Initiative expands to become a UAE-wide competition and includes “The Great Battery Challenge’, a new battery recycling initiative with Duracell
Sharjah, 5 September 2018: Bee’ah has announced the launch of the Environmental Excellence School Award (EESA) and Inter-School Recycling Competition (ISRC), with registration now open for both competitions. Marking a new milestone for the EESA, the annual event has expanded to schools across Abu Dhabi, making it a UAE-wide initiative. A unique addition to this year’s event is the inclusion of ‘The Great Battery Challenge’, a first-of-its-kind battery recycling competition, created through a partnership between Bee’ah and the leading, global battery manufacturer, Duracell.
Now in their ninth and sixth editions respectively, The EESA and ISRC are signature competitions of the Bee’ah School of Environment (BSOE), a unique environmental education programme developed by Bee’ah in 2010to inspire positive environmental behaviour from a young age. Reaching more than 200,000 students and 5,000 teachers across the UAE, the programme has been hugely successful in nurturing a proactive approach to environmental challenges and encouraging environmentally conscious activities.
The EESA has provided students with a platform to exhibit their own creative and innovative solutions to environmental issues, while the Sharjah-based ISRC has made students active advocates for recycling.
Speaking of the inspiration behind the BSOE and its innovative competitions, HE Khaled Al Huraimel, Group CEO of Bee’ah, said, “As pioneers for the sustainable future of the UAE, we are tasked with a responsibility that our communities play a key role in. To achieve our ambitions for a green future, we have to start with the stakeholders of the future- our children. The BSOE was created to educate and empower them with the right tools to effectively lead change. Through our competitions, we are rewarding participants for their efforts and encouraging them to raise the bar of sustainable living at their homes, in the community and across our nation”.
This year’s new addition, The Great Battery Challenge, was launched with the objective of championing battery recycling, sustainable practices and energy saving to protect the environment. Millions of batteries are purchased in the UAE every year, and the majority are discarded in landfills after use. The Great Battery Challenge aims to change behaviour at a young age and promote sustainability through responsible disposal of batteries as well as demonstrating the positive effects recycling can have on the environment compared to landfilling.
Amer Afifi, General Manager – Duracell Middle East & India said, “Today’s generation holds the key to tomorrow’s world and it’s never too early to educate children about the benefits of recycling. It teaches them the importance of doing their part for the environment and instils eco-friendly habits that will last a lifetime. We are proud to partner with Bee’ah to achieve our shared sustainability goals and I encourage all students to enter the competitions and contribute to the UAE’s recycling efforts.”
“Battery recycling is a growing practice in many other countries. As the UAE nurtures ambitions for a zero-waste future, it is essential for us to adopt this practice. We are proud to partner with Duracell to facilitate this process, starting with our children. Through The Great Battery Challenge, Duracell and Bee’ah hope to make them agents for change, and encourage a lifelong practice of recycling used batteries”, added Al Huraimel
In addition to the focus on battery recycling, this edition of the event will concentrate on a digital approach to sustainability. Based on the theme ‘Changing existing practices into green, sustainable solutions using technology’, students participating in the EESA will compete across several categories including Film, Invention, Sustainable School and Science Experiment, for cash prizes ranging from AED 5,000 to 25,000. Prizes will also be given for Outstanding Individual Achievements, under student and teacher categories. Schools will be required to make their final submissions by the 07February 2019 and the winners will be announced at a special awards ceremony on the 01 May 2019.
Sharing her thoughts on the competitions, Hind Al Huwaidi, Education Manager at Bee’ah, said, “Through competitions like the EESA and ISRC, we have constantly motivated students to explore their full potential and find innovative solutions to pressing challenges. This is also our work philosophy; and this is what has encouraged us to expand our operations to Abu Dhabi this year and play a part in addressing the critical issue of battery disposal in the UAE. Pushing the bar of creativity, this year’s theme for the EESA allows students to use their love for technology to create solutions that could define their future. We have high expectations and we look forward to seeing their interpretation on this resourceful field.”
To support all participating schools in their efforts, the BSOE is conducting comprehensive training workshops. Teachers and students can register for the competitions on the BSOE’s online portal, www.bsoe.ae. In addition to information on the competitions, the BSOE’s website is a one-stop hub for environmental learning; offering presentations, quizzes, games, informative videos, and lesson plans on a wide range of environmental topics. New resources on battery recycling will also be added shortly to educate students on this mounting issue.