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Qatar Sustainability Summit stirs debates on policies, solutions and implementation of sustainability

Nov 03,2019

Stimulating insightful discussions on sustainability, climate actions and carbon neutrality, Qatar Sustainability Summit (QSS) concluded on Monday, October 28, at St. Regis Doha. Co-organized by the Gulf Organisation for Research & Development (GORD), QSS gathered advocates, practitioners and researchers to share the promises and pitfalls of sustainability. Inaugurated by HE Eng. Abdullah bin Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Subaie, Minister of Municipality and Environment, the two-day event featured presentations from experts representing leading organizations and institutions representing various sectors including research, energy, construction, retails, manufacturing, sports and educations, etc. 

Delegates at QSS
Delegates at QSS

 

Speaking about the event, Chairman GORD, Dr. Yousef Alhorr said, “Qatar Sustainability Summit creates an ideal platform for the exchange of knowledge and thoughts. The presentations have centred on four key pillars, including policies and initiatives, encouraging implementation of sustainability in different sectors of economies such as built environment, mobility, energy, businesses and resource. Several presentations were related to latest technologies and innovations for energy efficiency, recycling, water conservation, carbon-free transport and waste management. The presentations highlight education’s role in research and development in providing environmental sustainability through interdisciplinary research activities between academia, industry and government agencies for the benefit of public and environment. Initiatives that are taking place in Qatar have also been presented, including the installation of PV power generation on utility scale by Kahramaa, and use of intercity mass transport by Qatar’s Education City as well as Lusail City. Furthermore, QSS brought collaborations between parties to influence youth and development of new approaches for addressing climate change and environment in a way that suits the new generation’s needs, thoughts and behaviour.” 

Dr. Yousef Alhorr speaking at QSS

Discussions on the second day of the summit encompassed current status and prospects of renewable energy systems, cooling and energy challenges in hot and humid climate, and European Commission’s Fuel Quality Directives and their Implications for oil & gas industry in Middle East. Specialists from GORD also introduced the upcoming “Qatar’s Accreditation Council” for GHG verification and management system accreditation. Commenting on collaboration with GORD for QSS, Mr. Yosouf Abdulrahman Saleh, Executive Director of QSTP, said, “We believe the Qatar Sustainability Summit is an important platform for stakeholders who are actively involved in various sustainability-related initiatives as we work towards a greener future for Qatar, the wider MENA region and beyond.” Reiterating similar thoughts, Ouassim Alami is Strategic Initiatives Adviser to Qatar Foundation’s Chief Operations Officer, added, “We believe that events like Qatar Sustainability Summit are leading platforms for networking and collaborating to drive climate actions and achieve sustainable growth.”
QSS was co-organized by GORD in collaboration with leading organizations including Qatari Diar Real Estate Company, Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, Shell, Qatar Foundation, the Abdullah Bin Hamad Al-Attiyah International Foundation for Energy and Sustainable Development, Midea Global, Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP), Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF), Al-Taadhod Group, Lulu International Group, Doha Bank, Qatar Petrochemical Company (QAPCO), Aspire Zone Foundation, Qatar Sports League, Green Wall, GreyWolf, Gulf Business Machines (GBM), the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA), the Embassy of Canada to the State of Qatar,  Dar Al-Sharq Group, I Love Qatar (ILQ) and Marhaba.
“Behind this endorsement is our firm belief that Qatar Sustainability Summit is one of the best platforms to showcase the work already implemented, and help instigate and inspire similar changes across other organizations,” stated SC’s Eng. Bodour Mohammad Al Meer who is leading the strategic implementation of Sustainability and Environmental requirements in all stadium infrastructure developments for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. Dr. R. Seetharaman, Chief Executive Officer of Doha Bank, emphasized om approaches to sustainability within the finance sector through practices such as Green Banking.

Panel discussion at QSS

 

A key focus of this year’s presentations remained energy transition. From low-carbon growth to voluntary carbon markets, sustainability experts explored ways forward to decarbonize the region’s economy that heavily relies on fossil fuels. Dirk Forrister is the President & CEO of IETA, said, “To drive the change, carbon markets can be the policy tool to unlock climate ambition by delivering maximum emissions reductions at lowest cost. To help catalyze this regional energy transition, IETA has collaborated with GORD as the carbon market partner for Qatar Sustainability Summit.” In a presentation on the second day, Mr. Udeogu Onwusogh, Water R&D Team Lead at Qatar Shell, discussed the potential of bio-sludge compost to enhance arid soil properties and improve yields for urban greening in Qatar. More green products introduced during sessions included sustainable alternative building materials produced via carbon capture and mineralization process.
Representing the technology industry, GBM marked its presence by showcasing its services and a presentation on Sustainability through Digital Transformation. “Partnering with QSS also presents a great opportunity to showcase how any business can contribute to the nation’s sustainable development,” said Soubhi Chebib, General Manager of GBM Qatar. 
This year’s summit also found active support from organizations within the sports sector, including the Aspire Zone Foundation and Qatar Sports League. Mr. Abdulla Nasser Al-Naemi, Director General of Aspire Logistics stated that the organization is strategically committed towards sustainability, not only in terms of its long-run objectives, but also as a central component of its organizational culture. “Our collaboration with GORD for sustainability summit for the last two years is yet another step in our direction towards a sustainable future,” he added. Sheikh Faisal Bin Jassim Al-Thani, Chairman of Al Ta’adhod Group expressed that “Considering Al Ta’adhod Group’s corporate social responsibility towards economic and social development, environmental protection and educating wider communities about sustainability, we embarked on our partnership with GORD for Qatar Sustainability Summit.”
Representing the retail sector, Lulu International Group’s Director, Mr. Mohamed Althaf said that the group’s collaboration with GORD came as part of the retail organization’s mission to promote sustainability through green programs and daily operations. Acknowledging indoor air quality as a key component of sustainable built environment, Rick Stonier, Managing Director of GrayWolf Sensing Solutions, in his presentation elaborated on green building air quality measurement basics. 
With key MoUs signed between GORD and leading entities of SC, Doha Bank, UNESCO and Terre Policy Center, Qatar Sustainability Summit has laid foundation for a range of unprecedented initiatives to drive clime change in the State of Qatar. 


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