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Green awareness in the UAE growing fast

Alvin R. Cabral
Filed on August 14, 2010

DUBAI — The UAE is increasingly becoming an environment-friendly place to do business with the quick adoption of a slew of green initiatives, according to Design solutions company Summertown Interiors.

In an e-mailed statement to Khaleej Times, Summertown Interiors Managing Director Marcos Bish said that one does not have to look far to see how much the country is well aware of being environmentally sound.

“We only have to open newspapers to see stories on the environment, sustainability, corporate social responsibility, carbon footprints and other green issues,” he said.

“The increasing emphasis on ‘green rating’ systems for buildings and interiors, initiated by both the government and companies, gives testimony to this.”

The company has three independent entities in the UAE — Summertown International in Abu Dhabi, Summertown Interiors in Dubai and Summertown Joinery at the Jebel Ali Free Zone, which is the first joinery company in the UAE to be awarded an ISO 9001-2000 certification.

Summertown also held a workshop recently to demonstrate the importance of implementing environmental standards, with more of these activities soon to follow.

Bish highlighted a number of benefits businesses can reap from going green.“There are economic rewards in terms of reduced operating costs through energy savings of up to 75 per cent and reduced water consumption of up to 50 per cent,” he said.

Aside from these benefits, revenues and employees are also affected positively by going green, Bish said.

“Not only will businesses reduce their operating costs, substantially, but there is also the fact that green buildings and interiors result in improved productivity for employees and employers, by creating a working environment,” he said.

Bish believes that the financial crisis is behind and that the company “has adjusted to the new realities.” The property market — particularly in the UAE — is “excellent,” with “a lot of good office stock to choose from, combined with low rental rates.”

Summertown is also optimistic about the business climate in the UAE, with Bish viewing it as “very promising for existing companies and potential investors.”

“We are positive and upbeat… both in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.”

· alvin@khaleejtimes.com





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