The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is slowly becoming extremely progressive in terms of innovation, technology and sustainable living. Business opportunities are abundant for those involved in the green sector. There are plenty of visionary programmes planned such as Saudi 2030 Vision, Dubai 2021 Plan and Tunisia`s Country Alliance programme, that all contribute to innovative developments across MENA. The United Arab Emirates is also endorsing its own programmes to ensure a sustainable and successful future for the region. Its latest initiative is the 2020 goal to reduce single-use plastic (SUP) consumption by 90%. SUPs have become a hot topic in recent years, they are one of the main reasons for environmental pollution and awareness around reducing single-use plastics has greatly risen. The UAE has gone the extra mile in implementing a Sustainable City, which will be at the forefront of innovation and clean, environmentally friendly, living.
The Sustainable City
Diamond Developers, the group behind the Sustainable City initiative, will introduce the Middle East`s first fully operational sustainable community. This group is aiming to create a community that contains greener ideas to halt the need for single-use plastics. Some ideas are: the implementation of water fountains in common areas and around gyms, for restaurants to ban plastic bottles and for restaurants to only provide filtered water to customers.
While plastic is integral to lives, people often tend to forget that plastic pollution is also one of the most damaging to our ecosystem. The Sustainable City`s goal to reduce single-use plastic consumption by 90 percent by 2020 underlines our commitment to promoting a sustainable environment and reducing our ecological footprint to secure a greener and cleaner nature for future generations“ - Faris Saeed, CEO of Diamond Developers
SUPs have already been reduced within the Sustainable City production, with the visitor centre and the offices of Diamond Developers banning them. Moreover, researchers will assist commercial outlets to phase-out and replace many single-use plastics.
Information is Key
Across the globe, many areas are trying their best to reduce their carbon footprints, become more environmentally friendly and enhance sustainability. This new wave of environmental consciousness is refreshing to see, however action is only half the solution. The other half is awareness. Informing and educating others to become cleaner and greener will have a knock-on effect that will result in more sustainable societies, and, therefore, a healthy future for all. Part of this Middle Eastern project is to spread awareness to communities, promoting it and then engaging in SUP usage reduction. One awareness campaign that is already prevalent is the Boomerang Bags project, this aims to encourage others to stop using plastic shopping bags and instead use fabric bags. Local laundry shops are also contributing towards the programme by encouraging customers to collect clothes in reusable bags. Frequent waste audits will be carried out to monitor, analyse and collect data on the impacts of their sustainable programmes in order to implement the most effective waste management plans. Already, in 2018, the community managed to divert 84% of its waste from landfills.
The Cedar Rose Effect
As a company we want to be at the forefront of this ever-increasing eco-friendly wave, which is why we take the right measures to ensure sustainability. Cedar Rose leads by example and encourages others to follow. For example, our Limassol office has removed its plastic straw usage and has switched to metal or paper straws and we provide separate bins for easy recycling. Additionally, the lighting in our office uses energy-saver LED lights that conserve as much energy as possible to reduce wastage and we try to avoid printing wherever possible. As a company we also like to participate in any clean-ups, or environmentally-conscious activities. We recently sponsored and took part in a marsh clean-up, which not only promoted sustainability but it educates and encourages team building. Most recently we have begun assisting our local conservation group, Let`s Make Cyprus Green, in translating their social media posts from English to Greek in order to spread their message to the native community as well as the many foreigners that share their beautiful island.
What is your company doing to sustain the environment? We`d love to hear more ideas of how we can all help the global cause for a cleaner, greener planet.
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*** The sole purpose of the article above is to generate public discussion, it has no intention to constitute legal advice. ***