Green moves will make good cents

People within the regional construction industry need to focus on the business advantages of sustainability in order to see a change, according to a Dubai sustainability expert.

People within the regional construction industry need to focus on the business advantages of sustainability in order to see a change, according to a Dubai sustainability expert.

Speaking to Construction Week, Stephen Oehme, regional director - value management and sustainability, Hyder Consulting said: "I think a lot of people in our industry don't understand the impact of construction on the environment.

"Consultants in the region mostly focus on the bottom line and how much of a profit they can make rather than looking at the best they can do.

"Sometimes they don't even do justice to what the developer wants and this needs to change."

Oehme made a presentation last week at the Dubai International Conference on Sustainable Construction, which was held at the Dubai Police Academy.

He also said that for the mindset of people to change within the industry, the business advantages of sustainable construction needed to be clarified.

The UAE minister of environment and water, Rashid Ahmad Bin Fahad, said that construction in the region had caused damage to the environment and that its impact was being looked into seriously.

According to Habib Al Habr, director and regional representative of the United Nations Environment Programme Regional Office for West Asia, 40% of resources were used by the construction industry, which then created 30% of the world's waste.

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