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VFS Global goes plastic bottle-free starting from Visa Application Centre in Dubai Image Credit: VFS

Dubai: VFS Global, the visa outsourcing and technology services specialist for governments and diplomatic missions, has announced breaking free from plastic bottle usage starting from its Visa Application Centre in Dubai.

“The initiative aims to decrease plastic pollution rates that threaten natural resources and congest the environment worldwide and help reduce carbon footprint overall for workers and visitors alike,” the company said in a press release on Wednesday.

Located at Wafi Mall, Falcon, Phase 2, Umm Hurair 2, the Dubai centre becomes the first VFS Global plastic bottle-free Visa Application Centre in the world.

“The initiative is an important step towards creating greener centres as it is expected to reduce plastic usage by over 50,000 bottles annually in the Dubai centre,” the company stated.

The second phase of the initiative will cover VFS Global Centre in Abu Dhabi and the best practice will be implemented across other larger centres globally where water quality and infrastructure allow the use of new dispensers.

Peter Brun, Chief Communications Officer, responsible for company’s initiatives related to sustainability said: “At VFS Global, we aim to reduce our impact on the environment wherever we can. Caring for the planet is the natural thing to do. We are continuously improving our sustainability and ESG – Environment, Social and Governance – performance.”

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VFS Global goes plastic bottle-free starting from Visa Application Centre in Dubai COURTESY VFS

How it is done?

Plastic bottled water at the centre is swapped with water filtration dispenser machines that can filter the water straight from the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) pipelines.

All prevailing plastic bottles and cups are replaced with ecofriendly bio-degradable paper cups that are environment friendly.

This arrangement is implemented at all areas, including front and back office, across the Visa Application Centre. In the Premium Lounge, applicants are served water in a reusable glass.

To provide an alternative for plastic bottles and to ensure offering the cleanest water possible, water from the new dispensers has been tested via Dubai Municipality and is declared fit to consume in order to avoid any health or hygiene allied issues, the company said.

In 2020, Brun said, the company aims to develop an action plan, with targets to reduce its building emissions in a systematic and measurable way.

“We will explore purchasing renewable power for visa applications centres and offices and we will complement our long-standing commitment to offsetting our business travel.”