The Executive Committee of the International District Energy Association (IDEA) offered Ahmad Bin Shafar, CEO of Emirates Central Cooling Systems Corporation (Empower), the world's largest district cooling services provider, a newly formed category of Board membership – IDEA Board Member Emeritus, to serve the IDEA Board of Directors for a 3-year term. Bin Shafar was offered this position in recognition of his extensive contributions to the organization during a six year tenure on the Board, his continued enthusiasm for supporting key industry objectives to preserve the environment, support green energy projects, and his participation and sponsorship for many volunteer activities of the Association.
The IDEA Board of Directors unanimously approved the bylaws change in May 2019 to create the new position of Board Member Emeritus. Bin Shafar was selected under this category along with industry veteran and former IDEA Chair Juan Ontiveros, Associate Vice President for Utilities, Energy and Facilities Management at the University of Texas at Austin. The announcement was made at the 110th Annual IDEA Conference and Tradeshow 2019, which was held in Pittsburgh, USA, from 24 to 27 June.
“On behalf of the IDEA Executive Committee, we are pleased to commend Ahmad Bin Shafar, CEO of Empower, for a three-year term as Board Member Emeritus, in recognition of his many contributions and ongoing support of IDEA in advancing the global district cooling industry.” said Rob Thornton, President and CEO of IDEA.
Thornton stressed that Bin Shafar's continuous efforts to advance best practices in district cooling to preserve the environment, support green energy projects, and his ongoing participation and sponsorship for many of IDEA’s volunteer and education activities, led to this distinction.
Under Bin Shafar’s leadership, Empower has been a very active and engaged member company within IDEA, frequently sharing new technologies and innovations to help others in the industry also to optimize investments in district cooling systems, supporting green practices and sustainable solutions for urban developments that protect the environment.
“Receiving this honorary membership in IDEA Board of Directors, under a newly-formed category, presents us with great challenges in the district cooling sector, increase our responsibility in the efforts of maintaining a green and sustainable environment. This new position also reflects the role of Empower in particular, and Dubai and the UAE in general, in supporting green energy-saving solutions and projects,” said Bin Shafar.
“Empower's role in district cooling and IDEA’s confidence in Empower, motivates us to promote this vital sector, ensure the highest levels of excellence and quality of services to our customers, and support the various activities that contribute to building a green economy for future generations,” added Bin Shafar.
Bin Shafar is a member of the Board of Directors of IDEA, a position that he holds as the first Emirati since 2013. He has also been appointed as Special Advisor on District Cooling by United Nations Environment (UN Environment), as part of its ‘District Energy in Cities’ initiative.
Empower provides district cooling services to more than 1,090 buildings, catering to more than 100,000 customers. The company operates more than 1.43 Million Refrigeration Tons (RT), providing environmentally friendly district cooling services to large-scale real estate developments, such as Bluewaters, Jumeirah Group, Business Bay, Jumeirah Beach Residence, Dubai International Financial Centre, Palm Jumeirah, Jumeirah Lake Towers, Ibn Battuta Mall, Discovery Gardens, Dubai Healthcare City, Dubai World Trade Centre Residences and Dubai Design District, International Media Production Zone and others.