GTU Raises Awareness with Panel on Environment

June 6, 2024-GTU Office of Press and Public Relations

Gebze Technical University (GTU) has hosted the "Environment Panel" aimed at raising awareness and sensitivity towards the environment, offering solutions to environmental problems, and providing information on what needs to be done regarding green transformation and sustainability.


The event, organized in coordination with the Kocaeli Governor's Office, the Provincial Directorate of Environment, Urbanization and Climate Change, and the Kocaeli Metropolitan Municipality as part of the Environment Week celebrations, took place at the GTU Congress and Cultural Center.


The event began with a moment of silence and the singing of the National Anthem, and was attended by GTU Rector Prof. Hacı Ali Mantar, GTU Environmental Engineering Department Head Prof. Nihal Bektaş, GTU Secretary-General Nadir Yıldırım, branch managers from Kocaeli Governor's Office and Kocaeli Metropolitan Municipality, staff, and students.


Responsibility to Protect Our Environment

GTU Rector Prof. Hacı Ali Mantar reminded attendees that our world faces major threats such as the rapid depletion of natural resources, climate change, and environmental pollution. He stated, "It is our utmost responsibility to face these threats, protect our environment, and build a sustainable future. In this regard, zero waste solutions and sustainability are of vital importance for Türkiye's future."


Zero Waste and Sustainable Future

Rector Mantar emphasized that the zero waste approach aims to use our resources more efficiently, minimize waste, and recycle waste back into the economy. He said, "By adopting this approach, we will both protect our environment and save on resources. Zero waste practices should not be limited to individual efforts, but should be widespread through the collaboration of public institutions, the private sector, and non-governmental organizations."


Sustainability: A Comprehensive Approach

Prof. Hacı Ali Mantar provided information on sustainability, noting that it is a comprehensive issue that includes not only environmental, but also economic and social dimensions. He stated, "Sustainable development means meeting today's needs without compromising on the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. To achieve Türkiye's sustainable development goals, significant steps must be taken in areas such as the use of renewable energy sources, water and energy conservation, sustainable agriculture, and transportation. Our university supports the needed scientific research to achieve these goals and organizes trainings to raise awareness among our youth."


Economic and Social Impact of Environmental Policies and Sustainable Development

Speaking on the importance of environmental policies for Türkiye, Prof. Mantar continued, "Protecting the environment and sustainable development not only preserve our nature, but also enhance economic growth and social welfare. Türkiye has great potential with its young population, rich natural resources, and strategic location. To fully realize this potential, we must prioritize environmental sustainability. Zero waste solutions and sustainability practices are indispensable elements for Türkiye to continue as a stronger and healthier society in the future."


Rector Mantar concluded his speech by expressing his belief that the panel would raise awareness on environmental issues and contribute to developing solutions, thanking those who organized it.


GTU's Department of Environmental Engineering Works Towards a Sustainable Future

Head of GTU's Department of Environmental Engineering, Prof. Nihal Bektaş, spoke at the event organized to increase environmental awareness and exchange knowledge and ideas to take necessary steps for a sustainable world. She said, "Today, we are here to celebrate the World Environment Day and emphasize the importance of protecting our environment. Since the Industrial Revolution, we have faced issues such as environmental pollution, resource depletion, loss of biodiversity, and climate change. I believe we must recognize these damages and take necessary measures to correct them.


Concepts such as green transformation and green deal are becoming increasingly important. Developments in waste management, green technology, and energy efficiency are promising. Despite the waste problems brought by the Industrial Revolution, we have also been witnessing progress in environmental technologies.


As the Department of Environmental Engineering, we conduct scientific studies and various activities to address regional environmental issues. Our goal is to build a sustainable world by producing not only today's, but also future's environmental engineers. I wholeheartedly believe in the importance of the World Environment Day. I want to reiterate the importance of working together for a cleaner world."


Experts Discuss Zero Waste and Sustainability

Following the opening speeches, key speakers addressed important topics with presentations: GTU alum Dr. Aytuğ Tekbaş from the Provincial Directorate of Environment, Urbanization and Climate Change discussed "Zero Waste Practices: What Do We Expect?", Sustainability Expert and GTU alum Dr. Kumru Rende presented on "Sustainability and Green Transformation," and Kocaeli Metropolitan Municipality Marine and Coastal Services Branch Manager Yüksel Demircan spoke about "Zero Waste Blue Practices in the Gulf of Izmit."


Young Environmentalists Spice Up Event

After the presentations, participants shared ideas, suggestions, and questions to develop solutions through brainstorming. In the final part of the event, students from the Private Minik Çınar Kindergarten located on the GTU campus performed their special presentations for Environment Day, spicing up the event.