Tag Archives: Development

Consensus is explosive

I strongly believe in the Globally Harmonized System (GHS)  as a means of Hazard Communication to properly inform consumers and end users of the hazards related to the chemicals they use.

ALL chemicals are toxic and hazardous depending on the concentration, the condition it is used and the acts of the end user towards that chemical. Water whose chemical name is H2O has claimed lives through its volume or have drowned persons and damaged properties.

I went back to graduate school in 2016 to study occupational health and industrial hygiene to know more, because I find my skill on OHSAS 18001 too shallow. It is my own intent and my own effort to do so and not a corporate interest  or regulatory requirement.  Being involved in climate change mitigation particularly F-gas control was an added bonus and I have started to love what I do,  until I have to work on my indicator on standards development for low GWP refrigerants for my own country.

IEC 60335-2-24 was easy, no complications, HFC 134a is generally expected to be replaced by HC 600a, extremely low GWP, no ODP, unpatented, natural but then… IEC 60335-2-40 came with the extremely influential global chemical companies even, supported by some development organizations.

Latest J7 pro 610Patents are at stake for Methylene fluoride, Hydrofluorolefins, and other synthetically developed substances and alternatives. I didn’t expect that it would come to this point that changes in a specific hazard symbol are proposed, overtaking and disregarding the GHS.  All chemicals are hazardous regardless of its flammability.  Remember flammability is not the only concern and that speck of light is not part of the globally accepted symbols for hazard communication. ghs-pictograms2-700x694 It was proposed that work on the specific product comes first before work on the globally harmonized system? Because another standard had mentioned, the product standard would be the utmost priority over vertical standards. Or is it a means to mask the actual hazard of a substance.  This is totally unacceptable, Yet we are being forced by corporate interests to be in unsafe conditions and perform unsafe acts by downgrading hazard communication symbols to stupidity.

 

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Filed under Climate Change, Corporate Social Responsibility, GHG Mitigation Effort, Quality, Health, Safety & Environment, Sustainability

Is Backward Sustainable? I think that’s full of BS

Its more than twenty years since the Rio Summit, something that drove me to pursue a career in environmental management and development work that my mother worried about during the early years of my careers. Since it requires a lot hiking, mountain climbing and a few brushes with separatist groups in protected areas. It has also meant my periodic exposure to toxic waste water which my mother thought was pure stench. My mother has since passed away but I kept on pursuing this career path.

Unlike most of my peers who have decided to leave the country and joined the economic brain drain, I was still here, living where I had lived the rest of my life. It is this familiarity on the history of a place that makes me conclude, there is truly a degradation in the economic situation and proliferation of urban decay. Yet we still report in global indexes that our overall carbon footprint is still very minimal. That is such a paradox.

Is there really sustainable development is your carbon footprint is low? What if you’re dirt poor, you can’t even afford to eat,  therefore you have minimal need for resources, can you call that ultimate conservation?

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Filed under Biodiversity, Climate Change, Disaster Management, Sustainability

Dreams

I arrived this morning from Davao City delayed by more than two hours at 0230 in the morning after a five hour drive from Bukidnon Province. Fresh from the news,  China is claiming as part of its territory the Philippines and banana exports to China have been quite difficult. Maybe the Chinese market should require the carbon footprint of its banana imports.

Running late to our flight back to Manila, we have no other option but to eat at Jollibee and along the way was Jollibee Buhangin Davao.

One of my last projects in Jollibee was the EIA preparation of Jollibee Buhangin in Davao City in 2009. It did feel somewhat unreal (or maybe just the tiredness) that something I only saw in paper was operational and finally  I was the user of the facility, basically its customer. I still kept the EIA draft and its plans.  I can trace from these records where the waste water will flow and where it was sourced.  There might be some changes after three years in operation though given the dynamic nature of fast food stores.

On my way to Davao four days before, I happen to come across a former colleague from Jollibee who was supervising the construction of another store in a mall. I just reminded him to secure the ECC of the mall and if there is none, the corporate EIA preparation cycle sets in.

Preparing an ex-ante Environmental Impact Assessment is very simple, you just need to prepare a good report, given the scale of a project, a concise project description can suffice. However,  I never dreamed to perform something like that for the rest of my life, you can really outgrow something and now performing audits, I have seen the short-comings of proposed EIA reports against the needed environmental controls in an actual operation, there are times when it was overdone, but often it is under. Compliance however is a dynamic continuous process.

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Filed under Corporate Social Responsibility, Environmental Impact Assessment, Fast Food Greenwash, Pollution Control, Sustainability