Saturday, November 29, 2014

Consumer Behavior to Play Pivotal Role in Building a Green Economy

Dubai, United Arab Emirates - Tuesday, November 25th 2014 [ME NewsWire]

Consumer behavior will be pivotal in building a greener economy for Dubai, according to panelists at the third Green Leadership Series held by the Dubai Green Economy Partnership earlier this week.

The Green Leadership Series (GLS) is organised by Dubai Green Economy Partnership in collaboration with EnPark, TECOM Investments’ Business Park dedicated to fostering the growth of the alternative energy and environmental industries, and a founding member of the Dubai Green Economy Partnership.

HE Ahmed Al Muhairbi, Secretary General of Dubai Surpreme Council of Energy opened the event to over 120 delegates. Following this, key note speaker and former TED Talks guest, Alex Laskey, Founder & CEO, Opower UK, presented a speech on how behavioral science can be used to lower energy costs across a range of industries. Using findings from an Opower study, he concluded that the most effective way to lower consumer, is by highlighting comparison graphs for their electricity bills, therefore promoting competition.

The discussion centered on agreement that once the infrastructure around sustainable energy solutions is identified and established, there is significant work to do to educate UAE residents so that these systems can be used effectively and efficiently. This is particularly relevant given the recent announcement of the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy endorsement of the Carbon Abatement strategy developed in collaboration with Dubai Carbon.

The panelists concluded that an integrated approach with a combination of improved information, economic incentives and other benefits may drive consumers towards sustainable decisions. Reinforcing this sentiment, representatives from the RTA highlighted the importance of the new Dubai Tram, making the point that time saving can be as an important a reason for passengers to prefer public transport over vehicles.

Mr. Waleed Salman, Chairman of Dubai Green Economic Partnership, Chairman of Dubai Carbon and Vice President of Strategy and Business Development at DEWA said: “The Green Leadership series is a vital platform for proactive discussion about the UAE’s sustainability efforts. Dubai has a unique position among global cities leading the transition to a green and sustainable economy due to its accomplished business strengths and advantages.

“At DEWA we aim to achieve organizational excellence in providing services to customers according to the highest quality standards, supporting Dubai’s position as a global hub for finance, business, and all other fields.  DEWA encourages its customers to use the various electronic services it offers and learn about how to use them.”

Salman added; “Using DEWA’s electronic and smart services helped eliminate 11,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions in 2013 as a result of DEWA’s customers conducting 3.3 million transactions online and through the smart app. This amount of carbon dioxide is the equivalent amount that could have resulted from customers travelling to and from DEWA’s offices. This equates to planting 56,331 trees in an area equivalent to 106 football fields.”

Mr. Fahad Al Gergawi, CEO of Dubai FDI and Secretary General of Dubai GEP said: “The Green Leadership Series is unique in bringing together industry experts from across the sustainability sector to discuss how to further the UAE’S green economy through identification of opportunities, analysis of trends and private sector participation in shaping future policies. To grow and facilitate green consumer choices, financing tools must be developed, established and communicated. The first step in this process is to encourage stakeholders including selected suppliers and financial institutions to collaborate so that we can create an effective model.”

Mr Marwan Abdulaziz, Executive Director of EnPark and Founding Member of the Green Economic Partnership said: “Consumer confidence has never been higher, as a recent Nielson survey ranked the UAE as the most optimistic in the Middle East and Africa region. We must use this confidence to positively impact our country in promoting a greener future.

“Small changes to our everyday life can make a significant impact. If we continue to educate and inform others how not only Government and organizational changes can affect our carbon footprint, but every individual, then together we will achieve our goals to become a green and sustainable nation.”


Speakers at Green leadership Series

Waleed Salman, Chairman, Dubai GEP, Marwan Abdulaziz, Executive Director, EnPark, Shannon Scott, Manager Environmental Affairs, International, Government and Environment Affairs, Emirates Airline, Alistair Stranack, Partner, Credo Consulting, Jesus Gutierrez, Co-Managing Director Smart 4 Power,  Sumair Sayani, Public Development & Sustainability Lead, Nielsen MENAP, Nielsen. ¡Eng. Nada Jasim, Policies and Planning Deputy Director, RTA  and Priya Sarma, Corporate Communications Manager, MENA Region, UNILEVER.

About EnPark:

EnPark, a member of TECOM Investments, is a Free Zone Business Park dedicated to fostering the growth of the alternative energy and environmental industries, by offering excellent real estate facilities and providing access to the MENA region with a view to helping diversify Dubai’s economy.

EnPark offers businesses technical and community infrastructure facilities across TECOM’s portfolio of business parks promoting industry growth by acting as a bridge between businesses and Government.

As a founding member of the ‘Green Economic Partnership’, a strategic collaboration of Dubai’s leading entities set up accordance with Dubai’s Vision 2021, EnPark is dedicated to facilitating and fostering business growth and encouraging sustainable practices by providing a platform from which companies in the clean tech sector can operate. More than 50 companies, from clean-tech start-ups to energy multinationals, all operate under EnPark’s licences.

Since it was established in 2006, EnPark has been widely recognized for its work and has received a number of high profile awards. In 2012, EnPark was awarded the “UAE Green Brand” and it was honored in the ‘Excellence in Environmental Projects and Products – Future Projects’ category at the Offshore Arabia 2009 Environmental Awards. It was ‘Company of the Year’ at the Alternative Energy Awards in 2008 for its role in raising awareness about sustainability concepts in the region.

About Dubai Green Economy Partnership

“Dubai Green Economy Partnership” is an initiative of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohamed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, inspired by the long term national green economy strategy “Green Economy for Sustainable Development” launched by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai, to position Dubai firmly amongst global cities leading the transition to green economy.

“Dubai Green Economy Partnership” is the first multi-stakeholder and cross sector partnership to promote the transition to a green and low-carbon economy in the Middle East. The programs and initiatives of “Dubai Green Economy Partnership” aim to enable the growth of green trade and investment and accelerate the adoption of green technologies, products and services across regional and global markets.

The founding members from both public and private sectors are committed to showcase Dubai’s vision, strategy and achievements to an influential global audience and forge world-class partnerships to help build capacity through global internships, event platforms and green trade missions among other activities and programs.

Wider members of the Green Economy Partnership include; DEWA, TECOM Investments Sciences Cluster (EnPark), Dubai FDI (with Mr. Fahad Al Gergawi, CEO, Dubai FDI as General Secretary of GEP), Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, Dubai Electricity & Water Authority, Dubai Municipality, Dubai Roads &Transport Authority, Dubai Department of Economic Development, Pacific Controls, Dubai Carbon Centre of Excellence and Etihad Energy Services.


Alexa Hooft Graafland



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