A TREE-growing activity. An eco-oriented art contest. A river cleanup. A recycling challenge.
These were the highlights of the environment month celebration of Carmen Copper Corp. in Toledo City, Cebu in June 2019.
Some 1,200 seedlings were planted in 5,000 square meters of land as part of the company’s progressive rehabilitation program and in celebration of Arbor Day last June 25.
It was a clear demonstration of shared responsibility in protecting the environment after more than 100 volunteer employees, people’s organizations, the local government unit of Toledo City and government agencies took part in the activity.
Volunteers planted seedlings of acacia auricoliformis, a suitable species that can survive acidic soil and that has more than an 80 percent survival rate.
The Arbor Day tree growing activity formed part of the series of tree growing activities, or progressive rehabilitation initiatives to be conducted to achieve the race to one million planted seedlings by 2024.
A million seedlings
Carmen Copper has been aiming since 2007 to rehabilitate 15 hectares of land per year to reach its target of one million seedlings. The company has planted a total of 876,115 seedlings and shall plant 124,085 more within five years. In the past 12 years, Carmen has achieved a total reforested area of 634 hectares in Toledo City.
Last June 17, Carmen Copper successfully organized an eco-oriented art contest that aimed to raise awareness on the importance of tree growing among elementary school pupils in Toledo City.
With the theme “Greening towards a sustainable future,” the contest showcased the talents of 26 participants in visual arts through their artworks that depicted concepts on reforestation, sustainable energy, recycling, proper waste management, river protection, air quality control and other greening efforts.
As part of its Adopt-an-Estero Program, Carmen Copper mobilized more than 50 residents to conduct a river cleanup at Panda River, Barangay Cantabaco, Toledo City last June 10.
Some 65 volunteers comprising Carmen Copper employees and members of the Hugpong Cantabacoanon para sa Kinaiyahan (HCK)—a Carmen Copper-assisted people’s organization committed to protect the environment—collected trash irresponsibly dumped by other residents along the banks and river beds. The activity generated 645 kilograms of combined biodegradable, recyclable, residual and special wastes.
Carmen Copper, under its Adopt-an-Estero Program, conducts regular cleanup in the area to raise awareness on the importance of keeping the rivers and waterways clean for the safety, health and overall wellness of the community.
More signage to educate the residents will be installed along Panda River while HCK, pledged to be vigilant, police the area and report those who will violate Republic Act 9003, or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act.
Carmen Copper also launched a company-wide Trash to Treasure Challenge where employees were challenged to recycle, reuse, re-purpose and re-engineer everyday materials into new, useful or income-generating inventions.
The Trash to Treasure Challenge aims to tap the employees’ creativity to promote recycling and reuse of materials in line with the company’s goal to reduce waste.
Among the entries that stood out were a pub table made of scrap tire and old rim, a clock made of automobile scraps and an elegantly designed furniture chair made of scrap tires.
Recognizing its crucial role in maintaining the delicate balance between economic growth and care for the environment, Carmen Copper has embarked on a more strategic approach to sustainable development by integrating sustainability in all facets of its operations prioritizing environmental management, safety and health, and social development.
Carmen Copper’s commitment to sustainable development through its outstanding environmental management has consistently earned it various environment awards including the Presidential Mineral Industry and Environment Award Titanium and Platinum achievements.