CSR Middle East, CSR dedicated platform with 3.555 corporate members in the Middle East.
Ask most people in Saudi Arabia what they know about going green and the first thing they say is “recycling." There seems to be a lot of buzz around recycling, especially in Jeddah. That's good in the sense that more waste is now being recycled in a country that could potentially recycle over 80% of its waste. On the other hand, a very common misconception, specifically among businesses, is that “going green” IS recycling!
In a recent survey conducted by Naqa'a, respondents were given several choices of eco-friendly practices and were asked to choose the ones that most reflect going green to them; and the result was that 64% of the respondents related going green mostly to recycling. Why is that a problem? To answer that question we first need to really understand what "Going Green" means.
Environmentally friendly practices to reduce pollution, conserve energy and save money actually go many decades back. The recent green movement came to imply that the increasing human-generated release of carbon dioxide is contributing greatly to warming up the planet- and it is! Based on these concerns, many governments, businesses, and even individuals have started to re-examine their own practices in order to decrease their carbon footprint. Today, when we say "going green," we mean much more than reducing global warming; for the most part, going green means conserving natural resources. It also includes proper management of waste and decrease of pollution. When a company really grasps this concept, they’re well on their way to environmental sustainability.
Think of it this way. If environmental sustainability was your destination – and it should be – then going green is the road that leads you there. If you're a company is considering going green, or even if you're a stay-at-home mother looking to do your bit for planet Earth, there are four necessary aspects you need to apply in order to become environmentally sustainable:
Namely, there are the 4 R’s, or 4 steps to apply, in that order:
If you're one of the many Earth warriors we know are out there trying to make a difference in the Kingdom, it's very crucial you understand that by itself, recycling isn't enough to insure environmental sustainability; it’s only one of the steps in one of the aspects of going green. Before recycling, consider reducing, reusing and always rethinking!