Dubai, United Arab Emirates: Waste Free Environment (WFE), the community based environmental awareness and anti-litter campaign organized by the Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA) was chosen as the 2016 “Best Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative of the Year” at the 7th Oil and Gas and Refining and Petrochemicals Middle East Awards. Presented by ITP, the Awards recognize the accomplishments and achievements of upstream and downstream companies in the GCC region over the previous year.
“The WFE campaign was born out of the petrochemical industry’s sincere commitment to give back to communities in the Arabian Gulf region in a way that is beneficial, educational and sustainable,” said Dr. Abdulwahab Al- Sadoun, Secretary General, GPCA. “Since its inception in 2013, the initiative has grown from humble beginnings in a few GCC markets, to a global event that incorporates efforts of major downstream companies, universities, schools and the general public. Being bestowed with this award from ITP through a distinguished panel of judges is an honor and a testament to the impact of a meaningful campaign like the WFE.”
The 2016 edition of WFE involved the cleanup of public spaces across 17 cities in 10 countries in February of this year, across the GCC, The Netherlands, China, Singapore and India. Over 11,000 volunteers joined hands to collect over 179 tons of waste, with recycling partners collaborating in the reutilization of waste. Along with the cleanup drive, the GPCA and its partners also incorporated a great focus on the educational element to the initiative, journeying into schools and raising awareness on the 3 Rs of waste disposal, namely Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.
The WFE is a multi-stakeholder initiative with contributions from GPCA member companies which include some of the largest local and global petrochemical companies around the region. This year’s campaign involved collaborations with Borouge, Sabic, Fertil, Chemaweyaat, Shell, LBI, Sadara, Schem, Equate, ORPIC, GPIC, Royal Commission Jubail, Sahara, Tasnee, Advanced, Farabi, Sipchem, Muntajat, QAPCO and S.A Talk.
“The petrochemical industry is the region’s second largest manufacturing base, resulting in significant benefits to the economy, jobs and quality of life. However, we recognize the growing issue of improper waste disposal of things like plastic, which is a key petrochemical product,” said Dr. Al- Sadoun. “Litter is not due to the product or the industry, but more of behavioral practices by consumers. Therefore, campaigns like GPCA’s WFE provide measurable solutions to combat this ongoing issue. The growing reach and significance of this initiative means that we will continue to expanding this campaign in the future.”
The 2017 edition of Waste Free Environment will be held from February 26 to March 2.
About the Gulf Petrochemicals & Chemicals Association:
The Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA) represents the downstream hydrocarbon industry in the Arabian Gulf. Established in 2006, the association voices the common interests of more than 250 member companies from the chemical and allied industries, accounting for over 95% of chemical output in the Gulf region. The industry makes up the second largest manufacturing sector in the region, producing up to US$108 billion worth of products a year.
The association supports the region’s petrochemical and chemical industry through advocacy, networking and thought leadership initiatives that help member companies to connect, to share and advance knowledge, to contribute to international dialogue, and to become prime influencers in shaping the future of the global petrochemicals industry.
Committed to providing a regional platform for stakeholders from across the industry, the GPCA manages six working committees – Plastics, Supply Chain, Fertilizers, International Trade, Research and Innovation, and Responsible Care – and organizes six world-class events each year. The association also publishes an annual report, regular newsletters and reports.