UDC becomes first real estate firm in Qatar to issue ESG report

June 22, 2022

United Development Company (UDC), a leading Qatari public shareholding company and the master developer of The Pearl and Gewan Islands, recently issued its Environmental, Social, and Governance Report (ESG) to Qatar Stock Exchange, making it the first listed real estate company in Qatar to officially disclose its sustainability and environmental strategies and achievements, the company announced in a statement on Tuesday.
As an organization established to play a key role in the development of Qatar, UDC’s business practices are closely aligned with the wider goals of sustainable economic and social development that the State of Qatar has set forth in its vision for 2030, as evidenced by the attention given to incorporate sustainable development programmes into the Company’s business decisions and practices.
UDC’s environment and sustainability focus areas therefore cover the appropriate management and recycling of waste through use of the ENVAC smart waste disposal system and active recycling measures, in addition to environmentally friendly processes and packaging through the banned usage of non-biodegradable plastic bags, as well as the optimization of energy consumption in all UDC operated and managed projects and developments, including the use of environmentally friendly technologies, such as district cooling supplied by UDC subsidiary Qatar Cool.
Since the inauguration of Qatar Cool’s district cooling plant on The Pearl Island in 2010, the environmental impact has significantly contributed to UDC’s commitment to sustainability on the Island. To date the cooling plant has saved over 1.7 billion KWH in energy, in turn removing over 950 million KG of CO2 from the atmosphere, since 2010. If converted, the CO2 reduction is the same as removing over 182 thousand cars from our roads or planting over 11 million mature trees, which would populate over 32 thousand football grounds.
Regular training, events and awareness campaigns promoting activities to reduce environmental impacts and use of natural resources, are also designed to highlight environmental issues and initiatives to employees and community members.
In this context, UDC and its subsidiaries are currently certified for their Integrated Management System Policy as well as Environmental Management System (ISO 14001:2015) which ensure the consistent qualitative assessment of operational risks and impacts related to the environment.
Some of UDC’s recent sustainability and environmental achievements at The Pearl Island, include: · Renovation of Hadyiq Centrale (Grand Park) to encourage more walkability for community enjoyment.
· Tree planting initiatives to enhance biodiversity.
· Beach clean-up initiative on the occasion of World Oceans Day.
· Installation of two recycling units at an existing solid waste drop-off, in partnership with a waste management service provider, and use of recycled water for landscape irrigation.
· First sustainable green color public parking adjacent to The Pearl Showrooms and new shaded residential car parking in Qanat Quartier for residents, which reduces urban heating and promotes sustainability.
· Installation of ‘Seabins’ to maintain clean waters and protect marine species at The Pearl Island, the first of its kind in the State of Qatar, with a plan to add another ten seabins, covering more locations in Porto Arabia.
· Launch of e-scooters and climatized metrolink bus stops in addition to the installation of four electric vehicle chargers which all encourage sustainability, use of electric vehicles and reduction of urban heating.
· Active participation in the development of Qatar National Environment and Climate Change Strategy with a commitment to reduce the average carbon footprint per employee by 25% and to cut 12% of energy-related greenhouse gas emissions by 2026.
Environment highlights further include recycling 22.7% of total waste, saving 7,948 trees, 8 billion liters of potable water and 2,126 cbm of landfill space as well as conserving 3.2 million kw of energy hours and 3.3 million gallons of water.
Following in the footsteps of The Pearl Island which is considered a forerunner in sustainable living in Qatar, Gewan Island promises to take sustainability to the next level by deploying urban innovation and resource preservation mechanisms, to generate long-lasting economic, social and environmental value. Various features have therefore been incorporated in the Island’s masterplan highlighting its attributes as a sustainable development including building and landscape design, environmentally friendly technologies and water and energy saving measures.
Moving forward and as part of its commitment to Qatar National Climate Change Action Plan, UDC is working to further minimize its environmental footprint and the carbon emissions associated with its buildings and facilities by reducing direct and indirect energy consumption in all its offices and projects. These will be gradually powered by renewable energy with highly energy-efficient measures and fixtures, including the incorporation of energy-efficient and motion-activated lighting and water equipment which will enable UDC to obtain GORD-GSAS certification for its sustainable buildings. UDC will also ensure more water can be reused and recycled, and less fresh water is needed by utilizing hydroponic green roof systems to collect rainwater from roofs and reusing it for non-potable purposes.
UDC further targets to be at the forefront of modern transportation in Qatar by transitioning 50% of its transportation fleet from gasoline to electric vehicles, promoting micro-mobility modes such as usage of water taxis, e-scooters and bikes on dedicated lanes, in addition to providing more electric car charging outlets around The Pearl Island.
With smart cities being at the forefront of the transition to a sustainable and low-carbon world, and investors increasingly incorporating sustainability factors into their investment decisions, UDC’s design of The Pearl and Gewan Islands proves that its objectives stretch far beyond technological innovation, economic prosperity and reducing environmental impacts, to actually connecting people and places and creating value in the long term.
In this sense, both The Pearl and Gewan Islands fully provide integration, mobility, accessibility, and connectivity that aim at improving social, cultural, and economic interaction of the people in the development, thus facilitating healthier, happier and more fulfilling lifestyles to the community at large.● Over 950 million kg of CO2 removed from the atmosphere ● 22.7% of total waste recycled
● 50% of transportation fleet to be transitioned from gasoline to electric vehicles

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