Emma O’Brien_Seif Hijazi

Circular Innovation: Aldar, Tadweer and Polygreen Launch Ecoloop

Aldar Properties (“Aldar”), Tadweer (Abu Dhabi Waste Management Company) and global circular economy solutions expert Polygreen have established a joint venture to unveil Ecoloop. This innovative circular model, the first of its kind in the region, aims to divert waste generated across Aldar’s owned and managed assets away from landfills, ushering in a transformative process to convert it into valuable resources. 

Under the legal guidance of Aldar’s General Counsel, Emma O’Brien (pictured left) and Tadweer’s General Counsel, Seif Hijazi (pictured right), the signing of the joint venture was made on the sidelines of COP28. It was witnessed by His Highness Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed, Chair of the Emirates Foundation, which is also the lead entity overseeing the National Food Loss and Waste Initiative – ne’ma, alongside Her Excellency Mariam Almheiri, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment and Chair of ne’ma National Steering Committee.  

Her Excellency Mariam Almheiri, emphasized the nation’s commitment to meaningful change, working towards minimizing the carbon footprint and fostering a greener future. Aligned with the COP28 Presidency’s objectives, the ne’ma initiative, overseen by the Emirates Foundation, champions community transformation by embracing the ‘Zero Food Waste to Landfill’ framework. 

The collaboration supports Tadweer’s goal of diverting 80% of Abu Dhabi’s waste from landfills by 2030 and Aldar’s Net Zero Plan, striving to be a net-zero carbon business by 2050. Annually, Aldar’s assets produce approximately 70,000 tonnes of municipal solid waste, incurring a collection and landfill cost of AED 10 to 15 million and emitting an estimated 32,500 tonnes of CO₂. 

Ecoloop, guided by circular economy principles, seeks to divert all municipal solid waste from landfills, treating and transforming it into valuable by-products sold through off-take agreements. The waste will be segregated across four new transfer stations and transported to the Circular Park in Al Ghadeer, Abu Dhabi, supporting the Abu Dhabi Waste Management strategy under the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi. 

Talal Al Dhiyebi, Group CEO at Aldar, highlighted waste management as a shared responsibility, and Ecoloop signifies a step towards a circular economy and zero-waste practices, offering an innovative alternative to landfills in Abu Dhabi. 

Ali Al Dhaheri, MD and CEO at Tadweer, expressed pride in collaborating with Aldar and Polygreen on the Ecoloop project, transforming waste into valuable resources. The partnership supports Tadweer’s aim of 80% landfill diversion in Abu Dhabi by 2030, contributing to becoming a global sustainable waste management champion. 

Athanasios Polychronopoulos, Chairman and CEO at Polygreen, commended Ecoloop as an integrated and disruptive circular model, reflecting values of innovation and circularity. Building on Polygreen’s success in Tilos, Greece, Ecoloop aspires to be a global exemplar of circular resource management. 

His Excellency Ahmed Al Shamsi, CEO of Emirates Foundation, and Deputy of ne’ma National Steering Committee, lauded Aldar and Tadweer’s substantial efforts in addressing waste challenges. Ecoloop, aligned with the ne’ma initiative, aims to increase community awareness and change behavior towards reducing food waste, supporting the UAE’s target to cut food waste by 50% by 2030. 

Ecoloop builds on Polygreen’s previous success in Greece, using their ‘Just Go Zero’ model, which brings businesses, local governments, and communities together to work towards a zero-waste world. In July 2023, Tilos became the first island in the world to receive certification under the European accreditation standard created by Zero Waste Europe (ZWE) and Mission Zero Academy (MiZA). The programme successfully diverted 100 per cent of its municipal solid waste from landfill, leading to the closure of the landfill facility. Presently, Tilos has a recycling rate of nearly 90 per cent.