April 24, 2024

Sustainability spotlight: Aldar Academies

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Youth worldwide, in facing climate anxiety and recognising the need for action, have become vocal and innovative champions of change. This younger generation is not only finding a platform to share their perspectives, they also seek tangible examples of sustainability initiatives in their day-to-day lives. Recognising this, Aldar Academies, a leading provider of private education in the UAE, has put student engagement at the forefront of their work. 

Aldar Academies operates seven academies in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain. Established by real estate developer Aldar, the network is part of Aldar Education’s 29 schools, educating over 33,000 students across the UAE. Aldar has stated their goals to achieve Net Zero status by 2050 and is working to foster a sustainable and innovative operating model across their ventures, including water conservation, CO2 reduction and the elimination of plastic.

“We believe it’s crucial for individuals and communities to prioritise water conservation efforts. This includes implementing simple yet effective practices such as fixing leaky faucets, using water-efficient appliances, using air-to-water systems and being mindful of water usage in daily activities,” said Michele Bahadar, AP Sciences Teacher and Sustainability Lead at Yas American Academy. “Raising awareness about the importance of water conservation and advocating for sustainable water management practices are essential steps towards addressing water challenges.”

Students take part in water conservation and beach clean-up campaigns, such as “Swim for Clean Seas” and “Row to COP.” Aldar Academies has also installed Airwater Co. dispensers across their campuses, creating indoor and outdoor hydration stations. “We currently have air-to-water systems that are actively being used by staff and students,” said Bahadar. “We will also be doing an info session with students regarding the benefits of this innovative technology in addressing water scarcity and promoting sustainability.”

Since the first Airwater Co. units were installed in 2022, Aldar Academies campuses have collectively generated over 435,000 litres of premium drinking water, eliminating 871,000+ single-use plastic water bottles and approximately 79.23+ tons of CO2 in the process.

Not only do these efforts contribute to Aldar’s broader ESG goals, the schools are also educating a new generation of leaders, instilling in them the values of conservation and the importance of a collective effort.

“Our motivation for working on water stems from a deep concern for the environment and future generations,” continued Bahadar. “Witnessing the impact of water scarcity and environmental degradation has fueled our students’ and community’s passion for sustainability. We are driven by the belief that every small action we take towards conserving water and promoting sustainable practices can make a meaningful difference in preserving our planet.” 

With action and dedication, Bahadar and the Aldar Academies team are leading by example, reinforcing the power of collaboration and education in driving important agendas forward.

This instalment is part of Airwater Co.’s Sustainability Spotlight series. Watch this space for more stories of sustainability innovators in the UAE.