On April 22, the world unites to celebrate the Earth. Earth Day started in 1970 as an initiative to create appreciation for the environment, support sustainability, maintain biodiversity and emphasize the environmental issues that concern us as humans. Now, more than 1 billion people participate in Earth Day activities each year, making it the largest civic observance in the world.
Increased demand for energy and sustainability have become key issues – or opportunities – due to the challenges and limitations we are dealing with. Following this approach and aligning to the Celanese values, Improving the World and Being Sustainable, the Celanese Global Energy Team is celebrating this day as a permanent and sustainable tradition.
This year, employees from four of our global sites describe their experience and what this day means for them and their countries.
Cangrejera, Mexico – Celina Akemi García Kishi
Mexico is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world. For us, Earth Day is a reminder that we are all in this together, and we only have one planet to live in, so maintaining our planet is to define our future. As Earth’s problems can affect everyone, we must act locally, but think globally; thus always have in mind that conserving any resources, including energy, not only saves money, but also contributes to taking care of our environment.
At the Celanese Cangrejera facility, we are hosting conferences on energy reduction and carbon footprint, as well as coordinating a one-hour electricity shutdown at the employees housing complex on April 22nd, to collaborate on energy reduction and to raise consciousness about the positive impact that we can have by just making small changes in our behavior.
Narrows, Virginia, United States – Robert Needham
Energy seems to be a constant conversation in 2017. With rising energy prices, and new information on the global impacts of high energy usage, it’s no surprise why. As we celebrate Earth Day, it makes me proud to work for a company that is doing as much as Celanese is to reduce its overall consumption, looking for more sustainable alternative sources of energy. I believe it is imperative to preserve and to protect the planet we call home, not only for ourselves, but also for the generations to come.
Lanaken, Belgium – Roel Meertens
Although there are some environmental associations which celebrate this event asking for extra attention to our environment, most people in Belgium are not aware of the existence of Earth day.
However, we do have other environmental related initiatives which are organized on a yearly basis. For example, most larger cities in Belgium set up a day called “autoloze zondag” when people are recommended to take alternative means of transportation instead of cars. This way people are triggered to think about the environment.
Another annual event is “dikketruiendag”, when all public buildings, schools, offices, etc. turn their heating off for a day to save energy. Most private enterprises in Belgium also participate in this event, asking their employees to wear warmer clothes.
Nanjing, China – Yang Yang Luo
Since the 1990s, the Ministry of Land And Resources of China promotes the celebration of Earth Day each year. The government, schools, corporations, and non-profit environmental organizations coordinate programs, including special exhibitions, popular science reports and interactive youth activities related to the Earth and the environment. The purpose is to let the public, especially students, have a deeper understanding of the planet and to enhance the importance of environmental protection.
At the Celanese Nanjing plant, we have the Bicycle Club which encourages people to choose cycling as a healthy and environmentally friendly means of transportation. We have CSR activities like rubbish collection in public places, tree planting, spontaneous dam inspection during heavy rainy days, etc. We also established the practice of setting the air conditioning temperature above 79 Fahrenheit degrees (26°C) in summer, and we will soon set the guideline to turn off unnecessary lighting in the office.
We believe that Earth day is a very significant reminder, but we should do everything we can to protect our planet every day.
For more information on Earth Day and how you can participate, see the ENERGY STAR® and Earth Day websites