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Gulf Organisation for Research & Development (GORD) signs MoU with Aspire Zone Foundation (AZF)

May 24,2018

Gulf Organisation for Research & Development (GORD) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Aspire Zone Foundation (AZF), that will help prepare AZF facilities as per the Global Sustainability Assessment System (GSAS) and spread awareness about sustainability among AZF employees.

The MoU was signed at AZF’s headquarters in Doha by Mr. Abdulla Nasser Al Naimi, Director General of Aspire Logistics (on behalf of Mr. Mohammad Khalifa Al-Suwaidi, CEO of AZF) and Dr. Yousef Al Horr, Founding Chairman of GORD.

The MoU paves the way for a number of joint initiatives between the two organisations in several areas, particularly sustainability. Most notably, the partnership seeks to assess the sustainability levels of AZF’s facilities in preparation for the GSAS certification, which is administered by GORD. As part of the MoU, GORD will also work with AZF to organise training sessions, workshops and seminars for AZF’s employees to train and spread awareness about sustainability and other relevant topics.

Commenting on the MoU signing, Mr. Abdulla Nasser Al Naemi, Director General of Aspire Logistics, said: “Over the years, AZF has implemented a number of successful joint initiatives with GORD in the area of sustainability and this MoU will further strengthen our constructive partnership. The signing of the MoU today frames all our existing efforts under one umbrella, from which we’re able to expand the base of our cooperation to include a multitude of projects and programmes.”

He added: “Since its establishment, AZF has sought to become the reference in sports excellence worldwide by 2020, a vision which can be realised through the implementation of clear set strategic goals, one of which includes the adoption of comprehensive sustainable approaches. Environmental sustainability is vital for us on two levels; the national level, and the organisational level. Environmental sustainability is one of the main pillars of the Qatar National Vision 2030. On an organisational level, it is an inseparable part of our unique facilities, which is established and managed according to the highest international standards. Helping educate our employees will only further help with our sustainability efforts.”

Dr. Yousef Al Horr, Founding Chairman of GORD, remarked: “We’re delighted to partner with one of the most prestigious national organisations in Qatar and one that seeks to promote active and healthy lifestyles among community members. Our cooperation goes back years, with one of our earliest initiatives being a project that saw us assist with Khalifa International Stadium’s four-star rating from GSAS, making it the first stadium of its kind to obtain such recognition. That was thanks to the organisation’s commitment to adopt the best sustainability practices in the stadium’s design and construction after the country was awarded the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar.” 

He continued: “The MoU will help AZF ensure its facilities are as sustainable as possible, particularly during the design and operational stages ahead of obtaining the GSAS certification. The GSAS is unique because it includes evaluation system specifically designed to assess sports facilities, which was hailed by the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) delegation whilst visiting Doha to observe Qatar’s sustainable 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar infrastructure.”

Khalifa International Stadium's unique design extends beyond the traditional stadium, fitted with innovative and energy-efficient cooling and lightening technology, has set a new benchmark in the field of architecture which has contributed to it being awarded the four-star certification at the second annual Sustainability Summit in Doha last November.

The MoU also builds on AZF’s existing efforts to support the community in adopting a sustainable lifestyle to benefit future generations. AZF is taking a lead in the use of recycled materials, solar technology and by adopting sustainable and eco-friendly solutions to conserve electricity. AZF has also recently built an eco-friendly wastewater treatment station, making it one of the first organisations in the country to use an innovative process known as ‘reverse osmosis’.

In order to obtain GSAS certification, developers must employ leading sustainability practices in the design, construction and operation to minimise the building’s ecological footprint. The GSAS standard includes eight assessment categories: energy, water, indoor environment, cultural and economics, site, urban connectivity, materials, and management and operations.

Many public buildings in Qatar, including schools, government offices, healthcare facilities and underground infrastructure are carefully designed according to the GSAS sustainability standards, making it one of the few countries in the world to implement green building standards at the planning level, as well as the microlevel. Some of these include Lusail City, Hamad Port, the new economic zones, Qatar’s sports facilities and infrastructure and the Doha Metro Project.


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