BEEAH Group, the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA), and management consultancy Roland Berger have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to develop a global standard for waste recycling. The initiative has received endorsement from the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MoCCaE).

The MoU was signed by Firas Wahbeh, Chief Marketing Officer of BEEAH Group, Carlos RV Silva, President of ISWA, and Hani Tohme, Managing Partner at Roland Berger Dubai.

Essa Abdulrahman Al Hashmi, Assistant Under-Secretary, Sustainable Communities Sector, UAE Ministry of Climate Change and the Environment, and Rahma Alshamsi, Lead - Hard-to-Abate, Energy Transition Team, COP28 Committee, UAE Climate Envoy, were present on the occasion. .

The collaborative platform aims to establish a global market-based incentive scheme and standard measure for recycling recognition and rewards. It will bridge the gap between the global sustainability agenda and the private sector, facilitating the transition towards a global circular economy. Leveraging blockchain technology, the platform will enable collaboration between jurisdictions and ensure transparency across the waste management value chain.

The dedicated marketplace, set to be unveiled during the upcoming 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28), will connect waste producers and waste management providers. Organisations that recycle waste with verified sustainable waste management providers will receive Voluntary Recycling Credits (VRC). The platform will enable them to transparently track recycling activities and contribute to their sustainability targets.

Khaled Al Huraimel, Group CEO of BEEAH Group, emphasised the importance of waste management in achieving the UAE's Net Zero by 2050 Strategic Initiative and broader sustainability goals. He expressed pride in collaborating with MoCCaE, ISWA, and Roland Berger to develop the VRC platform. The new recycling standard will contribute to sustainability targets within the UAE and globally, incentivizing recycling and promoting the circular economy.

BEEAH Group is recognised for its zero-waste strategies and sustainability-driven technologies. The company has achieved significant waste collection and landfill waste diversion in the Middle East. Through its joint venture with Masdar, BEEAH Group increased the landfill waste diversion rate in the emirate of Sharjah from 76% to over 90% through the Sharjah waste-to-energy plant.

The UAE announced its Net Zero by 2050 Strategic Initiative during COP26 in Glasgow and unveiled its pathway to achieve net zero during COP27 in Sharm El Sheikh. The development of the VRC standard ahead of COP28 in Dubai aligns with the UAE's climate ambitions and aims to accelerate progress towards net-zero targets and the circular economy.

The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) highlighted in March 2023 that the waste management sector has the potential to mitigate 1.8 Gt (gigatonnes) of CO2 emissions annually through innovations in the waste management value chain and reduced reliance on virgin materials like plastic.

Carlos RV Silva, President of ISWA, expressed the need for integrated action and consistent solutions. He announced the launch of a new global initiative, supported by the UAE, BEEAH, and Roland Berger, linking discussions on plastic pollution with climate change negotiations at INC-2 in Paris and COP28 in Dubai.

The collaboration brings together BEEAH Group's expertise in waste management and sustainability, ISWA's competence in the circular economy, and Roland Berger's leadership in developing circular economy solutions to address climate change.

Hani Tohme, Managing Partner at Roland Berger Dubai, highlighted the scalable solution offered by the waste management sector to reduce carbon emissions, track material flows, and establish a self-sustaining financing system for global recycling infrastructure. He emphasised the coalition's ambition to contribute significantly to the Paris Agreement and looked forward to showcasing the waste management sector's potential at COP28.

The partnership is currently developing the standard’s framework and technology. The platform will be revealed at COP28 in Dubai between November 30th and December 12th, 2023.