Abu Dhabi, 22 June 2023: In conjunction with the Year of Sustainability and its continued efforts to achieve the goals of the Abu Dhabi Single-Use Plastic Policy, the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) announced the winners and recognised participants of the ‘Mission to Zero Government Challenge.’

The ‘Mission to Zero Government Challenge’ for Abu Dhabi government entities – held from January 23rd to March 24th, 2023 – was created under the Mission to Zero’ campaign framework launched by the EAD last year. It aims to encourage awareness among the Abu Dhabi community of the harms of single-use plastics and non-single-use plastics, and to promote a culture of recycling.

At the end of the challenge period, the entities submitted reports on the total amount of waste generated in each category and their reduction percentages, along with evidence of their efforts and initiatives to reduce material waste.

During the ceremony, seven winners were honoured from government agencies that achieved a 100 per cent reduction in their consumption of single-use products. These were:  Department of Finance (DOF), General Administration of Customs, Department of Municipalities and Transport (DMT), Abu Dhabi City Municipality, Zayed Higher Organization for People of Determination, Abu Dhabi Social Support Authority, Authority for Social Contribution - Ma’an, Abu Dhabi Sustainable Water Solutions Company (ADSSC), and Statistics Center Abu Dhabi (SCAD).

Six of the participants in the ‘Mission to Zero Government Challenge’ from government and semi-governmental entities were also acknowledged. These organisations achieved a significant reduction in their consumption of single-use products by adopting environmental practices and sustainable initiatives in their institutions. They are: Masdar, also known as the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company, Emirates Water and Electricity Company (EWEC), Abu Dhabi Quality and Conformity Council (QCC), Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA), and Abu Dhabi School of Government (ADSG).

Speaking during the event, Ahmed Baharoon, Executive Director of Environment Information, Science and Outreach Management Sector at EAD, highlighted the achievements made by the entities participating in the challenge to reduce the use of single-use products.

He said: “We witnessed positive cooperation from government agencies, and via this challenge we took a few more steps forward in our journey to declare the Abu Dhabi government free of single-use products in line with the vision set by the UAE to achieve climate neutrality by 2050 – especially resonant as the UAE prepares to host COP28. The challenge represents an opportunity for everyone to participate in promoting environmental awareness and climate action.”

He added that in order to achieve the goal set by the Abu Dhabi government – represented by EAD – it requires the concerted efforts of all partners and working together hand in hand to make all government institutions in Abu Dhabi free of single-use products.

“Our goal in this challenge is to direct the authorities to ban the use of single-use materials in all their offices, events and activities that they organise, by applying the guideline: ‘Becoming Free of Single-Use Products: A Guide for Abu Dhabi Government’.”

During the ceremony, the successes achieved by organisations in reducing the use of single-use products were highlighted, along with the best environmental practices and ways to encourage sustainable corporate behaviour.

Baharoon also invited the attendees to participate in the 12th edition of the World Environmental Educational Congress (WEEC), which will be held for the first time in the region in Abu Dhabi from January 29 to February 2nd, 2024 to discuss the role and importance of environmental education at all levels.

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