Employees take part in Masdar’s START program which aims to encourage sustainability practices
Abu Dhabi’s multi-faceted renewable energy initiative Masdar has embarked on a sustainability consultancy business offering advisory services for local and international companies seeking to implement sustainability into their business practices.
Regarded as a leading authority on sustainability thanks to the achievements of its five integrated units, Masdar is now offering a sustainability consultancy service that allows companies to draw on Masdar’s fund of knowledge for advice on all areas of sustainability.
Dr Nawal Al Hosany, Associate Director, Sustainability, Masdar explained “Sustainability represents a better way to do business. It is critical that the goal of any company should be to integrate sustainability into all business activities while sustainable thinking and actions should become almost second nature to employees. We have seen a sharp increase in interest in corporate sustainability in recent years and Masdar is pleased to be able to offer companies the necessary guidance and support to achieve their sustainability goals through a well designed, easy to use multifaceted program with proven success in the region.”
The sustainability consultancy business offers a wide range of services including building energy efficiency audits, supply chain management, training and workshops, corporate sustainability strategy development, sustainable waste management, carbon data collection and management as well as employee engagement, which consists of rolling out a customized START program to suit the client’s requirements.
The START awareness and education program focuses on sustainable water, waste, energy and transport management. It integrates economic, environmental and social considerations into a company’s corporate strategy, daily operations and internal culture. The program empowers employees to understand that change can happen at the individual level with decision making and environmentally conscious lifestyles. Results to date at the Masdar offices have been extremely positive resulting in measureable differences, including a 200% increase in the recycling of paper and a 40% decrease in total general waste per employee compared to 2010 figures.
Based on START’s success internally at Masdar, the program has been offered for external use with companies such as Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC), Aldar Properties PJSC and National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) utilising the program.
Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC) introduced the START program in 2011 as part of their wider corporate social responsibility measures, specifically targeting waste management and recycling. The START campaign has helped ADAC reach out to its employees and customers by spreading various environmental messages to raise awareness about the importance of environmental conservation and minimizing negative impacts on the environment.
James E. Bennett, Chief Executive Officer, ADAC said: “As a leading airports group in the region, ADAC has the responsibility to be actively involved in the well being of its local and regional community. Being a participant in the START program provided ADAC with a valuable opportunity to partially deliver towards its corporate responsibility.
“The success of sustainability initiatives, one of the key objectives of Abu Dhabi Vision 2030, cannot be attained without the sincere commitment of all segments of the community, corporations and individuals, and their continued collaboration between their business partners and stakeholders.”
Michael H. Tomalin, the Group Chief Executive of NBAD, remarked: “The START initiative is a great driver for creating awareness of sustainability throughout Abu Dhabi and indeed the world. The National Bank of Abu Dhabi is committed to supporting Abu Dhabi 2030 Vision and we applaud and support Masdar’s START Initiative, which will benefit us all by sending a message of solidarity to accomplish greater sustainability. NBAD has delivered a great deal with our own sustainability campaigns, particularly by creating awareness about the importance of sustainability and corporate responsibility.”
Leading developer Aldar actively supported the Masdar START initiative by introducing the program at their new headquarters in Abu Dhabi. The program focused on educating the company’s employees on the importance of sustainability and the role each individual can play. This led to the successful implementation of waste management and non-disposable water bottles initiatives, as well as numerous stakeholder communication platforms at Aldar communities, development projects and retail assets.
Sami Asad, CEO Aldar Properties, commented: “Aligning with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nayhan, President of the UAE, and the Abu Dhabi Government’s mission to establish Abu Dhabi as a ‘sustainable Arab capital city’, Aldar is committed to supporting the improvement of sustainable business performance across the emirate. We are therefore extremely proud to support Masdar's START initiative as it fits perfectly with our own corporate responsibility programme. I am pleased to confirm that we took our first steps on this programme, when we launched our new Green Office Policy at Aldar HQ to mark World Environment Day, and have now begun to introduce this initiative throughout our residential communities, project developments and business streams.”