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VFS Global says goodbye to single-use plastic water bottles

DUBAI, February 26, 2020

In a key environmental initiative, VFS Global, the world's largest visa outsourcing and technology services specialist for governments and diplomatic missions worldwide, has decided to ditch plastic bottle usage starting with its visa application centre in Dubai.

The initiative aims to decrease plastic pollution rates that threaten natural resources and congest the environment worldwide and help reduce carbon footprint overall for workers and visitors alike.

Located at Wafi Mall, Falcon, Phase 2, Umm Hurair 2, the Dubai centre becomes the first VFS Global plastic bottle-free Visa Application Centre in the world. The initiative is an important step towards creating greener centres as it is expected to reduce plastic usage by over 50,000 bottles annually in the Dubai centre. The second phase of the initiative will cover VFS Global Centre in Abu Dhabi and the best practice will be implemented across other larger centres globally where water quality and infrastructure allow the use of new dispensers.

Peter Brun, chief communications officer, responsible for the company’s initiatives related to sustainability, said: “At VFS Global, we aim to reduce our impact on the environment wherever we can. Caring for the planet is the natural thing to do. We are continuously improving our sustainability and ESG – Environment, Social and Governance – performance. Our first plastic bottle-free Visa Application Centre in Dubai is just the beginning. In 2020, we aim to develop an action plan, with targets to reduce our building emissions in a systematic and measurable way. We will explore purchasing renewable power for visa applications centres and offices and we will complement our long-standing commitment to offsetting our business travel.”

Plastic bottled water at the centre is swapped with water filtration dispenser machines that can filter the water straight from the Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (DEWA) pipelines. All prevailing plastic bottles and cups are replaced with eco-friendly bio-degradable paper cups that are environment-friendly. This arrangement is implemented at all areas, including front and back office, across the visa application centre. In the Premium Lounge, applicants are served water in a reusable glass.

To provide an alternative for plastic bottles and to ensure offering the cleanest water possible, water from the new dispensers have been tested via Dubai Municipality and is declared fit to consume in order to avoid any health or hygiene allied issues. - TradeArabia News Service




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