Corporate Heroes lead the way in reducing the UAE’s carbon footprint



Posted on 29 January 2013
EWS-WWF recognises five organisations as ‘Verified Corporate Heroes of the UAE’

January 28: Dubai, UAE: Emirates Wildlife Society in association with WWF (EWS-WWF) names American University of Sharjah, Archcorp, Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi, Service City and TECOM as ‘Verified Corporate Heroes’ in recognition of their dedication to reducing their carbon footprint at an award ceremony attended by the Minister of Environment and Water and the Secretary General of Environment Agency Abu Dhabi (EAD). The accolade is in line with their commitment to the ‘Heroes of the UAE’ designed to encourage all sectors of society across the UAE to reduce their carbon footprint.

By implementing technical and behavioural changes such as installing fittings that reduce water flow, maintaining and upgrading air conditioning and ventilation systems, introducing LED lighting and reducing lighting and AC usage, these organisations achieved savings between 28%-89% in water consumption and 11-55% in energy consumption over 12 continuous months.

Recognised for successfully fulfilling three pledges required by the programme, which resulted in each organisation lowering its carbon emissions from energy and water by at least 10%, these five organisations are now paving the way for others to reduce their energy and water consumption in the near future. Carbon emissions from energy and water contribute highly to the country’s carbon footprint yet through the Heroes of the UAE, organisations are taking strides towards lowering this footprint.

Congratulating the Verified Corporate Heroes on their success and calling for further action, HE Dr. Rashid Ahmad Bin Fahad, Minister of Environment and Water stated; “We all have a responsibility to facilitate a transition towards a sustainable future for the UAE and lower the country’s high per capita footprint. It is inspirational to see these Verified Corporate Heroes taking significant steps towards carbon reduction. The private sector contributes 30% towards the UAE’s Ecological Footprint, and thus can play an important role in tackling this issue.”

The Heroes Private Sector Programme aims to help organizations lower their carbon emissions in their daily operations and manage them in the long-term. The programme offers guidance, an online toolkit, and reporting frameworks to enable organisations to make this transition, as well as share their best practices and challenges through case studies that document their environmental journey.

H.E. Razan Khalifa al Mubarak, Secretary General of EAD, commented, “Public, private and civil society partnerships, such as Heroes of the UAE, that help inform science-based policy are crucial to facilitate lasting changes to reduce the UAE´s carbon footprint and that are environmentally, socially and economically beneficial. It is with much anticipation that as a result of these organisations’ efforts, we will continue to see the business community contributing to reducing the country’s ecological footprint.”

The Heroes of the UAE Private Sector Programme was launched in 2010 by EWS-WWF, in partnership with the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi (EAD) and endorsement from the Ministry of Environment and Water (MOEW). Ernst & Young has provided technical support to verify carbon reductions, making the ‘Heroes of the UAE’ the only national voluntary carbon reduction programme verified by a third party.

Ida Tillisch, Acting Director General of EWS-WWF explained; “The accomplishments of these organisations show that it is feasible to make changes in the workplace that reduce carbon emissions and result in financial savings. The case studies serve as an important tool for other UAE organisations to overcome barriers and understand the best ways to reduce their carbon emissions. These examples show that the 10% reduction target is very achievable and that it is easy to go above and beyond it using low-cost measures.

“These five organisations went through an independent verification process of their reductions, and we are pleased to announce that they have now been verified as achieving their pledges in the first cycle of the programme. They have played an active role towards reducing the UAE’s Ecological Footprint and helping to tackle climate change and we hope their example will inspire more organisations across the country.”
The Heroes of the UAE asks organisations to commit to three pledges:

1. Develop and implement a measurable strategy to reduce carbon dioxide emissions associated with energy and water consumption by 10% each over 12 continuous months.

2. Document the results achieved and submit to Heroes of the UAE to help other organisations do the same

3. Commit to develop and implement a long-term strategy for the organisation’s annual carbon footprint reduction and allow independent auditors access to the environmental audits and review activities.

Savings made by the Verified Corporate Heroes

Company Electricity: % CO2 reduced Water: % CO2 reduced
Service City 18% 28%
AUS 12% 39%
Crowne Plaza 21% 31%
ArchCorps 55% 89%
Tecom 11% 29%

 

To read the case study summaries of the Verified Corporate Heroes, click here.

To read the full case studies of the Verified Corporate Heroes, please visit our Heroes of the UAE website.

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