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“The Oscars of Green Business”: Ashden Awards Shortlist Egyptian Firm ECOnsult

June 22, 2020
The members of the female-led team of ECOnsult at the site of their shortlisted project. Photo courtesy of Sarah El-Battouty.

The female-led architecture firm ECOnsult has become the first ever Egyptian company to be short-listed for the Ashden Awards – an accolade given to innovators in sustainable energy – for building a green agricultural village with sustainable cooling systems for farmers.

The shortlist includes 21 other projects and businesses from around the world that have taken the lead in initiatives to advance sustainability. ECOnsult’s project went from being longlisted for the Ashden Cool Cities Award along with four companies from Germany and India, to being on a shortlist of only two projects within that category.

Founder Sarah El-Battouty told Egyptian Streets that the accolade of being on this short-list meant a great deal to her, describing it as an “Oscar nomination in the world of green business.”

“The company aims to promote active response to climate change and challenge the status quo of the conventional design and construction sector,” El-Battouty explained.

With recognition for their work from entities like Bloomberg and Egypt’s Volunteer National Report on Vision 2030, the company has been among Egypt’s leaders in the field of sustainability and green business.

“As the owner I feel the water and energy intensive sector needs to look at the benefits of building green, and in Egypt and hot climates cooling is a critical. Air conditioning is particularly a contributor to high operational costs as well as green house gas emissions,” El Battouty said.

A rendering of ECOnsult’s ‘green buildings’. Courtesy of Econsult web page.

As global heating becomes an increasingly direct and disruptive threat to life and work, the importance of developing sustainable and green cooling system is now greater than ever before – especially to a country like Egypt, which experiences extreme heat and whose economy relies on agriculture.

“The only way I think Egypt will move forward is by innovation, going green and backing innovation that solves big problems like water shortage, energy waste, and extreme heat. And these solutions need to be affordable, carbon neutral and with partnerships,” El-Battouty concluded.

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