Average shoppers in some Dubai malls generate half a kilo of waste each visit, says new Farnek retail survey

Sustainability expert finds on average, shopping malls surveyed consume over 500 kWh of energy per sqm; generate over 500g of waste; and use almost 11 litres of water per visitor, highlighting huge potential savings once benchmarked

  
Markus Oberlin, CEO, Farnek.

Markus Oberlin, CEO, Farnek.

UAE-based sustainability expert Farnek has just completed the Middle East’s first shopping mall benchmarking project, which was designed to evaluate the energy, water and waste performance of each mall, against similar retail properties in Dubai.

“The retail sector is one of the largest energy consumers in the UAE and prior to our initiative, no benchmark figures were available for shopping malls anywhere in the Middle East. That obviously presented mall owners and operators with an issue of how to evaluate their energy and water consumption, and their waste management performance,” said Markus Oberlin, CEO, Farnek.

The key findings were recently presented to a Mall Stakeholders Group consisting of facilities management and retail professionals, with further insight to be showcased at the RetrofitTech Dubai Summit which starts on 10th April 2018 at the Roda Al Bustan Hotel in Dubai.

It was revealed that on average, the shopping malls surveyed use 511 kWh per square metre, per annum, consume 10.86 litres of water and generate 520 grammes of waste per visitor.

“511 kWh is enough energy to run a fridge-freezer continuously for 365 days,” added Oberlin.

Seven shopping malls in Dubai took part in the project by submitting data about their consumption figures and general characteristics of their buildings. Other variables had to be taken into consideration, for example, amount of outdoor space, air conditioning by type and distribution, and the percentage of leasable and common area, which varied between 15% and 56%.

Farnek Director of Consultancy, Sandrine Le Biavant, who was responsible for launching and monitoring the benchmarking project, said: “Metering systems are integral for aligning industry KPI’s, promoting sustainable best practice and providing an accurate monitoring system that will ultimately create better efficiencies. We continue to drive the industry forward, so it is encouraging to see a number of malls taking the initiative from an energy management perspective.”

To evaluate energy performance, the internationally recognised metric Energy Use Intensity (EUI) per unit of gross floor area was adopted. Results varied from a low of 320 to a high of 627 kWh per square metre.

“A low performing mall uses almost twice as much energy as a better performing mall, underscoring the importance of a comprehensive energy management plan and the savings it can make,” added Oberlin.

To calculate water usage, Water Use Intensity (WUI) per visitor was used with the worst performing mall consuming 14.51 litres and the best just 7.3 litres per visitor.

“The results show that the potential water savings for some of the higher consumers is significant,” said Oberlin.

In terms of waste management, two key performance indicators (KPI) were used, a waste generation ratio per visitor and a diversion rate, which identified the amount of waste diverted from landfill, in other words reused or recycled. The results varied between 250 grammes and 1.08 kilos per visitor, with malls on average diverting 23% of their waste from landfill.

“A poor waste performing shopping centre generates over four times as much waste as the best performing mall and given the increased Dubai landfill rates that will come into force on 18th May, savings here could be considerable.

“Moving forward with the Mall Stakeholders Group, we aim to get more malls involved in this initiative, not just in Dubai but from other Emirates too. We will also input more up-to-date data and look to broaden the range of our retail benchmarking capability,” explained Oberlin.

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About Farnek:

Farnek is the leading provider of sustainable and technology driven Total Facilities Management in the United Arab Emirates. Established in the UAE since 1980, Farnek Services LLC is a Swiss owned independent total facilities management company.

With a skilled workforce of more than 4000+ employees, Farnek delivers professional Facilities Management services to across several sectors; Aviation, Hospitality, Banking, Retail, Shopping Malls, Telecom, Residential, Commercial, Infrastructure, Government, Education, Leisure and Entertainment. For more information log on to www.farnek.com

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© Press Release 2018

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