JN Group Cleans Up Sirgany Beach in East Kingston

    JN Group

    More than 100 volunteers organised by The Jamaica National Group and its partners converged on the Sirgany Beach in East Kingston on Saturday, May 21 in a pre-Labour Day effort to remove more than 1,160 kilogrammes of waste from the shoreline.

    The team of volunteers, who were joined by Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Matthew Samuda, consisted of employees from the JN Group, JN Group Ambassador and popular recording artiste, Agent Sasco, as well as members of the Earth Ambassadors service club.

    The initiative forms part of The JN Group’s broader Environmental Sustainability programme, which will be fully launched later this year. The programme is geared at supporting environmental awareness practices in Jamaica by focusing on key areas such as: deforestation, waste management, water conservation and energy efficiency.

    Saniah Spencer, chief of marketing at The JN Group said the volunteers sifted through garbage and debris to identify, separate and document PET bottles and general waste to ensure their safe and appropriate removal from the seaside. In total 105 bags of waste were collected from the small beach.

    “JN has always been environmentally conscious and focused on promoting best practices through the JN Foundation, particularly through our ongoing initiatives, such as the JN Circle networks across the country and The Water Project Jamaica,” Ms Spencer said.

    JN Group ambassador and recording artiste, Agent Sasco (right), has the attention of Dr Andrea Clayton, director, Earth Ambassadors- a not-for-profit environmental organisation; Saniah Spencer, marketing executive, JN Group, and Kimberly Gardner, marketing relations officer, JN Group, as they collect waste along the Sirgany Beach in east Kingston, May 21. The team, organised by the JN Group, collected more than 100 bags of waste, including several plastics, weighing more than 1,000 kilos. The event was a pre-Labour Day activity and part of the JN Group’s Environmental Sustainability Programme.

    “And we continue to promote best practices and environmental sustainability through our latest initiative, our Environmental Sustainability Programme, which focuses critically on building awareness and partnerships to promote reforestation and other efforts,” she said.

    She said JN chose Sirgany Beach because of its impact on the Kingston Harbour, which is the seventh largest natural harbour in the world, and is severely polluted.

    According to the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), the Kingston Harbour and its shores are important to Jamaica because of the economic value of the activities which it supports. The main activities are fishing, shipping, aviation, industry and commerce.

    The value of these activities is estimated at over US$510 million annually. The agency said tourism and recreation could increase the value if environmental conditions in and around the Harbour were better managed.

    JN Group Ambassador, Agent Sasco, who is himself an environmental advocate called the overall JN exercise an important initiative that will assist to reduce degradation.

    “Sustainability is something I take great pride in and fully understand the importance of it. I’m expecting to see a kind of change that will be transformational, in terms of how we approach dealing with our waste,” he said.

    “I hope in another five years from now, clean-ups like these won’t be necessary because we would be taking steps, on the proactive side, to prevent the garbage from being where it ought not to be,” he said.

    Miss Spencer noted that under the Environmental Sustainability Programme, the JN Group will embark on several projects guided by the key priorities of the Vision 2030 Jamaica Medium Term Socio-Economic Policy Framework 2018-2021.

    “This is a long-term initiative and is an acceptance of our responsibility to limit our negative impact on the environment as much as possible. It is also a commitment to support the continued promotion of environmental awareness and practice in Jamaica to ensure the economic and social wellbeing of all Jamaicans – both current and future,” she said.

    Through the programme, the company also intends to increase staff awareness by 20 per cent; establish plastic bottle collection sites at branches and offices across the island; work with tertiary institutions to identify sustainable innovation to face mask disposal and plant 4,320 seedlings over the next year, as well as collect more than 500,000 plastic bottles over the next year.

    Internally, the organisation also commits to replacing its faucets and sinks with water efficient fixtures, as well as its light fixtures and bulbs with energy efficient alternatives.

    Miss Spencer said members of the public can support the initiative by following the three ‘Rs’ – reduce, reuse and recycle; by cutting down on non-reusable items; planting a tree; choosing to use non-toxic chemicals at home and in office, and volunteering and supporting all environmental-related projects organised by the JN Group.