As part of the environmental and energy awareness campaign sponsored by the Ras Tanura Refinery, students from the Ras Tanura Primary School helped release previously captive birds into their natural environment. The day also featured a pair of speeches delivered by middle school students, a beach cleanup, a number of exhibitors, and more.
Under the theme “I Can’t Save the Earth, but Together We Can,” the Ras Tanura Refinery (RTR) recently conducted an environmental and energy awareness campaign with approximately 3,000 Saudi Aramco employees, contractors, consultants, families, and students attending.
The campaign, which put a strong emphasis on environmental sustainability, was inaugurated by Khalid H. Al Juraifani, manager of the RTR Engineering Department. He was joined by several managers from Northern Area Oil Operations, the Environmental Protection Department (EPD), Community Services, and Saudi Aramco Expatriate School principals.
The campaign included recycling activities, awareness lectures toward waste management, quizzes on environmental issues, gifts for all the participants, and prizes at the end of the campaign distributed by Muayad Aaraj from EPD.
“Environmental sustainability is essential for safeguarding the world’s ecosystems, and for building a peaceful and equitable world,” said Al Juraifani. “The Ras Tanura Refinery itself is well known for pursuing environmentally sustainable approaches to development. Through its effective air-quality initiatives, an innovative system of monitoring air pollution, and its drive to reduce energy, Ras Tanura Refinery has been putting green initiatives into practice in ways that benefit people and the environment.”
The delegation visited the various booths, reviewing their technologies, environmental and energy conserving products, and their awareness programs designed for the campaign.
RTR’s annual outreach campaign, which started in 2011, illustrates the crucial role it plays in informing stakeholders and the community about environmental and energy conservation issues, as well as RTR’s role in environmental protection and energy conservation as it has established an example of excellence and best practice in communicating sustainability and green issues. The campaign encouraged everyone to learn about the environment that surrounds them, to discover how it contributes to their lives and well-being, and to take actions that will ensure that it is preserved and used sustainably.
From the Mouths of Students
RT Middle School students Nita Das and Jackson Swets each spoke on the importance of environmental protection and energy conservation.
Jackson opened the session by talking about the importance of our natural surroundings and everyone’s role in better understanding their environment so that they can better protect it. Living close to RTR, “It is important for us to know what the refining activities are, how does it affect our day to day living, as well as what RT Refinery does to prevent pollution and harmful effects to the community and other stakeholders. This is a platform where RT Refinery provides educational and awareness activities that demonstrate their contribution toward environmental protection,” Jackson said.
He further noted the variety of participantsin the campaign and their keen knowledge about environmental protection, encouraging everyone to take advantage of these resources and learn more from them.
“I am proud to live in a community that is well protected by Saudi Aramco,” he added. “We as a community have the option to give back, to promote change and to make a difference, by striving toward saving precious water, promote waste reduction, exercise recycling and prevent contamination.”
Nita spoke on energy conservation issues, asking visitors to imagine a world without lights, gasoline, power, water, or heat. “This could happen if we don’t start conserving energy now,” she said, emphasizing that energy conservation is the best way to avoid “the situation we cannot even imagine.”
Nita said “conservation makes sense for individual consumers and commercial users alike — for one it provides better economic security, for the other it increases efficiency and maximizes profit.”
However, she noted that standard economic theory suggests technological improvements that increase energy efficiency tend to increase rather than reduce energy use, as the cheaper energy is used more and increases use. Also, increased use generally leads to economic growth.”
And while this doesn’t imply increased efficiency is bad, it does indicate that it is more important that we alter our behaviors toward energy use to see the results we wish.
She listed several areas where individuals can help conserve energy around the home, such as:
- Appropriate temperature settings to control heating or cooling demand
- Use of correct energy rated home appliances
- Proper lighting and fittings
- Suitable mode selection for our hose equipment
- Stopping the unnecessary running of the appliances.
“The energy intensity of our houses depend on the resident behavioral pattern, so we need to change our behavior towards the energy use,” said Nita.
She also spoke about the importance of cultivating solar and wind energy, which will help conserve fossil fuels.
“We have to act responsibly to secure our future for continuing supply of energy in the coming generations,” she concluded.
The inauguration ceremony included songs by RT Elementary School pupils, cleaning of the RT Beach by students from the RT Primary School, along with the planting of trees and releasing birds into their natural environment by the students.
The focus of the campaign community activities at the RT Beach, included limiting the impacts of climate change, through activities such as waste reduction and recycling, water and energy conservation, and re-vegetation. During the beach cleanup, the volunteers and students took part in activities designed to tidy up, spruce up, and conserve their local beach.
Exhibitors at the event included the Environmental Protection, Loss Prevention, and Fire Protection departments, the Northern Area/Western Region Community Services and Gardening Unit, John Hopkins Aramco Healthcare, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Al-Zamil Company, Veolia Environment Company, Anabeeb Company, Risal Company, Sepco Company, Al-Suwaidi Company, Mastoura Company, Emerson Company, Tanajib Company, and the Atlas Company.