Sustainability is one of the key priorities of the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa), a senior official said on Wednesday.

“More than 11 per cent of the city’s electricity comes from clean energy. Dewa is the first service organisation to launch a satellite to manage its programmes and it has the first experimental project in hydrogen in the Mena region. Between 2006-2021 we reduced 73 million tons of carbon emissions,” said Mohammad Al Shamsi, chief officer for climate change and sustainability at Dewa, as he spoke on the last day of Innovation Talks in Dubai.

Currently, Dewa can produce more than 13,000 megawatts of electricity and 94 million gallons of water a day, he said. With sustainability at the core of its strategies, the authority has recorded only 4.5 per cent water loss and 2.2 per cent electricity loss — much less than in most countries around the world. Dewa has also put up 350 green chargers across the city.

Now, the authority is leading the way when it comes to the adoption of new technologies. On Wednesday, it became the world's first utility company that is set to ChatGPT in its services.

Going green since 2012

For Dewa, sustainability is not new. The journey has started in 2012.

“Since then, many steps have been taken in the area of innovation to become a leading world innovative organisation which is committed to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050,” he said.

Dewa's sustainability focus included strategic alignments with governments and international organisations. “We are aligned with Dubai’s strategy for clean energy – 100 per cent of energy from clean sources by 2050, reducing carbon emissions by 30 per cent by 2030, the space programme, and achieving water security by 2036,” Al Shamsi said.


He said that another important aspect is the governance of sustainability. “We need to focus on how it can be governed and linked to employees and all projects in the organisation. Dewa has a department dedicated to sustainability and climate change with specialised teams and special programs from 2012,” he explained.

Mohammad said that involving stakeholders through sustainability reports and workshops is also important as is the continuous benchmarking to track progress. “We do this by looking at the culture in the organisation and the employees’ behaviour inside and outside work,” he said.

Looking at the circular economy, Mohammed said that there’s a great advantage when it comes to achieving sustainability. "It will help in the improvement of the value of the product, adapting with future legislations, reducing the risks, limiting the effects of climate change and creating financial and social value," he said.

“We saw the direct and indirect connection with sustainability and that it makes sense as they are all connected,” he added.

Innovation Talks is a three-day event in which experts from different sectors, both government and private, discussed their thoughts about innovation in their respective fields. It is part of UAE Innovates 2023, a month-long initiative taking place throughout the month of February.


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