UAE firm unveils first carbon neutral vehicle
Dubai, December 8, 2010
UAE-based facilities management company Farnek Avireal has unveiled the region’s first carbon neutral commercial vehicle in a partnership agreement with global carbon offset foundation Myclimate.
A leading non-profit foundation based in Switzerland, Myclimate, said the vehicle - a two-door, two wheel drive 2010 Nissan Civilian - can hold up to 26 passengers and will offset around 12 tons of CO2 a year, based on the vehicle traveling 30,000 km annually (82km a day) with fuel consumption of 35km per gallon.
Myclimate provides consultancy, advisory and carbon management services to help companies reduce their environmental impact by offsetting carbon emissions and reducing or, where possible, replacing their use of fossil fuels.
As per agreement, Farnek Avireal will pay an annual sum of $1400 to myclimate, which calculates the cost of repairing the environmental damage caused by the vehicle. The money will then be used to fund carbon offset projects around the globe.
A joint venture between Dubai-based Khalifa Juma Al Nabooda Group and Avireal AG of Switzerland, Farnek Avireal, said it is committed to reduce environmental impact still further.
'This carbon neutral initiative with myclimate is a regional first for both parties,' said Markus Oberlin, general manager of Farnek Avireal Middle East.
'Hopefully we have now set the trend for other commercial organisations throughout the region, to try and reduce their carbon footprint whether that’s joining a global carbon offset programme or examining ways in which they can cut the carbon emissions of the buildings they operate from,' he added.
Myclimate’s projects are considered effective due to their focus on substituting fossil fuels with renewable energy sources and utilising energy efficiency measures.
As an example, a project that has just started in Kenya produces efficient Upesi stoves to reduce wood consumption, and helps to preserve the unique vegetation and biodiversity of the Kakamega rainforest.
The stoves have a cleaner burning process and thus decrease indoor air pollution and associated acute respiratory infections in women and children. Moreover, savings in burning unsustainably harvested fuel wood cut down CO2 emissions. This project alone will save 241’976 tons of CO2 (over 7 years).
“Carbon emissions do not recognise international borders, it is a global issue. Environmental damage on one continent can have dire consequences on weather patterns on the other side of the world,” commented Oberlin.
“We also took the decision to brand the vehicle, raising further awareness by providing a constant reminder to other road users and pedestrians,” he added.
'The UAE Government is conscious of the CO2 problem and is making considerable efforts to cut its carbon footprint – the carbon neutral Masdar City in Abu Dhabi and the green building standards announced recently in Dubai are excellent example of this. This initiative is another step in the right direction,” said Rene Estermann, CEO, myclimate.
Looking ahead, Oberlin remarked: “The corporate world is moving towards a more sustainable future and I hope we can inspire others to recognise the impact their business has on the environment.”-TradeArabia News Service