Dubai : The not-for-profit Swiss Business Council has begun an environmental programme among UAE students, to raise awareness about saving resources.

The council is promoting the Swiss Environment Initiative to school and university students.

The council's environmental committee chairman Till Stoll said the organisation wanted to share its know-how with the UAE community, given Switzerland's long-held commitment to caring for the environment.

"It's all about contribution," said Stoll, who is also the CEO of Dubai's Green Destinations company.

Stoll said this environmental programme was a "hobby" for him and the other members of the Swiss Business Council, and one of the reasons for launching it in the UAE was because council members felt it was a personal contribution.

Stoll said he arrived in the UAE six years ago and now wants to give something back to the country.

"This project is different from other environmental ideas in the UAE because all the others target behavioural changes," he said.

He gave examples of how other projects had tried to change people's behaviour by telling them to take a shower for between three and five minutes, or to recycle glass, but people don't always know why they needed to do these things, he said. The spirit of this programme was to develop what people already understood about the environment and let them decide to take action.

"We want to show how people can reduce consumption through technology that's available in the market rather than tell them what they should do," he said.

The committee will provide booklets about how to save water, energy and materials. The booklets are expected to be ready for the new academic year in September.

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The writer is a mass communication major at the American University of Sharjah.