The construction industry in the GCC is responsible for around 55% of the GCC’s waste while only accounting for 5.6% of the region’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), according to Vishnu Sankaran, industry manager of chemicals and materials at business research and consulting firm, Frost and Sullivan.
The vast majority of the GCC’s GDP is accounted for by the hydrocarbons industry, with oil and gas revenues making up 40% of the region’s GDP.
The construction industry accounts for 55% of the GCC’s total waste, with municipal waste at 20%, industrial waste at 18% and hazardous waste at 7%.
Speaking at a media briefing at Frost and Sullivan’s offices in Dubai, Sankaran said, “Considering the fact that the construction sector constitutes only about 5.6% of the GDP of the GCC… the waste generated constitutes about 55% – just construction waste alone.”
“The rest is made up of hazardous waste, industrial waste and municipal waste. But [the 55% of waste generated by construction] is huge,” he added.
However, Sankaran said there is an increasing awareness of the damaging environmental impact which the industry’s waste is having and a desire to limit this.
“The good part is that people have realised they have to use green materials and they are using them,” he said.
“The good news is that companies are developing initiatives and many councils have been set up [to address the issue of environmentally-friendly building materials],” he added.
Sankaran went on to highlight the work of the Emirates Green Building Council, its equivalent in Saudi Arabia, and other authorities across the GCC responsible for ensuring the use of green building materials and adoption of green practices.
“There is an awareness and it’s going to be very interesting to see over the next ten years how this region contributes to the overall green revolution,” Sankaran added.