Archive | Environment

Saudi Green Building Forum Provides Green Technology Resources Powered by Greenstar Hub in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East

Saudi Green Building Forum Provides Green Technology Resources Powered by Greenstar Hub in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East

4174The SAUDI GREEN BUILDING FORUM (SGBF), a trust foundation initiated by King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, is continuing its effort to promote the King’s vision of leading the construction industry as a champion of the green building movement in the Middle East by providing green resources to professionals active in green construction and procurement.

Faisal Alfadl, Secretary General of SGBF states, “We are discussing these issues at the annual conference and the challenges facing the building materials of the construction industry, an area unsupported for eco-friendly product procurement in Saudi Arabia.” Mr. Alfadl added, “We are delighted about the opportunity to leverage GreenStar Hub’s technology in SGBF’s mission to provide point-of-access to products, service providers, vendors, and policies by the Saudi Arabian Standards Organization (SASO) to local communities that are affected by the green built environment.”

GreenStar Hub’s (GSH) CEO, Tam Phung, met with stakeholders in Riyadh. The panel discussion revealed a strong interest for green resources, technology, training, and building materials database. GSH intends to use local partners for third party certifications, logistics, and tenders fulfillment. The GSH portal for GreenStar Rated products, in collaboration with Saudi Arabia Accredited Fronds (Sa’af), a green labeled system by SGBF, and SASO will include products available locally to the 700 plus registered green-building specialists, contractors, and other stakeholders.

In March 2014, the Presidency of Meteorology and Environment (PME) decreed that all companies must meet new air, water, and noise pollution standards in five years. All projects must fit into Saudi’s plan for international development, and meet international standards as part of the environmental plan to protect Saudi’s health and natural resources. GSH is an aggregator of such green policies and international standards.

“Our intentions were to meet SGBF’s guidelines in representing local leaders and stakeholders. I was pleased to visit the Kingdom and meet leading architects, government officials, vendors, and master developers. GSH is passionate about SGBF’s initiative by building technologies using invaluable input from local stakeholders. We are excited to be supporting SGBF Resources to promote an all-inclusive set of standards and outreach for green construction and sustainability initiatives in Saudi Arabia and M.E.,” said Mr. Phung.

SGBF Resources powered by GSH will provide members access to its marketplace and catalog of green products and vendors. Developers can showcase their projects and best-practices on GSH’s GreenWall microblog platform and mobile app. Local vendors and international greentech manufacturers will be able to list products in the portal, and consultants will have access to the resource, many with SASO and Sa’af certifications.

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4188The National Water Company of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (NWC) and Veolia Environnement, the global leader in environmental services, have signed an agreement finalizing the contractual incentive fees to be paid to Veolia. As a result, Veolia will receive payment of $5 million USD related to its performance in the Riyadh Management Contract.

Working in partnership with NWC through a public-private partnership performance contract, the first of its kind in the Middle East, Veolia has been acknowledged for its excellent work over the past five years in the treatment and distribution of water in Riyadh.

His Excellency Dr Loay Al-Musallam, CEO of NWC in Saudi Arabia, said: “The signature of this amendment is an excellent way to complete successfully the Management Contract for water and wastewater services in the city of Riyadh, which will end in June this year. A lot has been accomplished jointly by NWC and Veolia teams over the past 6 years. We rely on the continued involvement and expertise of Veolia for further joint successes in the years to come.”

Frederic Fleury, CEO of Veolia in Saudi Arabia, said: “Veolia is proud to have contributed to the significant improvement of Riyadh’s water services. Joint efforts have led to shared benefits for NWC and its Riyadh City Business Unit.” He added “Veolia is committed to Saudi Arabia for the long-term and providing customers with quality services. We believe arrangements like the one Veolia has with the National Water Company benefit both parties.”

Six years after the start of the contract, the optimizations of operating methods have contributed to the significant improvement of the quality of service while, at the same time, enhance knowledge transfer and water conservation in Riyadh.

In addition to the upgrade of Riyadh’s water and wastewater networks, Veolia succeeded to overcome these challenges thanks to the implementation of several customer-oriented tools and best practices. In the meantime, people from NWC have been following an intensive training programme to enhance their technical knowledge, performance and health & safety awareness.

Key figures at a glance:

- Increase of 1 million inhabitants in the population served by the potable water network

- Increase of 1.5 million inhabitants of the population connected to the wastewater network

- Continuity of supply has ramped up from 25% to more than 50% in 2013

- Customer satisfaction has ramped up from 45% to 85%

- Network Efficiency of 82%

In an environment of scarce water resources, effluent recycling for irrigation or industrial purposes is a promising avenue for new opportunities that NWC and Veolia are actively investigating.

Veolia Environnement is a global leader in environmental solutions. It has been operating in the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia, for 20 years and has approximately 4,000 of employees in the GCC. The company provides tailored solutions to meet the needs of municipal and industrial customers in the three areas of water management, waste management and energy management.

The National Water Company, a Saudi joint stock company fully owned by the government, was established to provide water and wastewater services in accordance with the latest international standards. NWC focuses on providing drinking water of high quality for all customers, providing all households with water and wastewater connections, the preservation of natural water resources, the protection of the environment, making maximum use of the Treated Sewage Effluent (TSE), and the development and training of qualified Saudi employees in accordance with the latest international standards.

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EAD and National Geographic announce launch of GreatNature Project in UAE

EAD and National Geographic announce launch of GreatNature Project in UAE

4273The Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD) has joined forces with Abu Dhabi Global Environmental Data Initiative and the Mohammed Bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund to promote National Geographic’s now live Great Nature Project, in the United Arab Emirates.

The global initiative is designed to inspire biodiversity conservation efforts among the public, across the globe, including the UAE, and will be championed by EAD along with its partners.

People of all ages can participate in The Great Nature Project by using their camera or smart phones to document the wildlife and plants they see around them.

Once the images are captured, people can upload the images to social media sites such as Instagram or Twitter.

The images must be accompanied with the tag: #GreatNature, adding the #animal tag to any animal picture or #plant to any plant picture, and #UAE if it has been sighted in the UAE.

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Crescent Enterprises lends helping hand to Green Abu Dhabi’s mangrove clean-up

Crescent Enterprises lends helping hand to Green Abu Dhabi’s mangrove clean-up

4256A team of 30 employees from UAE-based conglomerate Crescent Enterprises recently took part in the Landmark Mangrove Project led by Green Abu Dhabi, which aims to raise awareness of the importance of environmental conservation and protecting the region’s natural habitat.

Working alongside a group of students from New York University Abu Dhabi, the volunteers spent an afternoon collecting refuse and debris as part of this local environmental initiative, which is under the patronage of His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan the Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development, with the cooperation of the Abu Dhabi Municipality and the Emirates Wildlife Society-World Wildlife Fund.

Chief Executive Officer of Crescent Enterprises, Badr Jafar, said, “Corporate social responsibility has always been a key priority of Crescent Enterprises, especially on a level that directly affects our community, so to have this opportunity to reinforce change through a hands-on approach, makes our partnership with Green Abu Dhabi and collaboration with New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) students even more personally significant and effective. We are honoured to actively participate in The Cleaning of the Mangroves this year and look forward to engaging future generations to do the same.”

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LG’s ‘Eid’ bus spreads joy among children across Jordan

LG’s ‘Eid’ bus spreads joy among children across Jordan

370In celebration of Eid Al Fitr and in line with its ongoing social activities, LG Electronics launched its CSR Ramadan Campaign , aimed at spreading joy among less fortunate community members, The campaign involved distributing gifts to underprivileged children , raising hopes of drawing smiles on their faces during the holidays.

For 3 days, the LG “Eid bus” moved across the Kingdom targeting several orphan care centers, community centers, and centers for children with special needs. Some of the places it visited included; Jerash Gaze Camp, the Al Muhatta Orphan Care Center, the Queen Rania Family and Child Center, the Matahbit Dar Al Iman Center, the Al Nahda Orphan Care Center, , and the Jordan Specialized Center for Autism, where it distributed a total of 2000 gifts and toys to children between the ages of 3 and 11.

Commenting on this initiative, LG Electronics Levant Managing Director, Mr. Tae Hun Ryu said, “Our LG team members were very happy to participate in this campaign, where they found in mingling with the children a very rewarding experience during this holy month. LG always believes that it has a strategic role to play socially and as a result, it has and will continue to invested a lot of time and effort in its social responsibilities over the years.”

LG Electronics has embedded its social responsibilities within its overall strategy as it strives to have an active footprint within the communities in which it operates. On a yearly basis, LG Electronics develops an extensive CSR campaign hoping to reach the largest number of underprivileged people. Last year for example, the company launched its Ramadan Campaign in Jordan, Iraq, and Lebanon targeting orphaned children, cancer patients, heart patients, and other less fortunate members of the community.

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Over 150,000 Students take part in the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi’s Enviro-Spellathon Programme

Over 150,000 Students take part in the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi’s Enviro-Spellathon Programme

461The Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD) has concluded its 12th edition of the annual Enviro-Spellathon Programme. This year, has been one of the most successful for the programme with the participation of 366 schools and 150,528 students.

The Annual Enviro-Spellathon is a curriculum integrated educational programme targeting school students from the ages of four to 13years in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.

The Enviro-Spellathonaims to increase childrens’ environmental knowledge and to instil environmentally friendly behaviour in them from a young age. Since its inception, the Enviro-Spellathon was run in collaboration with the support of the Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC) and Shell Abu Dhabi.

Running annually for the past 12 years, the Enviro-Spellathon saw the participation of thousands of students across the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. This year’s edition saw EAD distribute over 151,000 awards and certificates to students and coordinators to recognise their efforts.

Besides enhancing language and vocabulary skills,the bilingual booklets published by EAD and distributed to participating students are designed to help promote eco-literacy by educating students on local flora, fauna and key environmental challenges facedin the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. The students are then asked to study these tailor-made illustrative and educational booklets before taking a graded test in English and/or Arabic.

To cater to the different age groups, the Enviro-Spellathon offers seven levels with different themes: Waste,Wildlife of the UAE, Wildlife in the Cities, Wildlife of the Desert, Wildlife of the Seas, Water is Precious and Managing our Waste.

Fozeya Ibrahim Al Mahmoud, Director of the Environmental Outreach Division, at EAD, said: “The Enviro-Spellathonis one of our longest running educational programmes. With our aim of creating a generation of environmentally aware leaders of tomorrow, it is essential that we have a long-term planning mindset. With our programmes, we follow these generations from the youngest stages through to university, equipping them with the knowledge and skills that will empower them to champion sustainable development in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.”

She added: “While participation rates continue to rise year on year, we do not measure our success in numbers. It isthe students who reaffirm to us their interest in the environment, the teachers who value the knowledge that EAD contributes to the student’s educational experience, and the parents who are proud that their children are given the tools to enable them to become responsible citizens in the future. Knowing that we are continuing to reach this community effectively and tangibly is the best indicator to the success of not only the Enviro-Spellathon programme, but all of our environmental education programmes.”

For the past 18 years, and through close collaboration with its partners, EAD has been offering schools environmental education programmes such as the Enviro-Spellathon, the Annual Environment Competition, and the Sustainable Schools Initiative. To further extend its outreach to the youth,EAD recently introduced its Sustainable Campus Initiative aimed at universities in Abu Dhabi.

EAD has strengthened its environmental education efforts through developing print and online resource materials. Its print materials include the Climate Change Series, which discusses the issue of climate change and how changing our behaviour as individuals can result in better outcomes for the environment, as well as a book on E-waste on reducing the use of electronic devices to protect the environment in the long run.

Along with its educational materials, EAD also publishes creative pieces by students such as stories which were submissions of the Annual Environment Competition. To better reach the youth and engage them through a popular medium, EAD also created the online portal, Shaheen’s World and offers customized environmental education games such as Greeno, eco smart business and environmental champion game.

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Imdaad takes part in World Environment Day campaigns

Imdaad takes part in World Environment Day campaigns

457Imdaad, the national provider of integrated facility management solutions, commended the visit of H.E. Dr. Rashid Ahmed bin Fahad, UAE Minister of Environment, to the company’s stand at the World Environment Day held in Dubai Mall.

During the visit, H.E. reviewed the awareness programs exhibited by Imdaad, and signed a visual rendering bearing the logo of the World Environment Day: THINK.EAT.SAVE.

Jamal Abdullah Lootah, Executive President of Imdaad, paid tribute to the visit of H.E. Dr. Bin Fahad to the stand of Imdaad, and reiterated the company’s commitment and full compliance with the environmental standards and conditions within the scope of its business in providing facility management solutions in keeping with the UAE strategy for conserving the environment and sustainable development in order to ensure a promising future for successive generations.

During the event, a number of activities and awareness programs oriented towards the environment will be held, and Imdaad will distribute freebies to children visiting its stand in addition to the signing of a statement of commitment towards conserving the environment.

Ali Hassan Al Baluchi, Director of Environment at Imdaad, said, “The environment is a key ingredient of our activities and it stems out of our social responsibility towards the environs in which we operate in the first respect, besides that, the type of activities we undertake warrant do so as well.”

“Imdaad is always keen on diffusing the awareness of the importance of conserving the environment, considering it a precisous legacy that we have to leave intact for future generations. In the same time, the Company is committed to all international standards that contribute to conserving the environment clean and pollution-free as it is the only source that provides food for the entire mankind,” he said.

“Imdaad takes part every year in a myriad of events held in the UAE to mark this occasion. This year’s events are themed: Think, Eat and Save; which is in harmony with Imdaad’s awareness campaign aimed at minimizing risks posed to food resources at a time where the urban and industrial expansion is threatening the only source of food production i.e. the environment,” continued Al Baluchi.

“We are therefore seeking to adopt cutting-edge technologies and modern applications in the projects we undertake, and we are always keen on complying with the conditions and standards that contribute to reducing air pollution as it is one of the key means of communicating contagious diseases and germs to foodstuffs,” he said.

“Treating water and optimizing its consumption is an utmost priority for Imdaad as this source is the lifeline without which no plant will be grown and no sufficient food will be made available,” he further added.

Imdaad, which enjoys a deeply rooted reputation with apt experiences tailored to the needs of clients, has introduced a new concept to the facility services; which is of no less importance than construction works. It has thus shaped into a safety valve that meets the terms & conditions of public safety in various types of installations and building and at the same time precludes from turning them into old and obsolete.

Imdaad has managed to broaden its clientele base which encompasses an elite bunch of mega national businesses and government entities. It has also cemented its presence in a host of core fields including residential and commercial projects, malls, retail outlets, community projects in addition to government, recreational, banking and educational sectors.

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Intercontinental Aqaba Resort participates in beach clean-up activity

Intercontinental Aqaba Resort participates in beach clean-up activity

4259InterContinental Aqaba Resort has participated in one of the Blue Flag activities for 2013, which is a beach clean-up activity for the shores of the city of Aqaba.

Many colleagues from InterContinental Aqaba Resort have gathered along with employees from the other resorts in Aqaba and took part in several activities, including snorkeling, diving and cleaning the beach as well as underwater.

InterContinental Aqaba Resort is always keen on saving the environment and makes sure that it is part of activities and initiatives that focus on saving and conserving the environment.

It has been awarded with both the Blue Flag and Green Key certificates, which focus on maintaining the environment in several ways and means.

InterContinental Aqaba Resort has 255 elegant rooms and suites and a wealth of facilities to delight you and your family, whether on business or pleasure. A health & fitness centre with fully equipped gym, spa facilities and trained therapists, complement the sparkling swimming pool and private beach.

Extensive business facilities and 24 hour attentive service all make the super InterContinental Aqaba Resort a fine option from which to explore Aqaba and experience Jordan.

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World Customs Organization adopts Mohammed Bin Rashid’s initiative on trees plantation

World Customs Organization adopts Mohammed Bin Rashid’s initiative on trees plantation

4255In a symbolic initiative underlining the inmost relationship between World Customs Organization (WCO) and Dubai Customs, Mr. Kunio Mikuriya, WCO Secretary General, visited during WCO annual conference held in Dubai between 14 and 16 May 2013, Dubai Customs building to celebrate this occasion through planting a tree in the Department’s courtyard with the participation of His Excellency Ahmed Butti Ahmed, Executive Chairman of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation and Director General of Dubai Customs.

This move came as a response by WCO to Dubai Customs’ request for circulating the initiative of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice-President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai towards plantation of Union Tree through a proposal by WCO to all members around the world to proactively plant a tree at their premises as the idea was welcomed by Mr. Mikuriya who took the initiative in implementing it at Dubai Customs building.

Mr. Mikuriya expressed, on this occasion his appreciation for Dubai Customs` major role in contributing to customs business development worldwide through its on-going initiatives on developing efficient and higher quality applications and technologies in connection with achieving Customs` objectives to protect the society`s security and support economic development.

The WOC Secretary General praised as well Dubai Customs` efforts in hosting WCO IT Conference and Exhibition 20133 together with its effective contribution to organizing the conference and made it successful.

HE Ahmed Butti Ahmed, the Executive Chairman of Ports, Customs and Free Zone and Director General of Dubai Customs underlined while meeting Mr. Mikuriya, Dubai Customs` keenness to continue cooperating and coordinating with WCO for contributing to customs business development through permanent interaction with all members` efforts around the world.

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Concorde Fujairah participates in Earth Hour 2013

Concorde Fujairah participates in Earth Hour 2013

4194Concorde Fujairah Hotel, a luxury accommodation in the heart of the city, took part in observing Earth Hour 2013 by turning off lights and unnecessary electrical devices in the hotel for one hour.

The property’s staff and guests gathered in the lobby and lighted candles to signify their support in Earth Hour’s cause, which is to raise awareness on energy conservation and climate change.

Mohamed Fekry, General Manager, Concorde Fujairah Hotel, said, “We proudly support Earth Hour as this is a very significant global initiative which encourages people to take actions against climate change. This demonstrates that small acts can create big impact for our planet. We hope that saving energy will be observed in the hospitality sector, not just during Earth Hour, but throughout the year.”

Earth Hour took place on 23rd March and was participated in by more than 100 countries. Organised by the World Wildlife Fund, the initiative continues to gain millions of supporters around the world since its inception in Australia in 2007.

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