The event marks the first time that the World Energy Forum (WEF) has been held outside of the United Nations Headquarters in New York.
"Under the guidance of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, our leadership is actively encouraging the progression towards sustainability. The UAE was a pioneer in the region for being the first country to adopt a long-term national initiative towards becoming more environmentally-conscious, and this level of ground-breaking initiative makes our country the ideal location for the first World Energy Forum to be held outside of the US," said Ahmad Bin Byat, Chairman, Du.
Since its inception, Du has adopted leading corporate governance applications into its operations, developing an ethical way of conducting business. Its exemplary practices led the telecom to take the top spot in the Standard & Poor/Hawkamah Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) Index 2011, as the MENA region's most compliant company.
Du's desire to become a sustainable business led to its partnership with WEF, in support of the UAE leadership's vision of building a green economy.
"It is an honour to sustain our leadership's vision by partnering with the World Energy Forum. By supporting the Forum we are affirming our commitment to promoting sustainability practices in the UAE, and upholding our country's position as a regional leader," added Byat. "We are proud to support the World Energy Forum, as we thoroughly believe in its purpose to achieve tangible progress towards cleaner, safer and more sustainable energy, and provide universal access to modern energy services."
In its role as a telecommunications provider, Du recognises the need to develop innovative and viable sustainable practices to conserve energy, and encourages efforts to further explore the possibilities that will carry the nation, and the world, forward into a greener future.
Its efforts to achieve sustainability cover several aspects of its operations. They include, amongst others:
Hybrid power solutions
Under the umbrella of its Green Du initiative, the telecom began installing renewable energy and smart energy management solutions in 105 of its base transceiver station (BTS) sites. These hybrid solutions, supplied by P21 GmBH, a subsidiary of Heliocentris, have led so far to 60% less fuel being consumed, and therefore 60% fewer CO2 emissions. A total of 420,000 litres of diesel fuel has been saved, which equates to a reduction of 1000 tonnes of CO2 emissions. Additionally, they have decreased generator runtime by 70%, meaning less air and noise pollution.
By the end of 2014, Du intends to have increased the number of sites using these solutions to 250 across the UAE, with an anticipated saving of 6.8 million litres of diesel, and consequent reduction of carbon emissions by 17,000 tonnes.
LEED Platinum-rated Green shop
Du's Shop in Fujairah has received the highest LEED rating, Platinum, for its green solutions. These include:
o All lights and air conditioning controlled by sensors to reduce energy consumption;
o Energy star rating on all equipment;
o All wood used in the Shop is Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-approved;
o 92% of construction waste was diverted from landfill;
o 42% of furniture and furnishings used in the store are up-cycled;
o Lightning power is reduced by 41%, in comparison to average power;
o 24.5% of materials used in the project were recycled;
o 28.5% of materials used in the project were sourced from within 500 miles of the location;
o 30% more ventilation ensures constant fresh air.
The telecom plans to roll out more green Shops in the future.
In 2011 and 2012, Du has recycled 272 tonnes of waste paper and plastic. All bags distributed in its Shops are made from FSC-certified recycled paper, and paper used in Du's offices is recycled.
The implementation of LED lights in Du's Fujairah Customer Care Centre has reduced lighting power consumption by 53%, in comparison to conventional lights.
Launched in 2011, Du's mHealth initiative is a first-of-its-kind in the UAE, which gives customers access to certified doctors around the clock. In association with Mobile Doctors 24-7, the all-hours call centre makes health care more efficient and accessible than ever before.
Byat concluded with, "It is my pleasure to wish the World Energy Forum every success on behalf of my colleagues and the people of the UAE. This is a vital step in establishing the UAE as a sustainability leader, and the impact of the event will be significant in terms of the economy, the community, and the introduction to new thinking and green technologies."