Archive for June, 2015

World Environment Day 2015 in Pune

Written by Alice Rees on . Posted in India, News, News & Updates, Take Action

Our World Environment Day celebration was the highlight of June. As we consider the environment to be a matter of vital importance, Nektarina Non Profit were excited to celebrate WED in India with its local partner, Zest Youth Movement. Not simply a celebration, the event aimed to contribute to raising awareness of environmental protection among the population, with a particular focus on youth.

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Over 300 people took part in our rally through Pune City. Among them, students from different institutions and universities, colleges, school children, representatives of civil society organizations, companies and political parties, Pune Doctors association, Chartered accountant association, private coaching classes, and many other. Girls and women have been notably present, as well as disabled and elderly people, which is comforting as we strive towards inclusive and sustainable progress.

The rally was launched by Mrs Bharati Kadam, Municipality Member, and a special guests delegation, among them famous environmentalist and social activist Naur Mohammad Patel and Mr Prakash Kadam, president of the Pragati Foundation.

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Mrs Bharati Kadam introduced the event by addressing the public with a speech. She mentioned Pune’s different environmental problems and how they are affecting the health of people around city. She said waste management, transport systems, and cleanliness should be take in account and we should strive to find permanent solutions for these challenges. She pledged to raise her voice on these issues as a municipality member.

Before the parade set off, student Sneha read a message from Miss Sandra Antonovic, Nektarina Non Profit Co-founder and CEO. In her message, Miss Antonovic said “I am touched, honoured and humbled that so many of you have gathered here today to celebrate the World Environment Day and to show that people do have the power to change things if they come together and act together. As a community, as a nation, as global citizens.

“You are showing us how to be global citizens, how to come together, how to act together; and we are humbled by your example. We are also inspired, and we follow you on your path of sustainable living. Now, more than ever, sustainability is important for all of us.”

The participants then walked in procession through the roads of Pune, showing banners and calling out environmental awareness slogans and reached the polluted riverbank.

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We undertook the riverbank clean-up to support Prime Minister Naredra Modi’s Initiative Swatch Bharat. The cleanup was launched by Shri Dattatray Dhankwade, Mayor of Pune. He gave a speech congratulating attendees for taking part in such initiatives and encouraged people to engage in such programmes often. He also said that more focus should be given to such issues within education because educated people can be more proactive, leading to cleaner and healthier lifestyles for everyone.

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Equipment was distributed and together the participants removed a huge quantity of litter from the riverbank. At the end of the cleanup, everyone took an oath for a clean and non-polluted river.

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Throughout the event, we invited people to write their messages on a 20 ft banner, and there was face painting available, with many people opting for environmental slogans on their face and hands.

We are extremely proud of this celebratory event and thanks to everyone who attended and engaged, we successfully cleaned up a strip of riverbank and raised awareness of this vital cause. The high level of participation drew the interest of the press and we hope to have an even larger event next year!

Bristol – European Green Capital 2015

Written by Alice Rees on . Posted in General Information, Green Economy, News, News & Updates

Every year since 2010, a panel of environmental experts has chosen one exceptional city in Europe to be granted the title of ‘European Green Capital of the Year’. This year, 2015, the European Green Capital is Nektarina’s home city of Bristol. The award was envisaged to be a way to reward and recognise cities which are making continual, conscious efforts to improve their environment, become more sustainable, and innovate in green ways.

Clifton Suspension Bridge

Clifton Suspension Bridge (photo credit Gary Newman Low)

The successful bid was led by the Mayor of Bristol, George Ferguson. Before getting into politics, Ferguson was an architect, and served two years (2003-2005) as President of the Royal Institute of British Architects, where “he was noted for championing the causes of education, the environment and good urbanism”. In 2012, Ferguson became Bristol’s first elected mayor, but his personal efforts have long had Bristol at their heart. Ferguson’s 1994 purchase and renovation of part of the Imperial Tobacco Factory is not only an laudable example of urban renewal and regeneration, but is also credited with kick-starting the regeneration of the Bedminster region as a whole. He’s known fondly by locals for his love of red trousers.

Although it took three attempts, Bristol has proven itself this year as a Green capital. This means that is has been formally recognised as a city:

  • with demonstrable records of achieving high environmental standards
  • which is committed to ongoing environmental improvement and sustainable development
  • which can act as a role model for other cities, and can inspire them to adopt best practices

As we are based in Bristol, we thought we’d give a brief overview of what makes it a Green Capital.

Bristol is the UK’s city with the lowest per capita emissions of CO2. In 2010, Bristol’s per capita emissions were just 4.7t, compared to 5.6t on average in other major cities, and 6.6t average nationally. This low amount represents a reduction between 2005 and 2010 of 19%.

Bristol has also affected a huge shift in waste management, moving from over 85% of waste being landfilled in 2004-2005 to just 25% of waste being landfilled in 2012-2013. This represents a performance which is now 23% better than the national average, with Bristol producing 378kg household waste per capita, compared to 449kg as a national average.

This is an impressive performance, putting Bristol ahead of national targets to reduce emissions despite a growing local economy, a thriving industry, and a popular university.

How has it achieved these excellent levels of reduction?

Bristol City Council has engaged in many schemes to lower emissions and energy use, including:

  • improving municipality buildings to reduce energy usage
  • modernising street lights – so far 10,500 street lamps have been updated to use energy efficient LEDs.
  • an Eco-Schools programme which improves energy performance and promotes climate change awareness in schools. Also involving 32 schools in a solar power project with an installed capacity of 568kWp.
  • a 6MW wind turbine development on council owned land, making Bristol the first UK council to own wind turbines
  • using schemes to promote awareness and alternative transport to reduce council transport emissions by 32%
  • developing 15 new Biomass boilers fed by organic waste from park/street maintenance
  • a £20m investment in improving the cycling and walking infrastructure
  • improving public transport, with 10 new bus routes and new, more efficient vehicles.
  • facilitating a network of over 250 businesses who have pledged to lower their own carbon emissions and make Bristol a low carbon city with a high quality of life.
  • a scheme which has improved the energy efficiency of over 20,000 homes with insulation and improved energy systems
  • providing bespoke and accessible advice to over 100,000 residents to help the community affect positive changes
  • requiring all new developments to have an energy plan and to incorporate on-site renewable energy generation
  • weekly recycling collection services for 14 recyclable materials
  • a network of recycling sites and household waste recycling centres
  • a massive awareness and informational campaign alongside social enterprises to inform and educate people about better waste management and how to lower waste production
  • targeted and specially designed informative communications to encourage the reduction of waste and better waste management habits, including linking recycling to Islamic teaching and practices

This is just a handful of the strategies Bristol City Council have adopted to make sure that Bristol is not only one of the greenest cities in the UK, but also in the whole of Europe, and well deserving of its title of European Green Capital of 2015.

You can find out about events and more info about Bristol’s year as European Green Capital at the website bristol2015.