Following a four year research and business development project, Dubai based “Ïntegrated Green Solutions” company, Akhdar FZCO, has completed its project to open the UAE’s first subsidiary on behalf of Global Market Leader, Sims Recycling Solutions. Jebel Ali now hosts the Region’s first Global Specified, fully Compliant Electrical & Electronics End of Life Asset Management facility.
The subsidiary, (fully owned by Sims Recycling Solutions UK Ltd) offers large corporations, logistics companies and government departments a much needed secure facility to re-cycle, re-use and re-market assets from the IT, and Telecom sectors.
The Akhdar FZCO Management has transferred to the Sims facility and brings a combined total of over 60 years of experience operating within the Middle East IT & Compliance Industries to the new venture. This backbone of local knowledge has been combined with the technical and recycling industry knowledge and resources of the Sims Recycling Group offers clients an unparalleled solution to their needs.
Philip Hughes, (former CEO of Akhdar and now Managing Director Middle East for Sims Recycling Solutions) explained, “Over the past years, there has been a growing awareness in the region of the need for a better understanding of “Green Solutions”. For the general public, this has manifested itself as a growing awareness of the need to “recycle domestic waste” products, especially high value items such as IT & Electronics.”
At the corporate level, according to Hughes, this awareness has different drivers. Multi-national corporations (MNCs) based in the region must adhere to strict global guidelines relating to the management of “End of Life” assets (like old IT products that no longer have a use internally). This is not simply about recycling, but about managing the data, identifying security issues and “destroying” that data. It is about audit trails and compliance.
Many of these corporations could only engage in hugely expensive (and insecure) processes involving shipping products from the region back to its parent companies outside the region. Additionally, local companies have understood that they need to manage the “disposal of their data” as much as they need to dispose of their old assets.
The opening of the Sims facility in Jebel Ali now gives these corporations access to some of the most advanced data management & security software solutions in the world. It allows them to choose between either secure software destruction, or physical asset destruction, and, most importantly, allows them to choose between recycling and reselling their old IT assets.
Hughes continues, “Because we have been active in this area with the Akhdar Project, we took time to engage in dialogue with the major stakeholders in this area. We worked with global companies to find out what solutions they required and we also spent a great deal of time with the local authorities and local companies to understand what solutions they needed from day one, and of course, to understand the local Legislation and their Visions for the Future. At every level, the single most critical factor has been to have a facility that operates to global standards, is capable of being audited and approved to global standards, and which can expand to offer a totally regional solution.”
“It has been a tremendous task, we have effectively created a new industry from scratch, one that will offer not only “Green” benefits to the region, but also offers new revenue streams and market opportunities for the entire IT Channel.”
This new Industry has many stakeholders, many issues at every level. The key element from the beginning has been about partnerships. This is a journey that involves understanding the regional needs, managing the introduction of processes and finding the right partners to eventually create an integrated regional solution.
“When we started this project, we saw a “market opportunity”. Now, after four years of pain, blood sweat and tears, Hughes sees that it has become something much more. The company sees this as the opportunity to really make a difference and help the authorities work to raise awareness of the need for compliant and ethical recycling.
“If we can do that, then we will have helped to be a small part of the Vision of Regional Governments for our home to become more environmentally aware,” said Hughes.