Sustainability of water resources is a key challenge of the 21st century and the basis of many issues such as food and energy security, economic growth, climate change and biodiversity.
Clean water for isolated rural communities
More than 785 million people still do not have access to clean drinking water. Orion supports initiatives to provide clean drinking water and sanitation to struggling communities in isolated rural areas in developing countries. Access to clean water and sanitation directly improves health, empowers women, enables access to education, increases family income, supports farming and irrigation of the land.
Mindful water consumption
We can all impact water sustainability and the environment by being more mindful in our consumption of water. From turning off the tap when we brush our teeth and shower, to eliminating one-use cups in the office and providing employees with a filtered water fountain instead of plastic water bottles, small changes can make a big impact. One Orion employee, the captain of the Orion Stars cricket team in the Atlanta Cricket League, is a prime example of being more mindful in water consumption. The team would consume an estimated 40 plastic bottles of water per game. He took it upon himself to eliminate plastic bottles and bring in a filtered water tank from his home to each game.
To mid August 2021, Orion Stars have played 10 games with this setup, avoiding close to 400 plastic bottles. Our team captain also took the time to talk about this initiative with the opposition teams, encouraging them to start doing the same, and will talk to the league for the next season to have a service delivering 2 x 5 gallon water at each ground to completely eliminate plastic bottle consumption. With 550 games played in a season in this league, if this is successfully implemented (or the teams take up these initiatives), 35K plastic bottles could be avoided in a year.
Not having bottles for a sport like cricket is not ideal, but our team willingly supported and participated in this initiative.
We are also considering adding natural electrolytes (salt, lemon, calcium-magnesium supplement etc) into the water to eliminate the plastic electrolyte drink bottles (3-5 per game). This would completely eliminate use of any plastic bottles.
Trees make the oxygen we breathe, and are vital for clean air, the water we drink, and rain for the food we grow. They bind the soil, provide shade and cooling for communities, and habitat for wildlife. Orion supports tree initiatives such as re-planting drives with New York Cares, and re-forestation initiatives with World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and other non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
Fostering a love of nature
We believe time in nature is vital to our physical and mental well-being. We encourage a love of nature with our employees. See some of our Earth Day 2021 images, where we encouraged employees to get outside, get a breath of fresh air and enjoy some sunshine and the restorative qualities of nature. Orion also developed an interactive digital map for New York State’s Empire State Trail that makes it possible for hikers, bicyclists, tourists, and families to safely hike from NYC to Canada. The map includes segment descriptions (paved and stone dust off-road trails, on-road sections, etc.) and information about access points, trail distances, parking areas, restrooms, and nearby amenities and activities.
Support during environmental disasters
In the face of natural disasters, Orion has provided direct support with re-forestation and our employees have sprung into action to volunteer and save lives.
- Turkey wildfires, summer 2021
The Turkey wildfires in the summer of 2021 were the worst ever wildfire season in Turkey’s history. The wildfires burnt 1,600 square kilometers of Turkey’s forest in its Mediterranean region and the subsequent flash floods caused further devastation. Showing solidarity with our Istanbul colleagues, Orion provided direct support through donations to TEMA and World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Turkey to help with the re-forestation of Turkey and other environmental initiatives.
- Kerala flood, India, 2018
Orion’s people were instrumental in saving lives and sending rescue and relief teams during the Kerala flood in 2018. When a devastating flood wreaked havoc in the state of Kerala in India, employees from Orion’s Kochi office were amongst the first to be part of the rescue efforts, and to roll up their sleeves and act. Some set up an emergency help desk at the District Collector’s Office that worked continuously on a 24/7 basis during the three worst days of the flood, attending to thousands of calls from affected people as well as relatives outside the area. They passed on critical information to the rescue teams, such as location coordinates, the number of people stranded, their condition, immediate medical needs and availability of food and water, impacting the rescue efforts for thousands of people. Others volunteered to work in relief camps and directly participated in rescue and relief activities. An Orion team was set up for the clean-up effort. We also provided direct financial assistance to employees whose houses were damaged by the floods, and offered interest-free loans to employees directly affected.