The first project by GEMS Education’s GREEN GEMS initiative was to phase out 500ml plastic bottles by the end of March from all its offices and schools within the UAE by the end of May 2019.
While ‘going green’ has always been on the radar of GEMS Education, the time to act is now. With the launch of GREEN GEMS, and its first initiative to do away with plastic bottles entirely, GEMS has made a major step on the path to a sustainable future.
The bottle reduction drive went smoothly thanks to centralised control and the ability to closely monitor proceedings. The announcement at schools received plenty of positive feedback, and some schools had already taken the initiative to do it themselves. Students are very in tune with what they would like to see in the world once they graduate, says Ramsey Jouzy, Vice President-Procurement, Varkey Group & GEMS Global.
“They help to inspire us on initiatives, we help to inspire them by showing action, by showing them that we are listening, by showing that we are putting things in place that are in line with their expectations,” says Ramsey.
He adds that GEMS Education strives to give a lot back to the community and wants to be in line with the leadership in the UAE. With Dubai’s goal to become a paperless city by 2021 across all government offices, GEMS Education wants to contribute to a sustainable city and environment. “With Dubai Expo 2020 having an angle of sustainability, we thought it would be a great time for GEMS to coordinate, track, and monitor its initiatives and, where possible, enhance our processes and procedures,” he says.
This reinforces the message that education is not solely about curricula, it’s also about being aware of the environment and surroundings, adapting to and learning from them, and showing others how they can achieve their goals. Without giving too much away, Ramsey says in the future GEMS Education will touch upon all major areas where successful contributions can be made, with further initiatives on plastics, paper, energy, and water.