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Posts Tagged ‘Saudi Electricity’

Few days ago I published a post about the heat wave that hit Jeddah in the past week. I’ve commented on the poor PR performance of both the Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) and the Presidency of Meteorology and Environment (PME) and how they’ve engaged in a pointless debate about whether the temperature was 49 °C or it only was 46 °C!!

[picapp align=”right” wrap=”true” link=”term=dubai+skyscraper&iid=7156353″ src=”4/e/0/a/Dubai_Debt_Crisis_91b3.jpg?adImageId=12980718&imageId=7156353″ width=”234″ height=”156″ /]The exemplary reaction, came from our neighbors in Dubai. According to this piece of news (Arabic), the UAE Ministry of labor has decided to stop any labor outdoor activities between 12:30 to 15:00 for a period of time extended from the mid of June up to the mid of September. The surprising thing, to me at least, is that this decision is in place since 2005! And in this year, the restricted months have been increased to three instead of only two in the pervious years. And those found noncompliant with the ruling will be fined by the government and their working permits would be suspended.

The point is that they were not debating whether the temperature would be this or that, they just tackled the main point of the whole subject and they acted accordingly. Again, for SEC and PME, please focus on your own missions and make sure you are providing your services in exemplary means.

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It seems that the Saudi ministry of labor followed course and decided to ban working under the sun from 12 PM to 3 PM starting July through the end of August but it is not effective immediately, it is to start on 2011! (the news here). This is good news , but why 2011 and not now; Allah only knows!!

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The past couple of days were ‘hot’ in Jeddah, and I mean that literally! And what got things really hotter is the debate between the Presidency of Meteorology and Environment (PME), the Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) and the rest of us, Jeddaweis (people from Jeddah.)

SEC claimed that it had major power cutoffs in Jeddah because of the unusual temperature that reached 49 °C. The PME, feeling that SEC just stepped on their speciality came out and said “No … No … It was never 49, it was only 46 °C. (read here, in Arabic)

Now let’s talk business:

  • To SEC, please do not try to blame the weather for your poor performance, I am not sure anybody is buying that. Let’s say that it was really 49 °C … so what??? It is not like you are operating the network from Alaska or anything!! So the summary of the message is: the poor PR performance of trying to cover failures by ‘not so smart’ justifications is not acceptable, that’s beside SEC apparently poor contingency and back up plans to deal with the ‘more than expected’ heat this summer, and please note, we are not summer yet!
  • To PME, your response was like saying ‘do not exaggerate people, hey … it’s only 46 °C.’ We would’ve really appreciate showing some feelings for us, the Jeddaweis who felt that burning heat to the bone! Or even better, you could’ve sent messages to some companies to take some kind of measures to protect their field workers. So the summary of the message is: when you do not have a good PR to share with the rest of us, it is much better to keep it in your drawers and not to play smart on us!

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[picapp src=”f/3/0/8/Obama_Administration_Authorizes_0ee1.jpg?adImageId=5707244&imageId=6683460″ width=”380″ height=”253″ /]

I am writing this blog post in response to the ‘Blog Action Day 09, Climate Change’.

To be honest, writing about this subject, in Saudi Arabia, is a bit weird!! You know why? Because the whole philosophy of preserving the environment and taking serious measures to fight the climate change is still young in the minds of both; the public and the business world.

For that, thinking about the climate change prevention idea in the Saudi business world will definitely lead you to consider the concept that contains such ideas; that is the concept of corporate social responsibility (CSR). This concept is still new in the Saudi business environment. And even more, it is not totally understood, let alone embraced. Following the subject in the media, you would be encountered with a bunch of articles; most of them are written by Saudi academics trying to explain the concept. I am not saying this is wrong; on the contrary, it is advisable and certainly good to bring such concept to the public attention. But still, most of the examples provided to illustrate the concept are based on employees’ benefits and charity. Yes, these are main elements of the CSR, but they are not everything.

 I believe it is reasonable to claim that preserving-the-environment awareness is a cultural issue before any nothing else. Unfortunately, showing respect to nature, saving power resources, and respecting the green life in general are some things we are not growing up with around here. So any initiatives to address such matters should always consider this cultural lack of understanding.

 Nonetheless, hope is there and it is not all a black picture. There are some companies’ initiatives to promote environmental awareness and practices. ARAMCO and SBIC (Saudi Electricity, to some extent) always come to mind, at least for their fields of interests if not for anything else. However, although the efforts to adhere to modern industrial standards are important, the effort to raise employees’ environmental awareness is something we should concentrate on, at least, to compensate for the lack of it in our normal life. Maybe building this awareness in the corporate culture will be pay its dues and we will start seeing its results in the normal life.

Finally, more regulations, incentives, and programs are required to address this issue. And they better to be real and sincere and not to be used as way of advertisement! Such efforts are needed from both, public and private sectors, to raise the awareness of such critical matters. Critical matters to the essence of our existence on this planet.

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