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Insights How is AtkinsRéalis driving sustainability in the Middle East?

Sustainability is a rising focus around the world as it becomes ever more important to reduce carbon emissions and prevent further climate change damage.

In the Middle East, countries are well placed to take advantage of sustainable development, and substantial levels of investment from governments in areas such as renewables, nuclear and hydrogen will help to deliver this. 

At AtkinsRéalis, we have a strong and growing presence in the Middle East, having delivered some of the most famous projects, including the Burj Al Arab, Dubai Opera House, Doha Metro gold line, Riyadh Metro and At-Turaif District in Diriyah. We factor sustainability and the environment into all that we do because we know there’s no planet B and we want to make sure that future generations to come have a safe and healthy environment to live in.

image of a building with greenery growing out of the side of it

How is the Middle East becoming more sustainable?

Countries in the Middle East have always had traditional values, and followed certain customs, governance, and policies. However, some changes are taking place as the urgency increases to achieve global sustainability targets. Within the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) have made the most progress in developing and implementing decarbonisation plans. Both countries have unveiled their visions for significant growth over the next decade, with major plans to become more inclusive, sustainable, and diversify their economies, and both have been fundamental in driving down the levelized cost of electricity from solar photovoltaics to below $c1.5/kWh.

The UAE is well-positioned to take advantage of new energy opportunities and announced in October 2021 its Net Zero 2050 strategic initiative with Dh600 billion being invested in clean and renewable energy sources in the next three decades. It has been declared that by this date, half of the UAE’s electricity will come from clean sources. In the cities of Abu Dhabi and Dubai, longer-term plans until 2030 have also been announced, to transform the economy and create a global platform for industries based on knowledge, innovation and sustainability.

In Saudi Arabia, the Crown Prince has set out a roadmap for the Kingdom to use its investment power to create a more diverse and sustainable economy under their ambitious Vision 2030 strategy . As part of this, the Kingdom’s Ministry of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources (MEIM) has implemented a National Renewable Energy Program (NREP). It is expected that by differentiating their energy sources, the NREP will not only reduce the Kingdom’s dependence on oil and its greenhouse gas emissions as part of the Paris Agreement; it will also enable job creation and catalyse economic development.

What is AtkinsRéalis doing to drive sustainability in the region?

As a global business, our expertise is extensive, and our impact is wide-reaching. We’ve set out a Net Zero Carbon 2030 Route map with immediate actions to combat climate change, in all the regions we work in. These include setting annual targets, which are verified by third parties, with updates published externally each year via the CDP reporting (Carbon Disclosure Project), and behavioural change across our operations to increase digitalization. We’ve also launched ‘Engineering Net Zero’ to provide solutions to clients prioritizing clean and affordable energy solutions and developing sustainable infrastructure, transport, and cities.

The Middle East represents a significant growth opportunity for AtkinsRéalis and our diversified services. We’re looking to lead by example and improve sustainable practices to promote a better quality of life in the region. For example, we’re positioning ourselves to be a key delivery partner in Saudi Arabia’s latest, and one of their most ambitious development projects, NEOM: ‘a new mega city’, with its own way of life, built and run with no carbon emissions.

Join AtkinsRéalis and help us on our journey to Net Zero Carbon

At AtkinsRéalis, sustainability is woven into the fabric of our business. Every decision we make, every process we use, preserving the planet is our underlying motivation. Our core business strategy is led by the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals because we really care about the impact we’re having on the world, and we want to create solutions to some of the most complex challenges. We may deliver for our clients, but ultimately, we know that we’re providing better for society.

If you’re looking to make a real change in the world, join us on our journey to Net Zero Carbon. Browse our available jobs in the Middle East or sign up for our job alerts so you never miss an opportunity.