Photograph courtesy the UNEP.
World Environment Day: Milan, 2015.
The World Environment Day (WED) Expo was held in Milan, Italy, on the 5th of June, and everybody has come away with a renewed sense of hope and resolve as they look toward the future. Celebrities like actor Leonardo Di Caprio and football star Yaya Touré, the UNEP goodwill ambassador, have thrown in their considerable might in support of a sustainable environment through proactive individual action.
What Is WED?
The World Environment Day commemorates the UN’s biggest initiative for positive environmental action, encouraging worldwide awareness and action for the environment and the economy that will drive it, all depending on the responsible management of the planet’s natural resources. It’s said that if the current trends of consumption and production don’t change, then by 2050, given that the rising population is expected to reach 9.6 billion, we will need three planets to sustain our ways of consumption and living!
The WED theme this year is, “Seven Billion Dreams. One Planet. Consume with Care.” This means living within established boundaries to realize a secure future where our dreams can be enacted. Sustainable living is about doing more and better with less. It is about knowing that adverse environmental impacts are not a necessary by-product of economic growth. It is an opportunity for every individual to become an agent for change by being proactive in caring for the earth.
“Although individual decisions may seem small in the face of global threats and trends when billions of people join forces in common purpose, we can make a tremendous difference.”
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon.
In his opening address, The Executive Director of UNEP, Achim Steiner, said that the issue of food loss and waste is the most striking example of the imbalance consumption and production patterns.
Some of the statistics –
The first one, one of progress – the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) announced that the number of people suffering from hunger in the world fell below 800 million for the first time.
Conversely, the number of clinically obese people accounted for 600 million of the world’s population – a striking imbalance!
Globally, the food system accounts for nearly 30 per cent of end-user available energy, more than 70 percent of freshwater consumption and 80 percent of deforestation. It is the largest single cause of species and biodiversity loss, many of the resulting impacts unnecessary. Consequently, the demand and implementation of state-of-the-art technology, ideas, and solutions that will underline the constant supply of healthy, safe, and sufficient food for everyone is a clarion call.
The focus must be on divesting or decoupling economic growth from environmental decline, which really only means reinventing the use of resources in production, distribution and use of products. A UNEP survey showed that youth, the market of the future, increasingly recognize the importance of sustainability issues. Companies can eco-innovate and develop new business strategies and models to meet the growing demand for more sustainable choices, by which enormous opportunities can be seized, such as resource security, enhanced productivity, boosted development, and to create new business opportunities that bring jobs, drive innovation and fight climate change.
Sustainable Practices Driving the Window Shading Industry
On the whole, green building practices make environmental sustainability a viable prospect, allowing building owners to recoup their initial investments handsomely. Green building practices are evolving into a boon for domestic manufacturers, including those manufacturing heat blocking window shading systems. Green building practices encourage the use of indigenous materials that cut costs of shipping or transportation also helps promote local manufacturing, boosting sales to such an extent that manufacturers are able to supply quality products economically.
Graber, a window shading arm of Spring Window Fashions, follow manufacturing techniques that are green by nature, understanding that sustainable practices are equal to survival. Combining stylishly sophisticated products with energy efficiency and the best in quality, Graber brings its customers unmatched innovations in window shading.
Some Green Principles followed by Graber Blinds –
Energy Conservation – committed to manufacturing window coverings that regulate the sun’s energy, Graber products control temperature and create healthy interiors for homes. Cellular Shades, in particular, provide yearlong protection by creating an extra layer of insulation to block the heat and the cold from penetrating windows.
Protecting resources – window coverings are made from renewable sources. Other than manufacturing shading from renewable material like bamboo, grasses, jute and bass, Graber follows responsible measures to ensure that the world remains ‘green’.
• All metals, plastics, fabrics, paper, and waste wood used in their plants are recycled, effectively diverting these materials from landfills.
• Water is conserved by using a closed-loop water cooling system for the manufacture of all plastic products and components.
• Minimal product packaging is designed so that at least 44% of the post-consumer recycled material is used in their production.
• Renewable hardwoods are sourced and processed for Graber Wood Blinds domestically, minimizing transportation, efficiently saving energy.
Preserving Clean Air – Graber uses material that is GreenGuard certified for the least amount of chemical and particle emissions (VOC’s), thus maintaining pure indoor air quality.
It takes organizations like Graber Blinds to complement the UNEP in its resolve to achieve environmental sustainability – poor air quality is a growing challenge, especially in cities and urban centres, compromising the lives of millions worldwide. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that air pollution is responsible for 7 million deaths every year.
UNEP is working with governments and other partners on improving air quality in the areas of transport emissions, indoor air pollution, chemicals and sustainable consumption and production through programs such as the Climate and Clean Air Coalition and the Partnership for Clean Fuels and Vehicles.