Consortium to build recycling credits standard for global waste sector

31 May 2023 4 min. read

UAE conglomerate BEEAH Group has inked a partnership with the International Solid Waste Association and Roland Berger to collaborate on a pioneering new global standard for waste recycling. Endorsed by the UAE’s Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, the standard and underpinning credits system aims to accelerate the decarbonization of the waste management sector.

The new platform will create a global market-based incentive scheme and standard measure for recycling recognition and rewards, which will bridge the gap between the global sustainability agenda and the private sector and push the transition towards a global circular economy.

Developed using blockchain technology, the platform aims to facilitate collaboration between jurisdictions and enable transparency across the waste management value chain.

Consortium to build recycling credits standard for global waster sector

The marketplace will connect waste producers and waste management providers to create a virtuous loop. Organizations which recycle waste with verified sustainable waste management providers receive Voluntary Recycling Credits (VRC). The use of the platform enables them to track the recycling activities in a transparent and standardized process and helps to realize their sustainability targets.

Commenting on the project, BEEAH Group’s chief executive officer Khaled Al Huraimel said: “This new recycling standard will make positive impact for sustainability targets within the UAE and globally. While incentivising recycling and making large scale impact on creating a circular economy, we are also innovating to add new value to organisations that are managing their waste sustainably, enabling them to offset emissions and track their contributions to the national sustainability agenda.”

“We are proud to work with the International Solid Waste Association and Roland Berger to develop the platform, which will enable us to create new, sustainable efficiencies across businesses and industries when it comes to waste management.”

Al Huraimel added that the initiative is part of the company’s “relentless vision to contribute to a zero-waste to landfill future”, which is aligned with the UAE’s Net Zero by 2050 Strategic Initiative and broader sustainability agenda.

For the Sharjah-headquartered group, the move comes shortly after it booked a major success in its operations in Sharjah. Over the past period, BEEAH Group increased landfill waste diversion rate in the emirate from 76% – through sustainable waste management and material recovery – to over 90% through the Sharjah waste-to-energy plant, a project of its joint venture with Masdar.

From the region to the world

While being masterminded in the UAE, the new standard and platform is touted to serve players across all corners of the globe.

In March 2023, the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) highlighted that contributions from the waste management sector could result in the mitigation of 1.8 gigatonnes of CO2 emissions every year. This is possible through innovations across the waste management value chain and limiting the usage of resources to manufacture virgin materials such as plastic.

This is where the new platform comes in, said Hani Tohme, Managing Partner at Roland Berger in the Middle East. “For the first time in history, the waste management sector will be able to apply a scalable solution to reduce carbon emissions, track material flows, and create a self-sustaining financing system to upgrade recycling infrastructure globally.”

“This ambition is being promoted by an innovative coalition formed under the leadership of the UAE, bringing together all the necessary expertise to make a massive contribution to the Paris agreement.”

The Memorandum of Understanding

Showtime: CO28

The partnership is currently developing the standard’s framework and technology. The platform will be revealed at COP28 (November 30 to December 12), when all the world will turn its eyes to the UAE for the latest developments (and roadmaps) on climate change and sustainability.

“We look forward to putting waste management on the radar this year at COP28 and demonstrating the sector’s untapped potential to reduce emissions,” said Tohme.

Carlos RV Silva, President of the International Solid Waste Association (its 1,200 members in 90+ countries span more than 80% of the world's population), said that the new standard will bring together the association’s competencies and large-scale impact on the circular economy, BEEAH Group’s expertise in waste management, and Roland Berger’s circular economy expertise to enable “innovative technology and coalition”.

“There is a real need to integrate action and to provide consistent solutions,” said Silva, a Brazilian who has been at the helm of the association since 2020. “We look forward to the launch of the standard and platform at COP28 in Dubai.”