Every large-scale business impacts the environment in which it operates, and our business is no exception. It’s a big responsibility to build and run the infrastructure to pump, treat, transport, store and deliver safe drinking water, or to store and distribute our electricity supply safely and efficiently.
Part of our duty involves finding new ways to do things that reduce our environmental impact. With an eye on the future, ADPC has established several initiatives aimed at researching and safeguarding the local environment.
Finding the way forward
Founded and funded by ADPC , the National Energy and Water Research Centre (NEWRC) is concerned with finding alternative ways of providing for the region’s future water and energy needs, specifically focusing on power generation and water desalination.
Researchers are looking at ways to develop renewable energy sources – such as solar power in an effort to sustainably meet our increasing power demands. Other research at the centre is looking at alternatives to fossil fuels, with nuclear energy a key area of study. This is now an established method of supplying electricity in many developed economies; one that doesn’t release harmful gases or toxic metals into the environment.
Another main drive of the work at NEWRC is concerned with environmental impact assessments and risk assessments, aimed at large industrial producers like power plants or at the mega projects planned in the region. Scientists use state-of-the-art monitoring equipment to test air quality, ecosystems, and assess the risk of exposure to electromagnetic fields, noise, and radioactivity. These studies provide great on-the-job training for local engineers, and the centre provides opportunities to transfer knowledge, create innovation and encourage national and regional participation.
Looking to the future
As our demand for energy continues to increase, it’s up to us to find new ways of doing things. ADPC takes a proactive role in the search to develop new, renewable and alternative energy sources. To this end, our delegates participated in the Environment 2007 exhibition and conference held in Abu Dhabi in January 2007, which featured specialist exhibitors and representatives from institutions around the world, who gathered to focus on environmental issues.
This was followed by our participation in the World Future Energy Summit, held in Abu Dhabi in January 2009, an event which gathered top government officials, heads of global concerns, major investors and leading environmentalists, to discuss the future of the energy sector.
Taking the initiative
ADPC has sponsored several conferences in the region concerned with power and water, most notably electing to be the main sponsor at several MEED conferences, and supporting the POWER-GEN Middle East conference in 2007.
In addition, a number of initiatives have been launched with the aim of conserving natural resources, reducing pollution and promoting community awareness of conservation, waste recycling and disposal, to safeguard future generations. For example, in August 2009 we held the Heroes of the UAE campaign, where we distributed 40,000 environment friendly light bulbs in Abu Dhabi to raise awareness of the need to reduce power usage.
Other eco-friendly ideas are directed closer to home.
The Management Without Papers policy encouraged staff members in ADPC group companies to put away their memo pads and notes, and instead try to contact their colleagues electronically, in an attempt reduce the amount of paper that is wasted. The company continues to find ways to lead us towards a greener future.