Biodiesel garners more attention in the Middle East

By Erin Voegele | February 28, 2012

Biodiesel seems to be gaining more traction in the United Arab Emirates. On Feb. 22 the Dubai Road and Transport Authority recognized McDonald’s UAE and biodiesel refiner Neutral Fuels for their commitment to sustainable transport.

His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Price of Dubai, presented representatives of the companies with a 2011 Dubai Award for Sustainable Transport in the Environmental Protection Category. According to information released by McDonald’s UAE, the award highlights the role that the two companies have played in fostering and supporting sustainable transport systems in the UAE.

McDonald’s UAE’s biodiesel initiative was launched last July. Under the program, McDonald’s UEA fuels its fleet of logistics trucks with biodiesel manufactured from its used cooking oil. The company has partnered with Neutral Fuels to complete the collection, recycling and conversion of the used cooking oil into biodiesel. According to McDonald’s UAE, Neutral Fuels is the first and only licensed biorefinery in the Middle East. 

“McDonald's is doing the right thing by contributing towards an important environmental shift in the UAE,” said Karl Feilder, chairman and CEO of Neutral Fuels. “This initiative is tightly aligned with the ethical, environmental and economic values which form the core of their corporate sustainability strategy. Our highly efficient process, the first of its kind in the Middle East, has achieved worldwide recognition since its launch in 2011, differentiating Neutral Fuels from every other biorefinery and giving McDonald's a significant economic advantage for their fuel-related transportation costs.”

Also in the UAE, Gargash Enterprises, Dubai’s authorized Mercedes-Benz distributor, recently announced it has pledged support to the “UAE Strategy for Green Development” campaign though the introduction of the first new commercial vehicle in the UAE that is run on biodiesel. According to Gargash, the vehicle will serve as a shuttle bus service, transporting service customers from the Gargash Enterprises workshop in Al Qouz to locations across Dubai.

The company also noted it has plans to adapt its internal fleet of 11 commercial vehicles to run on biodiesel within the next few weeks. The fleet consists primarily of crew buses and recovery trucks.

“Going Green is a collective effort and responsibility and with His Highness propelling the cause, we at Gargash Enterprises are very confident and pleased about being a part of this critical campaign,” said Abdul Jabbar Gargash, executive director of Gargash Enterprises. “We are working towards reducing carbon footprints and conserving natural resources while encouraging and inculcating the same values in our employees too. Gargash Enterprises is proud to be following our leader’s footsteps and will continue to pledge our support to this drive.”


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