Eugene Mayne, Group Founder and CEO, Tristar

How has Tristar aligned itself to the UAE vision on a sustainable future?

The Tristar Group is a participant and enabler of various projects, programmes and events that help create a sustainable future for the UAE’s residents and communities around the world. Our staff volunteer their time and efforts in national campaigns and initiatives that support the conservation of natural resources, alongside personal and corporate contributions to charitable causes and humanitarian efforts.

Among other sustainability initiatives at our premises across the UAE, we have reduced electricity consumption by more than 90 per cent at two locations with the use of solar energy. Effluent treatment plants have been installed at most of our facilities to recycle water, in addition to efficient taps that lower water consumption. We have been recycling industrial waste like tyres and metal drums for landscaping and vegetable cultivation on our head office rooftop, to match the UAE’s call for a circular economy.

Addressing broader long-term issues, Tristar is on schedule to introduce clean and green energy across many of its operations. We have partnered with eminent energy champions like KPI Group of India for producing green hydrogen and exploring solar and wind power. We are on schedule to introduce efficient engines that work on dual fuel (DF) technology and ensuring that at least 5 per cent of our deep-sea fleet uses zero-emission fuels by 2030.

This integrated approach of reducing and offsetting our carbon footprint has already marked many milestones in our Net Zero journey.

How do you see the narrative on sustainability evolving in the wake of a globally influential event such as COP28 being held in the Middle East?

As a frontrunner of sustainable practices in the energy industry, we have long had the onus and responsibility to lead by example. Tristar’s participation at COP28 – at the World Green Economy Organisation (WGEO) pavilion located in the Blue Zone – will highlight our inclusive and extensive approach of ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) principles, processes, and practices. We run several projects for the holistic development of education, empowerment, and environment, which will be showcased as industry inspiration, especially for regional players.

The UAE is a beacon for sustainable practices in the region, and our goals mirror the nation’s. Tristar’s global presence and network of reputed partners and clients are key advantages as we continue to influence our regional operations and encourage various stakeholders to adopt more sustainable business practices. We look upon our presence and participation at COP28 as another route towards achieving this goal.

Please elaborate on Tristar’s partnership with Total Energies and the launch of the 2 solar projects.

We recently launched a second solar power plant in Dubai, in partnership with TotalEnergies. Located at our specialised warehouse facility inside Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA), it has a capacity of 464 kilowatt peak (kWp) and 1,190 photovoltaic (PV) panels to generate 750 megawatt hours (MWh) of renewable electricity every year, which is 90 per cent of the facility’s total power consumption. It also achieves an annual reduction of 318 tonnes of CO2, equivalent to planting approximately 8,200 trees per year.

In 2021, also working with TotalEnergies, we launched our first solar power project at our head office warehouse in Jebel Ali Industrial Area No. 2, with a 503 kWp system. With 1,200 PV panels, the plant has been generating more than 800 MWh of renewable electricity every year, which is roughly 95 per cent of our electricity needs and reduces our annual carbon footprint by approximately 340 tonnes every year.

There are plans to build similar solar power plants at our other premises across the UAE.

How is Tristar pushing the agenda on climate change and sustainable energy solutions through its business interests in the marine sector?

Tristar’s decade-long dedication to sustainability has influenced all its operations, and the maritime business is at the forefront of these efforts. In 2022, we started disclosing our environmental impact through the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), and also became a signatory of the Poseidon Principles, working with global financial institutions to report maritime emissions.

We continue to make strategic investments in eco-friendly technologies, adopting efficient vessel designs, supporting clean energy solutions, and pursuing various green practices to lower our environmental impact. We are building our first electric battery-operated barge in Fujairah, which will join our fleet of coastal tankers by early 2025.

As a top stakeholder in the UAE energy logistics sector, what are your views on Dubai and UAE hosting a global event such as COP28 and what does it essentially hold for the future?

COP28 is a milestone moment for the world to unite around tangible climate action and deliver concrete solutions, and this calls for collaboration among governments, industries, civil societies, and all sectors of the economy. Situated in a region where heat is extreme and water is precious, the UAE has long viewed climate change as a challenge and actively supported the global climate agenda. Concurrently, as a regional leader in the energy and sustainability sectors, the UAE has grown and diversified its economy while contributing practical solutions to global problems. These credentials serve as a sterling global example, especially during COP28.

In a similar vein, as top-ranking stakeholders in the energy logistics sector, Tristar believes in being first movers to benefit citizenry, industry, and the environment.