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Cutting carbon, saving money

In 2013, Abu Dhabi Sewerage Services Company (now known as Abu Dhabi Sustainable Water Solutions Company, or SWS) committed to a 20% reduction in its operational carbon footprint against 2012 levels by 2022. Using a footprint tool that we developed specially for SWS, our team calculated existing emissions.

ProjectSWS carbon footprint, Abu Dhabi, UAE

Client Abu Dhabi Sustainable Water Solutions Company

Expertise Carbon management

At 1.42tCO2e/M litres of treated wastewater, SWS’s carbon intensity was much higher than comparable utilities in the UK and the US, suggesting considerable scope for savings.

Our 2030 roadmap set out the potential for a 35% cut in annual carbon emissions – equal to reducing emissions by 1tCO2e per person in Abu Dhabi – and a more than AED300M saving on operational costs by 2030.

Pilot projects were introduced at five plants to test our findings. They confirmed significant opportunities for carbon reductions through more efficient operations. Modifying pump control could provide a 70% reduction in energy and carbon emissions, optimising chemical dosing control can cut chemical use by 14% and save up to AED268,000 a year, while diverting sludge from landfill would save 120,000tCO2e/year.

These and other measures are being rolled out across the company. We continue to monitor SWS’s carbon footprint and have helped the company embed PAS 2080, the voluntary carbon management standard.

Abu Dhabi is extremely vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Water scarcity, drought, rising sea levels, and greater storm frequency and intensity are some of the climate risks facing the Emirate and threatening communities. By minimising its carbon footprint, SWS is supporting the government to reduce emissions across the UAE, helping to secure the region’s long-term future.


annual carbon reductions

Global warming is heating up oceans and damaging the marine environment. Coral bleaching affects species’ reproduction and migration and is widespread throughout the coral reef network along UAE’s almost 1300km of coastline. With action on climate change, corals will eventually recover.

Many of the UAE’s animals and plants are at risk of extinction from temperature rise and changing precipitation patterns caused by global warming. SWS is responsible for 0.5% of the Emirate’s total carbon footprint and reductions will aid efforts to protect species and habitats.

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