When one thinks about making our environment a better place to live in and feels the urge to combat pollution and irresponsible waste management, it often just remains a thought. Three myths have previously prevented businesses and individuals on creating a cleaner and sustainable environment. Being eco-friendly means money out of the safe, hence large scale impact is scarcely possible, and being sustainable is difficult to uphold in the long term.
Defying all stereotypes and assumptions on sustainability is a Dubai based company called Neutral Fuels. They convert used cooking oil to biodiesel, reducing carbon emissions to zero when used. The CEO and Chairman of Neutral Fuels, Mr.Karl Feilder and his dedicated team were kind enough to share their opinions with us on the environment and why the world is not making an effective move towards an eco friendly module sooner.
On asking about their motivations to join this business, Maryam Asadiyan said “ For me, I did chemical engineering for my bachelors. Although I enjoyed it, I did not feel the satisfaction while I was doing the work, but when I did my masters in energy and environment – I actually enjoyed it because I felt I could make a change.”
While on the other hand, Massa Al Refai said “I have been involved in several volunteering events like cleaning the ocean – towards environmental sustainability – but it is a very small change. Working here means that I can make change on a bigger scale.”
Mr.Karl Feilder, on what are the biggest barriers faced by his business, said that it is human behaviour. “Both corporates and individuals don’t like change and I’m consistently surprised by how many people don’t do it because it’s different. I had a friend who built a house for himself and his brother in law and wanted him to spend 3000 dhs on painting in solar reflecting paint – something that is very well understood – but would not do it because it is different.”
How is the company commercially viable?
The US president recently withdrew from the Paris Agreement on climate change, what is your opinion on climate change and what do you think is the solution?
The company proves that being sustainable is not as difficult as one portrays it to be. It is a matter of being more welcoming to change and making an active attempt to learn more.
If you’re a student looking to make an environmental change in your school or university, Izdihar Alssouri, the senior chemical engineer at Neutral Fuels, says that you can collect used cooking oil from students in the company’s recyclable oil containers and then use the converted biodiesel to run the busses and equipment in the same school. Do you have what it takes to become the eco-warrior of your community?
In conclusion, we must remember that while the world governments are collaborating to reduce the impact of climate change, it is certainly not enough. Any initiative on our part can go a long way to make our planet greener and will have a much more immediate impact than any signed pact will.