Green Business and the Middle East

With growing awareness among consumers for eco-friendly products, it is becoming highly important for businesses in the Middle East to adopt and implement green strategies. It is not only the requirement of customers but also compliance to regulations and reduction in operating costs that drive the implementation of environment-friendly methods in business. Corporate social responsibility (or CSR) is now driven by pollution prevention, energy efficiency, eco-friendly design, and industrial ecology across all industrial sectors.

On the face of it, it appears to be an expensive and cumbersome process. On the contrary it is quite easy to have a green business. In this post we look at some easily applicable methods for helping you develop your business into a “green business”.

Going Green

The first and easiest step towards going green is the reduction in carbon footprint of your organization. Carbon footprint should be calculated and then reduced by taking some simple measures like:

  • Focusing on direct as well as indirect emissions;
  • Implementing cost-effective and energy efficient technologies; and
  • Developing low carbon energy sources.

The second important step is to save energy. This includes assessing, controlling and conserving energy. Energy management involves getting a detailed data of the energy consumption patterns and keeping a check on the conservation progress. In simple terms, energy management means reducing waste and promoting recycling.

If we take look around, nature has provided us with an endless supply of alternative energy in the form of solar, wind, hydro energy and so on. Alternative energy is not only environment-friendly but also economical. For instance, if you switch to green power, there will be a considerable reduction in carbon emission as well as the electricity bill.

A solar panel on the roof of your building can take care of most of your basic energy needs. Alternative energy facilities require less maintenance and produce little or no waste products. And most importantly it is sustainable and will never run out.

Scenario in the Middle East

Many of the world’s biggest companies now realise the importance of eco-friendly brand image. There are a host of simple environment saving solutions that are not only good for the business but also make a company greener, thus serving as an attractive PR and marketing tool.

Seeing companies in Europe and US take a green lead, many businesses in the Middle East are now trying to catch up. New commercial thinking in the development of better ways to make things is being driven by the green agenda of sustainability and environment. For most companies it means assessing manufacturing and distribution processes, quantifying carbon footprints and finding ways to minimize their impacts on the environment. Of importance is reducing waste, recycling, changing to renewable sources of energy, and setting targets to improve performance throughout the manufacturing and distribution chains.

The specter of oil depletion is also creating more concern. More and more, the part of the world that’s produced so much of the oil we all rely on appears to be coming to the realization that business as usual isn’t sustainable. All of these factors are pushing the Middle East towards more sustainability and Middle Eastern companies towards green business.

 

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About the Author 

Shakeeb Ahmad is the Renewable Energy and Sustainability Lead at Melting Coal, a dedicated engineering and consulting company providing customized Renewable Energy, Sustainability and Carbon Management services. He is a specialist in carbon emission reduction and a wide array of alternative energy technologies, especially biomass and waste-to-energy. He has successfully undertaken an extensive range of projects and has been involved in sustainable energy implementations and carbon assessments of over 200 sites globally. Shakeeb is a Chemical Engineer having a Masters from Swansea University (UK) and Bachelors from Aligarh Muslim University (India). He can be reached at shakeeb@meltingcoal.com.

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