Reducing environmental impact
Oxfam India works in the seven poorest states of India to address the root causes of poverty and injustice. Each year, Oxfam holds a series of fundraising events around the world called the Trailwalker, whereby participants are sponsored to walk or run 100 kilometers in under 48 hours.
Events of this type have the potential to leave a harmful environmental footprint. As a result, Oxfam India approached ERM to collaborate as an Environmental Partner for the Trailwalker initiatives in Mumbai and Bengaluru. This is the third year in a row that ERM has partnered with Oxfam India as an Environmental Partner. ERM employees in Mumbai and Bengaluru (Bangalore) have provided pro bono support to produce an Environmental Impact Assessment Report summarizing the impacts of the Trailwalker event in remote areas, and make recommendations for clean-up activities. The ERM team is working with Oxfam to advise how to improve future events and reduce further harmful environmental impacts.
Getting involved with the ERM Foundation has been exciting for me as I have the opportunity to contribute real value to the community. As Project Manager for with Oxfam India's Trailwalker initiative in Mumbai in 2015, my goal was to ensure that we handled and delivered the work safely with proficiency, accuracy and on time. This year, we included new themes such as the evaluation of biodiversity impacts, waste segregation and management, and vehicle emissions in the study. With the aid of smart infographics, we illustrated the outcomes of the study and provided recommendations for the Oxfam team to make their future Trailwalker events more environmentally sensitive.
According to Gopal Jain, then events manager of Oxfam India, "It has been great partnering with the ERM Foundation during the past three years for our Trailwalker fundraising events in India. We want the Oxfam Trailwalker to be a truly 'green' event, and so it is important for us to have access to ERM's technical expertise to conduct Environment Impact Assessments of the trails. The team is extremely supportive and has provided us with very useful and practical recommendations. It is important to participants that they are not only raising money for Oxfam, but they are also doing so in a way that is sustainable. It has been a great learning experience working with the ERM team, and I look forward to continuing this collaboration to help create a better world."