caring for mother earth

Posted by Analyse at 4:21 PM

Saturday, January 08, 2005

The tragedy caused by the killer tsunami still haunts me until now. After the typhoons in the Philippines, here we are again with another bigger catastrophe in Asia. I cant help but think about my family left in the Philippines, they're safe..but until when? I cant anymore stand watching those sufferings on TV.. my heart goes out for them.

As everybody has probably noticed, our climate has been changing: heavy rains experienced on a summer season and dryness on a rainy season. 3 consecutive typhoons on the month of December…?

On environment

It was in 1999 when I first encountered Environmental Management Systems (ISO 14001) in the Philippines through a conference offered by the Philippine Institute of Chemical Engineers (PIChE). In layman’s term, I’ll just translate it to a company’s engagement to protect the environment. Different big companies were represented during the conference…I was there on my own account.

The approach was, for me at that time, a bit ambitious considering the investments involved..and the question..will the Filipinos take this step seriously? Will they be willing to sacrifice part of their profit to venture for this cause? Of course this initiative doesn’t only mean expenses, it also mean long-term profits…but as written, it’s long-term.

Being a French filial and following the company’s global politic on environment and security, our production site in the Philippines is certified ISO 14001 (and OHSAS 18001 too). It’s comforting to see that their approach is even more structured than what we have here in France. Yes, finally, the Filipino can!

Carrefour’s initiative

When I was on vacation in Venice, I thought that this city was an agreeable place to visit, not only because of its beauty but also because of its cleanliness. No cars, no buses…non negligible knowing that transportation is number one on the list of pollutants. Another observation was that, shoppers bring their own baskets / plastic bags to minimize their wastes. That was a good way to environment protection, and I wondered when would France engage the same approach…

Like all other Tuesdays (discounts are offered for cartepass holders exclusively on Tuesday), I was in Carrefour last Tuesday to refill my stocks. When I was about to arrange what I bought, I was surprised to see no plastic bags where they used to be, so I asked the cashier for some so I could help her fix them. Well, actually, she explained to me that they already stopped (or should I say minimized as they still give some - just enough for what you bought unlike before when everything was open to customers) giving away plastic bags.

Two thumbs up for Carrefour for their initiative to environment protection. I’m sure all other supermarkets will adapt the same politic sooner.

My role as an individual

Needless to say that I do separate recyclable / non recyclable wastes at home - it requires a minimum effort to be environment friendly.

I had a 3-day training on Functional Analysis which was very interesting and in line with what I do. During process conception, environment and security are imperative functions which shouldn’t be omitted – not forgetting of course the quality of the final product.

As an engineer and working in an industry, I am of course aware that I am a hazard to the environment – but rest assured, I am certified ISO 14001 :) !

Visit to La Cité des Sciences et de l'industrie

Science buff as I am, during our one-day stay in Paris with my frenchman’s niece, I brought her to the Cité des sciences et de l'industrie (science and industry museum). Luckily, there was this animation on the changing climate and its causes. I wanted her to be aware thus, be responsible at an earlier age.

One thing that marked her attention was that, in the year 2500, if activities continue as they are right now, Paris will surely be below sea level!

How could we help preserve our environment for the next generation to come?


Major Tom said...

Maybe in the future, engineers could come up with building design that are resistant to carbon degradation and helps cleanse the environment.

Analyse said...

hi daily prophet,

i should say that carbon degradation resistant is kinda ambitious as everything needs energy in order to work, thus the consumption of hydrocarbon products. i've heard about the water-energized engine but sad to say that it's not 'very welcome' to today's politic. what we could do right now is to 'minimize' the emission of such pollutants (carbon dioxide, methane, CFC..) thus the Kyoto Protocol. it's a no-nonsense protocol, and i assure you, its implementation is another story!

developed countries haved signed this protocol, but not most of the developing countries. machines installed in europe, for example follow a totally different regime compared to those installed in asia, with totally the same processes. that is to say, we of course consider the environmental aspect of each processes, but much less when a machine is destined to be installed in asia. EU regulations are very strict that environment and security issues are considered big constraints!

though it may represent as very ambitious, i guess developing countries such as the philippines should embark in this same politic, not on the same quota as the developed countries, but at least a goal to meet.