Our sustainable best practices span across our office and plant operations, implementing and measuring sustainable performance, waste management and energy ownership, with the aim of reduction and efficiency. We have a solid corporate sustainability culture and stewardship, from building our cooling plants reliability, performing business operations in the least harmful manner to conducting business development practices sustainability and communicating to our customers, community, and stakeholders.
As part of our annual strategic initiatives and corporate goal setting, we include environmental objectives. Where energy and water conservation projects are expanded upon or created, with the aim of becoming a more sustainable organization in both our operations and business function.
Every year we join the worldwide initiative and turn off all unnecessary power in our four buildings, helping to remind millions of people the importance of making environmentally conscious decisions in their daily lives, as well as demonstrating how those millions of decisions can add together to major change.
We host a variety of environmental themed activities with our partners, schools, and the community alike. The topics vary from energy conservation, water, and air pollution to food scarcity. We work with a variety of companies within the community to tackle these issues and provide solutions and training alike.
In partnership with Tarsheed, we run a weeklong program at Kahramaa’ s awareness park each year. The theme of the event is water and energy conservation in the GCC region. Each year we select a key message and develop an engagement program around the theme for the visiting schools during the week.
District cooling reduces a significant amount of CO2 so we try to physically convert our CO2 reductions, where we can, and plant as many trees in our community as possible. With each new customer signed with us, we as an organization gather and plant a tree to mark the occasion. Additionally, we ensure our buildings are green both internally and externally, recently we partnered with the Ministry of Municipality and Environment to plant 300 tree in one of our West Bay cooling plants gardens, to support their initiative of ‘Plant a million trees’ and our continuous efforts to make Qatar Greener.
Our energy conservation strategies include lowering our electrical consumption through high efficiency lighting, controls, and HVAC, as well as upgrading and implementing IT infrastructure. We have several initiatives within the organization to be energy aware, from turning off unnecessary energy consuming fixtures and technologies when not in use to monitoring and improving waste and over consumption.
To conserve potable water, we have installed low-flow restroom fixtures, irrigation features and high efficiency cooling towers. Our newest cooling plants have been designed and constructed with water conservation in mind, from what we use to build the cooling plant to what we use in our operations. We use Treated Sewage Effluent in our operations to further reduce the demand on potable water. Using wastewater has significantly reduced our water consumption.
District cooling saves substantial energy over conventional cooling. The energy savings convert to enormous CO2 reductions. Qatar Cool over the past 12 years have saved over 1.6 billion tons of CO2 emissions, for its operations alone. The savings are equivalent to planting over 20 million mature trees, which would fit into almost 57 thousand football stadiums. But we do not stop there, our cooling plant savings are coupled with our day-to-day activities and conservation efforts, further increasing our savings and contribution to the environment.
We have many initiatives where we converted to digital, which has allowed us significant savings, in paper, energy and water etc. Everything we do in operations and in the office are centered around conservation and efficiency. We run campaigns and workshops for our people, educating them on new initiatives and implementations throughout the organization, with the aim of reduction.
We are continually looking for improvements to our operations, ensuring we adapt with the evolvement of technology and processes. To date we have made many changes to our cooling pants and systems, improving their reliability and efficiency. We have worked on automation of operations of the chilled water system, allowing for optimized performance, preparation for demand, weather and fluctuating loads, resulting in lower Kw/HR consumptions and energy savings.
During the construction we are utilizing locally sourced products and services to reduce our carbon footprint and that of our resources. GDCP is designed with sustainability in mind. To limit heat gain to the building, the external façade has highly insulated walls and low shading coefficient glazing. 30% of the building’s façade will be covered with a vertical garden, aside from the aesthetic appeal the green wall will provide improved air quality and a decrease in noise pollution. We will use drip irrigation for the vertical garden which will reduce water consumption.
From the beginning we have taken into consideration the effects of construction on the surrounding area and environment. We implemented pollution prevention measures on construction activities by controlling soil erosion, waterway sedimentation and airborne dust generation.
The LEED Certification and its score reflect the total effects of the building on the environment during the construction and operation such as, Sustainable sites, water savings, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, recycled content, local/regional materials, Indoor environmental quality, innovation and design process and regional priority.
We are in discussions with several entities to explore the opportunities to offset the CO2, which is produced by us, all be it low. We strive to be as carbon neutral as possible given the infrastructure in currently available in the country. In the meantime, we will continue to reduce our footprint, and that of our peoples.