Emirates Flight Catering invests in solar energy

From left, Muhammed Tariq, AVP engineering, Emirates Flight Catering, and Saeed Mohammed, CEO of Emirates Flight Catering.
Updated 29 September 2019

Emirates Flight Catering invests in solar energy

Emirates Flight Catering (EKFC), one of the world’s largest catering operations, has successfully commissioned a state-of-the-art solar power system across its premises, which is expected to deliver an annual reduction of 3 million kg of greenhouse gas emissions. This is part of EKFC’s continued investment in infrastructure to improve resource efficiency.
EKFC’s latest initiative supports the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050, which was launched by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, ruler of Dubai, in 2015. Under the strategy, the emirate aims to produce 75 percent of its energy requirements from clean sources by 2050.
Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, chairman and chief executive of Emirates Airline and Group, said: “Sustainability is an important pillar of the Emirates Group strategy. We are committed to responsible business and environmental stewardship, and we apply eco-efficient technologies across our operations to minimize our impact even as we continue to grow. Emirates Flight
Catering’s latest initiatives open new opportunities to improve resource efficiency, underpinning Dubai’s strategy to become a global center of clean energy and green economy.”
Saeed Mohammed, chief executive of Emirates Flight Catering, said: “We are excited to announce another significant, long-term investment in our sustainable operations. Our state-of-the-art solar power plant helps us further optimize resources and enhance environmental efficiency, which will benefit all of our stakeholders, including our customers, employees and the communities around us. In line with our appetite for perfection, we stay committed to providing the best possible quality products and services to our customers using sustainable and innovative solutions.”
EKFC’s solar rooftop power plant comprises 8,112 individual solar panels. It is expected to generate 4,195 megawatt-hours of electricity annually, allowing the company to reduce traditional energy consumption by 15 percent across its laundry, food manufacturing and staff accommodation facilities. Consequently, EKFC’s carbon dioxide emission will decrease by 3 million kilogram annually — the equivalent of the annual electricity use of 518 family homes.
EKFC will shortly start constructing the world’s largest vertical farming facility in a joint venture with US-based Crop One. The 130,000 square foot controlled environment facility will produce 2,700 kilogram of high quality, herbicide- and pesticide-free leafy greens daily, using 99 percent less water than outdoor fields.


Whale shark hot spot in Red Sea offers new insights

An international team of KAUST researchers studied whale shark movement patterns near the Shib Habil reef (Arabic for ‘Rope Reef’), a known whale shark hotspot in the Red Sea on the Saudi Arabian coast.
Updated 18 November 2019

Whale shark hot spot in Red Sea offers new insights

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), whale sharks are considered endangered, which means the species has suffered a population decline of more than 50 percent in the past three generations. The whale shark is only two classifications from being extinct. Improvements and conservation efforts are in place, but there is still a long way to
go to protect these gentle underwater giants.
An international team of researchers, led by marine scientists at King Abdullah University for Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia and including researchers from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in the US, has performed an extensive study of whale shark movement and residency using a combination of three scientific techniques: Visual census, acoustic monitoring and satellite telemetry.
Their six-year study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, tracked long-term whale shark movement patterns near the Shib Habil reef (Arabic for “Rope Reef”), a known whale shark hotspot in the Red Sea. The team monitored a total of 84 different sharks over a six-year period, and their results shed light on whale shark behaviors,
which could help to inform conservation efforts.
“The study takes years of passive acoustic monitoring data and combines it with previously published visual census and satellite telemetry data from the same individual sharks. The combined dataset is used to characterize the aggregation’s seasonality, spatial distribution, and patterns of dispersal,” said Dr. Michael Berumen, director of the Red Sea Research Center and professor of marine science at KAUST.

HIGHLIGHT

An international team of researchers, led by marine scientists at King Abdullah University for Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia and including researchers from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in the US, has performed an extensive study of whale shark movement and residency.

They found the aggregation to be highly seasonal, with sharks being most abundant in April and May, and that many of the sharks returned to the hot spot regularly year after year. The study also shows roughly equal numbers of male and female sharks using the site, something that could be unique to Shib Habil. These characteristics indicate that this site may serve an important function for the wider Indian Ocean population of this rare and endangered species.
“Using the combined dataset, we can show somewhat conclusively that the aggregation meets all of the criteria of a shark nursery. This is particularly relevant given that Shib Habil is the only site in the Indian Ocean to regularly attract large numbers of juvenile females. Growing late-stage adolescents of both sexes into full adulthood is critical for sustaining a species. Management of critical habitats like Shib Habil and other aggregations will likely be vital for future whale shark conservation,” said KAUST graduate Dr. Jesse Cochran, lead author of the study.
There is a combination of factors contributing to the decrease of whale shark populations world-wide, including targeted fishing, bycatch losses due to fisheries, vessel strikes from boat traffic, marine debris, and pollution.