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World Environment Day

World Environment Day yesterday was a time to take stock of our effect on the environment.

Sustineo regularly takes the time to assess the impact our business has on the environment, both locally and globally.  In part this derives from our belief to evidence-based approaches suited to the context and resiliency of our communities.

Our philosophy and purpose includes a commitment to contributing wherever we can towards preparing for environmental impacts through building resilience and adaptive capacity. We help clients address the social and economic factors associated with sustainability and climate change, ranging from climate adaptation and mitigation to rural and agricultural development.

Our work reflects this. We have a strong history of engaging in resilience building, monitoring and evaluation, and research in the environmental sector. See our work in the Ramgarh Basin in the foothills of the Himalayas conducting a risk and vulnerability assessment on local water and agricultural systems here, our review of the environmental impacts of Asian honeybees here, our impact assessment of giant clam research in the Indo-Pacific here, and explore our other projects here.

This World Environment Day we reiterate our commitments: to take environmental issues seriously; develop and support small scale environmental improvement plans at sites wherever possible; consult with employees, subcontractors, suppliers and interested parties to ensure that environmental impacts on sites are understood and addressed effectively; and, to maintain and continuously improve an Environmental Management System that complies with international standards. Our full environment policy can be found here.

This year’s World Environment Day theme is #BeatPlasticPollution. According to the UN, every year we throw away enough plastic to circle the Earth four times. Almost every piece of plastic ever made still exists today, yet plastic pollution is one of the least understood forms of pollution. The unique threats plastics pose our marine environments include entanglement, ingestion, transport of harmful chemicals and substances, transport of invasive species, and the de-beautification of popular tourist sites.

An example of the scale of this issue is the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, the largest accumulation of ocean plastic in the world with an estimated more than 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic weighing 80,000 tonnes. So, what can we do to combat existing and future plastic pollution?

Perhaps the biggest difference we can make as individuals is changing our personal habits around plastic use and disposal. Some basic strategies to decrease the amount of plastic waste we produce at Sustineo include: using reusable shopping bags; reusing bottles and cups; recycling; spreading awareness; and, supporting organisations addressing plastic pollution. These steps are simple, but effective – each of us can take a step towards ensuring the health of our Oceans.