Desert Board to help regional construction sector achieve Net Zero and sustainability goals

Following winning the Supplier of the Year Award at the 2022 Big Project ME Awards, the ECC Group subsidiary says it will be targeting further sustainability gains across the sector

In December 2022, Desert Board by Al Talah Board Manufacturing Co, part of the ECC Group, was announced as the winner of the ‘Supplier of the Year Award’ at the 2022 Big Project Middle East Awards, which was hosted by Big Project Middle East (BPME) at the Ritz Carlton JBR in Dubai.

Following the win, BPME spoke to Cian Farah, ECC Group Director responsible for ECC Fit-Out and Construction for a reaction, and to gain an insight into what the company intends to do in 2023 to build on their gains from the previous year.

What does winning the Supplier of the Year Award mean to you?

It’s a great honour to win this award; we launched Desert Board in 2022, and it is becoming more and more evident that our global environment depends on us – as a human race – to be more aware of what the earth offers us for us to survive.

As with our ancestors, particularly in this part of the world, we’ve relied on Date Palm trees to build cities and houses. We must continue this knowledge and development to grow and survive as a truly economical and ecologically sustainable civilisation.

How has 2022 gone for your company, and what are your expectations for 2023?

The global and regional markets are realising the importance of the health of our global environment. This is further emphasised by the COP27 summit which was held in Egypt in 2022, and by COP28 that is due to be held in the UAE this year.

Through COP27, we’ve seen that the world, and government bodies, are accepting that there has to be a reduction in emissions. Many of these emissions are generated by building and using raw materials. Our boards are classified as E0, meaning that when they are used in buildings, they meet the global requirements for zero formaldehyde emissions.

From the years of research and development that we have conducted, we are sure that here in the UAE, we will be able to contribute to the global agenda of reducing our emissions, contributing to a Net Carbon Zero economy, while sustaining a circular economy through Desert Board.

How is Desert Board positioning itself for success in 2023 – what are the company’s strategies and plans for the year ahead?

As our founding partners of Desert Board envisaged, the company’s sustainability values will continue to develop in tandem with the requirements of the markets that our products serve, both regionally and internationally.

Lumber is integral to construction, so to be able to supply this sustainably and locally – from one of the most arid regions in the world – is a testament to the ability and creativity of humanity and the region.

2023 is a year full of opportunity, not least due to the COP events that are being held in the Middle East, but also due to the opportunities that the region can showcase to the world, about how important it is in being able to contribute to our global climatic equilibrium, while still enabling human, social, environmental and economic prosperity.

Not only is the PSB Board that is being produced at Desert Board one of the most environmentally sustainable boards in the world, but it is also able to allow the industry to continue developing in an environmentally, social, and economical manner, while also meeting the criteria and aspirations of a net zero and circular economy.

What are your expectations for the future of the industry – particularly in your sector?

It is becoming increasingly evident that our climate is changing and becoming more extreme. The more we look at this, the more we can conclude that this is due to our activities and actions. For many years we have felled forests and reduced nature’s ability to capture the carbon and gases emitted into the atmosphere due to our efforts and needs. Many global and governmental action groups call for us to act as a community, and the global construction industry is a massive contributor to global carbon emissions.

Therefore, through the continued work that is being done at Desert Board, we are sure that we will be an integral part of enabling the industry – regionally and globally – to achieve a Net Zero circular economy and allow humanity to prosper socially and environmentally.

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