Interview with Prof S. Feroz on winning the Green Award
1. We have won the prestigious Green Award the second time. How does it feel?
It is a great feeling to receive the prestigious Green Award for the second consecutive year from HE Mohammed bin Salim bin Said al Toobi, Minister of Environment and Climate Affairs, His Highness SayyidTareq bin Shabib, Editor in Chief, Oman Economic Review in a gala ceremony.
2. What importance does it hold for Caledonian College of Engineering (CCE)?
Getting the award shows the commitment of CCE in implementing new initiatives towards clean and green environment within and outside the campus.
3. Could you tell us more about the award-giving agency and what were the different categories?
It’s an Oman Economic Review initiative to create a platform to honour and appreciate the individuals and organisations that are keenly involved in green environment activities. There are nine different categories:
- The Green Innovation Award for the most original idea for environmental protection.
- Green Campaign of the Year for the best public awareness campaign across all mediums.
- The Green Habitat Award for the most eco-friendly and healthy workplace.
- The Green Champion for any person/individual who has contributed to the green cause
- Green Research Award for best research in the field of environment conservation (e.g. alternative sources of power)
- Green Landscape Award for most eco-friendly landscape in terms of utility (Real Estate Projects)
- Green Footprint Award for companies who have initiated measures and taken steps to effectively reduce or offset their carbon foot print.
- Green Guardian Award for the organization that strongly espouses the values of environmental protection, preservation and conservation through eco-friendly practices at the workplace and in the community as a whole.
- Green Education Award for best environmental education practices.
This year, there were 165 nominations for all the above nine categories from different organisations all over Oman. Nominations were shortlisted based on the points awarded by the independent jury members. CCE was winner again in the category of Green Campaign of the year.
4. What is CCE doing in the field of Green Education?
CCE has a commitment toward Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). It had several CSR initiatives such as traffic awareness and cancer awareness and so forth in the past year and environment and green initiatives form a major part of the college’s CSR.
Six women students of the college led the way up the Eastern Hajar Mountains as part of the prestigious 41st National Day Expedition, organised by Outward Bound. These expeditions are all about students becoming aware of the natural environment and learning how to protect this natural heritage.
In addition, CCE was the lead sponsor for the first Omani lady to visit the Antarctica during a voyage that took place from 27th Feb 2012 to 12th March 2012. Ms Zeena Al Towayya is a Caledonian Honours graduate in Computer Engineering in the year 2008. She joined a group of 80 highly motivated people from around the world to participate in an environmental awareness campaign centred on the Antartic. On her return, Ms Zeena Al Towayya led a campaign urging people to act positively on environmental issues and requested the Omani government to support the protocol on Environmental protection in the Antarctica treaty. As CCE’s ambassador of environmental awareness, Ms Zeena has helped raise the profile of the impact of human activity on climate change. The Antarctica, if it melts will lead to a 70-meter rise in the sea level.
Other green initiatives at CCE include the hosting of an International Workshop on Waste to Energy (IWWE) at the College’s Al Hail campus on 12th and 13th March 2012. The key objective of the workshop was to explore issues concerning solid waste management, waste treatment, waste disposal and the future of anaerobic digestion.
5. How has CCE encouraged staff and student involvement in the college’s initiatives toward creating a green Oman?
CCE staff and students are involved in public awareness campaign within and outside the campus, undertaking various research projects in the field of renewable energy.
In addition CCE has an Energy Efficiency Team to monitor energy efficiency concepts within the campus; promotes paperless offices by following communication through email and the use of paper cut software to monitor printing, giving softcopies for student course materials, recycling of paper, solar lighting, development of greenery, student projects on renewable energy, conferences and workshop on renewable energy and waste to energy, new campus development with green concepts.
6. What are CCE’s future plans in the area of sustainable energy?
CCE is in the process of developing a research centre in waste to energy to provide sustainable and alternate energy solutions for Omani society. Recently, The Research Council has awarded a research project worth OMR 110,000 to CCE which is related to sustainable energy development. Hopefully within a year or two, CCE will provide the best solutions for Oman in the area of alternative and sustainable energy.
7. How can we ensure we make it a hat-trick by winning the award again next year?
CCE will carry forward all the green initiatives that are in place now and some new initiatives will be implemented in this academic year and I am sure with all our combined efforts CCE is going to make a hat-trick in winning the green award for third time.