Concluding a decade of unprecedented carbon emissions, the World Bank in December released its 2019 Gulf Economic Update titled Economic Diversification for a Sustainable and Resilient GCC. Navigating the environment-economy nexus, the thrust of this report lies in an imperative need for the region to incorporate sustainability as part of its economic framework. Considering its economic landscape primarily driven by hydrocarbons, the region understandably holds a difficult position on sustainability front. According to the World Bank, Gulf remains the most water-scarce region in the world, only 1.63% of its land is arable and a massive portion of its waste is consistently being dumped into landfills. It is then no surprise that the region generates some of the highest levels of greenhouse gas emissions.
That said, with challenges has also surfaced a growing awareness that necessitates a paradigm shift. Governments across the region are increasingly devising policies and strategies to achieve low-carbon economic diversification. Along with other areas of sustainability, there seems to be a unanimous understanding that energy transition is indispensable and entails both regional and global implications. Putting this in context, the International Energy Agency has emphasized the need for energy efficient air-conditioning, in the absence of which the energy demand for cooling will triple by 2050. Excluding the need for energy efficient cooling systems, hence, would be overlooking a crucial blind spot that must be considered to achieve sustainable built environment – an area GORD has persistently pursued since its inception.
Playing a pivotal role in mobilizing efforts to achieve low-carbon economy, GORD has remained in the vanguard of the region’s sustainable development. Over the years, the organization has made tangible contributions through its centers of excellence focused on capacity building, incubating research, fostering innovation and disseminating knowledge within the sustainability milieu. To this end, EcoLab has been established to broaden GORD’s scope in catalyzing the growth of sustainable built environment within Qatar and beyond. The idea is to enable transparency of knowledge on energy performance of appliances while also ensuring that consumers have access to products that comply with world-class safety standards. At GORD, we firmly believe that sustainability and product safety are inseparable. Intrinsically, if the ultimate goal of sustainability is to ensure the needs of current and future generations, one wonders if it is achievable without embedding human health and safety concerns into the overall product stewardship. Precisely for this reason, EcoLab brings a mix of testing services aimed at energy efficiency and product safety to cover a wider sustainability spectrum.
To ensure that EcoLab operates in accordance with the highest international standards, we have trained specialists and technicians, and have also acquired ISO 17025 certification for the laboratories.
By the grace of God, our hard work is now paying off as we see EcoLab setting an exemplary benchmark in terms of technical expertise and professionalism. Going forward, plans are in place to increase our operational capacity to test a more extensive range of home appliances and non-electrical household products.
Eventually, in bringing EcoLab, GORD’s efforts are driven by our sincere intention to protect consumer rights by empowering them to make sustainable choices.