By Ikenna Omeje
Nigerian oil and gas giant, Sahara Group, has adopted #GreenLife project as part of its contribution to environmental sustainability.
The proliferation of carbon monoxide or greenhouse gases into the ecosystem has become a big threat to the survival of almost 8 billion humans who reside on the planet with its colossal environmental challenges.
Sahara Group believes that a firm commitment to protecting the plant sustainably should be a priority for all who call “Earth home.”
According to Sahara Group, the adoption of the #GreenLife project is its commitment to seek support and galvanise action towards tackling climate change through collaboration, recycling, capacity building, awareness raising as well as investment in clean, affordable and sustainable energy.
Climate change refers to any significant change in measures of climate, such as temperature, wind, and precipitation (rainfall and snow). These changes are caused by many factors including human activities like cutting down trees and burning fossil fuels that result in increased air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. The effects of climate change can last for decades or longer.
To ensure the global sustainability of the environment, the United Nations came up with 17 goals that are set to be achieved within a period of 15 years (2016-2030). Goal 13 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), targets “Promoteisms for raising capacity for effective climate change-related planning and management in least developed countries and small island developing States, including focusing on women, youth and local and marginalized communities.”
Speaking in Lagos, the Director of Governance and Sustainability of the company, Pearl Uzokwe said, “Climate Change is one of the most pivotal issues of our time and we are at a critical point. All across the world there are changes to our weather patterns that threaten food production, are leading to alarming rises in sea levels that pose the risk of life threatening and disastrous floods as well as soil erosion due to climate-induced flooding.”
According to her, the situation would require immediate attention and a multi-faceted approach that “gives every occupant of planet earth a good shot at healthy living and the opportunity to create a healthier planet to sustainably support all forms of life.”
Uzokwe said that Sahara Group’s #GreenLife project would involve recycling to promote a circular economy, upcycling, sustainable training, recycling for mother and child care, and access to clean energy initiatives.
“At Sahara Group, we have commenced an extensive recycling programme at our various offices as well as certain communities we operate within to drive environmental protection. We will be commencing with the recycling of paper, plastic and aluminum in our offices. Our aim is to promote a circular economy aimed at minimising waste and making the most of our resources. For environmental sustainability, the recycled waste collected will be converted into fibre, tissue paper and PET pellets for continued use,” she stated.
Uzokwe noted that Upcycling project will focus on the collection of discarded tyres creative remodelling into sustainable eco-friendly products such as ergonomically designed chairs for schools in the energy conglomerate’s host communities, informing that Joraf Gate School in Ijora, Lagos, will be the first beneficiary of the upcycling project.
“In addition to spearheading the collection of materials for upcycling, Sahara Group, working in collaboration with several partners including Pearl Recycling will train indigenes of our host community in Ijora to upcycle waste products such as tyres and convert them into furniture, equip them with tools and set them on a path to sustainably train others in the community including students in a manner that helps tackle climate change whilst providing economic empowerment,” Uzokwe explained.
The Recycling for Mother and Child Care activity will focus on partnerships with healthcare providers and local community schools to offer maternal and child care in exchange for plastic collected by the beneficiaries. “Our primary focus will be on ensuring that the pupils at designated schools are given the option to offset the cost of all vaccinations up to the age of 5 and that mothers are offered credit to offset ante-natal care in exchange for plastic collected. We are hopeful that the pilot project in Nigeria will become a template for replicating other interventions across Africa,” she added.