EmiratesGBC Outlines 9 Priority Areas for 2018 to Promote Sustainable Development
Emirates Green Building Council (EmiratesGBC), an independent forum aimed at conserving the environment by strengthening and promoting green building practices, has set nine priority areas that will lead its activities throughout 2018. Approved by EmiratesGBC’s Board of Directors, the priority areas have been identified to align with both the UAE’s Vision 2021 National Agenda and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Saeed Al Abbar, Chairman of EmiratesGBC, said: “EmiratesGBC has set our nine priority areas of 2018 after closely examining the UN SDGs and UAE’s 2021 Vision to establish how we can contribute to the global sustainability agenda as well as the UAE’s national priorities. For this reason, each of EmiratesGBC’s priority areas is aligned with a relevant SDG to create a more targeted impact.”
Forming part of the UN’s 2030 Development Agenda titled "Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development," the SDGs form an integral part of the agenda as they emphasise sustainable and environmentally conscious social and economic development targets. Several of the SDGs promote the case for responsible, energy efficient, sustainable building practices that support the conservation of our planet by reducing reliance on high energy and water consumption.
Similarly, one of the target areas of the UAE’s Vision 2021 is the ‘Sustainable Environment and Infrastructure’ pillar that focuses on preserving natural resources, increasing the contribution of clean energy, and building an energy-efficient, smart city infrastructure that is environmentally-friendly. The UAE has taken several steps over the last few years to build a green economy for sustainable development in line with this vision. For instance, with regards to green building standards, the UAE is already aligned with the global timeline to adopt Nearly Zero Energy Buildings (nZEBs) according to EmiratesGBC’s recent report, ‘Defining Nearly Zero Energy Buildings in the UAE – 2017.’
EmiratesGBC’s nine priority areas targeted for 2018 are:
- Building Retrofit Training – to operate a training programme that provides capacity building for industry and government, encouraging retrofit of existing buildings.
- Benchmarking/Building Efficiency Accelerator – to support Dubai’s commitment to the global ‘Building Efficiency Accelerator’ program and expand EmiratesGBC's benchmarking efforts to help operators and owners across various sectors gauge their building and operational performance, and ultimately offer a measurement to encourage stronger energy efficiency measures.
- Technical Publications – to produce technical papers and publications relevant to the green building industry. Publications will include case studies, white papers and bi-annual reports among others.
- Emirates Coalition for Green Schools – to engage UAE schools and encourage energy efficient operations and retrofits of existing school facilities. The programme promotes best practices and makes green building information readily available for school administration.
- Green Key – to operate and grow the Green Key eco label to support sustainability in the hospitality industry in the UAE.
- Annual Awards – to implement a MENA regional Awards Programme annually that honours companies who have demonstrated clear implementation of sustainable design, construction and/or operation of buildings and structures.
- Outreach & Awareness – to host informative events, building tours and workshops, including the flagship Annual Congress, to educate and build capacity on green building topics within the industry.
- Membership – to retain current members and recruit new members, thus broadening the Council’s impact for sustainable building practices.
- nZEB Centre of Excellence – to lead the movement for Nearly Zero Energy Buildings in the UAE.
Some of the SDGs that EmiratesGBC has aligned with include: Goal 3 that emphasises Good Health & Wellbeing; Goal 6 for Clean Water & Sanitation; Goal 7 for Affordable & Clean Energy; Goal 9 on Industry, Innovation & Infrastructure to promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation; Goal 11 on building Sustainable Cities & Communities; and Goal 13 on Climate Action to combat climate change.
Al Abbar, added: “We are living during a critical time for humanity. Our natural resources are being depleted and with a fast-growing global population, we must think long-term – especially for future generations who have the right to inherit a sustainable, clean world. Our work, and practices today are extremely important, and as we promote sustainable, energy-efficient building practices one building at a time, we are making a significant impact. The forward-looking green vision of the UAE is also an immense boost to EmiratesGBC’s agenda, and we are confident that 2018 will be a remarkable year for us.”
EmiratesGBC has a dedicated online database that highlights manufacturers of energy efficient equipment for building retrofit/new construction projects. In addition to releasing two ground-breaking industry reports – ‘EmiratesGBC Technical Guidelines for Retrofitting Buildings’ and ‘Energy & Water Benchmarking for UAE Hotels’ – it regularly hosts Focus Days and networking sessions to promote green buildings.
Emirates Green Building Council
The Emirates Green Building Council (Emirates GBC) was formed in 2006, with the goal of advancing green building principles for protecting the environment and ensuring sustainability in the United Arab Emirates.
Since the inception of the Emirates GBC in 2006, there has been significant change in the attitudes and demands related to the sustainable built environment. It has been encouraged by the implementation of green building policies and regulations, by the adoption of consistent rating systems, and by the increase in the overall knowledge sharing and information available on built environments and communities.