Sustainable maritime solutions provider Erma First has become a signatory of the EU Mission Charter targeting the protection and restoration of regional waters by 2030.
The Mission – one of five EU Missions within the Horizon Europe research and innovation programme – aims to ‘protect and restore the health of our ocean and waters through research and innovation, citizen engagement and blue investments’. As a signatory to the Mission Charter, Erma First will attend the Mission’s meetings and events while pledging actions that contribute to its objectives. Commitment to the Charter consolidates sustainability initiatives already overseen by Erma First at the local level.
In 2023, the group twice collaborated with Helmepa (Hellenic Marine Environment Protection Association) to organise volunteers to remove waste and debris from beaches in Piraeus. These projects aligned with EU ‘Mission Ocean and Waters Actions’ definitions, with the second event also notable for the assistance given by the ‘jellyfishbot’ IADYS in clean up operations. In an earlier initiative, Erma First brought the community together to clean up Votsalakia beach.
In organising and leading these events, Erma First directly contributed to objectives 1 and 2 of the Mission Charter: to “protect and restore marine and freshwater ecosystems and biodiversity” and to “prevent and eliminate pollution of our ocean, seas and waters”. Furthermore, by involving the local community, the company used one of two Mission ‘enablers’ – “public mobilisation and engagement”.
Kimon Mademlis, Marketing & Communications Director, Erma First Group, said: “As a company, we are well-known for providing sustainable maritime solutions, but our commitment to the planet and its waters extends beyond our product portfolio. Being welcomed as a signatory of the EU Mission Charter to ‘Restore our Ocean and Waters by 2030’ is a major endorsement of our efforts to protect the environment by engaging local communities. We look forward to connecting with fellow signatories at forthcoming Mission meetings as we collaborate towards cleaner, healthier waters.”
Annual Mission events see signatories from around the European Union gathering to discuss matters and propose actions related to the Mission’s objectives. Erma First is due to attend the Mission Ocean and Waters Forum in Brussels, Belgium, on 5 March 2024, as well as related matchmaking events on 4 March and 6 March.
Image: Waste removal during Erma First-led clean-up off Piraeus (cedit: Erma First/JLA)