Meet Rahul Singh: the sustainability champion who works at ICLEI South Asia

Rahul Singh has been with ICLEI South Asia for about four years now. Over these years, he has worked for a variety of projects aimed at bringing sustainability to cities. In this interview, Mr Singh shares his journey and experiences. Edited excerpts:  

How do you think your area of work and skills have helped ICLEI in its goal of achieving better, sustainable cities?

Cities drive economic growth, consumption of materials and energy, in turn resulting in the production of waste, and emission of greenhouse gases. If we are serious about conserving our natural resources, reducing climate change, and bringing about the kind of green economy, we need to take tangible actions at city level to tackle these global challenges. We are doing same things here in ICLEI. I have been involved in multiple evidence-based, demand-driven solid waste management and climate change adaption related projects. My work with cities includes both ground implementation of projects and development of policy directives that are a crucial component of most of our projects.

How has your journey here benefited your development as a professional? Please cite one or two examples.

ICLEI provides me enough opportunities to grow as a professional.. The work place environment is friendly and mentors are looking out for our best interests. Management is supportive of our ideas and suggestions. I really appreciate the exchange of free thinking and innovative ideasand the freedom to express freely in all aspects.

Solid waste is on of your work areas. How do you think a common man can contribute to the agenda of sustainability by managing waste better?

Today, “sustainability” is a ubiquitous part of the global vernacular. Sustainability is not an end-goal, but rather an on-going process that involves ceaseless attention. And, it’s important to acknowledge that every individual counts in the transition to better sustainability and reduction of resource consumption.

Common man can contribute to sustainbility through many ways. For example, for a start, follow the rules and make best use of facilities provided by your city and local governments. If there are separate waste containers, make sure to sort your waste and dispose it properly. It does not cost you anything to sort your waste. It rather helps the transition to sustainability in more ways than you may think of. Majority of items that we throw away on a daily basis can be reused and recycled, while each reused and recycled item significantly reduces the pressure on non-renewable resources as well as helps reduce waste pollution. There are really millions of ways to reduce the pressure on the landfills and subsequently on soil and groundwater as well as air because recycling uses less energy than virgin production, in turn decreasing the carbon dioxide emissions. 

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