At the 2023 WTO Public Forum, Agility’s Tarek Sultan joined a panel that explored the opportunities and challenges to facilitate the movement and take-up of zero- and low-emissions technologies in transport, as well as the role that trade policy can play in the broader decarbonisation agenda.
The Agility Bangladesh team organized green initiatives to commemorate annual Earth Day celebrations for 500 students.
Clean energy initiatives will include one of the largest solar-roof developments in the region
In November of 2020, Agility announced solar projects in Dubai and Jordan that will eventually cut the company’s carbon footprint in the region by 5%.
At Agility’s regional headquarters in Dubai, the solar photovoltaic (PV) plant involves the installation of 17,500 panels at three sites with the capacity to generate nearly 8 megawatts of power at peak. The installation will include a 5.45 MW system at two sites in the Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA), and a 2.6 MW system at the Dubai Investment Park. Once complete, Agility’s solar PV system will generate enough electricity to cover 60% of the energy requirements at the sites and save an estimated 8,838 tons of CO2 each year, roughly equivalent to the emissions generated by trucking 18,000 fully-loaded containers from Dubai to Abu Dhabi.
In Jordan, the solar photovoltaic plant will encompass 1,945 panels at Agility’s warehouse in Aqaba, with a capacity of 788 kilowatt peak. The solar plant will generate enough electricity to cover 100% of the energy requirements and save an estimated 900 tons of CO2 each year.
In both locations, the high-efficiency solar PV panels are designed to optimize energy generation in hot desert climates. The panel systems incorporate robotic cleaning and are waterproof.
“Globally, Agility’s goal is to reduce its carbon footprint by 25% by 2050. Our investment in solar is a huge step in the right direction and will cut the company’s global emissions by 3%. We are hopeful that it encourages other companies in the region to do the same. We know that greening operations is good for business and good for the planet,” says Elias Monem, CEO Middle East & Africa, Agility GIL.
The project is consistent with the goals of the UAE’s Shams Solar Policy, a local initiative for distributed solar plants in the United Arab Emirates. In both Dubai and Jordan, Clenergize Solar Consultants was appointed to handle the engineering specifications, tendering, contract management, design reviews, and project management.
Agility’s Paperless Branch initiatives involved the implementation of an integrated document management system, which provides a central repository for all job-related documents. This isn’t just good for the tracking and fidelity of job information, as well as operational efficiency, it’s also good for the environment.
An average office worker uses 10,000 sheets of copy paper each year, and nearly 50% of that ends up in the trash. Implementation of the system in three of our offices, Barcelona, Hong Kong and Penang, has reduced our demand for paper by almost one million sheets per year; the equivalent of over 100 trees. In the Barcelona branch, the implementation of the system led to a monthly reduction in paper usage by more than 70%.
Agility offices across the globe have joined the Waste-Free Agility campaign to eliminate the use of single-use plastic water bottles and paper coffee cups. The Waste-Free Agility campaign calls on our facilities to meaningfully reduce or eliminate an important waste stream through changes in behaviour.
For example, at Agility’s offices in Mumbai, guests were given small plastic water bottles. Much of the water ended up going to waste, so our team there started to use glasses and a carafe, which reduced waste of water, and entirely eliminated the single-use plastic bottles. Unused drinking water is recycled for cleaning purposes as well. While it did require a change in behaviour, managers across India were enthusiastic to jump on board, and the elimination of single-use plastic bottles has become a country-wide trend for Agility.
Other Agility offices in Brazil, Italy, Singapore, the US and Australia also are leading the way in the elimination or significant reduction of the use of plastic water bottles, paper coffee cups, or other single-use materials. We’re aiming for 100% office participation!
Our increasingly warmer world has an impact on the safety and comfort of our employees, as well as our energy costs. Agility Hong Kong invested in four industrial High Volume, Low Speed (HVLS) fans that cool down the high temperature of the warehouses on hot summer days, keeping employees comfortable.
Six HVLS fans can do the work of 300 small space fans, using less than one tenth of the energy. Unlike a small, high-velocity fan that creates small, turbulent air streams that quickly disperses, the HVLS fans, with diameters of up to 7.3 meters, rely on size, not speed, to move a significant amount of air. Streamlined aerodynamic, air-foil blades move a large mass of air, producing silent, non-disruptive, even distribution of breezes over large spaces, fulfilling to the double functions of ventilation and cooling. In warehouse spaces, it’s a challenge for ventilation to reach the floor and corners of buildings where people and equipment are located. HVLS fan can solve this problem by sending a well-aligned wind in full space.
Based on positive feedback, Hong Kong plans to invest in fans for all of its warehouses in coming years.
In November 2019, Agility Singapore made the move to 100% renewable electricity by installing solar panels on the rooftops of all of our facilities. The total array will have more than 6 thousand panels and has a capacity of over 2 mega-watt peak. 100% renewable energy generated from the panels will cover all of Agility’s energy needs additional power will go back into Singapore’s energy grid. The solar PV installation is the largest for Agility Asia-Pacific so far.
This June, Agility Spain has committed to source 100% renewable energy for all facilities (offices and warehouses). The renewable sourcing guarantee comes in the form of renewable energy credits (RECs) from Nexus Energía, a renewable energy provider active in Spain, Portugal and Germany.
RECs come in units of kilowatt hours and offset electricity generated from non-renewable sources. They are different from carbon offsets, which are measured in tons of CO2 and offset emissions from any source. RECs are a finite asset, limited to the country’s total production of electricity from renewable sources in that year. Spain’s Guarantee of Origin system for RECs helps to ensure that corporate sustainability efforts contribute directly to driving the development of renewable energy generation in the Iberian Peninsula.
Transitioning to renewable energy, whether for electricity or fuel, is the most important action Agility operations can take to reduce our environmental impact. Where installing solar panels is not possible or economically viable, RECs offer a great alternative to reduce our carbon footprint and drive positive change in our communities.