Tag Archives: green sheikh

Exclusive from the Abu Dhabi Tourist Green World Forum: where sustainability matters

Posting directly from Abu Dhabi, where I have been invited  by our worldwide ambassador, the Green Sheikh, and our supporter Goumbook, in the person of Mrs. Tatiana Antonelli Abella, to attend to the World Green Tourism event, supporting them during the opening day which took place last Monday, Dec. 5th.

The Green Sheikh and HE Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak at WGT 2011

The morning conference was opened by the introduction of  HE Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak, Secretary General Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) who actively supports responsibility and sustainability actions in Abu Dhabi and UAE respectful of the local environment and wildlife.

Immediately after our worldwide Ambassador HH Abdul Aziz bin Ali Al Nuaimi, aka the Green Sheikh, captured the audience with an engaging presentation, merging his life philosophy and his belief together with his support for the environment and with his many travel experiences and encounters with people of all races, cultures and social classes. From Antarctica to Brazil, Iceland and Australia via amusing anecdotes, the Green Sheikh skillfully showed the audience that we are all equal, no matter if men or women, adults or children, Christians or  Muslims or Jews or following other religions, rich or poor.

The presentation was accompanied by amazing images and he used the cardinal points as a guide for his presentation -N, E, S and W- each one having its own enhanced meaning: N as Nature, S as Social, E as Empowerment, and W as World. Because travellers too can make a better world, through a more aware, green and responsible tourism

To my great surprise – and I want to publicly thank the Green Sheikh for this- the Green Sheikh introduced the ECOFFEE platform to the audience, presenting it as a great opportunity for young entrepreneurs.

ECOFFEE as a “Sustainable entrepreneurship platform” was in fact coined together with the Green Sheikh during our first meeting some of months ago, while talking about  ECOFFEE’ services and projects, like the Franchising coffee shop, especially designed for those entrepreneurs who want to run a profitable, responsible and ethical business.

What I am witnessing here at the WGT event is the growing importance of the environment, sustainability and responsibility issues which are now actually transferred into daily business practices even in the Tourism industry – I am glad and proud to be among those who are actively supporting it each and every day with DESITA and ECOFFEE’s business practices.

World Green Tourism leaders meet in Abu Dhabi

Presented by Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority, World Green Tourism Abu Dhabi (Dec. 5-7) is a global event to provide the much needed platform dedicated to sustainable tourism.World_Green_Tourism

Held over three days, the event is the largest ever gathering of government officials, regional and international tourism authorities, environmental agencies, industry leaders, urban city planners, architects, developers, institutional investors and financiers, airlines and tour operators, green product suppliers, universities and academics to examine this issue.

The event aims to support and further enhance sustainable tourism globally and in the region by creating opportunities where industry leaders can meet and discuss immediate challenges and effectively formulate solutions to pressing environmental issues.

The WGT is a three-day conference with heavyweight keynote speeches and interactive panel debates, workshops and an exhibition that will showcase sustainable products, services and technologies relating to the travel and tourism industry. With visitors including hotel GMs, responsible travel agents and environmental consultants the exhibition is the ideal place to showcase your solutions. In addition the exhibition will feature existing and planned developments, hotels and projects that are taking a sustainable approach.

The dense conference program will start on Dec. 5th. Introduced by a speech by ECOFFEE’s Worlwide Ambassador, H.H Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al Nuaimi (the Green Sheikh), the conference will follow dealing with Industry related themes: How can large scale tourism ever be made sustainable? ,“Empowering consumers to make a responsible choice: What steps should the travel industry take?” , “Whose responsibility is it to green the tourism industry?” ending with “Green branding and marketing: Making sure your values are consistent with your message” panel.

In the next two days, the conference will deal with other important topics, such as Water conservation and energy use and regenerating and developing destinations
using sustainable principles. It will be also possible to book site visits that will take place to sustainable tourism projects in and around the city of Abu Dhabi. Delegates will be accompanied by representatives of the ADTA and EAD as well as the consultants who work with them.

We will attend the event to support the Green Sheikh and to bring back news and ECOFFEE’s new interesting prospects and projects. Please do not hesitate to contact norman|at|ecoffee|dot|it to plan a meeting at the upcoming WGT.

Waiting for the International Green Awards – Green Sheikh Exclusive

Launched in 2006 to critical acclaim, the INTERNATIONAL GREEN AWARDS™ were set up to recognise strategies that use creativity in an engaging and effective manner, leading to more sustainable outcomes. 

The event became more and more important and widely recognized, so that in 2010 it went completely global and this year it has expanded again and reorganized its categories by looking to support sustainable achievement right across Business, Government & Citizen initiatives that influence change to encompass 360° sustainability projects as well as encompassing it’s heritage to identify best practice with sustainability communications.

As we are demonstrating with this blog, sustainability has become more and more important for Business, and the International Green Awards will showcase the excellence in this field, awarding the Best Green International Business, the Best Green Entrepreneur, the Best Green Product Innovation.

The upcoming event will also see the presentation of the first ‘Green Celebrity Award’ recognizing the efforts of one global media figure to promote sustainability through their public profile.

The celebrity that will receive this award will become a reference for all those who want to actively live and act green. It would be interesting to know how the awarded nominee would like to see people inspired by his or her behavior: different consumer habits,  a come back to old traditional farming methods, recycling and upcycling as part of the daily consumer activities?

We asked this question to our ECOFFEE ambassador, the Green Sheikh, one of the Green  Celebrity Award nominees-and we would like to thank him publicly for his always being prompt to support our project.

“ Celebrities,  famous people and stars are citizen of the World, a world to love, to share and to fight for, no matter who you are or where you are from! Living as “down-to-earth” human beings is the truly and unique way to have a positive impact on people. We are all going set to go back to earth and to become part of it, therefore we should all be respectful to the real wealth and to the blessings from God.

Climate and environmental challenges are very important issues, and their importance should be especially addressed to our younger generations, raising their attention and bringing them into action thanks to more “down-to-earth” role models, whose footsteps can be easily followed.

We need to sustain and to inspire youths, so that they embrace sustainability in their present life style, and responsibility in their future jobs.  

Expeditions to the Antarctica or to the Amazon Forest or to the Grand Sahara or to any other harsh places in the world that had an environmental degradation which can affect us on the shorter or longer terms,  confirmed us the importance of being beyond just green. To witness the damages that had affected the natural resources such as habitats or wildlife areas means to learn, to explore and to appreciate more.

In my humble opinion,  celebrities’ sustainable leadership can influence the mega circle of world communities leaving a footprint – our “legacy” –  encouraging our young leaders/heroes/champions of tomorrow to transform the knowledge and practice they learn today into their future across many fields, thus continuing to pave the road to sustainability and contributing to a better peaceful and living world.”

You might find a little bit of ECOFFEE’s mission in what the Green Sheikh just stated above. That is that even small daily gestures can help spreading the importance of sustainability from the smaller community to a worldwide audience, no matter whether you are a celebrity or a young citizen.

The Green Sheikh is ECOFFEE’s worldwide Goodwill Ambassador

Following the meeting with the Green Sheikh (see “Amazing Meeting with the Green Sheikh”) we are very happy to inform all our readers that HH Abdulaziz bin Al Nuaimi, also known as the Green Sheikh, offered to become ECOFFEE’s Goodwill Ambassador worldwide and, as stated in an official letter,  to support ECOFFEE “wherever our activities will bring me, accordingly to your values and mission”.

The Green Sheikh is certain that ECOFFEE “will help our youth and entrepreneurs worldwide to approach what both of us decided to call sustainable entrepreneurship” and honoured us by considering ECOFFEE and Norman Cescut  “… as a gateway to be my representative in sustainability business”.

Our industry is experiencing a time of general change originated by the recent economic crisis and by new trends: sustainability and technological applications first. ECOFFEE integrates these new trends within a platform of services, products and projects that generate new jobs and a better future, starting with the idea that a more participatory, more accountable and sustainable shopping experience is the key for being able to spread the sustainability and responsibility culture.

This is why the Green Sheikh is supporting all our activities and services, whether they are for entrepreneurs willing to develop new concept stores or to create a franchising of ECOFFEE cafés. There are also many other projects to come, but we will disclose them later on.

In the meanwhile, the Green Sheikh has just come back from Brasil  where he supported the environmental cause, but before leaving he make a speech during a convention of Young Entrepreneurs, presenting the ECOFFEE project. A great speech that created enthusiasm and generated a strong interest, testified by the many requests that followed.

For those of you who would like to contact the Green Sheikh, please write to:

Amazing meeting with the “Green Sheikh”

It was a nice February morning in Dubai when my attention was captured by an article published on BuildGreen magazine. It was about Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Ali Al-Nuaimi , member of the ruling Royal Family of Ajman, UAE. I was stroked by the words of Sheikh Abdul Aziz, also known worldwide as the Green Sheikh, who choose to use his influence and connections to create a better world through faith, charity and sustainability.

I said to myself: “This is a man I absolutely have to know”. And thanks to his openness, this happened at the end of May.

He agreed to meet me in a three-day long meeting in Ajman, suggesting me where to stay and setting up a flexible schedule to adjust his previously scheduled meetings. My idea was to share with this big influencer all the information, projects and ideas which form ECOFFEE to have his highly reputable opinion about. What happened was that I did not only have the opportunity to have the Green Sheikh commenting what I have been building during the last year, but he also wanted me to join all his meetings and conference calls, introducing me to his world. And it is a big, very interesting one.

Sheikh Abdul Aziz today is Vice President and CEO of the Al Ihsan Charity Centre which supplies food and essentials to the needy. He has a life mission which is guided by Islam: “to achieve all manners of excellent deeds for the satisfaction of Allah (Muslim and Non-Muslim God).” In that mission is protecting the environment and thanks to his education (MA in environmental management, PhD in clean production) and his zealousness, he has activated and coordinated the formation of environmentally and socially responsible non-governmental organizations; created partnerships between public, private and local communities; has advised and raised awareness among decision makers, has participated in steering committees for strategic sustainability in major sectors, and have promoted these issues in the media in the regions of the United Arab Emirates, the GCC (Arabian Gulf Region), and in some other Arab countries, like Jordan. Last but not least, he believes that supporting and educating young generations is a must to create a better, sustainable future.

 As you might guess, I was a little bit intimidated when I first met him, but he was incredibly welcomed and “Down to Earth”, letting me feel at my ease straightaway. “Come with me, I show you the Al Ihsan Charity Centre”. He guided me to Centre, introducing me to his office manager Mr. Khalid, a smart and cleaver young future businessman, and Dr. Haki before leaving for an important meeting. Dr. Haki carefully explained me what the Center is about and what are the activities that takes place in that premise.

The Al Ihsan Charity Center, provides financial, health care and many others support to 9,000 families, 25% of local Emiratis and where each afternoon food is distributed to those who are in need. I was speechless and said to myself: “This is a great man who speaks with his actions, not only with wise words”. Back from the meeting, the Green Sheikh drove me to his house to have dinner with his kids – can you imagine how honored I was to be welcomed to his house too? After a delicious meal, we sat down in the living room and it was my turn to start talking to introduce him ECOFFEE. The knowledge and expertise of the Green Sheikh about the issues of sustainability and responsibility, much wider than mine and much at a worldwide level, brought a new perspective inside the ECOFFEE project. There are quite a lot of similarities between the ECOFFEE project and what Sheikh Abdul Aziz is fighting for. He has directly and indirectly influenced a ban on petroleum-based plastic bags, a new recycling program in Ajman, and an initiative to install sensors that will help reduce energy and water consumption. Although supportive of Masdar City as a hub for R&D in the UAE, the Green Sheikh prefers more modest initiatives, believing that “if 20% of the people had little Masdars and the government gave incentives that would make a difference.” As in ECOFFEE, small everyday gestures can make a big difference.

Surprise was not over that day, because our conversation had to be interrupted for a scheduled conference call with Terry Waghorn, CEO of Katerva, a charity organization registered out of the United Kingdom which delivers the Katerva Awards—the pinnacle of global sustainability recognition – and which acknowledge Sheikh Abdul Aziz among its Goodwill Ambassadors for his ability to take his ’holistic living’ message to the world, activating his moral networks worldwide and galvanizing people of all ages, religions and backgrounds. I was invited to assist at that conference, during which the Sheikh showed once again his being a great, “down-to-earth”, big influencer.

The day after, Sheikh Abdul Aziz had to attend the GITSI conference. GITSI is the Global Initiative Towards a Sustainable Iraq. He did not change his schedule because of my presence, much better: he kindly asked to change the conference schedule to allow me to introduce ECOFFEE to all the participants. That was a great opportunity given me by Sheikh Abdul Aziz and I was able to shrink my usually 40 minute long presentation into a dense 15 minutes span. All his supporting and sharing really made me understand what he meant by ” I am following the core values of an Islamic philosophy based on appreciation and respect. My holistic living message describes one as being connected to the daily circle of life; balancing the spiritual, the intellectual, the physical, the emotional, the aesthetic, the environmental and my own inner peace to help spread peace throughout the world and in the process achieve wisdom.”, values that we often forget about and that should instead permeate our lives.

The conference was over and we left the International guests towards another interesting meeting with the upcoming Dubai HUB managing partners. The time came to pray – and the Sheikh Abdul Aziz wanted to share with me that experience too, allowing me to follow him at the Mosque, another great new experience I have to thank him for. He told me: I will teach you the Wudhu, how to act in the Mosque and how to follow us in the prayer movements but you will be totally free to pray yours and our God. Another sign of his open mind. Meetings with big influencers and great inspiring conversations took place the last day too, and again the Sheikh introduced me to his world and network reinforcing my belief that it is possible to create a better business, a better life and a better world through collaboration, sharing and deep respect.