12/05/2023 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 12/05/2023 04:35
Doha - Qatar, 5 December 2023: United Development Company (UDC), the master developer of The Pearl Island and Gewan Island, has been honored with five prestigious international environment and sustainability awards from The Green Apple Organization, which promotes the best environmental practices worldwide.
UDC secured five gold awards for its remarkable accomplishments in pollution control, energy efficiency, waste management, carbon reduction, innovation, and sustainable water management. These areas play a crucial role in driving environmental improvement and sustainable development.
The awards were presented during a ceremony at the Houses of Parliament in London, UK, underscoring UDC's consistent leadership, innovation, and dedication to sustainable business practices as well as its commitment to fulfilling its environmental strategy and sustainability goals, contributing to the realization of the Qatar National Vision 2030.
UDC proudly accepts these awards, having been recognized as a winner based on the following:
UDC's award-winning practices are a result of its commitment to waste recycling and management, plastic reduction, e-waste and battery management, and other environmentally conscious efforts. Notably, UDC holds the distinction of being the first Qatari real estate company to introduce the Collec'Thor Sea Cleaners, also known as Seabin. These floating trash collectors, made from recycled materials, are capable of holding up to 20 kg of waste and have played a crucial role in maintaining a cleaner marina and preventing pollution.
In 2021, UDC launched the Seabin project in Porto Arabia, deploying 10 seabins that effectively collected 1,740 kg (1.74 tons) of debris from Porto Arabia Marina. To date, approximately 2.5 billion liters of seawater have been filtered, and over 2.4 tons of environmental waste have been collected, including the recycling of 8.46 kg of plastic.
On November 6th, The Pearl Island unveiled its new Collec'Thor Sea Cleaners in an event attended by a delegation from the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MoECC), the Executive Director of Earthna, and representatives from UDC. The event took place at Corinthia Yacht Club in Porto Arabia.
All of these initiatives underscore UDC's commitment to a marine and coastal environmental system that prioritizes energy conservation in communal areas, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
UDC remains steadfast in its commitment to environmental protection, evident in the integration of sustainable development programs into the company's business decisions and practices. UDC's environmental and sustainability focus encompasses the effective management and recycling of waste across all its operations. This commitment is demonstrated through the utilization of the ENVAC smart waste disposal system, active recycling measures, and environmentally friendly processes such as the prohibition of non-biodegradable plastic bags.
Furthermore, UDC prioritizes the optimization of energy consumption in all its projects, incorporating environmentally friendly technologies like district cooling provided by its subsidiary, Qatar Cool. The waste management and recycling program at The Pearl Island, managed by UDC, has resulted in a substantial reduction in air pollution equivalent to over 600,000 lbs. per year.
On November 9th, UDC hosted a recognition ceremony to applaud retailers who participated in the six-month recycling initiative on The Pearl Island. During the campaign, 1,095 kg of plastic waste was collected, contributing to a total of 2,295 kg since the last campaign. Trophies crafted from recycled material were awarded to participating retailers. In collaboration with Earthna Centre, Seashore Group, and Power Waste Management & Transport Co, the event also distributed 1,200 retail discount vouchers.
UDC, in partnership with retailers, initiated a campaign to minimize plastic usage in daily catering operations, enforcing a new policy to eliminate single-use plastic cutlery from all retail food and beverage outlets at The Pearl Island.
In the preceding year, UDC Tower achieved the GSAS Operation certificate in the Gold category from GORD, marking its compliance with sustainable operation standards. The certification addresses critical sustainability aspects such as energy efficiency, water use, and indoor air quality. Additionally, UDC Tower boasts the distinction of featuring the first vertical green plantation on The Pearl Island, enhancing its overall green landscape.
UDC proudly operates the world's largest District Cooling plant at The Pearl Island, delivering eco-friendly cooling to the community while significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Powered by UDC subsidiary Qatar Cool, this plant has been a key contributor to environmental conservation.
Since 2010, the plant has saved an impressive 1.7 billion KWH in energy, resulting in the removal of over 950 million kg of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. To put this impact into perspective, it's equivalent to eliminating over 182,000 cars from our roads or planting more than 11 million mature trees-enough to cover 32,000 football grounds.
In a proactive move to further combat climate change, UDC partnered with The Green Organization to plant 12 trees monthly in areas that need ecological support. This initiative not only reduces carbon footprint but also provides essential nutrition, stabilizes soil, and mitigates the impact of carbon dioxide. Moreover, UDC was the only Qatari company to get featured in the Green Organization's green book, which recognizes companies across the globe actively implementing best environmental practices.
As part of the global campaign to plant one trillion trees, UDC collaborated with the United Nations and The Green Organization to plant 160 trees. To date, UDC has planted 600 trees through its tree planting carbon sequestration initiatives, symbolizing a tree for every employee joining the company and subsequently for every five years of service.
UDC's commitment extends to sustainable commuting options. The company offers a hybrid plug-in limousine service that reduces urban heating and greenhouse gas emissions by an impressive 65%, providing a luxurious and sustainable transportation experience. UDC aims to lead Qatar's modern transportation by transitioning 50% of its fleet from gasoline to electric vehicles. The promotion of micro-mobility is evident in the region's first fully electric water taxi on The Pearl Island, minimizing underwater noise and preserving marine ecosystems.
In support of sustainable commuting, UDC encourages the use of e-scooters and bikes through dedicated lanes. The company has installed 4 electric vehicle chargers to facilitate the use of electric vehicles and reduce urban heating. Additionally, UDC has established climatized Metrolink bus stops in collaboration with Mowasalat Qatar, enhancing public transportation experiences in line with sustainable practices.
UDC is committed to creating and implementing services, technologies, and business models that not only generate economic value in the State of Qatar, but also contribute to environmental preservation, social progress, and long-term sustainability. UDC's aim is to promote responsible business practices and sustainable development in accordance with ESG principles. As such UDC was the first company in Qatar to issue its Environmental, Social, and Governance Report (ESG) to Qatar Stock Exchange, making it the first listed real estate company in Qatar to officially disclose its sustainability and environmental strategies and achievements.
Sustainable Water Management
Since its inception, The Pearl Island has implemented robust sustainable water management practices that conserve freshwater use. Leveraging technology and sustainable methodologies, UDC has successfully saved over 3,038,630 gallons of freshwater by curbing waste and advocating for judicious water consumption. The company has conducted a comprehensive business cycle assessment, leading to the implementation of changes that prioritize sustainability, ensuring a positive impact over the long term.
Notably, UDC's commitment to water conservation extends to the utilization of treated sewage effluent (TSE). The Pearl Island has conserved more than 8 billion liters of freshwater by incorporating almost 2,326,303 cubic meters of TSE for landscape irrigation.
Earlier this year, UDC marked World Water Day 2023 under the theme "Be the change you want to see in the world." This event inspired the community to take action in altering their water usage habits. One impactful change promoted was the transition to automated water taps, which, if adopted, could lead to a remarkable 70% reduction in water consumption across the entire island.
In addition, UDC introduced smart and automatic water features that consume 25% less water compared to conventional systems, resulting in the preservation of 438,270 gallons of water. The incorporation of automated water taps, equipped with touchless sensors, facilitates a seamless and efficient flow of water only when needed, contributing significantly to reduced water consumption.
UDC's reception of five prestigious international Green Apple Awards stands as a testament to its unwavering commitment to environmental sustainability and responsible business practices. As UDC continues to fulfill its environmental strategy and sustainability goals, these accolades highlight its significant contributions to realizing Qatar National Vision 2030. Through pioneering initiatives in waste management, carbon reduction, innovation, and sustainable water management, UDC is particularly setting a new benchmark for real estate development and community management in Qatar, leading by example and demonstrating the transformative impact of sustainable practices on a global scale.