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Is your company environmentally friendly?

Is your company environmentally friendly?

When Kipp thinks of the UAE and going green, we can’t help but think of a morbidly obese person and their relentless resolutions to go on diet. Eva Fernandes explains why.

October 6, 2010 1:40 by

Kipp’s weekly poll has revealed that when it comes to being environmentally conscious at the work place, only a minority of our readers think their company goes the whole hog.

Just 26 percent of Kipp’s readers said their company is environmentally contentious—by making an effort to recycle, car pool, use energy saving bulbs etc. Yet the results are not completely bad; only 19 percent of our respondents said their company doesn’t do anything to help out Mother Earth at all. And more than half our respondents (52 percent) said their companies do the basics.

As with a lot of progressive movements in the UAE, being environmentally conscious can often be a tedious and expensive affair. But this is not for want of a lack of effort from the authorities – it probably has more to do with the execution of their efforts.

From the first campaign launched in the mid-nineties (with the unforgettable jingle barely anyone who watched Channel 33 can shake off, “Reduce-Reuse-Recycle”) to the very ambitious three stemmed trash cans for glass, paper and plastics that the municipality installed all over the city two years ago (that unfortunately hold no distinction for the average resident who seems not to care for the categories), the Emirates is always boasting about launching a new way to be green.

When I think of the UAE and going green, I can’t help but think of a morbidly obese person and their relentless resolutions to go on diet. Year in, year out, Kipp’s seen the reports and the significant studies, both in local and in international media, which show the UAE to have one of the largest carbon footprints in the world per person. We’ve even heard these stories quoted by the local authorities as they announce their latest scheme. But we can’t understand why, more than a decade after the first green campaign was announced in the UAE, we still haven’t developed a sustainable, practical and accessible habit of being green in the country.

And while the authorities continue trying to figure out how and when to implement a more effective method of being environmentally conscious, perhaps office management can do their best with small gestures. To start with, you can install recycling bins all over the office and appoint one person a month to dispose of the bins into the nearest recycling centres (often located next to the air conditioned bus stations). Or even encourage staff to think twice before printing—remember don’t print what you can just read off of your computer screen. Wash and reuse take away food containers, limit the use of plastic cups, and of course switch off electrical items when unused (in particular air con and lights).

It’s not much, but it would be a start – something the country has struggled to do so far.

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