Greening The UAE’s Eco Footprint: PSFK Talks With The Emirates Wildlife Society

Greening The UAE’s Eco Footprint: PSFK Talks With The Emirates Wildlife Society

PSFK interviews Reem Al-Thawadi, the Communications Officer of the Emirates Wildlife Society-World Wide Fund for Nature, discussing effective messages which motivate UAE locals to buy local and get smart about overall energy consumption.

Plus Aziz
  • 10 june 2010

As a part of a larger federal initiative, called Al-Basma Al-Beeiya, the Emirates Wildlife Society-World Wide Fund for Nature (EWS-WWF), developed a powerful animation in order to raise awareness within the UAE about the impacts of high consumption lifestyle.

While the animation itself was developed by ad agency AYA, the larger initiative pulls together the Ministry of Environment and Water, the Abu Dhabi Global Environment Data Initiative (AGEDI), and the Global Footprint Network (GFN) which coined ‘Ecological Footprint’, a term so fundamental in today’s understanding of green consumption.

PSFK caught up with Laila Abdullatif, Sustainability Coordinator of EWS-WWF based in Dubai.

What are the objectives of your advert?

In the animation we highlight the scarcity of natural resources and the need to live within our resource means to ensure a quality life for future generations. We also provide examples of where our everyday goods and services originate, and the global environmental impacts of the consumption of these items so they can see first-hand the direct links of their consumption.
The larger initiative uses various mediums to reach out to the general public to bring about positive changes in consumption behaviors.

What consumer insights and research went behind the planning and strategy?

One of the core objectives of the initiative has been to help advance footprint science and research specifically in the UAE in order to have strong guidance on how to most effectively reduce our footprint in the future.
GFN has been an indispensable partner. Their recent analyses show that UAE household consumption (i.e. electricity, food, water, mobility) is the primary driver of the country’s high Footprint, comprising 57% of the UAE’s total Footprint. This knowledge prompted the Initiative to pursue public awareness strategies to help educate UAE residents on:

a) What the Footprint is
b) How they are contributing to it
c) Inspire them to make more environmentally-positive and informed choices in the future

Is buying/being green an existing trend in the UAE or are you creating a trend?

There is some knowledge about green products in the UAE and the need to move towards sustainable lifestyles, but much more needs to be done.
Our animation aims to create a more pro-active interest in locating and utilizing green products. The key is to help inspire people to want to use the green alternatives that are available, and help push for greater availability of green products.

Why was the video animated this way?

The animation’s style is geared towards targeting a younger demographic of people who are often inspired visually. To add a local flavor, we included the Dubai skyline and a father in traditional local clothing.
The animation was “sustainably” produced, using recycled newspaper as a way to emphasize the need to reuse and recycle as a method of reducing our consumption. The theme of newspapers was also utilized to reinforce our key messages through headlines.

What other activities has EWS made a commitment to?

We participate in community events and university talks; we’ve also developed several educational footprint tools and an Ecological Footprint website that provides much more detail on what the Ecological Footprint is and how the UAE is responding to it.

We’re is also co-sponsoring  a sustainable lifestyles campaign throughout the UAE known as ‘Heroes of the UAE’ which specifically focuses on helping the UAE reduce its energy and water consumption. For further information on their activities, click here.

Is there an Arabic version of the ad?

The Ecological Footprint ad is in both English and Arabic, and the Arabic version can be found on our Youtube channel.

Anything else you would like to add in closing or summarizing your perspective on green consumerism in the Gulf?

We believe that there is tremendous support and positive energy in the Gulf in relation to green consumerism, but there is still much more that can be done.  We hope that the work we are doing provides guidance and motivation for people to live more sustainable lifestyles, and ultimately reduce their Ecological Footprint and preserve our planet.

As the argument for ecological consumption gains traction in the Gulf, as Laila Abdullatif, points out, the argument for buying local to “protect future generations”; is the best message to get people involved in reducing their Ecological Footprint.

We would also add that a large part of what the green movement needs in the Gulf region are larger infrastructural solutions such as greener architectural projects and effective public transportation systems that makes it easy to become less dependent on personal mobility and creating opportunity for ‘thinking green’ to enter in everyday dialogue.



Japanese Face Wash Creates A Perfect Rose Every Time

Arts & Culture
Mobile august 26, 2016

Get A Better Idea Of How You Are Wasting Your Time

The TouchTime app is trying to revolutionize personal task management by providing detailed insight on how to be more efficient

Culture august 26, 2016

London Telephone Box Repurposed As A Tiny Mobile Repair Shop

Tools and supplies to replace broken screens or damage are neatly stowed away in these micro-workrooms


Get PSFK's Latest Report: Future of Work

See All
Design august 26, 2016

Conceptual Sportswear Created Out Of Futuristic Condom Material

A Dutch fashion designer is experimenting with new methods and fabrics to make high performance clothing

Fashion august 26, 2016

Fashionable Tassel Will Ensure You Never Lose Your Valuables Again

The device is fashion meets connected tech, that will help you keep track of your belongings at all times


Nick Barham

Progressive Advertising Creative

Syndicated august 26, 2016

Would You Wear Wool Shoes To Save The Environment?

As demand for wool shoes grows, a number of US footwear brands are heading directly to the source: the sheep pastures of New Zealand

Sustainability august 26, 2016

Self-Healing Material Is Fashioned Out Of Squid Teeth

Penn State researchers have devised a new textile that uses organic proteins

Arts & Culture august 26, 2016

Search Engine Turns Your Own Drawings Into Photos

This image-matching software accepts hand-made sketches instead of keywords


Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders

PSFK Op-Ed august 23, 2016

Modern Workplace Culture: No More Fat Cats Or Kissing Ass

Samar Birwadker, CEO & Co-Founder of Good & Co, on designing shared organizational values to optimize employee happiness and success

PSFK Labs august 25, 2016

PSFK’s Workplace Vision: How The Nurturing Of Seeds Will Come To Define The Onboarding Process

Our Future of Work vision is a service that allows companies to assemble and deliver welcome packets that are uniquely focused on the concept of growth

Arts & Culture august 26, 2016

Illustrator Interprets The Experiences Of Blind Travelers

Artist Alby Letoy creates drawings of poignant travel memories for the visually impaired

Advertising august 26, 2016

Clickbait Titles Used For The Good Of Charity

An agency devised an unlikely campaign that uses clickbait as a positive force to drive awareness to nonprofit initiatives

Advertising august 26, 2016

The Best In Eye-Catching Olympics Campaigns

PSFK rounds out the Rio Games with our picks for the best advertising moments off the field

Work august 26, 2016

Editorial Roundtable: The Arrival Of The People-First Workplace

Managed By Q, Soma, Workbar, Primary and thinkPARALLAX enumerate the reasons why companies need an employee-embracing workforce in order to exist

Arts & Culture august 26, 2016

Transforming Light Waves Into A New Art Form

An artist uses glass treated with layers of metallic coatings to create a unique installation called lightpaintings


Rio Olympics
Innovation Coverage From The Rio Games

Design august 26, 2016

This Windbreaker Lets You Explore The Outdoors While Charging Your Phone

The apparel includes solar panels that allow the wearer to stay connected through the power of renewable energy

Asia august 26, 2016

The Goal Of This Game Is To Not Get Laid Off From Your Job

A hit mobile app has you working really, really hard to not get fired as you climb the corporate ladder

Advertising august 26, 2016

Movie Critic Bot Guides Viewers Through Festival Offerings

The Toronto International Film Festival has created a Facebook Messenger chatbot to help attendants curate their schedule

No search results found.