March 22, 2023, Dubai, United Arab Emirates – Kia Corporation is partnering with Dubai-based start-up, The Waste Lab, to launch a three-stage GCC operation transforming food waste into healthy compost. The partnership, due to commence from the beginning of Ramadan, aims to cut food waste during the holy month and raise awareness about the importance of adopting sustainable practices today.
As a sustainable mobility solutions provider, Kia will be supporting The Waste Lab team by providing them with hybrid vehicles. The project will adopt a holistic approach based on the ‘cycle of life’ concept — divided into three stages, across the UAE, Oman and Saudi Arabia respectively. The automotive brand will be supplying The Waste Lab with the Kia Niro Hybrid in the UAE, the Kia K5 Hybrid in Oman and the Kia K8 Hybrid in Saudi Arabia.
Operations will commence in the UAE. The first stage will oversee Kia and The Waste Lab collecting food waste from 150 households across two communities in Dubai, Sustainable City and Villa Lantana. Once collected, the food waste will be brought to The Waste Lab facilities, where it will be sorted and converted into healthy compost.
The second stage will take place at Lizq Oasis, a family-run, locally owned farm in Oman, where healthy compost and regenerative agricultural practices have transformed a small plot of land into a productive orchard that supports date plans, citrus and tropical fruit trees. This process goes hand-in-hand with The Waste Lab’s focus on soil health and organic farming.
The composting journey or ‘The Cycle of Life’ initiative will conclude with Saudi chef Yasmin Hamza. Her Indulge Thyself restaurant in Jeddah is a first-of-its-kind zero-waste fine-dining experience in the Middle East. Kia will host a farm-to-table Iftar at the restaurant to celebrate environmental advocates from the region.
Yaser Shabsogh, Chief Operating Officer, Regional HQ, Middle East & Africa, Kia, commented: “We are excited to strengthen our sustainability impact in the region with this partnership, especially in the occasion of the holy month of Ramadan. Movement is at the heart of our brand — it is how we do things to bridge communities and inspire people. Aligned to our ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) strategy, developing this project with a homegrown entity as revolutionary as The Waste Lab allows us to protect our land and transform lives by creating zero-waste solutions for one and all. At Kia, raising awareness of a topic as critical as food waste is important to us in creating a more sustainable future. We hope that our sustainable movement can inspire everyone to prevent food wastage and to go beyond it, by developing a sense of responsibility towards the environment.”
Lara Hussein and Ceylan Uren, The Waste Lab founders also commented: “We’ve always been passionate about finding ways to live harmoniously with our planet. Composting is our way to give back to the soil that provides so much to us. This nutrient-rich compost is transforming barren land into a productive and thriving ecosystem. This is the power of composting.”