Abu Dhabi's Aldar unveils strategy to become net-zero company by 2050

The science-aligned interim targets will help the developer to achieve net zero in its Scope 1 and Scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 2030

An artist's impression of a biodome on Yas Island, where Aldar is developing its Sustainable City project. Photo: Aldar Properties
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Aldar Properties has unveiled a comprehensive strategy to decarbonise its business as it aims to become a carbon neutral company by the middle of the century in line with the UAE’s net-zero 2050 initiative.

Aldar, Abu Dhabi’s biggest developer by market value, has also set “science-aligned 2030 interim targets” that will help it to achieve net zero in its Scope 1 and Scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions, it said on Thursday.

The developer also aims to achieve a 45 per cent reduction in its Scope 3 emissions by the end of this decade, from the company’s 2021 baseline levels.

“As one of the UAE’s largest real estate developers and managers, and with a growing presence across the wider Middle East, Aldar is committed to not only supporting the UAE net zero by 2050 strategic initiative but also leading climate action in our industry and region,” said group chief executive Talal Al Dhiyebi.

“Our net-zero plan will drive deep and rapid change across all our lines of business and throughout our supply chain. It will transform our approach to design, supply chain management, construction, operations and asset management.”

The company plans to achieve net zero by addressing direct emissions and the embodied carbon in all its developments and projects, as well as emissions associated with its supply chain and tenants.

“Our plan is comprehensive, ambitious and based on science — matching leading global real estate industry benchmarks and setting a new standard for the region in its depth and detail.”

Aldar’s Scope 1 includes direct emissions from the company’s operations, Scope 2 covers indirect emissions from purchased energy, cooling and chilled water while Scope 3 includes all greenhouse gas emissions associated with the company’s supply chain including procurement, construction and tenants, it said.

The UAE is aggressively pursuing goals to reduce its carbon footprint and was the first country in the Middle East to set a net-zero target.

The Emirates aims to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 and plans to invest $160 billion in clean and renewable energy sources over the next three decades.

Companies across sectors are also unveiling their own net-zero plans as the UAE, the Arab world’s second-biggest economy, prepares to host Cop28 this year.

On Thursday, the UAE named Dr Sultan Al Jaber as president-designate of the UN Cop28 climate change summit.

The Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, Adnoc managing director and group chief executive, and UAE Special Envoy for Climate Change will lead the crucial 13-day talks set to begin in November.

Most of these talks are set to be held at Expo City Dubai, with about 80,000 delegates from around the world scheduled to attend the summit.

The event will be the first crucial assessment following pledges made at the climate summit in Paris in 2015.


Aldar projects - in pictures


Aldar said the nature of its business as a developer and asset manager means it can transform an asset across its life cycle.

However, partnerships will be key in achieving targets and the company will work closely with all stakeholders, including the government, utilities, suppliers and customers to drive the transition to net zero.

Aldar will also work with government entities to develop regulations and foster “fair competition for construction partners on decarbonisation pathways”, it said.

The company has identified eight decarbonisation focus areas that span the life cycles of its assets.

It will introduce new designs and will use low-carbon building materials such as concrete and steel in all its developments.

The company will also develop a low-carbon supply chain for products, materials and manufacturing processes.

The company plans to embrace green construction methods by reducing waste, prioritising the use of clean energy through grid decarbonisation and work with tenants to encourage retrofits and improve efficiency.

Aldar said all its new investments and acquisitions will also be guided by sustainability and net-zero transition plans.

Last year, Aldar announced the launch of the Sustainable City project on Yas Island amid growing demand for more sustainable living options in the emirate.

Aldar plans to soon start selling homes in the first phase of the project.

Updated: January 12, 2023, 12:41 PM