United Development Company (UDC), the master developer of The Pearl and Gewan islands was honoured with four international environment and sustainability awards by the Green Apple Organisation, in recognition of its significant achievements in the areas of pollution control, energy efficiency, water management, and carbon reduction, all of which are crucial in advancing environmental improvement and sustainable development.
The awards were received by engineer Abdullatif Ali al-Yafei, UDC executive director of Public Services, during a ceremony held in Miami City, Florida, recognising UDC’s Environment and Sustainability Strategy 2026, which demonstrates UDC’s persistent leadership, innovation, and commitment to sustainable business practices at The Pearl Island.
UDC was chosen out of 200 total nominations, which included prominent regional and international companies, making it the first real estate company in the Middle East to earn these highly esteemed awards. These awards also ensure that UDC is featured in the World Green Book, acknowledging its ongoing commitment to the Qatar National Vision 2030.
UDC’s award-winning practices encompassed waste recycling and management, plastic reduction, e-waste and battery management, and other environmentally conscious efforts.
Notably, UDC was the first Qatari real estate company to introduce the Seabin Project, which promotes a cleaner marina and prevents pollution. This project resulted in the filtration of approximately 2.5bn litres of seawater, the removal of over 2.4 tonnes of waste from the environment, and the recycling of 8.46kg of plastic. UDC’s strategy relies on a marine and coastal environmental system that prioritises energy conservation in communal areas, thus reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Furthermore, UDC has plans to expand the presence of seabins/cleaners in Porto Arabia Marina to effectively manage pollution and maintain optimal water quality by removing potential contaminants. The Pearl Island’s waste management and recycling programme contributed to a reduction in air pollution equivalent to 86,966lbs per year.
UDC implemented a smart LED lighting system that operates solely on solar power for both public and private beaches. The system is made up of almost 80% recycled materials, ensuring sustainable procurement. UDC converted all communal area lighting to smart LED technology, resulting in a 35% decrease in energy consumption and efficient energy management.
Since its inception, The Pearl Island has implemented robust waste management practices that conserve freshwater use. Through the implementation of technology and sustainable practices, UDC has saved over 2,716,290 gallons of freshwater by reducing waste and promoting rational water usage, as well as conducting a business cycle assessment and implementing changes that prioritise sustainability and long-term beneficial actions.
UDC has equally conserved more than 8bn litres of freshwater, thus far by the use of TSE (treated sewage effluent) for landscape irrigation at The Pearl Island. UDC further introduced smart and automatic water features that use 25% less water compared to conventional features, helping preserve 438,270 gallons of water.
The world’s largest district cooling plant is located in The Pearl Island, providing the community with eco-friendly cooling while minimising greenhouse gas emissions. The plant has saved over 1.7bn KWH in energy, in turn removing over 950mn KG of CO2 from the atmosphere, since 2010. If converted, the CO2 reduction is the same as removing over 182,000 cars from our roads or planting over 11mn mature trees, which would populate over 32,000 football grounds.
UDC has also recently launched a hybrid plug-in limousine service that reduces urban heat and greenhouse gas emissions by 65% while offering luxurious sustainable transportation. Furthermore, UDC operates the region’s first fully electric water taxi on The Pearl Island, eliminating underwater noise and promoting the conservation of marine ecosystems while reducing carbon emissions.
Last month, Ibrahim Jassim al-Othman, UDC president and CEO and member of the Board, was chosen amongst nine top executives who received the Sustainability Executives Leader Award and was selected based on achieving ESG goals, leadership skills, and ability to attract and retain talent.
By winning this award, UDC sets the highest benchmarks for environmental integration, setting the path for other organisations to adopt and deliver long-lasting sustainable impact on the community and the world.
Recently, UDC initiated a unique tree planting for new employees, where a tree is planted for every new employee who joins the Company and successively for every five years spent at UDC. The company has equally partnered with the Green Organisation to plant 12 trees every month in areas that need them most. This initiative contributes to carbon reduction, provides a source of nutrition, stabilises soil, and reduces the impact of CO2. This also reflects the company’s commitment to social responsibility on a global scale.
In October 2022, UDC won two Green Apple awards from the ‘Green Apple Environment’, a prominent environmental organisation in the UK. UDC won the ‘Best Development Award’ for reducing carbon emissions while developing projects at The Pearl Island, and the ‘Best Waste Management Company’ for complying with environment-friendly behaviours.
The Pearl Island ranked in the top five companies for its environmental marine initiatives by the North American Marine Environment Protection Association (NAMEPA) out of more than 50 leading institutions worldwide demonstrating a genuine leadership commitment toward marine protection.
In a pioneering initiative, UDC has released its ESG report for 2022 to the Qatar Stock Exchange, making it the first listed real estate company in Qatar to officially disclose its strategies and achievements in the areas of environment and sustainability.
Furthermore, UDC Tower was the first building to receive a GSAS Operation certificate from Gord in the Gold category. This certificate demonstrates the building’s resilient sustainable operation, addressing key sustainability aspects, such as energy, water use, and indoor air quality. UDC Tower also features the first vertical green plantation on The Pearl Island, enhancing its green landscape.
The Pearl Island boasts over 8,000 trees and more than 90 football fields of green grass, which helps clean the air, sequester CO2, reduce erosion from stormwater runoff, improve soil, decrease noise pollution, and lower temperatures. The shoreline of The Pearl Island and Gewan Island also hosts a large seagrass habitat that significantly contributes to blue infrastructure, capturing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and reducing the impact of climate change.
To this end and throughout 2022 and early 2023, UDC has had outstanding environmental achievements, including, but not limited to, achieving international accreditation certificates that have culminated in several prestigious awards that reflect UDC’s long-standing and deep commitment to adopting the latest sustainable and environmentally friendly practices to ensure the health of the ecosystem and the well-being of the community residing in The Pearl Island.
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