Dubai school switches to B20 biodiesel for entire bus fleet to boost sustainability

This change would cut the school’s carbon footprint by 40 tons annually

By Adeena Siddiqui

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Published: Wed 6 Dec 2023, 4:07 PM

As world leaders and businesses champion sustainability at the COP28 climate summit, the Arbor School in Dubai has also taken a step towards a greener future. In collaboration with biodiesel distributor Neutral Fuels and the STS Group, the school has installed a 6,000-litre tank of B20 biodiesel on campus for its fleet of 20 buses.

During the ribbon-cutting ceremony at Arbor School, known for its focus on 'eco-literacy, sustainability, and environmental justice,' everyone present lauded the switch from 100 per cent fossil diesel to B20—comprising 20 per cent biodiesel and 80 per cent fossil diesel. Anthony Dixon, co-founder of The Alliance of Sustainable Schools (TASS), said that this change would cut the school’s carbon footprint by 40 tons annually. Scaling this up across all schools in the UAE could potentially reduce the carbon footprint of school transport by approximately 9,000 tons yearly.

Currently, school buses in the UAE emit a staggering 156,000 tons of CO2 each year. If all schools in the UAE adopted the shift from fossil diesel to B20 biodiesel, an annual reduction of 26,000 tons of CO2 emissions could be achieved, and even more with a higher biodiesel blend, said Dixon.

Brett Givern, the principal at Arbor School, attributed the success of this initiative to the school’s collaboration with Metanoia, an environmental consultancy company, as well as TASS and Neutral Fuels. He emphasised the importance of building networks in making such changes possible.

Givern highlighted the school’s commitment to minimising its carbon footprint in various aspects, including food, fashion, facilities, and now fuel. The school has an onsite farm, sustainable uniforms, and practices water conservation to reduce CO2 and pollutant emissions. Students at Arbor School are actively involved in initiatives to enhance air quality around the school. They contribute by being dropped off at the neighbouring mosque, participating in a bike bus, and cycling to school.


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