UAE and to ensure a consistently high level of professionalism, fairness and integrity for its users, the DIFC Courts implemented a Professional Code of Conduct in 2009. The Code is the first of its kind in the region, and it stipulates a standard of conduct with which all legal practitioners registered with DIFC Courts must comply. Pro Bono Scheme In the summer of 2009, the DIFC Courts were applauded by the region’s legal community for implementing the first Pro Bono Programme in the United Arab Emirates. This initiative allows individuals who cannot afford a lawyer the ability to seek free advice and representation from volunteer law firms.
Web CMS An on-line case management system implemented in June 2010 ensures case information is easily available to Courts’ users and the public at any time, from anywhere. Users can stream automatic updates by email and RSS feed as well as searching up-to-the-minute updates on case listings and public or privacy secured documents.
90% of disputes resolved in less than three weeks. Cases in the SCT are resolved in an expeditious, cost-efficient manner without the need for lawyers.
difccourts.ae Corporate Governance
Hawkamah - institute for corporate Governance MENA Markets & ESG: The next phase of investment The current financial crisis is a prime example of the consequences and risks posed by corporate governance failure. Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers and Northern Rock are all illustrative of corporate governance breakdowns at multiple levels. In essence, senior managements of financial institutions failed to assess the true risks their companies took in pursuit of shortterm profit. The boards of directors – the fiduciaries responsible for prudently representing shareholder interests – also failed in their duties. Regulators and supervisors did not provide satisfactory oversight of a system that generated incentives to leverage balance sheets through securitisation and sent the wrong prudential signals through the pro-cyclicality of capital adequacy standards and value-at-risk measures. The underlying theme, whether at the level of senior managements, boards of directors or at the regulatory level, is the lack of understanding of the risks being taken.
In light of the near meltdown of markets, the key objective is restoring market and investor confidence. Companies across the world, but especially in the Gulf, need to adopt and establish corporate governance safeguards. Corporate governance will increasingly be used as a lens through which investors evaluate companies’ practices. Investors – specifically institutional investors - are waking up to the fact that corporate governance concerns were not adequately incorporated into their investment decisions and that they were not fulfilling their duties as owners in ensuring that an appropriate corporate governance framework was in place in their investee companies. As a direct result of the financial crisis, investors need reassurance from companies that they are addressing corporate governance and related risks. The ability of companies to manage these risks and opportunities impacts the value of investors’ investments.
The aim is to develop tools & methods to improve governance practices in the banking and insurance sectors, family businesses, within the private equity industry, in Islamic financial institutions, State Owned Enterprises and capital markets.
Dr. Nasser Saidi
Director - Hawkamah & Chief Economist - Dubai International Financial Centre Authority (DIFCA)
Dr. Saidi is a member of the IMF’s Regional Advisory Group for MENA and Co-Chair of the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) MENA Corporate Governance Working Group. He was Minister of Economy and Trade and Minister of Industry between 1998 and 2000 and First Vice-Governor of the Central Bank of Lebanon for two successive mandates. He writes on corporate governance, macroeconomics, financial markets and monetary policy. He taught economics at the University of Chicago, the Institut Universitaire de Hautes Etudes Internationales (Geneva, CH), and the Université de Genève. He holds a Ph.D. and a M.A. in Economics.
It is no secret that there is a corporate governance gap in the region and this gap has undermined the strong economic fundamentals of the region’s companies, resulting in lower valuations and higher returns required by investors. Hakwamah’s research indicates that the region’s companies are aware of the importance of corporate governance, but that the concept is yet to be internalised by the boards. Policies and practices relating to issues such as conflicts of interest, scrutiny arrangements or preservation of independence, composition of boards and board committees, remain largely unformulated. However, our studies have also shown that the region is progressing and improvements, albeit from a low base, have been made in the area of transparency and disclosure. The empirical evidence from emerging markets is clear: investors are willing to pay a premium for well-governed companies. The premium will vary according to whether a country has strong ‘rule of law and institutions’, protection of investor and creditor rights and accountability. The weaker the national framework, the higher is the compensation in terms of expected return investors will require to invest in a company. Similarly, access to credit and terms and conditions of credit will be more difficult and costly. Conversely, investing in better corporate governance standards and their implementation generates investor confidence, results in wider market participation and shareholding, and builds breadth and depth in the capital markets. The outcome is higher valuations of listed stocks: based on the empirical evidence, the GCC markets could be valued by some 15 percent to 20 percent higher with stronger corporate governance. The payoff from better corporate governance is high.
ESG in MENA In focusing on long-term risks in their investments, institutional investors are increasingly assessing not only corporate governance practices, but also on companies’ ability to manage their environmental and social risks. A recent survey from the Emerging Markets Disclosure Project suggests that the lack of environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) disclosure is seen as the key challenge to investing in emerging markets, according to seven out of ten major asset managers and institutional investors representing $130 billion of emerging market investments. Since its inception in 2006, Hawkamah, the Institute for Corporate Governance, (http://www.hawkamah.org/) has played a significant role in the region in identifying corporate governance gaps through research, surveys and setting up Task Forces with strategic international and regional partners such as the OECD, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the World Bank, and INSOL International, among others. The aim is to develop tools & methods to improve governance practices in the banking and insurance sectors, family businesses, within the private equity industry, in Islamic financial institutions, State Owned Enterprises and capital markets. Hawkamah also provides advice to individual companies, benchmarking their practices against international best practice and offering guidance for improvement.
Hawkamah was created to bridge the governance gap by assisting the region’s countries and businesses in developing and implementing sound, well integrated corporate governance frameworks. Their objective is to shape corporate governance practices and framework throughout the region by promoting
the core values of transparency, accountability, fairness, disclosure and responsibility. Hawkamah Institute for Corporate Governance has become the first-ever institution from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region to sign up to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI).
But the issues also need to be addressed at an institutional, cultural, legal and regulatory level as well as the company level. A strong commitment to implement and enforce better corporate practices from the political authorities as well as from senior government officials involved with capital market Corporate Governance
development is needed for real change to take place. Traditionally, our region has looked for change and reform to be signaled and enforced from the top, with government and regulators taking the lead. That is why Hawkamah has been active with governments and regulators across the region helping write and develop corporate governance Laws, Codes, and Guidelines in order to develop viable, incentive-compatible corporate governance regimes Part of Hakwamah’s mission is to help create market incentives for corporate governance reform. For the region’s companies to implement and benefit from good corporate governance and environmentally and socially responsible practices, market incentives need to be developed to induce the companies to adopt better practices. As investment in ESG related financial products increases,
it becomes imperative for companies to review their business practices and strive to improve them. Hawkamah, in cooperation with Standard & Poor’s and backed by the IFC, is developing a new investable index to measure the environment, social, and corporate governance performance of around 400 listed companies in 11 countries in the Middle East and North Africa. The Hawkamah-S&P ESG Index is a path breaking benchmark; the first to be launched in the region. By increasing visibility and awareness, it will provide an incentive for listed companies in our emerging markets to better understand environmentally and socially responsible investment practices, as well as enhance their basic understanding of the importance of corporate governance. To increase awareness of ESG and its
importance, Hawkamah has endorsed the UN Principles for Responsible Investment and formally became the first MENA UNPRI signatory as a professional service partner. Conclusion To conclude, corporate governance will play an increasing role in the postcredit crunch world and will be high on the agenda of reform minded policy makers. We need to learn from the misguided corporate governance practices that led to the current turmoil and adapt to the emerging best practices. There is a clear correlation between good governance, investor confidence and corporate profitability. A culture of corporate governance needs to be fostered to make the region more attractive
for foreign investors as well as for the listing of companies, be they domestic or foreign. The presence of international institutional investors deepens the sophistication of markets, raises standards and helps improve market efficiency. Corporate governance comprises a combination of regulatory rules and private sector-driven guidelines. Both regulators and companies must understand what is expected from them by investors. Our region’s regulators need to address weaknesses in legal frameworks and strengthen surveillance and enforcement functions, while the region’s companies need to be encouraged to provide more meaningful statements of their activities to demonstrate awareness of environmental, social and governance related risks and opportunities and their skill in managing them.
DLA Piper ME Leading the way in sustainability Law firms are not the first businesses you think of when it comes to environmental impact. However, with nearly 7,600 employees in 29 countries around the world, we have an environmental footprint that we have to take seriously. In January 2007, DLA Piper introduced the Global Sustainability Initiative, affirming our commitment to reduce our environmental impact and conduct our business in a responsible manner in all our offices. We have developed a living adaptable strategy, to respond to the demands and challenges of creating a more environmentally responsible business. As part of our Global Sustainability Initiative, we have committed to reducing our environmental footprint in four key areas: energy, waste, travel and procurement. Below are some examples of the initiatives we have adopted globally and locally. Energy We aim to reduce electrical energy consumption in all our offices. We try and install movement sensors for lighting systems, purchase ‘green energy’, and promote energy-savings
actions such as switching off all computers after 1 am, an initiative which has been successfully implemented in our Dubai office. Waste We aim at sending the least possible items to landfills, to reduce our paper use and maximise our recycling facilities. In Dubai we started using recycled paper in October 2010. The paper selected is produced from 100% post-consumer recycled paper and manufactured without chlorine or acid. Each ream saves 5 kilograms of wood, 118 gallons of water, 3 kilograms of solid waste, 35,000 BTUs of energy and 3 kilograms of greenhouse gases. Most importantly, the cost for the A4 recycled paper is the same as the other standard paper we order. We also recycle paper, glass, plastic, cans and cartridges. Recycling our Old Electronic Items In the Middle East, we teamed up with EnviroServe’s E-waste program to recycle our old electronic items. The donated items (old phones, blackberries and laptops) are re-used, recycled or
As part of our Global Sustainability Initiative, we have committed to reducing our environmental footprint in four key areas: energy, waste, travel and procurement.
shipped to accredited plants that follow the WEEE United Nations Environment Program Directive. Travel We are committed to achieving carbon neutrality to offset business air travel. Globally, we offset our carbon emissions by investing in wind farms and tree planting projects. Locally, encourage reducing business air travel and offset carbon emissions we generate from unavoidable air travel. Sustainable Procurement Policy We prefer to install printers with duplex printing options in our offices. When negotiating new contracts, we give preference to companies that use biodegradable products and follow sustainable practices. All offices are asked to follow our Sustainable Procurement Policy manual when making procurement decisions. In our Dubai and Abu Dhabi offices we have purchased Climate Positive Furniture using the Andromeda Methodology which allowed us to offset 23 tonnes of carbon towards the purchase.
Procurement decisions need to take into account social, economic, ethical and environmental factors in order to be sustainable. At DLA Piper we consider the complete product lifecycle, when making procurement decisions
Global Certification ISO- 14001 In December 2007, we became the first global legal services organisation to gain global certification to ISO 14001 â€“ the worldwide standard for environmental management that ensures we take account of our environmental impacts and live up to our commitment to operating in a responsible way.
Our Sustainability Campaigns Globally and Locally From 1 to 9 May 2008 we had a Reuse, Reduce, Recycle campaign designed to promote recycling in all our offices. In Dubai we encouraged our employees to climb the stairs instead of using the lifts and we gave 5 AED to the Greenbelt Movement for planting trees for every employee who climbed the stairs. We also created a variety of sculptures from all the items collected for recycling in one week to raise awareness about how much we throw away. From 6 to 31 October 2008 we ran a TravelSMART campaign to help us make more sustainable travel decisions and promote alternatives to travel such as web- and video-conferencing. We trained our secretaries to book audio, video and web conferencing wherever possible instead of airplanes or cars. We asked them to schedule lawyerâ€™s diaries to combine several business appointments in one trip abroad and to chose meeting venues closer to airports and offices to minimise transport time and cost. From 26 April through to 1 May 2009 we held our EnergySMART campaign, to encourage smarter use of electricity, our greatest C02 emission. We included
tips for reducing energy consumption at work and home. Employees in the UAE participated in an energy quiz to test their environmental knowledge. The winners were given meal vouchers at top restaurants. From 26 to 30 October 2009 we ran a ProcureSMART campaign to highlight the choices we make when buying products and services and asking existing contractors to use environmentally friendly options. The booklet is available for employees to download. Earth Day On April 22 of every year, we celebrate Earth Day which was founded 40 years ago on the premise that all people, regardless of race, gender, income, or geography, have a moral right to a healthy and sustainable environment. In the Middle East we celebrate Earth Day by asking our employees to wear green, eat green (i.e. food made of local produce) and think green. We give every employee a green apple and a booklet printed on recycled paper with 10 pledges to adopt to keep the Earth green and a dozen small things staff can do with their children to save energy and keep the world cleaner and greener.
Procurement decisions need to take into account social, economic, ethical and environmental factors in order to be sustainable. At DLA Piper we consider the complete product lifecycle, when making procurement decisions. 150
Her Royal Highness Princess Haya Bint Al Hussain giving the award for 2009 Women in Leadership CSR Award to Wafa Tarnowska, DLA Piper.
DLA Piper Middle East was also short listed and highly commended for CSR Leader of the Year Award at the Middle East Business Achievements (MEBA) Awards in 2009 and made the shortlist for best CSR initiatives for a middle sized business by the Emirates Environmental Group.
Our Awards In 2009, DLA Piper won three awards for its CSR programs in the region and one from Middle East Facilities Management for our sustainable facilities management policies. The first was for “Best Environmental Initiative in the UAE” with TECOM given during the 6th CSR summit. The second was for the “Women in Leadership CSR Award for 2009” and the third was the “Best Practice Award for CSR and Community Affairs by MEPRA (Middle East PR Association). DLA Piper Middle East was also short listed and highly commended for CSR Leader of the
Year Award at the Middle East Business Achievements (MEBA) Awards in 2009 and made the shortlist for best CSR initiatives for a middle sized business by the Emirates Environmental Group. dlapiper.com
ERNST & YOUNG Corporate responsibility a coming trend in the Middle East? Turmoil in financial markets has brought a change in the social and economic conditions of peopleâ€™s lives. No-one can say how far this upheaval will go or how long it will last. Ernst & Young is in a powerful position to make a real difference in this changing world. Through our work in the marketplace, we help our clients achieve their potential. We contribute to social progress and help our people achieve potential by being a company that values diversity and invests in learning. Our days are spent in the office or on assignment with our clients. But our future is being shaped by forces - regulatory, economic, demographic and environmental - outside of those walls. How do we respond to these forces to safeguard the sustainability of our business? We believe corporate responsibility is critical.
Corporate responsibility involves pursuing a business strategy that is responsible â€“ in both the short and long term. It covers everything a company does to increase the well-being of society while adding value to the business. It focuses on all the companyâ€™s impacts - on employees, clients, local communities and the wider business community. Increasingly, businesses, governments and NGOs are pulling together to promote business, social and environmental progress. As a company that embraces corporate responsibility, we at Ernst & Young think carefully about how to invest in society today to ensure there will be a business context where both we and society can thrive tomorrow and long into the future.
We contribute to social progress and help our people achieve potential by being a company that values diversity and invests in learning.
Director of Climate Change & Sustainability Services, Middle East Ernst & Young
Amjad heads a team which offers advice on and solutions to climate change and CDM projects, GHG management, sustainable energy, corporate sustainability management and reporting, green building, life cycle assessment, waste management, environmental management systems and occupational health & safety management systems. Amjad worked with leading multinationals, including Fortune 500 companies, as a Specialist in Business Sustainability Solutions. He has consulted for different UN agencies.
We channel our efforts into three key areas that are aligned with our business strategy and critical to improving and expanding market economies. - Entrepreneurship by supporting and celebrating high-growth companies because they create opportunity through economic growth and job creation - Education by broadening access to education to guarantee that the next generation has the skills required to make a positive contribution to society - Environmental sustainability by minimising our impact on the environment Entrepreneurship is one of the most potent forces for good in the world today. Addressing broader societal issues - poverty and unemployment, climate change, strengthening local economies and creating an environment in which business can thrive - depends to an extent on entrepreneurship. As an organisation, we are finding ways to use our professional skills as volunteers to bring Ernst &Young’s experience to entrepreneurs who would not typically have access to these types of resources. We work with entrepreneurs to create the strong, ethical, well-run organisations of tomorrow. Our commitment to social entrepreneurship underpins our worldwide involvement with Kiva, an organisation that connects developingworld entrepreneurs in need of loans with individuals who want to contribute loan funds via the internet. We’re donating US$ 1 million worth of services over a period of three years - at no cost to Kiva or micro-finance institutions.
To date, Kiva has facilitated over US$ 43 million in loans from over 337,000 Kiva.org users to 60,000 developing world entrepreneurs, including carpet weavers in Afghanistan, goat herders in Uganda and farmers in Ecuador. Kiva lenders have funded over 1.7 million entrepreneurs in emerging markets - that number will grow to 2.7 million by 2011. About 75 percent of loans go to female entrepreneurs. The current business climate demands that we be proactive in thinking about the implications of climate change for our business. As we look at rising energy costs, a changing public policy landscape, and the evolving environmental mindset of our current and future employees, we must be open to new ways of operating our business that are both eco-friendly and business smart. We also need to ‘walk the talk’ if we are to appear credible to our clients as a provider of climate change and sustainability services. Being ‘green’ is also important to our people. As we drive operational changes in our organisation, we are also working to set a tone that embeds environmental sustainability into our culture. For instance, we are reducing the need to travel by increasing usage of video and teleconferencing. We are developing plans for carbon offsetting and sourcing green energy suppliers. And we are building good environmental practice into the design of our new and refurbished offices worldwide.
Being ‘green’ is also important to our people. As we drive operational changes in our organisation, we are also working to set a tone that embeds environmental sustainability into our culture.
In addition, we are looking to embed sustainability in our culture. This means engaging Ernst and Young’s service lines in finding ways to ‘green’ their working methods. This requires us to put into place change management, communications and incentive Corporate Governance
programs. And it means conducting greenhouse gas (GHG) corporate accounting and reporting in accordance with the WBCSD/WRI GHG Protocol - the most widely accepted global standard for reporting on carbon footprinting. Drivers for sustainability can be roughly divided into three different areas: actions with positive financial implications, ‘have to dos’ and leading practice. All three are particularly important in the current economic climate – and are a critical part of the argument in the Middle East. The clean development mechanism, (CDM), energy strategies and green buildings are all having a direct impact on companies’ financial bottom lines. Cost savings and new revenue can be achieved through energy efficiency and the sale of carbon credits as well as through reduced insurance premiums. Regulation – both local and global – is the stick which complements the financial carrot along with increasing pressure from customers. Even with the less stringent regulatory environment in the Middle East, awareness of carbon strategies and carbon footprints is growing. Life cycle assessments, environment management systems and occupational health and safety schemes are being driven by customer demand, wider awareness and growing local pressure. Finally, leading practice also has a pivotal part to play. Companies’ relationships with their stakeholders be it the local community, employees or shareholders - are an essential indicator of local democracy. A number of studies have shown many 154
of the world’s largest companies believe employee motivation is a key driver when it comes to corporate responsibility. Workers increasingly say that it is imperative that their employer is ‘responsible’ to society and the environment. Companies in the region are more aware of the effects of both good and bad publicity and corporate responsibility is vital. Transparency, responsible supply chains and the wish to avoid litigation are also essential spurs to leading practice. From a reputation and brand perspective, enhanced brand value and recognition tends to lead to higher market share. Investors support companies that share their own values and goals and avoid companies involved in business practices that they deem to be against their own social values. Being able to successfully demonstrate a strategic focus and operational success, above and beyond the bottom line, can also translate into a marketing tool. Are these drivers applicable in the Middle East? Absolutely – and the current market turbulence has made the link between corporate responsibility and survival even clearer. Is there a need for more action with respect to corporate responsibility? Certainly - but experience has shown that this tends to be a ‘slow burner’ - as more people become more aware, the more pressure there is on employers, local organisations and governments to implement more sustainable solutions. Are there opportunities for companies in the region to benefit from corporate responsibility? Definitely – and the more sustainability is seen as a value-adder, the quicker
it will become standard business practice. This region has been blessed with the world’s largest oil and gas reserves – but we also have access to consistent and exploitable renewable energy sources. Corporate responsibility is an imperative for safeguarding the sustainability of our business. As a business, our growth is tied to that of a strong economy and society. So we must continually find ways to match what we do well with what society needs. In this way, we will help the people we employ, the companies that we serve, and the communities in which we operate to fully achieve their potential – in both the short and long term.
Transparency Pays In what ways can E&Yâ€™s philosophy based on delivering best practices across every segment in which it operates be assessed in the field of corporate governance (CG) since this area is still in its nascent stage in the GCC? At Ernst & Young we work in the communities that we operate in to guide organisation to improve their transparency and other governance practices. Good corporate governance is all about corporations doing what is right for all their stakeholders. This means having a robust framework of dealing with the outside world as well as managing their internal affairs with a high degree of ethical behaviour to safeguard the business and the community it operates in. This includes having the right policies around ethical behaviour, a positive tone at the top that promotes health accountability based on delegated authority and a sound system of risk management. It also means having a board of directors with a strong oversight mechanism of management. What are the possible range of CG innovations in this area that you feel will strengthen economic sustainability, and why? A factor for sustainable economic growth is the confidence that the investing community places in a particular market. In addition, research has shown a positive correlation between sound corporate governance and investor confidence. For many years companies have used this
correlation as a tool to create stability and strength to their share price. Good governance practices became competitive differentiators that companies used to attract investors. Today, however, just because companies adhere to their local corporate governance rules does not necessarily mean that they have a competitive advantage. Companies need to innovate in this area to achieve this. Today the level of transparency that multinational companies are showing in their communications about their internal affairs is far more detailed than the strict letter of their listing rule books. The story is somewhat different in our region where companies still look at this as a compliance exercise rather than a value creating tool that can benefit their shareholders. However, it is expected that as the market matures and recovers over the next few years and as the competition for investor funds heats up then governance practices will also move up the corporate agenda. What challenges do companies face in ensuring that ethical business practices enshrined in sustainable corporate governance practices serve the truest interests of stakeholders and the economy overall? Ethical business practice can be interpreted differently by different people. This applies whether you are a senior member of management, a member of the board, and investor or a regulator. The differences if not managed can lead to negative
Partner â€“ Business Risk Services Ernst & Young
Ali started his career in a professional practice in 1989 in the United Kingdom. Later he managed a start up real estate management business in London. In 1997, he joined a leading accounting firm in London financial services group where he served clients such as Bankers Trust, Deutsche Bank, DLJ Investment Bank and Mellon Bank. After over 3 years in the London office, Ali moved to Singapore for a 3-year secondment. In 2003 Ali Joined Ernst & Young to head up the Business Risk Services practice in Dubai.
sentiment over the market as a whole. The challenges faced by companies in ensuring ethical practices are adopted are many. These include: 1. Unethical practices in a particular market sector may put pressure on companies to not adopt high ethical levels of behaviour so as not to lose competitive advantage. 2. A genuine lack of awareness by employees about what is acceptable and what is not. 3. In a fast moving and very competitive business environment where winning is so important. The ethical limits may be stretched to achieve high performance. This is the same as athletes who decide to take performance enhancing drugs in order to achieve success on the track knowing that there is a possibility of being caught. 4. A lack of a robust regulatory regime that supervises and enforces the highest levels of ethical conduct. 5. But most importantly is when the tone at the top does not promote the appropriate ethical behaviour in an organisation. What services does E&Y offer its clients to assist them in strengthening their corporate governance policies and regulations? With other specialised consultants already in existence, in what specific ways do you offer critical differentials? At Ernst & Young we assist clients in many areas around the subject of corporate governance. At the board level we help clients with board evaluation frameworks, board remuneration strategies, defining terms of reference for key board committees such as the audit
committee, remuneration committee and nomination committee. We also assist clients establish the main pillars of sound governance inside a company such as developing a code of ethical conduct, a framework of internal control and/or a framework for robust risk management. We also assist our clients review their framework of corporate governance and provide suggestions for improvements. How do you see the regulation and legislation around CG evolving in the UAE and the GCC? What essential issues need to be tackled and why? Regulation in the region around Corporate Governance is still in its early stages. As the business community matures in this area it is likely that we see more advancement in this area. I see more to come in the areas of improving risk management practices particularly around identification assessment and reporting as well as embedding these in businesses in a sustainable way. We also are likely see more around improving transparency and the quality of external communications by companies. Regulators are likely to have a more proactive role in supervision and enforceability of codes of corporate governance understanding the importance of that role in building confidence in the market.
Ethical business practice can be interpreted differently by different people. This applies whether you are a senior member of management, a member of the board, and investor or a regulator.
Warren BuffetT The Berkshire Hathaway Supremo
Warren Buffett is one of the most successful investors in history, the primary shareholder and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway. He is one of the richest men in the world with respect to his net worth. He is noted for his adherence to the value investing philosophy and for his personal frugality despite his immense wealth.
Early employment Buffett was employed from 1951–54 at BuffettFalk & Co., Omaha as an Investment Salesman and from 1954–1956 at Graham-Newman Corp., New York as a Securities Analyst, from 1956–1969 at Buffett Partnership, Ltd., Omaha as a General Partner and from 1970–Present at Berkshire Hathaway Inc, as Chairman and CEO. 158
Early Life Warren Edward Buffett was born on August 30, 1930 to his father Howard, a stockbroker-turnedCongressman. The only boy, he was the second of three children, and displayed an incredible aptitude for both money and business at an early age. Acquaintances recount his uncanny ability to calculate columns of numbers off the top of his head - a feat Warren still amazes business colleagues with today.
Education Buffett first enrolled at The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, (1947–49). In 1951, he transferred to the University of Nebraska where he received a B.S. in Economics. Buffett then enrolled at Columbia Business School after learning that Benjamin Graham, (the author of The Intelligent Investor), and David Dodd, two well-known securities analysts, taught there. Receiving a M.S. in Economics from Columbia University in 1951.
Path to wealth In 1954, Buffett accepted a job at Benjamin Graham’s partnership earning $12,000 a year (about $97,000 adjusted to 2008 dollars). He was adamant that stocks provide a wide safety margin after weighting the trade-off between their price and intrinsic value. After retiring in 1956, with $174,000 in personal savings, he started Buffett Partnership Ltd., an investment partnership in Omaha.
In 1957, Buffett had three partnerships operating the entire year. In the following year, he operated five partnerships the entire year. In 1959, the company grew to six partnerships operating the entire year. By 1960, Buffett had seven partnerships operating: Buffett Associates, Buffett Fund, Dacee, Emdee, Glenoff, Mo-Buff and Underwood.
In January 1962 Buffet’s partnerships were valued at, $7,178,500, of which over $1,025,000 belonged to Buffett. After merging all partnerships into one, the budding millionaire founded a textile manufacturing firm, Berkshire Hathaway. His partnerships began purchasing shares at $7.60 per share. Buffett’s partnerships took control of Berkshire in 1965, paying $14.86 per share while the company had a working capital of $19 per share. In 1966, Buffett closed the partnership to new money.
Philanthropy In 1979, Berkshire began the year trading at $775 per share, and ended at $1,310. Buffett’s net worth reached $620 million, placing him on the Forbes 400 for the first time. In 2006, Buffett announced in June that he would gradually give away 85% of his Berkshire holdings to five foundations in annual gifts of stock, starting in July 2006. The largest contribution would go to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The future By 2007 Buffett was looking for one or more young successors to run his investment business. In 2008, he became the richest man in the world with a net worth of $62 billion according to Forbes Magazine. As of March 11 2009, Bill Gates regained the title and Buffett slipped to second place. Their wealth valuations have dropped to $40 billion and $37 billion respectively, due to the 2008/2009 economic downturn.
‘I don’t have a problem with guilt about money. The way I see it is that my money represents an enormous number of claim cheques on society. It’s like I have these little pieces of paper that I can turn into consumption. If I wanted to, I could hire 10,000 people to do nothing but paint my picture every day for the rest of my life.
Family & Legacy In 1952, Buffett married Susan Thompson, who passed away in 2004. They have three children, Susie, Howard, and Peter. Their daughter Susie lives in Omaha and does charity through the Susan A. Buffett Foundation and is a national board member of Girls, Inc (An American Charity).
His children will not inherit a significant proportion of his wealth. This decision is consistent with statements he has made in the past indicating his opposition to the transfer of great fortunes from one generation to the next. Buffett once commented, “I want to give my kids just enough so that they would feel that they could do anything, but not so much that they would feel like doing nothing.”
And the GNP would go up. But the utility of the product would be zilch, and I would be keeping those 10,000 people from doing AIDS research, or teaching, or nursing. I don’t do that though. I don’t use very many of those claim cheques. There’s nothing material I want very much. And I’m going to give virtually all of those claim cheques to charity when my wife and I die.’ Warren Buffet Corporate Governance
LANDMARK Sense and Cents Sustainability in the UAE Real Estate Market For many, the concept of sustainability refers to ecology, but the convergence of economics and environmental sustainability can create a potent synergy for promoting both prosperity and greater ecological harmony. Integrating sustainability into the design and construction of new buildings, or retrofitting existing structures to be more sustainable, are among the most profound ways to move modern society toward a more sustainable future. After all, we spend most of our lives in our homes and offices.
master developments. Since new infrastructure is required, sustainability must be extended to include buildings and infrastructure. In both emirates, rapid economic development caused sudden population growth and prompted a property boom, which led to irresponsible energy and water consumption, excessive construction, environmental damage and eventually, a severe financial crisis.
Mention the word sustainability in the real estate industry and people think â€˜green buildings.â€™ But sustainability is a broader concept applicable to different facets of the real estate industry, including counter-cyclicality, demand stability, and financial feasibility. In the context of real estate, resources are not limited to physical inputs; they also include factors like liquidity and labour.
Growth in the property market corresponds to population and business growth, which is especially salient, given the expatriate-dominated character of the local labour market. When populations grow, so does their consumption of imported food, desalinated water, electricity and real estate. Increased consumption generates economic and job growth, which leads to additional population growth, creating a positive feedback cycle.
Adopting a holistic approach to sustainability in real estate would integrate environmental concerns, urban planning requirements and economic imperatives. The UAE is a perfect example. In Abu Dhabi and Dubai, new buildings are usually in greenfield
While there is a general correlation between employment and consumption anywhere in the world, the UAEâ€™s total population is exceptionally sensitive to economic fluctuations. The high rate of population change causes spikes in pollution, sewage and waste during
Increased consumption generates economic and job growth, which leads to additional population growth, creating a positive feedback cycle.
Charles Neil CEO Landmark Advisory Landmark Properties LLC
Charles Neil is an experienced senior Financial Executive who joined Landmark in 2008 following his tenure with the Dubai International Financial Centre (difc). In difc, he held many executive posts, including Director of Special Projects (Legal), commissioner for data protection and commissioner for anti money laundering and counter financing of terrorism.
periods of pro-cyclical economic growth, followed by labour repatriation and inefficient overcapacity during a downturn. This extends beyond basic utilities. Considering the logistics required to massively import consumables (ports, warehouses, transportation, and retail), shows that operating above or below capacity can impact all levels of the economy. In the context of real estate markets, therefore, sustainability evolves from the complex interdependence between property development, infrastructure, employment, consumption cycles and associated regulations. The good news… A sustainable feature of new property developments in the UAE is the prevalence of the mixed-use concept. New communities are designed so people can live, work, shop and enjoy leisure activities in the same area. In addition to limiting urban sprawl and improving infrastructure efficiency, the high density promotes ‘walkability,’ which reduces vehicle use and emissions. Creating industry-specific commercial clusters in mixed-use developments further augments sustainability. From a business perspective, companies can be located close to their professional network. Plus, individuals can live close to their office and, even if they change employers, can still live and work in the same area. LEED Buildings in the UAE Certified Bronze Silver Gold Platinum TOTAL Source: US Green Business Council, January 2010
2 0 12 11 3 28
The Dubai Metro is another example of progress toward sustainability. Reducing urban sprawl and consolidating travellers by encouraging use of public transportation is a hallmark of sustainable infrastructure. In addition, 10 UAE buildings, all located in Dubai, are formally accredited as sustainable by the US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards. The UAE’s most significant sustainability initiative is Masdar City, in Abu Dhabi. It will have an immensely positive impact on sustainability, both locally and abroad. As the world’s first carbonneutral, zero-waste city, it will integrate traditional sustainability elements, like wind towers to facilitate air circulation;
modern technologies, like photovoltaic roofs; and pioneering technologies, like the personal rapid transport systems (PRT). Masdar City is expected to create economic agglomeration, attracting sustainable businesses and increasing awareness among UAE residents. Negative externalities and market distortions Current global population and consumption patterns indicate that resource use is unsustainable. Meanwhile, negative externalities, like pollution and climate change, increasingly impact the human population. Externalities are the unintended consequences that affect people and systems beyond the original action. Pollution is a classic example. Corporate Governance
In the context of capitalism, property rights (or lack thereof) and mispricing of resources are major causes of negative externalities and resource overconsumption. Incorrect resource pricing can occur passively or actively. Passively, it happens when prices fail to reflect the cost of remediating negative externalities. Widespread and large scale construction across the UAE has caused poor air quality from dust and equipment emissions. The negative externality relates to healthcare costs and lost
productivity from employee illness. Active mispricing stems from price regulation and subsidies. Gasoline subsidies are an example related to sustainability in the UAE. The local market price is AED 1.72 per litre. In the UK, the same litre of gas costs approximately AED 7.40 (December 2010), over four times more than in the UAE. Market distortions in the UAE Although individuals are the consumers of energy and water, buildings facilitate that consumption, so the real estate
DEWA - Power and Water Costs
2010 Expatriates Nationals
Source: DEWA, Landmark Advisory
ADWEA - Power and Water Costs
2010 Expatriates Nationals
Source: ADWEA, Landmark Advisory
Without subsidies, prices more accurately reflect value and scarcity. Higher prices deter wastefulness, while encouraging demand efficiency.
industry is indirectly responsible for conserving these resources. By subsidizing water and electricity, governments boost consumption, which depletes energy resources and creates externalities like pollution and pollutionrelated illnesses. For example, Abu Dhabi subsidizes water and electricity costs both for Emirati citizens and expatriates, while Dubai subsidizes consumption of Emirati citizens. These subsidies send inappropriate price signals to UAE consumers. Instead of encouraging citizens and residents to conserve scarce water and energy resources, subsidies promote waste by lowering the cost of consumption. As a result, UAE residents have extremely high per capita consumption patterns. Without subsidies, consumers pay prices that more accurately reflect the value and scarcity of what they consume. Higher prices would reflect scarcity and deter wasteful consumption, while encouraging demand for systems that maximise efficiency. Once incentivised to conserve, people will start to demand efficient buildings that reduce utility expenses. Developers, landlords, brokers and consultants would all have to compete for buyers and renters that prioritise sustainability. Moving towards a sustainable future By embracing a holistic approach to sustainability, individuals, companies and the greater community can achieve prosperity and stability, while safeguarding the availability of natural resources for future generations. Initially, incentives must be created to encourage sustainable behaviour. Other markets teach us that improvements in sustainability start with regulatory reforms that align incentives with desired behaviors and education to improve
awareness and mobilise individuals to adopt sustainable practices. Abu Dhabi has implemented a proprietary green building certification structure, Estidamaâ€™s Pearl Rating System, and Dubai is in the process of creating similar regulations. Widespread consolidation in both stagnant markets will severely restrict new development for the next three to five years. The anticipated green building regulation will have a limited impact on the real estate market in the short-term; however, in the long term it is vital for creating a sustainable industry. Equally important is the development of regulation for retrofitting existing buildings and feed-in tariffs. Regulation needs to be combined with policies that encourage sustainable consumption. The existing tariff system, which coexists with massive subsidies, needs revision. While regulations can force developers to build green, consumers are unlikely to accept the price premium attached to those properties, because green construction is more expensive. So unless utility bills increase enough to create real demand and generate green premiums for efficient buildings, developers have scarce motivation to build them, especially in the current economic climate. Of course there are associated public image and marketing advantages, plus the feel-good factor, to adopting sustainable policies and practices. However, especially in the current economic context, most companies and individuals will only make these changes if there is a clear short-term financial incentive. So, in order to succeed, a culture of sustainability must be internalised, promoted and actively practiced both by civil, corporate and government leaders at every level.