LEADING SOUTH AFRICAN LAW FIRM GARLICKE & BOUSFIELD (G&B) RECENTLY HELD THEIR ANNUAL LADIES’ BUSINESS BREAKFAST TO CELEBRATE THE SUCCESS OF LOCAL WOMEN IN BUSINESS
The diverse group of women who attended the G&B annual Ladies’ Business Breakfast included representatives from all the major banks, leaders in the sugar and food industries, influential members of the property sector, and various professionals from the accounting world and the public benefit space who are part of G&B’s social awareness work.
“Hosting this event in September rather than August was a conscious decision. We want to celebrate the achievements women have made in business, but our aim is to inspire a forward thinking and positive mindset. Inviting Sarah Ferguson to address us on sustainability and addressing ocean pollution made perfect sense,” commented G&B director, Victoria McDonald.
Sarah Ferguson, founder of Breathe Ocean Conservation and one of the world’s leading endurance swimmers, is a fierce environmental activist. Pioneering ocean swims all over the world, Sarah uses her extraordinary talent as a swimmer to raise awareness of single-use plastic pollution.
“The ocean gives us life and my life has always been connected to the ocean,” she said philosophically. “As a coastal city we’re no strangers to the sight of plastic-littered beaches. Truth is – plastic pollution is threatening our oceans and all life on earth. Seventy percent of our oxygen comes from the ocean. At present, there are about 46 000 pieces of plastic in every square mile of ocean.
At least two-thirds of all fish are suffering from plastic poisoning, and within 50 years there will be more plastic by weight in the ocean than fish – unless we do something.”
Years of gruelling training were rewarded when Sarah became the first African woman to complete the Ka’iwi Channel crossing in Hawaii – 58km in 17 hours and 54 minutes. She then became the first person in the world to circumnavigate Easter Island, a remote island plagued by micro-plastic pollution that drifts across the Pacific Ocean to litter its beaches. The treacherous 63,5km took her 19 hours to swim.
“The overall goal is to encourage people to rethink their daily habits with regards to single-use, or throwaway plastic,” said Sarah. “I believe we can counteract this environmental disaster by spreading awareness and empowering people to change and become part of the solution.”
Sarah advocates a Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle mantra, making simple changes in daily life to combat the problem of plastic pollution. This is a project that G&B is already supporting, having already implemented recycling initiatives within the daily office routine and using the concept in its advertising campaign to heighten awareness.