Barclays celebrates World Environment Day 2009

Published June 14th, 2009 - 09:28 GMT

Barclays celebrated the World Environment Day 2009 in partnership with the International Association for Human Values (IAHV) by launching the ‘B-Green’ Anti Plastic Interactive Workshop. 

The workshop’s main objective was to create awareness about the hazardous impacts of non-degradable and non renewable substances such as plastic and the cycle through which they contaminate our environment.

“The presence of so many of you here today shows that the environmental message is being heard,” said Michael Miebach, the Managing Director of Barclays Global Retail and Commercial Banking in the Middle East. “Major corporations, financial institutions like Barclays and individuals play an important role in creating awareness about issues that are affecting the course of humanity, and protecting our environment is one of the most important challenges we face today.”

The interactive workshop explored alternative ways of engaging the public on important environmental issues such as recycling, the use of plastics and sustaining natural resources.  An educational film ‘Story of Stuff’ which highlighted the process by which waste was generated and disposed off globally and the dangers posed to life was shown at the event.

Dr. Prabhakar Rao, COO, International Association of Human Values, said, “Plastic pollution is ultimately a people’s problem.  In the last 30 years, we have done more damage to the environment than ever before in the history of mankind. There is a huge wakeup call happening.  The question is: Are we listening?”

Participants agreed that the workshop was extremely beneficial. Dr Katerina Nicolopoulou - Senior Executive CSR Programmes, Centre for Responsible Business - Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry called the session very informative, highly targeted and interesting.
Isabel Salinel a 14 year old student at St. Mary’s Catholic High School Dubai , was empowered by  the workshop and felt it  was really informative and made her want to do more for the environment.

Speakers at the workshop included Thomas Douglas Bohlen, CTO, Middle East Center for Sustainable Development, Dr. Prabhakar Rao COO, International Association for Human Values, and C.N. Srikrisha, Program Director of Sehat.

Some of the main points that were raised in the workshop include re-using plastic items such as plastic bags or using recyclable jute bags as an alternative. Families should recycle plastics rather than throwing them away as litter. This often poses a health and environmental hazard.

Barclays introduced its B-Green initiative during World Environment Day 2008 through sending branded recyclable jute bags to many of its clients and implementing new operational standards such as printing bank statements on recycled paper.

This initiative was reinforced by the Mission Green Earth: Stand Up and Take Action environmental sustainability campaign with the support of the International Humanitarian City (IHC) and organized by the Art of Living (AOL) and the International Association for Human Values (IAHV).

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