Zayed University Launches A New Initiative To Preserve The Environment

02 Feb 2010


Zayed University has launched a multitude of projects aimed at reducing energy and water consumption; instructing students, staff and faculty in environmental stewardship; and fostering programs that will reduce the carbon footprint of the University. The projects come under the umbrella of the newly-formed Zayed Environmental Impact Network (ZEIN) committee which was established in August 2009.

Dr.Sulaiman AlJassim, Vice President of Zayed University, praised this initiative saying it reflects the intellectual development of the students and staff and their future outlook in dealing with the fundamentals of the environment and its different elements. This topic has become a worldwide issue in the last decade, particularly after the rise of unusual natural phenomena of floods and hurricanes that swept many areas around the world. These catastrophes are a result of man's abuse and mistreat to the environment, and so acknowledging this issue and changing people's perspective on how to treat the environment is extremely important. Efforts from individuals and communities are needed for this to happen in which scientific and academic institutes and the media play a big role.There are four working groups functioning under ZEIN, the policy group, Recycling group, transport group, and the conservation group.   

The policy group aims at drafting the Zayed Environmental policy that will act as the directive for staff and students in matters relating to the environment. Students will also sign the environmental pledge.

The recycling project has already started at Zayed University, Dubai Campus in partnership with Tadweer company. Currently, paper, cardboard, plastic and tin are the materials that are sorted for recycling. There are over 40 recycling units distributed strategically around the Dubai Campus.Data collected indicates an increased trend for recycling with 8000 Kg of material collected by Tadweer for recycling over the past 3 months. Negotiations are currently underway to set up a similar recycling scheme at the Abu Dhabi campus. Students and staff are encouraged to recycle though campaigns and exciting competitions that are held monthly.

The transport group is currently collecting data that will help to establish a car pooling facility for staff and students. This will reduce the use of cars by students and staff and encourage them instead to share transport with their colleagues on a regular or casual basis. The group will also start negotiations with the RTA for a possible public transport link to and from Zayed University.

The conservation group is investigating options that will reduce water and electricity usage across the University. Dubai Municipality has kindly supported Zayed University in utilities consumptions by offering to supply accessories for taps, siphon tanks and flushing hoses that can work on reduction of the water consumption about 40% free of charge. This reflects the visionary leadership at the Dubai Municipality and its commitment for an environmentally-conscious Dubai.

Dr.Usama ALAlami, Co-Chair of ZEIN said "it is a great honor to be leading this committee. The nature of our work is very dynamic, and we constantly receive ideas and feedback from staff and students. We hope to make an impact by reducing the carbon footprint of Zayed University in the short term and the UAE in the long term".