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  • The transition to sustainability can’t be done by volunteers alone.
  • Raul Pop, State Secretary of MMAP: “By simply eliminating or reducing waste, without the question of reducing comfort, you can achieve a significant reduction in environmental impact.”
  • Florina Stan, ECOTECA representative: “The way we currently use resources is not sustainable and is putting increasing pressure on our planet.”
  • Dr. Camelia Crișan, researcher at Progress Foundation: “If we want to respect the spirit and the letter of the EU Green Deal, public investments (even those in the NRDP) must go predominantly towards sustainable design of services and products.”
  • Mădălina Chițu, Digi 24 reporter: “Sustainability is an area that deserves more space on the daily agenda of media trusts”
  • Journalists actively participate in environmental protection actions and want to be an example for Romanians to follow.
  • The first steps media representatives have taken in adopting a sustainable lifestyle are: collecting waste separately, using public transport, replacing ordinary diaries with recycled paper.

While Romania has undertaken to establish a national framework to support the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which includes a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals, many citizens continue to waste nature’s valuable resources.

At the invitation of the Secretary of State in the Ministry of Environment, Water and Forests, Raul Pop, journalists and environmental activists participated in the workshop series “How to communicate the transition to a green economy in a way that Romanians understand?” between 12 and 14 July 2021. The workshops, run with the support of BRD Groupe Société Générale and ECOTIC, are part of a long-term initiative aimed at clarifying legislative and public policy issues that encourage the transition to the circular economy. The issue of waste is at the top of the urgency list and is the main topic discussed during the workshop “Good waste vs. bad waste, waste that enriches vs. waste that impoverishes us” supported by the Secretary of State.

“I believe very much in the power of citizens and their civic sense, I believe in environmental NGOs and I see people more and more concerned about the environment, responsible consumption, circular economy. But I don’t believe that the real shift to sustainability can only be done with the help of volunteers. This process must involve local and regional authorities, the Ministry of the Environment and other ministries, Parliament, other environmental institutions, producers and organisations implementing extended producer responsibility obligations, consumers and citizens in general. The MMAP may have legislative proposals and may promote some legislation, the Parliament does this in turn, but the power of implementation lies with the municipalities, which often only take action following complaints and requests from citizens.”

“By simply eliminating or reducing waste we have the ability to make a major impact. But we need to recognise waste and act consciously and informedly against it. Often, even without a significant change in living standards, you can achieve a significant change in environmental impact.” says Raul Pop, State Secretary in the Ministry of Environment, Water and Forests
Raul Pop challenged journalists to say a few things they think of when they hear the term “waste”. Litter, plastic, pollution, recycling, money and radioactivity are just some of the words on the list.
“Few people realise that there is a direct link between the lifestyle we lead today, the waste we generate and the quality of the environment we will be living in 10 or 20 years’ time. The way we use resources today is unsustainable and puts increasing pressure on our planet. The only way we can mitigate or even solve this problem is to transition to a green economy and widespread responsible behaviour. – Florina Stan, ECOTECA representative.
“I am a big believer that public investments, even those from the NRRP (National Recovery and Resilience Plan) or other types of funding, must go towards sustainable design of services and products. Basically we need to have easily recyclable product designs, to think about the path of each component so that almost nothing goes to landfill: smart design that leads to zero waste.” suggests Dr Camelia Crișan, researcher at the Progress Foundation.
Mădălina Chițu, Digi 24: “Sustainability is an area that deserves to occupy a larger space on the daily agenda of media trusts”

The media, one of the promoters and distributors of key messages, has a key role in educating and informing citizens about the Global Action Plan, which Romania has chosen to support in the coming years. It aims to alleviate poverty, fight inequality, social injustice and protect the planet by 2030, and the Progress Foundation and the Ecoteca Association, with the support of BRD Groupe Société Générale and ECOTIC, support the training and encouragement of journalists to disseminate messages of public interest on environmental issues, sustainable development and awareness campaigns on climate change and its effects.

“The role of the media is very important and essential in changing the mentality of Romanians. This is why such workshops should be held more often, because it is an area that concerns us all. The more often examples of what a sustainable lifestyle means are presented in the public space, the more the attitude of Romanians towards this topic will change.” says Digi24 reporter Mădălina Chițu.

“The recycling process is very complex and I have set out to create a series of radio shows to inform the public about this subject. People need to be taught to be responsible, but this requires long-term action,” says Marius Gruia, a Radio Romania Antena Satelor journalist.

Journalists present at the event said they are actively involved in sustainable actions, both as citizens, together with their families, and through their profession, participating in environmental protection events.
“I encourage citizens to adopt a sustainable lifestyle through the power of example. My family and I collect waste separately by three fractions: plastic, paper, cardboard and metal. I think our biggest achievement so far is that our little girl, who is now six and a half years old, has been collecting plastic separately, i.e. the cans of water bottles she drinks, since she was three and a half. In addition, it’s the usual rules in our family, we don’t leave the water running when we brush our teeth, we only turn it on when we need to. We turn the lights off after us, we have LED bulbs, with low energy consumption. At the association I founded with my husband, we also have a hybrid car, so we try to have as low a carbon footprint as possible.” Anda Sebeși, Editor-in-Chief Business Review and Vice President CSR Nest

The media has the power to change mentalities and convince Romanians to adopt a sustainable lifestyle, which is also possible with the support of the business community.

Flavia Popa, Secretary General of BRD Groupe Société Générale, strongly believes that economic development can no longer be conceived without progress in the field of environmental protection and social inclusion.

“It is also our responsibility as a bank and a large company to propose new business models that encourage positive transformation of the world we live in. This transformation is not an option, it is an obligation that is undertaken with full responsibility. We can thus rethink the development of our cities, our transport, the way we do business and even our individual lifestyles based on current best practice models. Because we’ve reached out to individuals, we believe that every gesture counts, no matter how simple: from taking public transport at least one day a week, to not printing documents or leaving your computer on overnight, to taking action where we see things are not moving forward in the community – by supporting NGOs that campaign for a clean environment, volunteering and educating the next generation.” The series of workshops started in July will continue from September. Other media representatives from both central and local media interested in the circular economy, waste and the environment will also be invited to the events. The types of topics will be diversified, including topical issues to be decided after a broad consultation with journalists.

Event organised by Progress Foundation and ECOTECA Association, with the support of BRD Groupe Société Générale and ECOTIC.

#sustainability #climatechange #circulareconomy #greeneconomy #recycling

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