Aldar, the largest publicly listed real estate company in the United Arab Emirates, has signed an agreement with Emirates Water and Electricity Company (Ewec) to power all of its owned and managed assets with clean energy sources for up to five years, in as part of efforts to reduce its carbon footprint.
Clean power will be supplied to Aldar’s assets from Ewec’s clean power sources. These will be validated through clean energy certificates registered by Ewec, a program which was launched by the Department of Energy in Abu Dhabi to enable companies in the emirate to validate production claims and of renewable or clean electricity consumption, Aldar said in a statement Monday.
“There has never been a more critical time for the business community to recognize the impact real estate assets have on the environment,” said Greg Fewer, Aldar’s chief financial officer.
“Buildings account for 37% of today’s global CO2 emissions when operational emissions and embodied material emissions are taken into account. It is evident that sustainable buildings are one of the most effective ways to address this global challenge.”
This move is part of Aldar’s broader sustainability goals. Last week, the company launched a wallet-wide energy management project reduce its energy consumption by approximately 20% on 80 assets, including hotels, schools, commercial, leisure, retail and residential buildings. In addition to reducing energy emissions, the project will save Aldar approximately Dh40 million ($10.8 million) per year in energy consumption costs.
Earlier this month, Aldar said it had raised its ESG ratings across two major global benchmarks, the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) and Sustainalytics. It also maintained its BB rating in the Morgan Stanley Consumer Index (MSCI) 2021, which tracks exposure to ESG risks and how companies are managing those risks relative to their peers.
Currently, Scope 2 emissions, which relate to the purchase of electricity from the grid, are the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions from Aldar’s real estate assets. The new agreement with Ewec will reduce these emissions and support decarbonization across the company’s portfolio, Aldar said.
“We are truly delighted to see key Abu Dhabi companies such as Aldar taking the lead in achieving zero carbon by certifying the origin of electricity consumed on the grid through the Clean Energy Certificate Program. , joining other major energy, industrial, healthcare and commercial entities in taking positive action to reduce carbon emissions,” said Francois Brice, Commercial Executive Director at Ewec.
Aldar’s sustainability initiatives are in line with the UAE’s efforts to promote a green economy. The UAE has pledged to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, making it the first country in the Middle East and North Africa region to do so. By 2050, the Emirates will invest MAD 600 billion in clean and renewable energy sources.
The second largest economy in the Arab world is developing several clean energy projects to achieve its sustainability goals by 2050. It is building the Barakah nuclear power plant, the first multi-unit nuclear power plant in the Arab world.
The country is also building renewable energy projects to boost clean energy supply, including the world’s largest solar power plant in Abu Dhabi’s Al Dhafra region. The 2 gigawatt plant is expected to be fully operational this year.
Dubai is developing the 5 gigawatt Mohammed bin Rashid solar park as part of its emissions reduction strategy.
In 2023, the United Arab Emirates will become the first Gulf Arab country to host the Cops Summit.
Updated: January 24, 2022, 2:16 p.m.