United Nations Global Compact Network Bulgaria celebrated the World Environment Day with a kick-off event whose purpose was to inform the society about the health risks caused by air pollution, and to draw the attention on the engagement of business with this issue.
On the 4th of June the Bulgarian Network organised an open lecture at the Red Dot Gallery which gathered businesses’ representatives, influencers and journalists. The topic of the event was Let’s turn the wheels for cleaner air and it corresponded with this years’ topic of the World environment day, #BeatAirPollution.
World Environment Day is a UN initiative aiming to stimulate the international awareness and actions towards nature conservation and protection. Since 1974, the international day has been celebrated on the 5th of June by UN Environment.
Each year World environment day is being organized around an important and pressing environmental issue. In 2019 the topic is Air pollution, considering the fact that 92% of the world population doesn’t breathe clean air.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) more than 400,000 Bulgarians suffer from asthma, while each year another 10,000 die in the country as a result of air pollution.
The main topics discussed during the event were focused on the effects of air pollution on our health, the means to deter the problem and on the practices that the Network’s member companies implement in order to reduce their ecological footprint.
During the event leading experts gave lectures on the interdependency between air pollution and various health issues people suffer from. Guest lecturer was the pulmonologist Dr. Alexander Simidchiev – president of the “Air for health” association. He disproved the common misunderstanding that air in summer is cleaner than the air we breathe during the winter:
«It cannot be stated that in the summer air is cleaner because in that period, the sun activates more chemical reactions so that ozone, which is toxic, is being produced in the lower parts of the atmosphere. Ozone is “good” only when it is in the high atmosphere layers”.
Another guest lecturer was PhD Michail Okoliyski from the local WHO office:
“Nine out of ten people breathe polluted air every day. In 2019 WHO considers polluted air as the most severe ecological risk for the health after the tobacco smoking. Microscopic pollutants in the air can penetrate the respiratory and circulatory systems, harming the lungs, the heart and the brain, this way causing the premature death of 7 million people every year. To improve air quality we need to tackle the various sources of pollution.”
Nature conservation is among the fundamental principles of the UN Global Compact. Following these universal principles, the Bulgarian companies, members of the initiative, have responsible and clean production, respect high ecological standards, make green investments and develop eco-friendly technologies.
Members of the jury are Angel Igov, writer and translator, Jhivko Konstantinov, journalist, and Milena Tasheva from the online media “Az cheta”.A contest for shared stories on wheels and a contest for urban bike routes – those two are the Bulgarian Network’s collective initiatives for employees’ engagement, initiated under the slogan “Let’s turn the wheels for cleaner air”.
The companies that are taking part of this-year campaign are Kozloduy nuclear power plant, Overgas, Postbank, Solvay sodi, Sopharma and TechnoLogica.
Let’s turn the wheels together for cleaner air!