Coinciding with World Environment Day on June 5, Ford Motor Company today launched the 17thedition of its Conservation and Environmental Grants programme, with $105,000 made available to successful entries from around the Middle East and North Africa region.
World Environment Day is the United Nation's most important day for encouraging worldwide awareness and action for the protection of our environment. Since it began in 1974, it has grown to become a global platform for public outreach that is widely celebrated in over 100 countries. Each World Environment Day is organised around a theme that focuses attention on a particularly pressing environmental concern.
The theme for this year’s World Environment Day is “beating plastic pollution”, and Ford is increasing the total fund offering for 2018 with a $5,000 special category grant for the project that best displays a plan to tackle the scourge of plastic on our environment.
Accepted from Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, and Yemen, the touted Conservation and Environmental Grants projects should be focused on one of three main areas: Environmental Education, Protection of the Natural Environment and Conservation Engineering.
Two further categories will receive financial support for the winning projects: Best in Research – projects that show use of research in finding, and implementing, solutions to a specific environmental issue – and Best in Community Engagement, for the project that best demonstrates community engagement during its undertaking.
Individuals or organisations with on-going projects focused on any of the main areas of focus are invited to apply by downloading the form from me.ford.com, and email it to [email protected] Applications will be received from June 5, with closing date for submissions on July 15, 2018 at 9pm AST (Arab Standard Time). Jury voting will take place, virtually, in August, with winners announced in September of this year.
“Our planet faces increasing environmental challenges; such as greater congestion in cities, the rise of the global population, and the ongoing implications of climate change - and so we continue to work tirelessly to maximise our energy and water efficiency and minimise the waste and emissions footprints of our manufacturing plants and vehicles,” said Mark Ovenden, president, Ford Middle East and Africa.
“The Ford Conservation and Environmental Grants programme is one of many initiatives Ford has invested in to preserve our environment for future generations. With this year’s World Environment Day theme of Beating Plastic Pollution in mind, the programme will be including an additional special category to be awarded a $5,000 ‘beating plastic’ grant.”
For years, Ford has been working with renewable materials, from farm elements to plastics. In partnership with Coca-Cola, Nike and Procter & Gamble, Ford proudly co-founded the plant-based PET Technology Collaborative (PTC), a strategic working group focused on accelerating the development and use of 100 per cent plant-based PET materials and fibres. Ford also boasts the first automotive use of Coca-Cola’s Plant Bottle plastic, used in the seat fabric, trim, carpets and headliner in an electric Ford Focus battery demonstration vehicle.
The World Wildlife Fund’s Bioplastic Feedstock Alliance (BFA)can, too, rely on Ford as a partner, as it works to support the responsible development of plastics made from plant material, and helps build a more sustainable future for the bioplastics industry.
Projects in the past year alone have helped tackle the issue of turtle by-catch in Tunisia, supported Morocco-based project “Go Energyless” in producing and supplying low-cost coolers made of clay and other natural materials to local communities, and helped students change community perceptions of conservation through the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature in Jordan’s Nature Ranger programme.
In its 17 years of existence, the Ford Grants programme has become one of the largest corporate initiatives of its kind in the region, created to empower individuals and non-profit groups that are donating their time and efforts to preserve the environmental well-being of their communities.
Since its inception, the Ford Motor Company Conservation and Environmental Grants programme has received support and recognition from various governmental and non-governmental environmental authorities from around the Middle East, including the World Wide Fund for Nature, and the Arab Forum for Environment and Development (AFED).
Recipients are chosen by an independent panel of judges consisting of academics and leaders from regional environmental organisations. The judges are seasoned environmentalists or academicians from the region carefully selected based on geographical coverage, age and gender equality. They look for initiatives that demonstrate a well-defined sense of purpose, a commitment to maximising available resources, and a reputation for meeting objectives and delivering planned programmes and services.