Energy Chamber joins Heroes Foundation for beach clean up
On September 17, the Energy Chamber of T&T joined hands with the Heroes Foundation to clean-up Quinam Beach and Vessigny Beach, as part of the International Ocean Conservancy’s Beach Clean-up campaign. Hundreds of volunteers from Energy Chamber member companies, members of their families and community groups turned up on Vessigny beach, La Brea, and Quinam beach, Siparia, early on Saturday morning to pick up garbage from the beach and the coastline besides the main beaches. For the Energy Chamber, this effort was part of our wider initiatives to promote the concept of corporate social responsibility (CSR) amongst our members and the business community more generally. The beach clean-up reflects not just our objective of ensuring that companies have a positive impact on the environment, but also to encourage the spirit of volunteerism amongst our membership. We were especially pleased to partner with the Heroes Foundation, a non-governmental organisation that seeks to provide guidance and mentorship for young people in T&T.
Part of the ocean conservancy beach clean-up involves collecting data about the garbage that is found on beaches. This data is important to be able to monitor the sources of litter and to identify possible solutions to prevent littering in the future. In addition to cleaning-up the mess, volunteers also meticulously recorded what they found and picked up. The total volume of waste was then weighed and all the data recorded. During our clean-up efforts at Quinam Beach, we collected 1,650 pounds of garbage. Last year, we collected 1,929 pounds of garbage at Vessigny alone. What is clear from both this beach clean-up activity and our previous efforts last year at cleaning-up the city of San Fernando is that many of our member companies are very committed to the ensuring that T&T is cleaner.
However, what is equally clear is that there will be no sustained solution to the scourge of littering until the there is a change in attitudes towards waste disposal, from both companies and the population.
Individuals, households and companies, large and small, all have an important role to play. Cleaning-up the country is a responsibility of everyone in the country, not just the Government. The impressive response that the Energy Chamber has had to our campaigns to clean-up the country shows that there is a large number of people sufficiently concerned about the issue to freely give up their time to volunteer to do the dirty work of picking up other people’s mess. The many donations of equipment and supplies that we have received are testimony to the fact that our member companies see this as an important issue.
Changing littering habits
However, there needs to be a concerted effort by many different stakeholders if the pattern of indiscriminate and illegal dumping of garbage is going to change. Companies can play an important role in shifting perceptions and actions by the attitude that they take to waste in their organisation. The simple act of putting recycling bins in place can help to drive home a message about the importance of waste management. Placing an emphasis and a target on reducing paper use can have a big impact on attitudes and can save the company money. All companies should ask a simple question about how contractors dispose of waste generated on their facilities and then check up on whether the contractor is doing as they say. These are all simple measures that all companies, big and small, can take to ensure that we do not have as much mess to clean-up in the future. The Energy Chamber regards actions like these part of a company’s responsibility to the wider society and to the environment. We encourage other companies to join with us to ensure that our efforts to clean-up the country and to then keep it clean are successful and sustained.
Chamber members support beach clean-up initiative
Several members of the Energy Chamber and other companies and individuals pitched in to make this beach clean up initiative a success, donating time, equipment, foodstuff or cash contributions to the cause.
API Pipeline Construction Company Ltd,
Caribbean Insulation Services Ltd,
Caribbean Nitrogen Ltd,
Environmental Management Authority,
Fram Exploration (Trinidad) Ltd,
GDF Suez (T&T) Ltd,
Guardian Holdings Ltd,
Harsco Infrastructure West Indies Ltd,
Hull Support Services Ltd,
Lucozade Company Ltd,
Methanex Trinidad Ltd,
National Gas Company of T&T,
NM Insertech (Caribbean) Ltd,
Odyssey Consult Inc Ltd,
Penal Adventurers Scout Group,
Penal/Quinam Sea Scout Group,
Phoenix Park Gas Processors Ltd,
Shandong Kerui Petroleum Company Ltd,
Superior Energy Services Trinidad Ltd
Trinidad Cement Ltd
Further information about the CSR activities of the Energy Chamber is available at: www.energy.tt