SME Earth Chat: How can SME implement sustainability projects with limited resources?
| Stephen Au, Experienced Diver and Trainer
Diving is closely related to marine protection. Diving Adventure has conceived several sustainable marine environmental protection projects many years ago, hoping to allow more young people to participate and obtain diving certificates. Through mastering the diving skills, they can experience the mystery of marine environment and understand the importance of marine conservation.
The cost of diving courses has become affordable in recent years. Yet, it can still be a burden to low income families. Therefore, Diving Adventure established the "Scholarship for Diving”, which provides opportunities for students from grassroots families to get structured diving training and become a qualified scuba diver.
Although we cannot make students from grassroots families become a "a wealthy second generation" (富二代), by setting up the "Scholarship for Diving", we hope we can make them a "second-generation diver". After obtaining the certificate, students will participate in a series of marine conservation activities, such as the " Hong Kong Reef Check" organized by Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD), seabed garbage and ghost nets removal, beach cleaning, etc. Through hands-on practice, the younger generation can have a better understanding of the importance of marine conservation.
In the past few years since the project was launched, we have incubated a group of "second-generation divers", and the benefit of the project is very rewarding. Local secondary schools will participate in the "Hong Kong Reef Check" and coastal cleanup every year; even the old students who have graduated continue to return to school and lead the teachers and younger schoolmates in these activities. Some students who have been awarded the "Scholarship for Diving" obtain higher diving qualifications and assisted less-experienced students.
At the same time, there are " second-generation divers" who participated in the "Hong Kong Underwater Photo and Video Competition" organized by AFCD and achieved excellent results. In addition, some students held a community exhibition in a shopping mall near the school to share marine environmental knowledge and conservation information with the public, and educate citizens on the importance of marine environmental protection.
SME’s capacity should not be limited by scarce resources. SMEs can innovate through their core business and look for resources. By launching SME’s own social responsibility scheme, they can help to promote sustainable development projects linked to social values. They can contribute to and influence the community and the environment in the long run. Every SME has its own professional skills and strengths. Why not consider what contributions and positive impacts your sector can make to the community and the environment?