Abu Dhabi gives seal of approval to products with high environmental performance.
Abu Dhabi Quality and Conformity Council (QCC) launched a Water Efficient Fixtures Conformity Scheme to help consumers make better use of water in public and private plumbing applications. It certifies six categories of water fixtures based on highly efficient water flow rates: bathroom taps, shower heads, kitchen faucets, bidets, urinals, and toilets.
QCC is responsible for improving the infrastructure quality, establishing uniform performance measures and raising public awareness on environmental aspects of building components.
Did your grandma read Good Housekeeping? A century ago, that magazine kicked off a brilliant marketing strategy; the “Good Housekeeping (GH) Seal of Approval” was its emblem. Their seal was awarded to goods that passed muster by the magazine’s special “domestic science” research institute. Products bearing the GH seal were backed by special warranty, enjoying an instant boost in sales.
Similarly, the QCC Trustmark for Environmental Performance certifies products compliant with Abu Dhabi’s environmental and sustainability standards.
“Consumers can make a choice between an environmentally sustainable product that meets quality standards and a product that doesn’t comply,” Salem Bin Khalid Al Qassimi, senior specialist at QCC, told ConstructionWeekOnline. Products that achieve certification will be granted the right to use the Trustmark for Environmental Performance in product packaging, promotion and merchandising. Currently, the certification process is free. In future, Abu Dhabi could make it mandatory for public projects to only use certified products.
Domestic usage accounts for approximately 33% of Abu Dhabi water consumption. The emirate has the highest per-capita water consumption rate in the world — 550 liters per day — whereas the global average is 350 liters. The idea is that heightened consumer awareness will translate into increased conservation.
QCC is looking to launch another three “branding” schemes this year.
Al Qassimi said the QCC was working with government agencies such as Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (Estidama) and Abu Dhabi Food and Control Authority on more schemes. “We’re looking at working with paint, ensuring the paints are not only lead-free but have very low quantities of VOCs (volatile organic compounds).”
“It’s very important for hospitals and schools to use low VOC paint. This program has just started. We’re looking at developing the pilot phase now, then have industry come in, look at the standards and see if they’re fine with it.” He described other applications, “Abu Dhabi Food and Control Authority is also working with us to look at food contact material, the use of plastics in bottled water, for example.”
Al Qassami wants the QCC’s certification to be regionally and internationally recognized: it meets Gulf Cooperation Council standards and has potential for adoption by all other emirates.
His Excellency Hussain Salem Al Katheeri, Secretary General, QCC, said, “In our role as a council of regulators and industry representatives, we consider it our core priority to offer conformity schemes and certifications that are aligned with the strategic objectives of the emirate. The Abu Dhabi Trustmark for Environmental Performance indicates that certified products perform with certain environmental stewardship.”
A conformity scheme is a documented program outlining the Abu Dhabi QCC certification process. Methods of acquiring certification, application process, design standards and testing requirements are defined and transparent.
The QCC was established in 2009 to raise the quality of Abu Dhabi’s exports and locally traded products. Consumer protection is also key to the QCC mission, as is supporting the Abu Dhabi business community in a competitive economy.