Eco-friendly initiatives for us and our residents
Sustainability is an inherent part of our practices, and we’re on a mission to encourage our residents to do their bit for the environment too
Sustainability has long been an important issue for our communities. The Middle East has one of the largest carbon footprints in the world and so we need to work even harder to conserve energy and take actions to preserve the environment.
We have not only taken extensive measures to implement energy savings and recycling across all of our communities (our accreditations as the first and only management and association company in the Middle East to be awarded the ISO 50001:2011 Energy Management Systems and ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management Systems are a testament to this), but we’ve also launched a variety of campaigns to educate residents, including engaging their children in fun ways with an environmental theme. This way, we’re doing everything we can now – and educating the residents of tomorrow.
Educating residents and beyond
Every year we take part in Earth Hour and World Environment Day, to encourage residents to join in a variety of community activities to raise awareness.
We’ve been switching from the use of halogen bulbs to more energy-efficient LED systems, in addition to using timers and motion sensors to only use lights and other equipment when necessary.
Living in a region where sunshine is virtually guaranteed, it makes sense to harness this energy. So we introduced solar panelling to power bollard lights in areas where lighting had not previously been considered during construction, such as public terraces, gardens and children’s play areas.
Installation of Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs)
We reduced energy consumption by between 40 and 55%* by introducing VFDs to extractor fans in car parking areas and HVAC chilled water systems in residential buildings.
To help conserve natural resources, we have switched to the use of high- pressure cleaning equipment for activities such as washing swimming pool decks, car park flooring, interlock, garbage rooms and other areas within the community.
In our changing rooms, we’ve installed timed flow mixer/push taps, which automatically shut off the water flow after 10-15 seconds. We’ve also begun introducing waterless urinals, which eradicate energy use from flush control and remove the need for environmentally hazardous chemicals.
In apartments, we have installed water-saving devices on faucets, showerheads and bidet sprays.
Recycling and waste management
We use timing devices to prolong the life of steam room equipment, swimming pool heating systems and air-conditioning units. When an air-conditioning unit reaches the end of its lifespan, we recycle, recover and reclaim the refrigerants from them too. Where we can, we recycle parts of everything from street lighting poles to doors, in a bid to avoid unnecessary complete replacements of items that would otherwise cause excessive waste.
We provide recycling banks within all of our communities to encourage residents to dispose of their used plastics, glass and batteries as well as unwanted clothes, shoes and children’s toys. When residents dispose of furniture, we hand it over to used furniture retailers.
We make tremendous efforts with regards responsible disposal of our communities’ rubbish. Cardboard boxes, broken furniture, and food waste are all submitted to recycling contractors, whilst hazardous waste and e-waste are disposed of separately by a reputable/certified company.
Landscaping and irrigation
Our landscaping is planted responsibly, using plants suited to this climate that require minimal water to survive and we use effluent water from our communities to irrigate them.
Conocarpus tree removal
Our ‘Say ‘NO’ to Damas Trees’ campaign sought to remove this insidious plant from our communities. Their aggressive root systems cause millions of dirhams worth of damage and our very successful campaign was taken up by Dubai Municipality afterwards. We replaced the trees we removed with suitable trees like Delonix and Neem. Wherever possible we are trying to retain the indigenous species like the national tree Prosopis cineraria, commonly known as the Ghaf tree, an evergreen that survives on very little water.
We consistently monitor the Irrigation Controller Schedules to ensure the system operates at optimum levels. By implementing Seasonal Water Budget Schedules throughout the year, we have not only maintained the aesthetics of the landscaping but have also saved 25 million gallons of water.
Moving towards a greener future
Our Community Managers now conduct as many of their site visits around their communities using one of a fleet of electric carts – this avoids the use of petrol cars for the purpose, they are much easier to get in and out of, and make our staff members even more accessible to the residents when out and about.