PwC partners with Dar to tackle sustainability in construction

06 September 2023 2 min. read

A new strategic partnership between leading professional services firm PwC and engineering group Dar Al-Handasah will seek to find sustainable solutions in the built environment in the Middle East.

The partnership will look to leverage PwC’s expertise and Dar’s experience in the engineering, architecture, and construction to develop environmentally-friendly solutions for joint clients.

Progress on decarbonizing the construction sector has been slow because it remains one of the most hard-to-abate industries, meaning easy solutions are elusive.

PwC partners with Dar to tackle sustainability in construction

“We believe connected and well-functioning buildings are at the heart of any leading cognitive and sustainable city's goals and aspirations,” said Hani Ashkar, who leads PwC across the Middle East.

“Our partnership with Dar Al-Handasah, who have led numerous award-winning sustainability projects globally across key horizontal and vertical infrastructure, will tap into their unique expertise to deliver innovative solutions for the most complex engineering and design needs in the region.”

The collaboration is well-timed to come shortly before the COP28 UN climate summit this December, to be hosted for the first time in the UAE.

“The new wave of regional investment in the industry over the coming decade represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to move away from traditional labor-intensive techniques and reimagine the region into an innovation and start-up hub in the field of sustainable construction, with the potential to pioneer new material and construction technologies that empower the region as an export hub,” said Yahya Anouti, partner and ESG leader at Strategy& – the strategy consulting business of PwC.

According to PwC, around two-thirds of the MENA region’s population of over 320 million lives in urban areas – and those numbers are projected to increase in the years to come. Urban development leads to massive amounts of CO2 emissions. In fact, around 40% of global CO2 emissions are linked to construction, construction materials, and demolition.

“The region shows great promise in this field. With countries including Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar and Egypt announcing net zero related commitments, we strongly believe the Middle East is well-positioned to lead a paradigm shift in the built environment,” noted Anouti.

All of the GCC countries have made ambitious climate pledges that are in line with the Paris Agreement, including the UAE, which aims to reach net zero by 2050, and Saudi Arabia with their goal of reaching net zero by 2060. Countries in the region have been making big moves to shift their economies away from a reliance on oil and to invest in other energies like solar – as well as moves to invest in other industries like finance, tourism, and technology.