Abu Dhabi’s new circular economy framework aims to reduce industrial process waste by 50%

The new framework will guide businesses to use resources more responsibly

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Ashwani Kumar

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Published: Mon 4 Dec 2023, 1:35 PM

A new circular economy framework has been unveiled to accelerate Abu Dhabi’s transition towards a smart and sustainable economy, the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED) said.

The Industrial Circular Economy Policy framework aims to achieve a 50 per cent reduction in industrial process waste, at least 40,000 tonnes annually and will cover key sectors to ensure 100 per cent compliance by 2030, with 100 per cent compliance within the plastic manufacturing sector by 2025.

“The pivotal role of the industrial sector in fostering sustainability underscores the need for a heightened commitment to implementing circular economy principles across all sectors,” Ahmed Jasim Al Zaabi, Chairman of ADDED, said after the official announcement of the policy during the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2023 at COP28.

The new framework, part of the Abu Dhabi Industrial Strategy’s (ADIS) six transformational programmes, will guide industrial businesses to use resources more responsibly by minimising waste and environmental impact while maximising the value and lifecycle of products and materials by utilising resources more efficiently. It is poised to revolutionise the industrial landscape and foster sustainable economic growth.

The policy includes a 100 per cent scrap recovery and reuse in the metal and plastic industries, which will positively impact subsectors such as electronics, electricals, assembling products, machinery, fabricated metal products, and more. As a regulatory requirement, the IDB ensures 100 per cent compliance within the plastic manufacturing sector by 2025.

“Abu Dhabi currently surpasses global averages in the reuse of industrial waste, and our progressive circular economy framework, coupled with other initiatives in various sectors, ensures we become a truly ‘Green Falcon Economy’,” Al Zaabi said.

The circular economy framework, a departure from the conventional ‘take-make-dispose’ linear model, emerges as Abu Dhabi is transforming towards a diversified, smart, inclusive, and sustainable economy.

“We are determined to deliver lasting change and ensure businesses in the Emirate adopt a more responsible approach to resource utilisation, integrate ESG principals into their operations, qualify and upskill talent, and embrace green procurement and technology. This strategic direction aligns with our overarching philosophy which places human development and sustainability at the core of socio-economic strategies and plans.”

The framework, supervised by the Industrial Development Bureau (IDB), the ADDED’s arm to develop and regulate the industrial sector, is expected to be implemented in the second quarter of 2024.

To encourage industrial entities to adopt the circular economy principles and policies, ADDED is offering incentive schemes and arranging programames to enhance awareness. Specialised monitoring, reporting, and verification schemes, including audits, inspections, and enforcement, will be implemented to ensure all industries adopt circular economy practices.

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