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Welcome to the latest Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) edition of Sustainable Business Magazine


Kenya Ports Authority


Broll Ghana

Sustainable Business Magazine aims to spread awareness of the values of sustainability, as well as the brilliant ways in which organizations continue to meet challenges and champion corporate social responsibility.


MBHE Group



To highlight sustainable development in Africa we spoke to Catherine Mturi-Wairi, Managing Director of the Kenya Ports Authority, about facilitating trade across the region, expansion, and being an agent of sustainable growth, Kofi Ampong, Managing Director of property management company Broll Ghana, about what it takes to thrive, and Karl Siegel Jr., Director of Marketing at MBHE Group, about evolving a company, new opportunities in renewable energy, and turning the lights on for Africa.


Real Meat Company


Arctech Helsinki Shipyard

For a short focus on the food industry in South Africa we spoke to Nicolas Marcel, Director of Digistics, about efficient, environmentally-friendly distribution, and Chris Graham, founder and Managing Director of the Real Meat Company, about how his company’s growth has tied into sustainable meat production.


The meeco Group

In Europe we spoke to Esko Mustamäki, CEO of Arctech Helsinki Shipyard Inc., about facilitating trade in challenging conditions, innovative approaches to shipbuilding, and world firsts, as well as George Kitoudis, Technical and Operations Manager at The meeco Group, about their international portfolio of customized solar solutions.


Qatar Quarry Company


Sharaf Viax


Shamal Az-Zour


Global Events


Advertisers Index

To finish this edition we have three articles concentrating on sustainable development in the Middle East. Salim Kutty, Company Manager of Qatar Quarry Company LLC, spoke to us about how the company are greening the construction industry of Qatar. We spoke to Menel Hamdi, Executive Secretary to Managing Director Stefano Campagna, about the unique end-to-end waste treatment solutions that Sharaf Viax General Trading has introduced to the Middle East. And Andy Biffen, CEO of Shamal Az-Zour, spoke to us about one of Kuwait’s most historic power and water generation projects. Details of upcoming sustainability events in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa can be found on our events calendar. For more information, or to view previous editions, please visit We hope that you find this issue both interesting and inspiring. Thank you for reading. The Sustainable Business Magazine Team







© SBM Media Ltd 2016. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form for any purpose, other than short sections for the purpose of review, without prior consent of the publisher.






PROSPERITY Sustainable Business Magazine speaks to Catherine Mturi-Wairi, Managing Director of the Kenya Ports Authority, about facilitating trade across the region, expansion, and being an agent of sustainable growth.






The Port of Mombasa is the largest port in East Africa and one of the five largest on the African continent, serving a hinterland which extends beyond Kenya to Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania, South Sudan, Somalia, and Ethiopia. The first jetty at Kilindini was built in Imperial British East Africa in 1896, and in 1978 the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) was created, with responsibility for maintaining, operating, developing, and regulating Kenya’s sea ports. Today, over 33 shipping lines oper4 | SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE

ate at the Port of Mombasa, and the port connects directly to over 80 other ports. In the last year, the port has handled over 1.1 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs). The Port Authority’s work doesn’t end at the water’s edge. KPA also manages inland container depots in Nairobi, Eldoret, and Kisumu, as well as liaison offices in Kampala, Kigali, and Bujumbura. “We also work hand-in-hand with other key cargo interveners,” says Catherine Mturi-Wairi, Managing Director at KPA. “Those are bodies

like the Kenya Revenue Authority, the Kenya Railways, the Bureau of Standards, the National Police Service, and all the other key actors who play a role in ensuring that cargo passes through the ports safely and quickly. Our work requires a high degree of collaboration and co-ordination.” REGIONAL HUB Recently, KPA commissioned a second container terminal which will substantially increase the Port of Mombasa’s capacity. “Phase 1 has a capacity of 550,000 TEUs

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Mombasa Port (Phase 1), Kenya

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per year,” says Ms. Wairi. “It was commissioned in September this year. Next year construction will begin on Phase 2 and thereafter phase 3, where additional capacity of 950,000 TEUs will be created. We’re being supported in this project by the Japanese government.” The channel has also been dredged to below 15 meters, and at its narrowest point, the turning basin has been widened to 300 meters. “Going forward, we are facilitating government efforts to establish export processing zones,” says Ms. Wairi. “South of the Sahara, there

are only two top container ports, which are Mombasa and Durban. So we’re the main hub serving the whole region, and we want to bring in more business, more growth, and more prosperity.” The cruise ship reception facilities at the Port of Mombasa are also being developed. “In the early nineties, we used to handle forty to fifty cruise ships in a season,” explains Ms. Wairi. “But this decreased due to security and piracy issues, and until five years ago no cruise ships called at the port of Mombasa. This

year we have had five cruise vessels. The Cabinet Secretary in charge of tourism, Hon. Najib Balala, is very keen to see more cruises stopping in Kenya, so we’re going to rehabilitate the two sheds at Berth No.1 to turn them into cruise reception facilities. We’re partnering with TradeMark East Africa on that project, and designs are almost at completion stage. By making sure we have good facilities for cruise ships, we can make more of a contribution to the national effort to attract tourism and employment.” SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE





Kenya Maritime Authority



BETTER CONNECTED In addition to these developments at the Port of Mombasa, KPA is constructing another major sea port North of Mombasa Port, at the town of Lamu. The new port will have 32 berths and will accommodate ships

of up to 100,000 tons. It will represent the key component of the Lamu Port Southern Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) Corridor project. “We want to diversify and have an alternative commercial port,” says Ms. Wairi. “Mombasa’s channel is 15 meters deep after dredging, but Lamu is naturally 18 meters deep before dredging. Dredging is scheduled to start in October to enable construction of the new port in 2017. The headquarters has been completed, and infrastructure in terms of water and electricity is in place.” Back in the Port of Mombasa, a new standard gauge railway, constructed by KPA’s sister company Kenya Railways, is on the verge of completion. When the first trains run on the railway next year, the Port of Mombasa will be connected directly to Nairobi, with the intention of later phases to extend the railway from Nairobi to the Uganda border. “The idea is for cargo to be transported by rail from Uganda and Rwanda all the way to Mombasa,” says Ms. Wairi. “This will be great for us because at the moment cargo by rail is less than 5%,

and roads are very congested. Once complete the railway is expected to haul at least 30% of cargo coming through the port. This port is the lifeline of the regional economy, and so as the economies grow, the port and the networks have to grow in order to be able to accommodate the pressure from the hinterland.” GREEN PORT KPA is not neglecting the need to protect the environment while the ports grow. KPA recently introduced a Green Port Policy, focused on eliminating pollution from the Port of Mombasa by controlling dust and gas emissions. “TradeMark East Africa are giving us support with this” explains Ms. Wairi. “We’ve also established a number of initiatives to remove any harmful building materials from our facilities, some of which are quite old, and we have green projects like planting trees around the port.” KPA has also adopted technology to improve the efficiency of port operations. “We’ve made great strides in automating port services and computerization,” says SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE



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Developing, Manufacturing & Supplying of Packaging Materials and accessories for the Flower and Horticulture Industry. Flower Sleeves

Dilpack Kenya produces and supplies a wide range of high-quality products: printed and unprinted flexible packaging (film on rolls, sheets and sleeves), flower food and other accessories, such as rubber bands, bunch cutters, secateurs and decorative materials.

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Since its inception in 2011, Harbor City has manoeuvred itself into a commanding position and is now one of the country’s foremost supplier of Maritime based goods/consultancy. The Company is situated in convenient proximity to the Port of Mombasa, enabling us to provide cost-effective and reliable services to the regional markets. The success of the Company has been achieved largely due to the expert pilotage of the top executives and its staff in general. Under their dynamic stewardship, the directors began a programme of acquisition in 2012 that sought to give the company 5-star representation in all key areas of the Kenyan economy.


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Ms. Wairi. “We’ve reequipped the port with modern cargo and ship handling equipment. A few months ago we received one of the latest tugboats. We’re also training our staff in modern management practices and best practices in the shipping industry, and benchmarking to see where the rest of

the world is. The companies we work with, by the nature of their business, are international, so we can’t work in isolation.” TOP PRIORITY As a result of intervention by the Kenya Defence Forces and international navies,


Procurement supply and installation of marine and sea based equipment. Agents for OCEA & GISMAN P.O. Box 1919-80100, Mombasa No.6, Prominent Estate, Links Road, Mombasa, KENYA T: +254-780-584843 • C: +254-722-584843 E: •

piracy is no longer a concern for ships coming to Mombasa. Today, KPA’s top security priority is counter-terrorism, and here, too, technology has been an asset. “We had to come up with better security systems,” says Ms. Wairi. “Now we have an integrated security system thanks to support from the

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annual capacity of the container terminal was 250,000 TEUs; today we’re handling over a million containers. The amount of new equipment is immense. Then there’s the new security and ICT.” As for the future, KPA envisages the Port of Mombasa, joined in a few years by Lamu, as a regional logistics hub for the movement of cargo. “We already have liaison offices in Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi,” says Ms. Wairi. “Next we’re going to open offices in South Sudan, where the potential is great. They are now a part of

our community, and already use the Port of Mombasa. We’re also encouraging more public-private sector collaboration in what we do, which has helped us undertake a number of projects. By 2018, we project to handle 1.8 million TEUs; and by 2020, 2 million TEUs. These projects will create jobs and increase the purchasing power of people in the region. We value our contribution to the economies of Kenya and other East African countries, as we continue to bring growth and prosperity to our region.” c


World Bank. We have a good number of CCTV cameras around the port, a biometric system for entry and exit, and an electronic fence which detects intrusion immediately, allowing us to deploy rapid response vehicles. In the 1990s, security was just manning; you had to have people everywhere. Nowadays it’s more efficient. Our security personnel have received training in the U.S. and Israel. There is a lot of international collaboration to learn new techniques or prepare for new crimes like cybercrime, so we work very closely with our national and international security forces.” CHANGING WITH THE TIMES Over the last fifteen years, KPA and the Port of Mombasa have witnessed dramatic changes. “When we hold ceremonies for the commissioning of new facilities and we invite people who worked here before the year 2000, they can’t believe the transformation,” says Ms. Wairi. “In 1980, the SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE

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MARKET LEADERS Kofi Ampong, Managing Director of property management company Broll Ghana, speaks to Sustainable Business Magazine about what it takes to beat the rest.

Broll Ghana, established in May 2006, was Ghana’s first formal property management services company. Three shareholders saw this gap in the market and committed to a joint venture with, in the words of Managing Director Kofi Ampong, “a prime objective of taking advantage of the lack of maintenance culture in Ghana”. The three shareholders 14 | SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE

were Broll Property Group South Africa, Social Security and National Insurance Trust, and SIC Insurance Company and to achieve this objective Broll Ghana was established to offer a full suite of property management services including property management, brokerage, retail management, valuation, and facilities management.

Broll Ghana began it’s operations with just two clients and 62,000 square meters (Sq m) of real estate. This was managed by a team of six. Today, ten years later, a team of more than 140 people take responsibility for 22 clients and more than 291,000 Sq m of real estate: A total property value of USD$736 million. These


of which often stemmed from the lack of a maintenance culture in the first place. Mr. Ampong illustrates one such circumstance: “There was and is a lack of experienced professionals or managers for the retail management sector. It is very difficult for us to get experienced and wellskilled people to take over when we acquire new retail properties so we have to make sure they have gone through training before they take up their appointment.” This training is achieved through the assistance of Broll South Africa, either by sending the individuals to South Africa for training or by bringing trainers up to Ghana. In this way Broll Ghana can ensure their staff meet the best possible standards in the retail management sector. Once trained, though, there emerges a second issue. “The difficulty has been to find, train, motivate, and maintain customer service staff,” says Mr. Ampong. “We happen to be the first formalized property service provider in the country so we’re turning into a training ground for the whole sector. Other property management companies have tried to pinch/poach our staff, so attraction and retention of good staff has been an ongoing challenge for us.”

Broll Ghana have developed a good personnel development scheme including attractive wages to tackle this problem. Coupled with the prestige of working for Ghana’s market leader, this has been successful in ensuring the company retains a skilled workforce. There are also other key challenges relating to the work of Broll Ghana and their relationship with clients at both ends of the business. Negotiating between the needs of the landlord and the desires of the tenant is particularly important as this comprises a bulk of the company’s work. Central to this balance is protection of the landlord’s needs


include all seven Western-style shopping malls in the country such as West Hills Mall, Accra Mall, Achimota Retail Centre, Junction Mall, and Marina Mall, almost all buildings owned by telecommunications giant MTN, and numerous other properties such as the World Trade Center, Accra Financial Center, and International Financial Corporation. The formidable rate of expansion that Broll Ghana has undergone is testament to their success in pursuing their original objective. Today the company proceeds as the pioneer of a proliferating marketing sector. BALANCING ACT Maintaining this market-leading position has required a lot of infrastructural building and overcoming challenges, the sources SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE

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because, as investors, they play an important part not only in Broll Ghana’s business but in the economy of Ghana. The management company therefore makes sure that contracts are drawn up that protect the landlord as far as is reasonable. Tenants are also important to Broll Ghana, though, and the company strives to do their best in supporting them where they need it. Increasing operating costs,


for example, have become a difficult but necessary part of Broll Ghana’s business with communication having been important in allaying anxieties. “We share information, we share challenges,” Mr. Ampong says. “We sit with the tenants and tell them what is happening and also pass on their views to the landlords. If there are any operating costs that are unbearable, for example, we try as much as possible to

find a solution. The two parties – landlords and tenants – they are partners. It is a symbiotic relationship.” CHANGING MINDS Through scaling these challenges, Broll Ghana have clarified their abilities and potential as market-leader in property management, a position that is shown by the number of other property management

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services that have been established during the past decade. Remaining at the forefront of the Ghanaian market has involved Broll Ghana pitting themselves at the head of the domestic market but alongside the best of the international market. The company has gone to great lengths in bringing global best practice standards into their home country such as hiring qualified personnel with the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors. Broll Ghana wants to be compared to the leading names in Europe or North America and achieving this has meant becoming the premier figure in the domestic market. With property becoming an increasingly important part of Ghana’s economy, Broll Ghana’s work can be seen as playing an increasingly important part in national development. They are a lighthouse for international investors, bringing capital into the country and ensuring it remains within the economy, as well as voltage to the jobs market by providing employment to youth and university graduates. Crucially, skilled work positions are available that raise the bar across the board. “We provide training programs to develop young graduates into professionals. We take them through a career path. This is something we do yearly; we go to the universities and pluck up good young graduates through graduate programs that will provide them with skills that contribute back to the national pool,” explains Mr. Ampong.

He goes on to say that one of the most important achievements made by Broll Ghana has been keeping focused on the company’s original task: “We have brought to the fore the importance of building maintenance in the country. Through introducing information and skills, people are more mindful of upkeep and management of properties now than they were before. Our managing of the Western-style malls in the country has been the best promotion of this. With them on the market people see the benefits of maintaining what we have as opposed to always trying to make new things. Our company is the first point of call when it comes to property related services and we are happy in a modest way that we can bring the importance of these services to the Ghanaian people.”

Property Owners and investors. Broll Ghana are keen to help foster this so that property owners have a more significant influence on future government regulations. Mr. Ampong ends with a keen eye on where investors may want to look in the near future: “I think the atmosphere is good for retail development in Ghana. I believe the development of retail facilities promotes investment in light industrial properties, especially warehouses or distribution centers linked to retail centres. This is one area I would encourage investors to go in. Retailers need storage facilities and they can’t store all their wares at one place because the risks involved are huge. We would encourage people to invest in such centers. Broll Ghana can then help those investors to manage and maintain them.” c

NEW INROADS Looking forward, Broll Ghana have already identified areas that their services can expand into. Corporate Real Estate services and commercial brokerage services, both of which are growing in the Ghanaian property sector, will be the core focuses over the coming years. The company is already on the hunt for transaction managers to support these responsibilities. Strengthening the wider market is also part of the company’s plans through the formation of the Ghana Property Owners Association which will provide a single, united voice that can articulate the needs of SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE

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FULL STEAM AHEAD Sustainable Business Magazine speaks to Karl Siegel Jr., Director of Marketing at MBHE Group, about evolving a company, new opportunities in renewable energy, and turning the lights on for Africa.

MBHE Group is a renewable energy company based in Johannesburg, South Africa. Founded as MBH Energy in 1996 by Karl Siegel Sr. as a boiler design and manufacturing company, MBHE spent several years acquiring a track record of success in the Southern African sugar and paper sector before they received a project from the Central Energy Fund for a 8.4 megawatt (MW) biomass power plant – a turning point in the history of the company. “When the order came through for the biomass plant, that was the moment that really opened our eyes to renewable energy and its potential,” says Karl Siegel 18 | SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE

Jr., Director at MBHE Group and son of its founder. Having spent years perfecting a complete turnkey package for all types of medium pressure water tube boilers, this expansion into renewables gave rise to sister company MBHE African Power. African Power’s focus has been primarily in renewable energy project development, focusing on the design, implementation, and ownership of operational energy assets that lead to sustainability and cleaner production. These projects include technologies in biomass, biogas, and solar, and the company is now adding waste energy to its portfolio. Today, following a recent restructuring, MBHE Group consists not only of the origi-

nal boiler design company and MBHE African Power for renewables, but also MBHE Operations & Maintenance (O&M), which is an arm dedicated to handling small scale operations and maintenance of renewable energy assets as well as providing technical and administrative management services on behalf of the shareholders within the various project companies. In addition MBHE O&M offers energy audits, installation of energy monitoring systems, and billing reconciliation for their clients RENEW AND IMPROVE In 2013, MBHE was awarded the contract from Namibian state utility NamPower to

rehabilitate the firing equipment for the Van Eck Power Station, located in northern Windhoek. Having been mothballed nearly eight years previously, it was MBHE’s task to renew and improve the firing equipment on all four boilers within the plant. “We went into the 120MW station and replaced all of the firing equipment for the boilers in such a way that they could diversify their fuels,” says Mr. Siegel. “Now they are not firing only on coal, they are able to fire on a wide variety of renewable fuels mixed in with the coal. We're looking at things like torrefied wood chips and refuse derived fuels, which they can mix in small amounts with the coal.” Van Eck Power Station also marked a starting point for an important partnership with the United States Trade and Development agency and States-based engineering company Black & Veatch (BV), who have become the de facto assisting technical engineers for MBHE.

WASTE-TO-ENERGY This partnership has come together again more recently with a 12MW waste to energy plant joint venture. Announced in June 2016, the waste-to-energy plant is located in the Drakenstein Municipality of Western Cape, South Africa, and will be the first of its kind not just in the country but the whole of Southern Africa. Financed by the U.S. Trade and Development Agency and the Development Bank of South Africa through the IIPSA Fund, the plant will divert up to 500 tons of solid waste from landfill per day to be converted into 12.6MW of electricity. MBHE is the lead developer for the project which will see the separation of waste streams into wet for anaerobic digestion and dry for direct combustion. “We’ll be taking the waste away from landfills then selling the electricity back to the local municipality,” explains Mr. Siegel. “It is a very exciting project for us.” Financial closing on the project is expected at the end of 2017.


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MBHE does not only work on largescale projects. They recently completed a contract fitting a 300 kilowatt solar photovoltaic array to the roof of a meat processing factory and are currently involved in other solar photovoltaic installations ranging from 200kW to 2MW. CUTTING-EDGE MBHE plays a significant role in environmental sustainability for the region. “The

products we are offering are definitely reducing carbon emissions,” explains Mr. Siegel. “We are looking at long-term benefits in all areas. Even on existing factories that we have gone into and changed things, we include a full energy audit to see what the power quality is, how they are using it, and checking on the efficiencies. We had one on a saw mill where over 30% of the power was being wasted. That’s a lot of money, so they needed improved efficien-

Level 2 Black owned Company Contact number: Jason 072 299 7459 Email: 20 | SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE

cies across the board. Our work managed to get them up to 98%. We make sure a whole system is running efficiently before we include any add-ons. Afterwards, we provide monitoring as well, so if there are any problems we know before they do.” MBHE invests in some of the most cutting-edge technology available on the market. As sustainable technologies progress rapidly, offering better and better efficiencies, this plays an essential role

in staying at the forefront of the market. These investments are accompanied by extensive training, so that all MBHE employees know how to use the available programs, materials, and equipment in the best way possible. ENDLESS OPPORTUNITY The company is fast growing to be one of the most prominent renewable energy companies in Southern Africa and MBHE

Group always make sure they’re looking towards the opportunities of the future. While the group continues to look at sustainability improvements in existing sectors, like boilers and solar, they also invest in new kinds of projects, like the Drakenstein Municipality waste-to-energy plant – and always with an eye towards improving living standards for the people of the region. “There is an app on my phone that, when you switch it on, shows you where the

planet is dark and where it is light,” says Mr. Siegel. “At night time it shows all these little man-made lights across all different parts of the globe but when you look at Africa there are barely any. It's blackness. MBHE Group are aiming to change that. It’s going to take some time because of its enormity. There are so many areas that get absolutely no power. Yet that also means an endless opportunity for us to focus on bringing power to the people of Africa.” c


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NETWORKS Sustainable Business Magazine speaks to Nicolas Marcel, Director of Digistics, about efficient, environmentally-friendly distribution in South Africa.


the employee roster from 30 to 300, and distribution hubs from two to five. Since then, Digistics has consistently grown in excess of 15% per annum, operating as the pivotal point between international brand organizations and individual franchisees, who may own a single QSR outlet or multiple branches throughout South Africa. One of the key fundamental success factors for Digistics is assured supply and delivery of products reliably and steadily to every QSR. “The franchisor will choose a product and the formulation of that prod-

uct,” explains Nicolas Marcel, Director of Digistics. “Then they appoint us to procure that product on their behalf. We sell it on to the franchisee at a specified price and to standardized quality specifications.” It is Digistics’ responsibility to maintain the product quality and specifications from

Digistics is a South African logistical solutions provider, specializing in multi-temperature distribution for the Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) industry. Set up in 1996 by the Anderson Dubose Company to provide a dedicated distribution service for McDonald’s, the first of which opened in South Africa the previous year. Digistics expanded quickly to meet demand as McDonald’s rapidly increased their footprint opening restaurants around the country. In 2003, Digistics acquired the distribution contract with KFC, prompting a further period of dramatic growth, and by 2006, when Digistics added King Pie to their client list, the business had grown by 600%, SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE

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the time they pick it up from the supplier until it reaches the backdoor of the franchisee’s restaurant. Where necessary, Digistics also imports some of the brand’s products into South Africa from globally approved suppliers while complying with all the relevant country specific legislations. Today, the company handles more than 2.4 million cases [of product] per month


from seven distribution centers located in Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town, and Port Elizabeth. RAPID RESPONSE Digistics’ national network has made it possible to achieve an exceptional monthly order reliability of 99.89%. This achievement has been part of a challenging but re-

warding journey. 2003 saw rapid expansion within all their key clients and resulted in a four year period of intensive growth and associated pressures. “One of our biggest challenges at the time was just the incredible physical capacity requirements needed for that type of growth,” says Mr. Marcel. Once the facilities were constructed, they faced the challenge of up-scaling

their business infrastructure, resources, and organizational structures to match the ever changing demands of their clients. One of the most important improvements made was the restructuring of various functions to focus predominantly on the ‘customer experience’. Previously, each distribution center had a single general manager overseeing the whole warehouse’s activities. In response to the new demands, Digistics introduced a regional senior management level, with dedicated managers responsible for each of the three core areas - Customer Service, Transport Infrastructure, and Warehouse Infrastructure. These managers are then answerable to the general manager, whose role is to co-ordinate and oversee the operations of the warehouse. Today, as a result of this restructuring, Digistics is able to serve more than 3500 QSRs with just 180 vehicles and a delivery window of just 45 minutes. LEAN AND GREEN The Logistics Industry has a definite impact on the environment and as such, efficiency in Digistics’ distribution network is a necessity, leading to cost reductions and greatly reduced carbon emissions.


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Energy efficiency is also an economic must for Digistics. Over the past four years alone, electricity in South Africa has nearly tripled in price. Digistics’ warehouses push the envelope on environmental performance with every distribution center being specially laid out and equipped to offer maximum energy efficiency. Digistics uses the most eco-friendly equipment

available and even the walls in the distribution centers are designed to reduce energy consumption. Digistics’ fleet plays an important role in maintaining the energy optimization of the distribution centers. “Because we only keep 7 to 10 days of stock in our warehouses, they are not massive infrastructure holdings,” says Mr. Marcel. “We literally optimize

every square meter in our warehouses and employ the same space for multiple uses. For example, our loading area and receiving area is the same space.” Digistics uses the most fuel efficient state-of-the-art vehicles currently available to ensure each of the 3500 QSR outlets they serve have a consistent two-to-threeday stock delivery cycle, which means food remains fresh at the point of sale. The shortterm expense of investment into the best vehicles and technology is paid off by the long-term savings achieved through energy and time efficiency. COUNTING THE KILOMETERS The key metric Digistics use to measure environmental and efficiency performance is the number of crates delivered per kilometer traveled, or crates per km. Many efficiencies are made with the intention of improving this figure, achieved through increasing the number of products delivered by each vehicle in each journey. As business grows, the absolute number of km clocked up by Digistics’ fleet


continues to increase, but in turn greater and greater volumes of product are being delivered for each km. A single crate may travel up to 12,000 kms today, and with more than 2.4 million crates delivered on a monthly basis the crates per km becomes important in defining an increasingly efficient network and reduced negative impact on the environment. EMPLOYEE POWER “One of the things we’re very proud of is the growth in our employee base,” says Mr. Marcel. “We understand the critical importance of job creation in South Africa and strive to be an employer of choice. This year alone we have added 76 new employees to our organization and in an economy where all you hear about is the economic downturn, to be able to add those new employees is a great achievement. Today we employ over 900 employees.” Digistics also helps employees connect with and contribute to local charities and charitable work. Employees participate in everything from going into local schools to provide career advice to children to working at one of the Government Hospital ‘Family Rooms’ for a day through the Ronald McDonald House Charities. Digistics ensure that every employee is not only given time off from their regular working schedule to undertake this voluntary work,

but that they continue to receive their full wage for those days off. BEYOND THE BACK DOOR Looking to the future, Digistics is preparing for what they call the next level of QSR distribution: Reaching beyond the back door. At present, the company’s responsibilities end when the products they carry leave the back of the truck and enter the QSR outlet’s own storage space, but the company believe that the supply chain could become even more efficient if they took control of the warehouses at both ends. “We’ve got 3500 ‘assets’ at the moment, so in theory there are 3500 mini warehouses out there,” says Mr. Marcel. “What if we could use each of those mini warehouses? That concept just explodes the whole distribution footprint in a different dimension. It simplifies restaurant management, enabling them to focus on making good food rather than having to worry about stock levels or storage space, while we are able to improve the efficiency of our expertise, which is distribution.” Clients have expressed enthusiasm for the concept, and Digistics are approaching a point of being able to pilot it. “For me and the entire organization, we’re really looking forward to its implementation,” says Mr. Marcel. “We believe that this will take the distribution of QSR to the next level.” c


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REAL VALUES Sustainable Business Magazine speaks to Chris Graham, founder and Managing Director of the Real Meat Company, about how his company’s growth has tied into sustainable meat production.

The Real Meat Company is a meat processing company offering pork and beef products to restaurants, hotels, guest houses, and butchers throughout Zambia, including its nationally-known smoked Hungarian sausage. Based in Lusaka, the Real Meat Company started in 1997 as Zampork Limited, supplying the Zambeef range of butchers with pork products. Zambeef outlets were located inside Shoprite supermarkets and provided Zampork Limited, which at the time had only 20 employees, with experience of commercial-scale supplying. Significant changes began in 2001, when the company opened a renovated facility containing an abattoir and processing capabilities. With this modernized building the newly titled Real Meat Company grew steadily until 2013. “In 2013 we decided to revamp the entire factory and facilities to re-equip it once again with more modern equipment,” says founder and Managing Director of the Real Meat Company, Chris Graham. “We realized there were a lot of inefficiencies in our existing business so the whole layout was redesigned. We installed more modern equipment so that we would be able to produce double the volume of products with the same number of employees.” The renovation was completed in mid-2014, marking the beginning of a new

chapter in Real Meat Company’s story, one that has seen the company expand to more than 500 employees and take responsibility for three processing facilities throughout Zambia. INTERNATIONAL PEDIGREE Following the opening of the renovated facility in 2014, Mr. Graham was approached by German agribusiness company Amatheon Agri Holding with an offer to buy a majority shareholding in his company. Amatheon Agri Holding are based in Berlin but operate in the sectors of farming, trading, and food processing within sub-Saharan Africa, having quickly grown throughout Zambia, Uganda, and Zimbabwe. Amatheon Agri Holding’s controlling stake in the Real Meat Company was finalized in September 2014, at the same time as the company acquired three other Zambian businesses as part of a strategy for creating a meat value cluster in the region. More Beef Ltd supplies beef to the butchers at Pick ‘n’ Pay Stores. Once acquired by Amatheon Agri, it was immediately taken under the wing of Mr. Graham and his team due to More Beef’s poor performance and has since become a high-performing member of the group. In early 2015, the German group also acquired Best Beef, and Best Pork. SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE

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Together the companies today comprise Real Meat Africa Company Ltd and possess three facilities in addition to Real Meat Company’s own. These are the pork and beef abattoir facilities owned by Best Pork and Best Beef, as well as a new beef abattoir in the town of Choma, commissioned in 2015. SUSTAINABLE PRODUCTION One of the sources of the Real Meat Company’s success has been their implementa-

tion of sustainable practices, beginning with their overhauled abattoir and processing facilities. As a result of efficiency measures, the company has been able to double production volume with a barely increased footprint, resulting in a huge relative decrease in the use of electricity. These savings can then be passed on to customers. “I saw the benefit of joining up with Amatheon Agri because bigger can mean stronger,” Mr. Graham says. “The economies

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of scale change drastically. When there were three companies there were three different logistics infrastructures to operate and look after but now we are in the process of running that down to just one system for the entire Zambian group. This is having a very positive impact on our carbon footprint.” Real Meat Company also source all of their livestock domestically, purchasing pork and beef from both larger commercial-scale farms and small-scale farmers.

The company focus on reliability, supporting farmers able to provide a consistent supply throughout the year so that their operations can be as efficient as possible. What’s more, the quality grading system adopted by the Real Meat Company seven years ago, with only the animals meeting the highest quality being selected by the company, has had a knock-on effect, raising the standard of meat throughout the Zambian farming community.

they can use to pay for education for their children and important things like that,” explains Mr. Graham. The effect of this investment has been a reduction in staff turnover over the last few years, which benefits the company. “Members of staff take their work commitments very seriously now,” says Mr. Graham. “In turn, this helps support the sustainability of the company, as the workforce are really the foundation of your business.”

ZAMBIAN PROSPERITY Partly as a result of the Real Meat Company’s efforts, domestically-produced processed meat products have experienced a dramatic increase in popularity in Zambia over the past ten years. By reducing reliance on imports and keeping Zambian money within the country, this process has played a part in the nation’s improving economy. The Real Meat Company, however, is not content just to contribute to national prosperity. The company also invests directly in the wellbeing of employees. “Since the reorganization in 2013 we introduced productivity schemes, whereby each section in the company is appraised and the more work an individual does, the higher the remuneration is,” says Mr. Graham. “Alongside this, we’ve helped our employees to open bank accounts and take out loans from the bank so they can afford to buy their own property. This is important because the rental market in Zambia is awful.” Instead, it makes better financial sense for employees to pay off a bank loan so they can eventually have their own property. “The balance of that income is then a disposable income

CONSOLIDATING ACTIONS Zambia has changed a lot since Mr. Graham arrived from Ireland in 1991. In particular, the economic situation has strengthened with a vastly-widened middle income bracket. These people represent an important sector to Real Meat Company because they have

financial independence and spending power as well as a growing desire for higher-quality meat, something that the company is leading the market with. In order to continue supplying high-quality products at all price ranges, Real Meat Company are looking to continue streamlining their operations. “We’re already in a situation at the moment where we have plans drawn up to amalgamate the two sites here in Lusaka,” explains Mr. Graham. “We are going to put the pork abattoir and processing facility and the beef abattoir and processing facility onto a single site. It will be a state-of-the-art joint abattoir with a new processing factory and a new distribution system that will really accentuate the benefits of amalgamating all three companies together.” c


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Sustainable Business Magazine speaks to Esko Mustamäki, CEO of Arctech Helsinki Shipyard Inc., about facilitating trade in challenging conditions, innovative approaches to shipbuilding, and world firsts.


Arctech Helsinki Shipyard Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Russian United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC), is a young company drawing on a long history. The company was established in 2010, but Helsinki Shipyard has been operating since 1865 in the Hietalahti district of Helsinki, Finland, where it started out building ships, carriages for trains, and horse-drawn trams. 150 years later, Helsinki has produced more than 500 ships, including icebreakers, offshore vessels, and other specialized arctic vessels. 60% of the icebreakers currently operating worldwide were built in Helsinki Shipyard, which employs 600 people full-time. WORLD FIRST Once upon a time, winter in the Grand Duchy of Finland meant the closure of all ports and the near-total halt of foreign trade. Farmers responsible for carrying mail and travelers across the Sea of Åland from Sweden risked the most dangerous sea route

in Europe during the annual ‘ice blockade’. Finally, in 1889, led by the example of the Danish icebreaker Bryderen, the Senate of Finland ordered the construction of Murtaja, which was completed the next year. This began a continuous era, lasting to the present day, in which powerful icebreakers allow merchant vessels to continue trading throughout the year. Sisu, one of the world’s first diesel-electric icebreakers, joined the Finnish fleet in 1939, and Voima, the world’s first icebreaker with two bow propellers, was completed in 1954, and continues to serve Finland as the world’s oldest operating icebreaker. Today, Arctech Helsinki Shipyard is working on another revolutionary vessel: A more environmentally-friendly icebreaker for the Finnish government, powered by low-carbon-emitting LNG. In 2012, the Finnish government budgeted €125 million for a new icebreaker, and in 2013, the Finnish Transport Agency awarded the SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE

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construction contract to Arctech Helsinki Shipyard. “The Finnish Transportation Agency outlined some years ago how energy consumption and the type of energy they are using is of importance to them,” explains Esko Mustamäki, CEO of Arctech Helsinki Shipyard. “They wanted to have a more sustainable ship on the energy side, and LNG was the obvious solution.” POLARIS The icebreaker is also designed for a very long lifecycle of fifty years. “Most other types of vessel need to be replaced in twenty-five years,” says Mr. Mustamäki. “For this, the Finnish Transportation Agency wanted more longevity, which was taken into account in the design of the vessel. It’s important in terms of sustainability that it is designed so it can run all those years.”


The new ship, named Polaris was delivered in September 2016. “We have a very strong, in-house engineering department, which allows us to work on these kinds of innovative projects,” says Mr. Mustamäki. “We build a lot of prototype vessels; this was the approach of Helsinki Shipyard even many years before Arctech started. This has been a very important project for us, so we’re ensuring everything is perfect.” BESPOKE SHIPBUILDING Arctech always customize their designs to the requirements of the customer. “Unlike some shipyards in Asia, in our business an owner will need only one vessel of any particular design, or if we’re lucky two or three,” says Mr. Mustamäki. “So most of our vessels are prototypes designed for a particular need. The customer sets down all the requirements regarding things like capacity,

quality level, and any other details for our starting point, then we custom-design the vessel. We don’t sell standard vessels; every one is created based on the needs of the specific customer.” Another unusual design Arctech worked on was Baltika, the world’s first icebreaker capable of operating obliquely. “It has an asymmetric hull, so that it breaks the ice downwards when the vessel is moving sideways,” says Mr. Mustamäki. “It’s not a new idea – it’s around 20 years old – but ship owners are rather conservative, and to sell this vessel was not an easy task. The reason the concept was created was the number of big tankers operating in the Gulf of Finland area has been increasing over the last ten years, and some of these tankers are much bigger than the icebreakers here. This leads to a situation where in heavy ice conditions every tanker might need two icebreakers

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to assist them. The solution was to create a rather small vessel which is able to create a wide channel in the ice, which is why it moves sideways. It has now been in operation for one winter, and we hope that if the experience is good, ship owners will want more of this type of vessel. It’s a very, very special product.”

SUSTAINABLE OPERATIONS Arctech Helsinki Shipyard ensure their operations are as efficient and cost-effective as possible. “We plan our production to minimize the labor needed,” says Mr. Mustamäki. “That means we do block outfitting rather than outfitting a ready-made hull, and so on.” In traditional shipbuilding,

the hull of the ship is completed before any smaller internal units of machinery or piping are installed. Block outfitting refers to the practice of building the hull in ‘blocks’ and installing the units of the ship at the same time, then welding the blocks together to form the complete hull. Block outfitting is much more time-efficient, and allows

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shipyard employees to avoid overhead welding, which is more difficult and dangerous than welding down-hand. “We plan all aspects of the production to ensure it is as efficient and sustainable as possible,” says Mr. Mustamäki. Personnel aboard an arctic vessel often work in highly challenging conditions. As a result, safety is an essential aspect of the design and construction of Arctech’s ships. “For a vessel operating in the Arctic, it is always a remote area, which means you’re not able to easily receive help if you are in

trouble,” explains Mr. Mustamäki. “We talk about safety both in terms of the product, and in terms of our shipyard operations. We make sure there is never any risk-taking at all. We’re always being audited by our customers, who come in with input for our operations, and then of course the classification body audits us too. We believe safety is something which can never be taken for granted; it’s always a continuous process, and it can always be improved. We put a lot of effort into that, and it’s extremely important to us.”

As for the future of Arctech, it always comes down to the next customer and the next set of needs and requirements. “We never know what type of vessel will come next,” says Mr. Mustamäki. “We have a few projects in the pipeline. The latest additions to our order book are four icebreaking offshore vessels and a tanker. We have noticed more and more of the ship owners are interested in LNG-driven vessels – and not only icebreakers. We hope that as that interest continues we can secure more orders.” c ESKO MUSTAMÄKI, CEO OF ARCTECH HELSINKI SHIPYARD INC.


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Sustainable Business Magazine speaks to George Kitoudis, Technical and Operations Manager at The meeco Group, about an international portfolio of customized solar solutions. The meeco Group is a clean energy provider headquartered in Switzerland. Based on an 80-year old family energy business, the group was consolidated in May 2000, and in the 16 years since has developed an international network of subsidiaries and joint ventures, founding companies in Spain, Italy, Greece, France, Germany, India, Mauritius,


the USA, South Africa, the United Kingdom, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, Canada, Pakistan, and the Caribbean. With over 80 employees within the management level in the clean energy and energy storage fields working across five continents, The meeco Group offers advisory services, turnkey solutions, and asset management around the world.


SUPPORTING CLIENTS The meeco Group combines top-tier technologies and advanced materials with a broad range of services to create customised clean energy projects, with a particular focus on solar projects. The company partners with clients throughout the whole process of developing a project, providing services during the planning and implementation stages, and then continuing their involvement during operations through technical monitoring and management of the installations. “We make it our priority to create innovative energy projects, but also to adjust our projects to the clients’ needs,” says

George Kitoudis, Technical and Operations Manager at The meeco Group. “To set the basis for a successful project, our services begin with the identification of suitable sites and the development of strategies. We provide financial and project planning advice, including project assessments and recommendations and access to debt and equity funds. Then our engineers, consultants, and project planners closely accompany and guide the implementation of the solar plants, the monitoring, the on-going operations, and maintenance.” The meeco Group’s renewable energy solutions can be designed for either grid-connected or off-grid use, enabling CECILIAS RESTAURANT, ANTIGUA. PVENERGY.


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THE MEECO GROUP ernment-owned buildings will be equipped with rooftop solar systems. “Every week, one more school is provided with sun2roof and can therefore guarantee a constant power supply,” says Mr. Kitoudis. “The government is taking a pioneering role for the whole of the Caribbean. Especially in these regions, where the preconditions for renewables are excellent, the substitution of expensive and environmentally harmful fossil fuels by solar energy is useful and the goal of reducing the carbon footprint can be achieved within short notice.”

them to provide remote areas with clean, sustainable energy. “In remote areas, the energy provision is often based on diesel generators, which are polluting and expensive,” says Mr. Kitoudis. “Our tailor-made turnkey products allow consumers to gain independence and benefit from a reliable, sustainable energy supply.” CARIBBEAN SOLAR The meeco Group as partner in its joint venture PV Energy Ltd. has been working with the government of the twin islands of Antigua and Barbuda to provide the largest solar power plant in the region, a 3 MW peak power plant at the V.C. Bird International Airport based on meeco’s



sun2live small-to-medium scale solar energy generation and storage technology. “We’re contributing to the government’s target of achieving 20 per cent of Antigua’s electricity generated from renewables,” says Mr. Kitoudis. “A 10 MW peak clean energy project cluster has been conceived, which is being realised by PV Energy Limited.” The Antiguan airport solar installation will save 3,019.50 tons of CO2 emissions per year, covering almost the entire electricity consumption for the airport. Under this program, two further large-scale plants will be installed on the two islands, with the intention of reducing Antigua and Barbuda’s dependence on imported fossil fuel. Alongside this, schools, hospitals and gov-

POWERING AFRICA Another key project is an upcoming commercial solar installation in Zimbabwe. “Providing the African continent with renewable energy is one of our key goals,” says Mr. Kitoudis. “Africa’s conditions for renewables are outstanding thanks to one of the highest levels of solar radiation in the world, yet the continent’s energy crisis leads to daily power outages due to the production of power that does not correspond to the national demand. To be fully operational, Zimbabwe would need a daily power generation of 1,730 MWp, whereas the actual production is only about 1,200 MWp per day. We want to improve that situation.” The meeco Group, through their joint venture Onesun Solar Limited, is in the process of making agreements with Zimbabwean companies to support energy efficiency programs and to establish solar systems. “The first step on the path towards sustainable power generation is the implementation of a 215 kW commercial off-grid installation,” says Mr. Kitoudis. “It’ll be the biggest in Zimbabwe so far, and it will initiate the process to make Zimbabwe independent from fossil fuels, thereby avoiding pollution and higher costs resulting from high-maintenance diesel generators.”





LOCAL REQUIREMENTS The meeco Group always adjusts their turnkey energy solutions based on the local conditions and energy requirements. “Our international network of employees and cooperations with local partners allows us to adapt every project to the respective requirements,” says Mr. Kitoudis. “That includes the analysis of the radiation level and the base case analysis, to mention just a few examples.” A particular point for consideration when designing a PV plant is the local climate. “During the planning stage of the airport installation in Antigua and Barbuda, the base case analysis revealed that the island’s location in the hurricane zone required specifically manufactured panels and a customised mounting structure to withstand massive wind speeds easily exceeding 200 km/h,” explains Mr. Kitoudis. “Special modules characterised by thicker glass and stronger frames compared to other sites were manufactured to resist the potentially extreme weather conditions.” Then there is the building-integrated PV skylight installation meeco created in 2013 for the new Bershka fashion store in Valencia. “The whole edifice was planned to be a pioneering model of a green building in the heart of Valencia,” says Mr. Kitoudis. “We selected transparent, tailor-made solar panels and implemented a 31 kWp PV skylight, which saves more than 11.31 tons

of CO2 emissions per year. Together with local suppliers, we were able to develop a completely customized energy solution.” SUSTAINABLE INVESTMENT “Clean energy projects are not only the best choice to achieve a sustainable energy supply but also a reliable investment,” says Mr. Kitoudis. “While conventional energy generation becomes at many places more and more expensive, the prices of solar installations have drastically dropped over the past few years. The solar sector offers numerous profitable and low risk opportunities for investors to generate long-lasting returns. We support our clients in the investment process and facilitate the entry into the solar business. We manage all the administrative formalities, from the very beginning of identifying a suitable project through to the final commissioning and long-term operations and maintenance of the power plant. Investors can also rely on these monitoring and maintenance services to ensure that photovoltaic installations operate constantly, reliably and as forecasted. Our team works hard to establish investor-friendly and highly profitable solar solutions, always taking into consideration our core values of honesty, integrity, and fairness.” LOOKING FORWARD In the future, meeco plan to expand their product range and to refine their intelligent

energy management solutions. “We already offer the sun2safe solution to our customers, which is an intelligent solar power conversion, storage, and energy management tool,” says Mr. Kitoudis. “Managing self-generated energy is essential to ensure efficient utilisation. We’re also investing in further development of battery technologies. By using different technologies like vanadium, gel or lithium, we aim to find the best-suited components for each project to reach the required storage capacity as well as load and cycle functionality. We’re looking for innovative technologies that offer even more storage capacity for a longer period of time at competitive costing.” The meeco Group also intends to further invest in key markets in order to expand the reach of solar energy. “We’re enlarging our engagement in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean,” says Mr. Kitoudis. “We also want to enter new markets such as Fiji and Afghanistan, and establish cooperation with additional countries, states, and regions. The whole renewable energy sector is expanding and the influence of the solar branch, in particular, is going to strongly increase. In countries all over the world, people are learning more about the advantages and reliability of solar power. We aim to accelerate this development and to set an example by realising even more clean power concepts and fostering the provision of smart and reliable energy.” c SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE

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AGGREGATE DEMAND Salim Kutty, Company Manager of Qatar Quarry Company LLC, speaks to Sustainable Business Magazine about how the company are greening the construction industry of Qatar.

Qatar Quarry Company LLC began in 1983 as a joint venture with a UK-based partner to bring concrete and aggregate solutions to Qatar's construction industry. By the mid-1990s, the shares had been sold to international cement and aggregate corporation Lafarge during which time Qatar Quarry grew from strength to strength. In July 2015 Lafarge merged with 42 | SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE

fellow sector powerhouse Holcim, making LafargeHolcim the parent company of Qatar Quarry today. During their lifetime, Qatar Quarry have operated a total of four quarries mining limestone and gabbro. These quarries have slowly been shut down over the years with the most recent having been closed in 2012 after the Qatari government realized they

needed a reservoir to cope with the country's increasing water demands. The closure of this quarry, however, provided time and space for Qatar Quarry to reconsider their path towards the future. Taking cues from their parent company's sustainability targets for 2020, which included a 20% recycled aggregates in all worldwide concrete production, a decision was made to pioneer the recycled aggregate process in Qatar. GOT THE SKILLS One of Qatar Quarry’s proudest traits is their ability to deliver honest, reliable work in a region where this is not always guaranteed from contractors. Because of this the company has gained a glowing reputation, leading them to have gained work with some of the biggest projects in the region. Quality is crucial when it comes to the aggregate business. To give one example, a roadway will typically comprise five layers stacked one on top of the other, the topmost being asphalt and unbound aggregate forming the lower layers. If material quality

is bad and a layer needs to be repaired after a higher layer has already been laid then the impact to the project's money and time can be very costly. Being able to deliver quality aggregate first time is paramount and that is something Qatar Quarry have spent three decades building a reputation on. Salim Kutty, Company Manager of Qatar Quarry, highlights a milestone project in the company's history that illustrates this: “In 2007 we completed 20 million tons of aggregate during the Ras Laffan Port Expansion project. There was an existing port and construction was to build a new main breakwater and a new lee breakwater to form the boundary of the port. There were a lot of berths, terminals, and jetties built in between too. The port is used mainly for export of oil and gas, the backbone of our economy, and so is very prestigious.” “In that year we were doing a project, Ras Laffan Industrial City, that totaled 36m tons over three years, an average of a million tons a month. Our monthly peak was two million tons and daily peak was 84,000 tons in 24 hours, it was phenom-

enal. To confidently commit ourselves to such volumes required expertise. We have been very careful in what we can promise to clients but once we commit we will always perform in terms of both quality and quantity. We are a genuine supplier and people believe what we say.” The Ras Laffan project reflects a company with excellent operational efficiency so it is no surprise that Qatar Quarry have become favorites within the region. With this backing them up, the company set out on a road less traveled. OLD WASTE, NEW CHALLENGES The use of recycled material for aggregates does not have a positive reputation in Qatar. In part this is cultural, but the method has also suffered from badly executed previous attempts in the country. As such, Qatar Quarry have faced an uphill struggle since their redirection in 2012. “We lobbied local authorities to incorporate recycled aggregates into national specifications because, unless you do that, contractors will not purchase it,” says SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE

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Mr. Kutty. “It took two long years working with local authorities to get recycled aggregates specified for unbound materials and concrete – although to date it still hasn't been specified for asphalt. Now we have managed to get through that, even getting into construction specification, but still many project designers have inhibitions. They are suspicious about the quality. It is taking us time to convince clients.” The company also faces the unusual hurdle of having to pay higher royalties. Unlike many parts of the world where tax exemptions are used to encourage environmentally friendly behavior such as recycling,


local laws mean Qatar Quarry are currently paying three to four times the amount in royalties compared to companies tapping primary reserves. This has been taken in the company's stride. “With the benefit of hindsight, I can say that in the short term it was not profitable, definitely not,” says Mr. Kutty. “Instead we approached this more like an R&D project to see how things work. This country is going through a huge upgrade, while at the same time primary rock sources are depleting. There will be big problems if everything needs to be imported because the ports are already

jammed. I can see recycling as the future not least because the aggregate is closer so haulage costs are lower. It is the future but the question is who will take the initial risk? Once the market accepts the product then there will be more people entering this business. We see ourselves as doing that hard work.” Concrete and aggregates are reaching a breaking point in Qatar. Large scale importation of primary reserves mean that ships carrying limestone and related materials are facing delays of up to 70 days, making the industry increasingly financially prohibitive. When laying this side-by-side with the fact

that there is more than 80 million tons of construction and demolition waste in landfill, a figure that grows by five million each year, the solution seems obvious. It is a solution that will need a strong figure at the helm and, given their performance history and reputation, Qatar Quarry look like they can be this figure. PERFORMANCE UNITY A major motivation for Qatar Quarry‘s move into recycled aggregate materials was the 2012 commitment by their parent company Lafarge to have 20% recycled materials by 2020 across their worldwide concrete operations. The newly merged LafargeHolcim Group has a circular economy-related sustainability ambition of supplying 26 million tons of recycled aggregates by the year 2030. This global sustainable development benchmark is just one of many throughout the LafargeHolcim network. These international standards trickle down through every aspect of Qatar Quarry, giving them KPIs and performance expectations that are incredibly high. The most important of these by far is the health and safety standards of their operations, something that the company go out of their way to instill at every level of their structure through extensive training, awareness raising, and operational planning. No outdoor work between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. due to the heat of the day, for example, or particularly thorough training for employees with culturally different standards.

“Overall, as a group, our overarching priorities are policy and health and safety and then below that we have five pillars that we call customer, results, integrity, sustainability, and people. These manifest themselves in KPIs including utilization factor, production factor, man-hours per ton, water footprint, energy footprint, and CO2 footprint that we constantly monitor. Those five pillars guide our operations towards a business that is not only economically profitable but environmentally sustainable as well,” states Mr. Kutty. When Qatar Quarry received an ISO 9000 in 1997, they were the first aggregates company in the region to do so. Their commitment to environmentally friendly practice has been longstanding and not simply a secondary factor to other areas of operation. Together, these have given the company the confidence to follow the path of upfront honesty and reliable commitment for which they have become known and with which they will carve a new sector in Qatar.

reward comes much later, but I think our reputation has started bearing fruits now and in the long term it will begin to pay off for us and for the country.” “The future of aggregates is recycling and the authorities need to support that in whichever way they can because it is a win-win for everybody from a sustainability point of view. Our planned process is about three million tons per year, which is quite big, but we have the reserves and the market demand. All we need is the right support from authorities, then I think we will have the potential to be one of the biggest in the world when it comes to aggregate recycling.” c

THE BIGGEST AND BEST Qatar Quarry are not aiming small. “To be honest, we believe we can be one of the biggest aggregate companies in the world with our recycling operations,” says Mr. Kutty. Yet he also recognizes that the route to the top will not be a straightforward or easy one, as illustrated by the company's experiences so far. “Personally, I am very passionate about sustainability. Sometimes it takes a while and a lot of effort and the SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE

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RECYCLED Sustainable Business Magazine speaks to Menel Hamdi, Executive Secretary to Managing Director Stefano Campagna, about the unique end-to-end waste treatment solutions that Sharaf Viax General Trading has introduced to the Middle East.

Sharaf Viax General Trading LLC is a recently-established joint venture between two much older organizations: Sharaf HQ Investments, an investment subsidiary of 46 | SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE

the highly diversified Dubai-based Sharaf Group, and Viax Consorzio Export, an Italian specialist in turnkey technologies for surface and waste treatment. By combining their

client and supply chain networks, the two groups have sought to deliver high-quality recycling and waste treatment solutions throughout the Middle East and Gulf Coop-

plants, working with clients across the world. Leading brands associated with the Italian group include OMSG, a manufacturer of shot blasting machines; IMEL, a designer and fabricator of industrial finishing plants for treating and coating materials; Tecam, a designer of wastewater treatment plants; ITACA, a mechanical and chemical water conditioning company; and Airprotech, a designer and manufacturer of air cleaning systems for industrial use. With strong research and development (R&D) departments throughout their operations, Viax Consorzio Export also holds a wide range of patents, meaning they can offer unique solutions to the market. One subsidiary company, Ecostar, holds a patent for special disc screens in recycling processors which offer superior anti-clogging capabilities. Another subsidiary, Aus-

tep, has a unique waste recycling plant that produces fuel gas from solid waste at a municipal scale. These patented solutions have often been achieved through not only in-house R&D but also close collaboration with universities and technical colleges across the world. The wide range of companies and solutions available from Sharaf Viax means they are able to offer not only plants and equipment but also total life cycle services including installation, set up, maintenance, and repairs. “We give full solutions to the customers,” says Ms. Hamdi. “We provide customized solutions starting from the feasibility study to the commissioning and maintenance. We will make sure that the machine works properly with the customer after commissioning, and give training to the technical staff of the company on how

eration Council (GCC) region. Sharaf Viax is the Dubai-based commercial office of the group, entrusted with handling all commercial aspects including sales, maintenances, promotions, presentations, marketing, and client-side queries. “We are here to share our Italian technology, machines, and turnkey plant solutions with the region to solve some serious problems with the community, health, and environment,” says Menel Hamdi, Executive Secretary to Sharaf Viax Managing Director Stefano Campagna. “Our office here is for targeting countries of the Middle East and GCC region. With our technology we are able to offer solutions that treat absolutely any kind of waste with no leftover.” DIVERSE EXPERTISE Viax Consorzio Export has decades of history, having grown from several small engineering firms into a major name in surface treatment and waste treatment SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE

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to use it appropriately. Our engineers and technicians will support them from the start and through the entire life of the solution.” HEROES FOR ZERO WASTE Sharaf Viax offers their clients the opportunity to recycle and reuse all forms of waste, making businesses more environmentally

friendly while also saving and earning them money. Ms. Hamdi outlines exactly how this works: “Whatever the waste is, our technologies can recycle it and from that the client will get a second raw material that can be sold and reused. As an example, we can get copper, aluminum, iron, and plastic from recycled refrigerators, as well as rubber

and steel from recycled tires. And for the raw materials that could not be reused, we can transform it into energy. This concept is called ‘waste-to-energy’.” With a wide network of subsidiaries and technologies, Sharaf Viax offers comprehensive services covering all aspects of waste management and treatment. One long-term goal the company holds for their customers and the region is to reduce the volume of waste going to landfill to zero. They have already begun working with Dubai Municipality to provide waste treatment solutions on a large scale, the only company working with the Municipality in this capacity. MULTIPLE ANGLES Sharaf Viax also offers plants and equipment to tackle the problem of emissions into the air and water. Tecam designs and


Sharaf Viax also extend their services to a small number of other industries. FP International, for example, is part of the commercial vending machine sector, while IBF specializes in industrial pasta machines. Another subsidiary, Movin, offers bespoke services for goods handling and storage. CLEAN FUTURE Despite being a young company, Sharaf Viax has already achieved success with private and public sector clients throughout the GCC region. In addition to their work with Dubai Municipality, Sharaf Viax has worked with other companies in the waste management and treatment industry. The reputation and quality that Viax Consorzio Export plants command has been instrumental in this respect, with the group’s patented technologies making Sharaf Viax a desirable partner for companies across many industries.

“We have found that many of the big and important companies in the region are asking us to provide them with turnkey systems to manage their waste,” explains Ms. Hamdi. “Some of them have organic waste and others have plastic waste. Some might have metallic waste. In the end, though, all of them are asking for our help in finding a solution, something we are very proud of considering we are a very new company in the GCC. We are providing a complete solution to the community to deal with their waste, reduce the size of landfills, save the environment and human health, and earn money, with our approach of 100% profit from waste. Our plan for the future is to continue providing high levels of nature-friendly technology, with a goal to become one of the leaders in the waste treatment, water treatment, and air treatment sectors for the Middle East and GCC region.” c

builds plants for the treatment of waste water within many different sectors including shipping and aeronautical industries, metallurgy, agriculture, pharmaceuticals, and commercial food production. Tecam uses conventional, innovative, and unique patented technologies to achieve its goals. Another Viax Consorzio Export subsidiary, Airprotech, is key to Sharaf Viax’s air purification solutions. Over more than 25 years, Airprotech has developed and built reliable air emissions cleaning plants such as the regenerative thermal oxidizer, a chimney emissions cleaning solution that reuses self-generated heat to offer a 96% efficiency profile. The company visits their clients before drawing up the designs of the system, to ensure that the final product is customized to the exact needs of the future operating environment. SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE

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ON US Andy Biffen, CEO of Shamal Az-Zour, speaks to Sustainable Business Magazine about one of Kuwait’s most historic power and water generation projects.


Shamal Az-Zour Al-Oula K.S.C. are responsible for a major new energy and water plant in Kuwait. The Az-Zour North development, adjoining the existing Az-Zour South site, will become an important provider of clean electricity and desalinated water to the country in the coming years. It also represents a new era for the country, being one of the biggest major private-public partnership projects to emerge following changes in regulation of power generation in 2008. Once private investment into public amenities was allowed, the Az-Zour North development was initiated by the Government of Kuwait’s Partnerships Technical Bureau – today called Kuwait Authority for Public Partnerships (KAPP) – bringing the skills and capacity of the private sector to bear on Kuwait’s national infrastructure. This was undertaken through an Independent Water and Power Project (IWPP), the first in Kuwait’s history, and tendered out to international bidders. A consortium of three investors won the bid: ENGIE, Sumitomo Corporation, and regional partner Al-Sagar. Between them they own 40% of the shares; the remaining 60% are owned by KAPP, KIA, and PIFSS. The consortium reached financial close on the contract on December 12, 2013, with construction work beginning very soon afterwards. Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) and SIDEM, an entity of

Veolia, had already been selected by the consortium as lead EPC contractors at this point: HHI are responsible for design, engineering, and procurement of the power plant, plus all construction activities on the site, with SIDEM bringing their cutting edge water desalination technology. Shamal Az-Zour (AZN1) was established as project owner and is responsible for ultimate delivery of the project under the terms and conditions of the contract between AZN1 and MEW. At the time of writing, the project was in month 30 of construction and approximately 98% complete. Project commercial operation date (PCOD) is expected to be November 26, 2016. GETTING TO THE POINT Az-Zour North has been the result of several major achievements, not least the securing of the project in the first place. Andy Biffen, CEO of Shamal Az-Zour, explains the significance: “We are the first Independent Water and Power Project (IWPP) in Kuwait. All eyes are on us as a private participant – the only private participant – in this sector. People have been watching closely to see how the company will perform going forward. To this end, it has been very good to demonstrate our success to date. The Government here will use that success going forward as a message to try to attract other private investment in Kuwait.” SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE

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The scale of Az-Zour North has been massive, with staff levels peaking at 5000 people and a total of 25 million man hours accumulated to date. Without this intense input and effort, Shamal Az-Zour could not have achieved the important early milestone of generating early power from


three gas turbine just 18.5 months after financial close. “That was a major achievement for all parties involved and we were pleased to be able to support MEW with power generation during the summer of 2015 and into the first quarter of 2016,” Mr. Biffen adds.

When fully operational, the project will represent 10% of Kuwait Power peak capacity (1,539MW) and 20% of water generation (107 million gallons per days). The project will be fueled from a blend of local gas and imported LNG. The combined power and water generation facility repre-

company’s most efficient multi-effect distillers (MEDs) available to meet the 107 million imperial gallons per day (MIGD) clean water production expected of the plant. Water drafted from the Persian Gulf will pass through a multistage process that utilizes waste thermal energy from the power plant to separate salt from water, consuming less power than comparable water distilling technologies. At full capacity this will account for 20% of Kuwait’s total drinking water needs. “The plant itself was selected on the basis that it would give the best thermal efficiency and would meet all international requirements for environmental emissions,” says Mr. Biffen. “It went hand in hand with the fact that they were trying to bid at the lowest tariff to win the project. The angle taken by the sponsors is they have selected equipment that is proven yet also top tier and cutting edge. It is the best balance of proven equipment and thermal efficiency and complies with international requirements for emissions.” ANOTHER CHALLENGE Collaboration between Shamal Az-Zour and Kuwait’s government entities has been a core factor in overcoming challenges in tak-

ing this project forward. “We have worked with many Kuwaiti departments, particularly MEW, KAPP, and Kuwait Direct Investment Promotion Authority (KDIPA). With 98% of work already completed, the project remains firmly on track for reaching PCOD by the scheduled date of November 2016. Over the coming months it will be the responsibility of various parties representing this project to ensure that things continue to be commissioned and tested smoothly, safely, and efficiently. Once Az-Zour North is fully completed it is the intention of KAPP to sell their 50% holding through a public offering. This, too, will be the first time such a thing has happened. Throughout this process, Shamal Az-Zour will support KAPP with the marketing and publicity required to generate enough interest in this sale process, which will commence in early 2017. There is a 40 year contract between MEW (representing the Government of Kuwait) and Shamal Az-Zour. This will ensure sustainability for the owners and investors as one of the most significant projects in Kuwait’s history comes to fruition. As for Mr. Biffen, having already led a similar IWPP project with Al Hidd in Bahrain, he is looking forward to other, new challenges in the region. c

sents Kuwait’s cleanest and most efficient source of electricity. Throughout these massive achievements, ENGIE and Sumitomo Corporation have been responsible for health and safety and environmental monitoring of operations. Across 25 million man hours and industry records, the project has maintained a good record of personnel and environmental safety. TECH SPEC Az-Zour North will have a total of five gas turbines and two steam turbines once completed, using combined cycle technology to improve efficiency and decrease their environmental footprint. The turbines are F Class models manufactured by General Electric, some of the most advanced and efficient currently available. Meanwhile the water desalination technology brought in by SIDEM are the SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE

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3rd - 5th

ICESR 2016 Dubai, UAE

One of the leading international conferences for presenting novel and fundamental advances in the fields of Environmental Systems Research. Serving to foster communication among researchers and practitioners working in a wide variety of scientific areas with a common interest in improving Environmental Systems Research techniques.

7th - 9th

The 2016 Conference on Earth System Governance Nairobi, Kenya

The 2016 Conference on Earth System Governance will address the overarching theme of ‘Confronting Complexity and Inequality’. This conference is the seventh in their conference series.

11th - 13th

BALEWARE 2016 Arusha, Tanzania

BALEWARE 2016 conference: Bridging Africa, Latin America, and Europe on Water and Renewable Energy Applications. Addressing common issues related to water and renewable energy.

16th - 19th

2016 IEEE International Conference on Information and Automation for Sustainability Galle, Sri Lanka

The principal theme of the International Conference on Information and Automation for Sustainability (ICIAfS) is sustainable development through effective man-machine coexistence. The 8th ICIAfS is a global forum for sharing new developments in the general areas of automation and sustainability. nairobi2016/

The ICAS 2017 Durban, South Africa

The ICAS 2017 aims to bring together leading academic scientists, researchers, and research scholars to exchange and share their experiences and research results on all aspects of anthropology and sustainability.

16th - 19th

ECOWASTE Exhibition 2017 Abu Dhabi, UAE

EcoWASTE exhibition is a leading international platform for advancing sustainable waste management and recycling across MENA and beyond. Seeing waste as a valuable economic resource, EcoWASTE exhibition brings together leading local and international experts and providers with key buyers and decision-makers.

16th - 19th

International Water Summit 2017 Abu Dhabi, UAE

The International Water Summit (IWS) is a global platform for promoting water sustainability in arid regions by bringing together world leaders, field experts, academics, and business innovators to accelerate the development of new sustainable strategies and technologies.

World Future Energy Summit Abu Dhabi, UAE

The World Future Energy Summit is the world’s most influential event dedicated to advancing renewable energy, energy efficiency, and clean technology.

WSF 2017 - The 6th World Sustainability Forum Cape Town, South Africa

The World Sustainability Forum 2017 aims at contribute not only to international debates but to enable an exchange, which sensitises the international community to the urgency, specifics, and existent knowledge base of sustainability on the African continent.

12th - 13th

16th - 19th

27th - 28th






B Bamburi Cement Beatorts Cleaning Services

P10 P16

D Dilpack Kenya Ltd E E. Prang & Co. Apparatebau GmbH & Co. KG Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC) Ethekweni Refractories CC G Galana Oil Kenya Ltd


P36 P06 P20


Ghemes Enterprises


H Harbor City Services Ltd


J Japan Port Consultants Ltd


K Kenya Maritime Authority Kenya International Freight & Warehousing Association

P08 P05

L Lloyd’s Register Group Ltd


M Mumtaz Mercantile Company Ltd


N Nedan P25 New Edge Engineering Company P16 P Power & Electricity World Africa 2017

Inside Front

R Right Consult & General Suppliers Ltd


S Schoenrock Hydraulik GmbH Symbion Mombasa Ltd

P36 P10

T Tamps Ventures Ltd Tudor Engineering Ltd

P12 P10


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