Sustainable change in Saudi with Dina Hasan Al Nahdy
Chris Seekings meets regional environmental champion Dina Hasan Al Nahdy and finds out how one of the world’s largest oil-producing nations is carving out a greener future.
Sustainability expert, CEO of a successful environmental services company, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) consultant and chairman on a national committee. Already an impressive list of accomplishments, Dina Hasan Al Nahdy is even a Guinness World Record holder. Her remarkable achievements coincide with her homeland of Saudi Arabia repositioning itself within the environment and sustainability sector after decades as a major oil producer.
Al Nahdy has been at the forefront of that transformation, and, after telling her of my upbringing in the Middle East, followed by some ribbing about my flawed Arabic, our conversation begins with me asking what she thinks Saudi will look like in coming years, and whether its dependence on oil will ever diminish.
“Well, diminish is a strong word. I don’t think that will happen,” she admits. “But our government has a vision that is well strategised – it realises that we cannot depend on oil forever, and we are working very hard to diversify.” She tells me the country is now concentrating its efforts on scaling up its use of renewable energy, and that the government wants a “very large percentage” of its power to be sourced in this way.&...