Going Green at the World Scout Committee Meeting
Last year, at its 2nd biannual meeting in Baku, Azerbaijan (2-4 October 2015) the World Scout Committee (WSC) endorsed the WSC Sustainability Guidelines. It had only been a week then, that the entire world had come to agreement on the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the United Nations in New York, and the WSC already kickstarted its contribution by setting an excellent example for everyone else to follow.
Six months on, the World Scout Bureau (WSB) Global Support Centre, Kuala Lumpur hosted the WSC from 25-27 March 2016 for its first Meeting of this year. The preparations and arrangements supporting this particular WSC Meeting, were markedly different from the other earlier meetings. Following a checklist of focus points developed from the Sustainability Guidelines, the WSB’s organising team made conscious efforts to change its regular practices and prioritise sustainable procurement and practices for the Meeting.
Through this work, the WSC acknowledges the importance of living up to high sustainability standards in today’s context and in accordance with scouting principles and wishes to lead by example as fit for the highest leadership body of WOSM,
Although everyone agrees strongly that sustainable practices are close to the core values of Scouting, it was however acknowledged that implementing such guidelines requires an effort from every participant to a WSC Meeting as well as the WSB.
Good environmental practices like limiting prints, using recycled products, using public transportation, limiting meat consumption, reducing waste production, using organic and local ingredients and products, etc have been implemented. The WSC members also brought along their own water containers, notebooks, pens, etc. and adapted to the moderate use of air conditioning.
Broadly, as Scouts, we advance the causes of the environment through our work around the world and through conscious efforts in our daily lives. My team within the WSB are equally committed to improve and establish good environmental practices across all our operations in WOSM.
Since October 2012, Scouts around the world have contributed more than 658 million services hours to over six million community projects through World Scouting’s global programmes including the World Scout Environment Programme. More than 40% of the service hours logged on scout.org are coming from environmental projects. Some projects such as Tree for the World have had great impact. The initiative which has created worldwide momentum amongst Scouts inspires each Scout to plant at least one tree.
As a movement with over 40 million active global citizens, we have the power to create the wonderful world we want to live in. We have made a good start with WSC Meetings going greener; the idea is to build on the momentum in our daily lives as we advance the causes of the environment in creating a better world. Baden Powell left us with a clear ambition to fulfill, to leave the world a better place than we found it. Today, the WSC and WSB have set up to do just that about WOSM’s environmental impact.