Collaborative efforts to Net Zero implementation essential says AECOM’s Farah Naz

“For the Energy & Sustainability Summit, what I’d personally like to achieve is a collaborative effort towards a Net Zero implementation plan for the UAE,” said Farah Naz, Head of Innovation and ESG at AECOM Middle East and Africa.

Naz made the comments ahead of participating as moderator of the ‘Achieving Net Zero’ panel discussion at the inaugural Energy & Sustainability Summit, which is being organised by Big Project Middle East. Naz’s comments echo those made by Ioannis Spanos, Director Sustainability & Environmental Services at KEO, who told Middle East Construction News (MECN) that a coordinated approach is essential to reducing GHG emissions.

Abdullatif Albitawi, Director of Emirates Green Building Council (Emirates GBC), will headline the Summit, with a keynote presentation focusing on the work the council is doing to support the local market transformation towards total sector decarbonisation.

The event is set to be held at St Regis The Palm on the Palm Jumeirah; over 25 of the region’s leading thought-leaders and decision makers will come together to share their insights and knowledge about the crucial issues facing the real estate and construction industries, as they look to help the MENA region achieve its sustainability and energy transition ambitions.

Naz remarked, “It’s a very important target for this region and we would really like to create a green, equitable future for this region, and globally, for everyone else in the world.” Naz has been a vocal advocate for change and recently also joined four regional experts in discussing the region’s Net Zero journey with Middle East Consultant in May 2022.

The event will see doors open at 9am on 21 June 2022, with the Summit scheduled to kick off at 10am. The E&S Summit is free to attend for construction professionals and the day will comprise of four high-level panel discussions: Driving the Net Zero Agenda for the GCC, Facilitating the Energy Transition, Project Development in the Age of Sustainability, and Achieving Net-Zero – Carbon Neutrality as a Construction Company.

In addition, the Summit will feature presentations from Emirates Green Building Council, The Red Sea Development Company, Engineering Contracting Company (ECC) and Saif Air Tech – A Fakhruddin Holding company.

The summit’s partners include Gold Sponsor: The SNC-Lavalin Group; Bronze Sponsors: AECOM; ECC; KEO; Saif Air Technologies; Supporting Partners: Acciona; Bainona Engineering Consultancy; JLL; Knowledge Partner: Heriot-Watt University and MESIA.

In Arcadis’ recent Sustainable Cities Index (SCI), Oslo came out in first place overall in the index which ranks 100 global cities on three different pillars of sustainability. Key Middle Eastern cities are yet to be covered on the SCI list, however sustainability is a hot topic in the region, with key projects making sustainable development a priority.

In Saudi Arabia, WSP & TRSDC recently announced their focus on decarbonised mobility solutions at transformational The Red Sea Project. In the June issue of Big Project Middle East, Majid Al Futtaim’s Chief Sustainability Officer Ibrahim Al-Zu’bi talks to Gavin Davids about why sustainability is the only way forward for the real estate sector.

With EXPO 2020 Dubai, sustainability was also a key topic, with the event organiser announcing that 121 buildings were LEED certified at the mega event. Terra – The Sustainability Pavilion at EXPO 2020 Dubai, which served as an anchor of the Sustainability Zone was also profiled by Big Project Middle East.

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