When it comes to advancing the decarbonisation agenda, few sectors have a greater role to play than construction. Building operations and construction account for nearly 40 per cent of global energy-related CO2 emissions. But with an ever-growing global population and rampant urbanisation, scaling back activities isn’t an option. The need of the hour, therefore, is for greater sustainability in the sector.
Fortunately, construction firms in the region are taking note, and leading the charge is ALEC. “Sustainability lies at the core of our business philosophy. We are dedicated to aligning with the decarbonisation agendas of regional governments and championing a greener future for the construction sector as a whole,” said Barry Lewis, CEO at ALEC.
In a demonstration of this commitment, the company, which has constructed many of the region’s iconic developments such as SeaWorld Abu Dhabi, One Za’abeel Tower, the Dubai Hills Mall and the Dubai Airport Terminal 3, recently joined the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative that promotes responsible business practices and the advancement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Lewis explained three of the ten principles of the UNGC pertain to the environment.
“By joining this initiative, we commit to implementing the Global Compact’s ten principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment, and anti-corruption, and to report on our progress on these efforts annually.”
ALEC also joined the Emirates Green Building Council, an industry forum focused on enhancing sustainability in the local built environment.
Moreover, ALEC is currently developing the carbon baseline for its operations and implementing a comprehensive decarbonisation strategy, which it hopes will become a playbook for its industry peers to follow. This involves employing modern methods of construction, such as offsite construction and modular volumetric, and digitalisation operations by integrating technologies such as Building Information Modelling (BIM), Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR) and more. At its construction sites, the company is increasingly leveraging solar energy generation and hybrid and electric-powered equipment and tools. The company carries out its construction operations in line with the ISO 14001: 2015 Environmental Management System.
“Across our diverse portfolio, a total of seven projects have earned the distinguished LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification, including the platinum-rated Saudi Arabia at Expo 2020 Dubai. In Abu Dhabi, our efforts to shape environmentally-conscious construction practices have translated into three of our projects earning the two Pearl Estidama rating, along with the achievement of a three-star Global Sustainability Assessment System (GSAS) certification in Qatar,” said Lewis.
With year-to-date revenue growth of over 25 per cent, ALEC is proof that economic growth and environmental stewardship can indeed go hand in hand.
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