Advisory services firm PwC announced last week the start of a collaboration with Dar Al-Handasah Consultants (Shair and Partners). This strategic collaboration aims to deliver sustainable solutions in the Middle Eastern built environment, seeking to create climate-ready development solutions.
PwC has expertise in sustainability, finance, and new technologies, while Dar is a leading engineering firm specialises as a built-environment and engineering consultancy. By combining their skills and knowledge, they aim to achieve their goal of creating a sustainable future. This involves bending the 'carbon curve,' enhancing city liveability, and accelerating economic performance for regional investors, governments, and communities.
COMMITMENT TO SUSTAINABLE CITIES
Hani Ashkar, Middle East Senior Partner at PwC Middle East, expressed the importance of well-functioning buildings in sustainable cities. He also made it clear how the partnership with Dar will tap into their expertise in delivering innovative solutions for complex engineering and design needs in the region.
OPPORTUNITY FOR SUSTAINABILITY IN THE MIDDLE EAST
The PwC announcement also outlined key figures about the importance of the Middle East's built environment. For example, the urban built environment is responsible for 75% of annual global greenhouse gas emissions. Within this, buildings and conventional construction contribute almost 40% of the sector's solid waste.
Also, the Middle East has over $2 trillion worth of construction and infrastructure projects planned and underway. So there is a strong opportunity to embed sustainability in the built environment.
A PARADIGM SHIFT IN SUSTAINABLE CONSTRUCTION
Dr. Yahya Anouti, Partner and ESG leader at Strategy & Middle East, believes the Middle East is well-positioned to lead a shift in the built environment. With net-zero commitments from countries like Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, and Egypt, the region has the potential to pioneer new material and construction technologies. Given this, he highlights how balancing fast, affordable, sustainable, smart, and localised developments is key for decision-makers in the region.
FOCUS OF THE PARTNERSHIP
The collaboration will focus on best practices, governance, future technologies, sustainability, and circular economy principles in the Middle East. It will address sustainable construction methods, materials, and future greenfield developments.
To begin with, workshops and panels during the COP28 summit will bring together experts in urban planning and smart cities. These will help highlight sustainability opportunities in the infrastructure and real estate industry.
TOWARDS A ZERO-CARBON FUTURE
Dar is committed to supporting the built environment's decarbonisation by 2050, with significant progress by 2030. The partnership with PwC Middle East aims to help clients achieve:
- Clients achieve net-zero operational carbon by 2030.
- Ensure that new buildings and major retrofits achieve net-zero whole-life carbon by 2030.
Their work also aligns with the World Green Building Council's Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment and the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals. So they have strong ambitions to create a sustainable future for all.
PROMOTING CLEAR CLIMATE AND SUSTAINABILITY TARGETS
Balsam Nehme, Head of Sustainability at Dar, emphasises that the built environment sector needs "clear climate and sustainability targets, frameworks, and methodologies and greater alignment." He also states how an integrated approach in the built environment is crucial to deliver change in line with the Paris Agreement. Dar strives towards this by promoting a low whole-life carbon approach. The company also collaborates with industry partners to advance sustainable infrastructure and policies.
PWC'S COMMITMENT TO SUSTAINABLE IMPACT
PwC, guided by its strategy 'The New Equation', supports government and public sector clients in responding to global changes. It also does so while building public confidence and trust. The collaboration with Dar is part of their effort to deliver positive outcomes that have a lasting and sustainable impact on the Middle East.