A host of private companies in Dubai and other emirates that have joined a voluntary initiative to reduce their energy and water consumption have experienced enormous success, demonstrating that it’s not impossible to do so.
Last week the Emirates Wildlife Society – World Wide Fund for Nature (EWS-WWF) recognized five firms in particular for exceeding energy and water conservation targets set as part of the Heroes of the UAE (United Arab Emirates) environmental initiative in a country that currently has one of the world’s highest per capita carbon footprints, The National reports.
A total of 50 companies voluntarily signed on to the Heroes of the UAE program, which requires that they reduce both their energy and water consumption by at least ten percent.
They are also asked to document and share every step of the process in order to establish permanent reductions and encourage other institutions to do the same.
In addition to enumerating energy and water savings, each company volunteers to compile a case study and develop a plan for future carbon emission reductions, according to The National.
Then they are subjected to Ernst & Young’s independent auditing program to ensure that each company’s reported numbers are consistent with unbiased findings. And so far, those numbers are outstanding.
“The five organisations all surpassed the target,” writes Vesela Todorova, “achieving savings of between 11 per cent and 55 per cent in energy use, and 28 per cent and 89 per cent in water use.”
The EWS-WWF honored the first firms that submitted their case studies at a recent ceremony that was attended by the Minister of Environment and Water, Dr Rashid bin Fahad.
It’s not easy to get UAE residents excited about slashing energy or water use when it is government subsidized, but for companies working to increase their bottom line, it makes economic sense not to mention the happy side effect of fewer greenhouse gas emissions entering the atmosphere.
Of the interventions used to reach these targets, the simplest and arguably one of the most effective includes setting air-conditioners at higher temperatures – a welcome move given that sitting in most buildings in Dubai or Abu Dhabi is akin to socializing in a refrigerator.
:: The National
Image of Dubai, Shutterstock
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