SPAIN: 80 solar panels reduce environmental impact
Salesians in Elche add 80 solar panels to their building, aiming for energy independence
(MissionNewswire) Salesian missionaries in Elche, Spain, have taken steps toward energy independence and the use of alternative energies to help reduce their environmental impact and to save energy costs. The steps are also more in line with the sustainable development goals and priorities of the Salesian Congregation, which aims to promote alternative energies and implement them in its centers around the world during this decade.
Salesians have added 80 solar panels to their building, which was possible in part by a grant from the Valencian Institute for Business Competitiveness. The Salesian school in Elche has also joined the Don Bosco Green Alliance, an international collective of youth from Salesian institutions and organizations. Membership is open to all Salesian institutions and organizations worldwide. It began April 2018.
The Alliance’s priorities are combating pollution, reducing global warming and eliminating disposable plastics. In each of these areas, it aims to partner with ongoing global campaigns promoted by U.N. Environment or other international organizations.
Members of the Alliance have also undertaken such initiatives as environmental education to increase green areas and planting trees, the reduction of the use of non-degradable materials, promotion of organic agriculture and home gardens, preservation and conservation of water, and increasing the use of renewable energy sources.
“Salesian organizations around the globe have an ongoing focus on the environment,” said Father Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “This has been driven by Pope Francis’ 2020 Laudato Si’, which underlined the importance of education and training that will help youth foster environmental responsibility. As a result, youth have launched important projects to help their communities and beyond.”
These changes also reflect on the guidelines put forth by Rector Major Father Ángel Fernández Artime, to the Salesian Congregation after GC28, entitled “Accompanying young people toward a sustainable future.” In response, Salesian Congregation is aiming to equip all provinces with renewable energy by 2032.
He emphasizes that this is a true cultural conversion. A statement read: “Our commitment to an integral human ecology comes from a conviction of faith for which everything is interconnected, and that genuine care for our own lives and our relationships with nature is inseparable from fraternity, justice, and faithfulness to others.”
Salesian missionaries have been working for many years to provide educational and workforce development opportunities for poor youth and women in Spain through residential, technical, and vocational training programs.
Close to 32 percent of young Spanish workers under the age of 25 are unemployed and a growing number of them can’t afford to buy enough food to live. Poor youth with few employable skills struggle the most to find and retain stable employment. Women in Spain face inequality in the workforce. They earn up to 14 percent less than men and represent only 34.5 percent of those listed as the highest earners in Spain.
ANS Photo (usage permissions and guidelines must be requested from ANS)
Salesian Missions – Spain
World Bank – Spain