A new gas station built in an up-market suburb of Dubai aims to increase environmental awareness among the Emirate’s populace. Although Dubai has precious few natural resources of its own, the United Arab Emirates overall owns nearly 7 percent of the world’s oil reserves. It comes as no surprise then that in 2006, the WWF Living Planet Report revealed that UAE residents have the highest carbon footprint in the world – higher even than the United States – at 10.68 gha/person.
Since 2007, several public and private initiatives aimed at reducing that country’s footprint have emerged, including the Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC)’s service station in the Emirates Hills neighborhood. In addition to generating 50 percent of the station’s energy with renewable energy sources, the station uses advanced technological devices that harvest gas fumes at the pump. These are then pumped to a pressurized underground system and converted back into liquefied fuel.
The site’s solar-powered and LED lights have a life span of up to 50,000 hours, no-touch sensors have been built into bathroom faucets in order to reduce water consumption, and ENOC has committed to using only biodegradable plastic bags at all of their stations.
“The first green station of ENOC complements the vision of his Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vie President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai to drive sustainable development with a focus on the environment,” the company’s Chief Executive Office Saeed Abdullah Khoory told the Emirates News Agency. He added that they expect the station, which includes other innovative features such as waterless car washing and recycling facilities, to improve Dubai’s eco-consciousness.
Business and industry account for 30 percent and 12 percent of the UAE’s overall carbon footprint, respectively. That may not seem significant since Dubai can easily order more oil from its neighbors, but this important export commodity is threatened by burgeoning local consumption. As such, the 20 percent price increase driven by the eco-friendly extras is worthwhile.
The environmental benefits are equally important. ENOC uses only Very Low Sulphur Diesel (VLSD), which uses ten times less sulfur than the standard variety, while hi-clone fuel-saving devices improve both fuel economy and pollution, resulting in a 60 percent carbon footprint decrease.
The first of its kind in the UAE, this gas station with a conscience will go a long way to improving sustainability standards throughout the Middle East.
Written by Tafline Laylin, Green Prophet
Tafline is currently based in South Africa, where she works to bring better exposure to environmental issues with a focus on green-building and energy.
Tags: carbon footprint, Dubai, Emirates National Oil Company, ENOC, environmental awareness, gas station, Green Prophet, renewable energy sources, sustainability standards, Tafline Laylin, Very Low Sulphur Diesel, VLSD