A call to action
This year, all Tecpetrol operations enthusiastically took part in Cleanup Month, a series of waste collection days organized and carried out by volunteers from our ranks of employees. Find out how the teams did!
Every year, for World Cleanup day, held in September, groups of volunteers get together all around the world to sort out the problem of mismanaged waste. The campaign was initially launched in Estonia in 2008, when the local population realized that the beautiful landscapes which are such a part of their national heritage were in danger and mobilized an army of some 50,000 people to tackle the problem.
Inspired by this global campaign, Tecpetrol employees took up the idea and started organizing cleaning days at some of the company’s locations, mostly focused on litter picking, focused on waste accumulated by the wind and trapped in perimeter fences as well as among native flora.
But this year was different. In 2022, the initiative went global and an invitation was issued to all operations to take part in Cleanup Month. Organized into teams, Tecpetrol employees inspected the grounds neighboring their plants, oilfields and offices. United by a common slogan, each region adopted its own dynamic.
In Colombia, the teams collected used tires found in the areas around the municipality of Puerto Gaitán that were subsequently repurposed by a local civil association. The tires were given a second life and used to shore up the banks of a nearby watercourse. Much in the same vein, the campaign also targeted the collection of electronic waste, such as computers and printers, that were donated to an educational institution for refurbishing.
In the capital city of Bogota, each work station was issued with special bags during a whole week, encouraging people to recycle anything from magazines and newspapers, printer paper, paper or plastic bags, cardboard and plastic bottles, to batteries, plans, fabrics and even office furniture. The material collected was donated to the SANAR Foundation to support children fighting cancer.
In the Mexican Mission Block, Tecpetrol personnel joined forces with contractors to roll out a cleaning campaign near the oil field, collecting 45 kilos of waste. At the Pesquería Power Station, the crews from the Operations area, the Gas Store for Mechanical Maintenance, the Hydrogen Store, the Temporary Hazardous Waste Store, joined external personnel as part of a major cleanup drive. And in Quito, teams segregated and classified different waste streams for recycling.
In Argentina, each operation decided to work in a way that best responded to local needs. For instance, in El Tordillo, the team separated cardboard, nylon and hard plastics for recycling, sourced from the contaminated waste sent to final disposal and bulk waste destined for landfills, in addition to a scrap truck, whose contents were also recycled. Down in Neuquén, the team’s achievements were particularly noteworthy: 39 participants in Agua Salada joined 42 of their colleagues in Fortín de Piedra and another 28 from Los Bastos for a joint effort, collecting nearly 50 cubic meters of waste. Meanwhile in Salta, plastic waste was the focus of the activity during an intensive day’s work, fitted around people’s busy schedules.
The degree of participation and enthusiasm shown during Cleanup Month at each of the company’s operational areas revealed that waste management is very much seen as an individual responsibility, and the higher profile it has today is the result of an increasingly widespread environmental culture.