18th, December 2023

Tadweer, Aldar, Ne’ma And Polygreen Partner To Eliminate Landfill And Food Waste Across Aldar Owned And Managed Assets In Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi, UAE – 18 December 2023: Aldar Properties PJSC (“Aldar”), Tadweer (Abu Dhabi Waste Management Company) and global circular economy solutions expert Polygreen have formed a joint venture to launch Ecoloop. The circular model is the first-of-its-kind in the region, will divert waste across Aldar’s owned and managed assets from the landfill, and transform it into valuable resources.

The signing of the joint venture was made on the sidelines of COP28. It was witnessed by His Highness Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed, Chair of the Emirates Foundation, which is also the lead entity overseeing the National Food Loss and Waste Initiative – ne’ma, alongside Her Excellency Mariam Almheiri, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment and Chair of ne’ma National Steering Committee.

Her Excellency Mariam Almheiri, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment and Chair of ne’ma National Steering Committee, said: “The UAE is committed to making meaningful change to minimise its carbon footprint and build a greener future. As holders of the COP28 Presidency, we are working to drive public awareness of food waste and build the sustainable infrastructure we need. ne’ma, which is at the forefront of sustainable initiatives, will champion the transformation of communities through embracing the ‘Zero Waste to Landfill’ framework. This commitment aligns with our objective to support the creation of more eco-conscious communities”. She continued, “To realise the UAE’s goal of achieving net zero by 2050, we need to work together, and it is through initiatives such as Ecoloop, that emphasise collaboration, we can make meaningful global climate action.”

The partnership supports Tadweer’s target to divert 80% of Abu Dhabi’s waste away from landfills by 2030, as well as Aldar’s Net Zero Plan – a commitment launched in January 2023 to become a net zero carbon business by 2050, in line with the UAE’s Net Zero by 2050 Strategic Initiative.

Each year, Aldar’s assets produce approximately 70,000 tonnes of municipal solid waste. The waste costs an annual AED 10 to 15 million to collect and send to landfills, resulting in an estimated 32,500 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO₂) emissions being released into the atmosphere each year.

Ecoloop will apply principles of a circular economy in diverting all municipal solid waste from landfills to treat and convert it into by-products, which will then be sold through off-take agreements. Under this new circular model, the waste collected will be segregated across four new transfer stations, and delivered to the new Circular Park in Al Ghadeer, Abu Dhabi. A unique feature of the segregation process is the wide range of waste products that can be recycled – from materials such as plastic and glass, to energy recovery, wood processing, and biogas processing. This project supports the Abu Dhabi Waste Management strategy under the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi.

Talal Al Dhiyebi, Group Chief Executive Officer at Aldar: “Waste management is a challenge not just for the real estate sector but across all industries. We all have a responsibility to reimagine our practices and reduce our ecological footprint. For Aldar, our partnership with Tadweer and Polygreen is a step towards a circular economy and being a zero-waste business. Ecoloop provides an innovative alternative to landfill in Abu Dhabi, and we hope it will set a new standard and inspire similar sustainable waste management across the UAE and wider region.”

Ali Al Dhaheri, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer at Tadweer: “We are proud to work closely with Aldar and Polygreen to launch the Ecoloop project, transforming Aldar’s waste into valuable resources. Partnerships with local and international entities are critical for the success of the circular economy, and our collaboration with these organisations underscores our commitment to achieving 80% landfill diversion in Abu Dhabi by 2030. This, in turn, contributes to our objective of becoming a global sustainable waste management champion.”

Athanasios Polychronopoulos, Chairman and Group Chief Executive Officer at Polygreen: “Polygreen shares the vision and values of innovation and circularity with Aldar and Tadweer. Ecoloop will implement an integrated and disruptive circular model which will become an epitome of circularity for resource management globally.”

His Excellency Ahmed Al Shamsi, Chief Executive Officer of Emirates Foundation, and Deputy of ne’ma National Steering Committee: “We are so pleased to see UAE organisations like Aldar and Tadweer champion efforts that address the challenge of waste including food waste at such scale. Each year, around AED 6 billion worth of food is discarded into our landfills and through ne’ma, we look to increase community awareness and change behaviour towards this issue. We look forward to seeing Ecoloop working to engage further with the local community to unlock changes that will reduce food waste and enable the UAE to accelerate our target to reduce food waste by 50% by 2030.”

Ecoloop builds on Polygreen’s previous success in Greece, using their ‘Just Go Zero’ model, which brings businesses, local governments, and communities together to work towards a zero-waste world. In July 2023, Tilos became the first island in the world to receive certification under the European accreditation standard created by Zero Waste Europe (ZWE) and Mission Zero Academy (MiZA). The programme successfully diverted 100 per cent of its municipal solid waste from landfill, leading to the closure of the landfill facility. Presently, Tilos has a recycling rate of nearly 90 per cent.