BEIRUT: Eight local companies were recognized Thursday for their green efforts by the United Nations Development Program along with the Environment Ministry.
Distributing the awards at the Environment Ministry’s “Green Room” were caretaker Environment Minister Nazem Khoury and UNDP Resident Representative Robert Watkins, who praised the companies for voluntarily reporting their own greenhouse gas emissions
The room was named after the color commonly associated with being environmentally conscious, as it is heated with alternative power sources less harmful to the ecosystem.
Richard Ayoub, a member of the winning Schneider-Electric East Mediterranean team, a French-based energy management company, explained to The Daily Star that entire building blocks were becoming “green,” with “at least 5 percent of the Greater Beirut area now green, mainly the high-rise buildings.”
Watkins opened the conference by stating that the need for reporting on greenhouse gas emissions has never been higher.
He praised the companies present for their contribution to making Lebanon a more sustainable environment.
“We are thrilled to be welcoming the private sector in fighting a heavily damaged environment and next year look forward to working with even more private firms,” Watkins said.
Khoury echoed Watkins’ sentiments, emphasizing the economic gains that could be achieved by conducting business in a “healthier” manner.
The prizes went to Dina Abboud of Cat and Mouth, Aghnar Massoud Germani of Ambiente, Bana Kobrosly of Boecker, Michele Cattan of Abboudco Uniforms, Serge Tabet of In2Info, Tony Hawat of Le Royal Hotel and Resorts, Roland Stein of Schneider-Electric East Mediterranean, and Sima al-Zein of Work Wear Basics.
Representatives from the winners Cat and Mouth, an upscale catering firm, told The Daily Star how important it was to take the environment into account when doing business.
“Cat and Mouth’s commitment to implement and deliver on its environmental strategy prompted us to initially understand the environmental impact we were having using international standards such as the ones adopted by V4 advisers,” Abboud said.
“This commitment and strong implementation was recognized by the Environment Ministry, which held [this] event to acknowledge the effort of companies like Cat and Mouth that are right on par with multinational organizations,” she added.
By awarding small local firms like Cat and Mouth, the UNDP and the Environment Ministry hope to give more incentive to other firms to conduct business in a more sustainable way.
Both Khoury and Watkins expressed their intention to work together to fight against pollution and inspire more companies in Lebanon to follow the example of Thursday’s winners.