Founded in 1947, Alserkal Group is one of the largest UAE family businesses. The diverse portfolio of the Group’s services includes environmental solutions such as waste and water management, property development, tourism, transportation services, facilities management, investment, and cultural initiatives. The company operates in the UAE, Oman, Bahrain, and Qatar, employing over 800 people. Alserkal Group has been involved in supporting sustainability in the UAE and the region since the 1990s. Even though the company’s strategy is not explicitly mapped to specific Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the business processes are well aligned with the two critical SDGs for the UAE – SDG 6 (clean water and sanitation) and SDG 12 (sustainable consumption and production). One of Alserkal Group’s core businesses is developing solutions to ensure clean water and sanitation in the commercial and residential areas of the food producing industries. In 1993, Alserkal Group setup the first grease trap in the UAE to enable collection of fats, oils, and grease (FOG) from kitchen wastewaters. Apart from the benefits of water reuse, the grease trap solution helps protect against risks to public health which can be caused when sewer overflows contaminate the environment. The reason for such outflows is typically related to pipe blockages when uncollected FOG solidifies. Alserkal Group has been driving clean water initiatives in other Emirates as well. The Group is currently working on deploying a smart-city solution to help regulate the market of grease traps.
In addition to cleaning water which has already been contaminated, Alserkal Group’s company Coregreen collects used cooking oil (UCO) before it has been disposed into the water, thus contributing to SDG 12. UCO can cause public health issues if it is reused for cooking. Since 2000, Alserkal Group has been authorized by Dubai Municipality to collect UCO and ensure it gets properly recycled into bio-diesel. In 2018, the Group signed a contract with Tadweer, the Center of Waste Management of Abu Dhabi, to commission the biggest facility for converting UCO into bio-diesel. The plant is expected to be completed by end-2019. In 2009, Alserkal’s company Blue, in partnership with Dubai Municipality, commissioned Envirol, the first grease trap waste recycling plant in the MENA region, to enable the effective disposal of grease trap waste and UCO. During the second phase of the plant’s deployment in 2018, its capacity was doubled from 50,000 to 100,000 gallons per day. From 2009 to 2019, the plant recycled more than 90 million gallons of kitchen waste into soap and bio-diesel. Through Envirol, Alserkal and Dubai Municipality ran the Best Kitchen Award campaign to increase awareness of food establishments on the FOG waste problem.
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