EGA environment week focuses on responsible use of resources

Five-day awareness initiative held to coincide with World Environment Day

United Arab Emirates:Evidence is mounting that people are consuming far more natural resources than the planet can sustainably provide, an issue which was at the forefront of the global campaign for World Environment Day (“WED”) 2015. As part of its corporate commitment to sustainable development and environmental protection, Emirates Global Aluminium (“EGA”) held an internal “Environment Week” campaign from 31 May to 4 June, with the aim of highlighting key environmental issues among employees. The five-day initiative featured a series of activities under the theme “I use resources responsibly” at EGA’s two operating subsidiaries in the UAE – Dubai Aluminium (“DUBAL, also known as EGA Jebel Ali) and Emirates Aluminium (“EMAL”, also known as EGA Al Taweelah).

WED is a United Nations Environment Programme (“UNEP”) initiative to stimulate worldwide awareness of environmental issues. Celebrated each year on 5 June, it encourages positive environmental action for the protection of nature and planet Earth. The theme of World Environment Day 2015 was “Seven Billion Dreams. One Planet. Consumer with Care”, which not only provided inspiration for EGA’s campaign, but also provided substance for the theme. EGA Environment Week opened with a “Sustainable Resource Management Workshop”, which provided participating employees with information on how to manage resources responsibly and contribute to improving the UAE’s ecological footprint – which is considered very high when compared with the rest of the world. An “Energy Talk” on day two gave employees the opportunity to visit dedicated “Energy Talk Kiosks” where they could find information and exchange ideas on energy-saving practices and energy efficiency.

An outdoor “Clean-up campaign” was held on the third day of EGA Environment Week, aiming to raise awareness of the importance of waste management and waste segregation. Employees were also invited to screenings of documentaries that explored how the natural habitat of the UAE is affected by environmental factors as well as how the daily life of an individual can contribute to the overall carbon footprint. The week closed with a “Recognition Ceremony”, awarding participants who had excelled across the week’s activities.

“Rather than marking World Environment Day on just one day, we wanted to commemorate the occasion over a week-long period with a proactive campaign which maximised awareness and encouraged behavioural change among our employees in the long-term,” said Frank Briganti (Vice President: EHSFS at EGA). “Over 420 employees participated in EGA Environment Week 2015, which is a very encouraging engagement level.”

Briganti explains that EGA is strongly committed to sustainability, with protection of the environment being fundamental to the company’s corporate values. “At EGA we strive to maintain some of the highest standards in environmental protection – from optimising raw material usage through effective energy-use management, to minimising environmental impact through stringent management of air emissions, effluent discharge and waste,” he says. “Our goal is achieve the lowest consumption of resources, the most efficient use of energy and the lowest generation of waste resources. These aspirations were central to our campaign.”