Every year on the 22nd of April people from all over the globe celebrate the earth, this day also reminds us of the deteriorating health of the planet and how we must take responsibility to reverse the damage that has resulted from our actions.
It is encouraging to see the efforts being taken by businesses and industries to work toward better stewardship of the planet. Climate change, the threats of species extinction, and the loss of biodiversity can’t be ignored and many businesses are working to sustain their operations on our forever changing planet.
The first Earth Day happened in 1970 and was founded by Gaylord Nelson, a US Senator from Wisconsin after seeing the ravages of the 1969 oil spill in Santa Barbara, California. The first celebration involved 20 million Americans and encouraged the creation of the Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, and many other environmental laws. In the nineties, Earth Day was global with 200 million people in 141 countries trying to tackle the environmental issues faced. It is now an annual event with over 190 countries involved and is known to be the beginning of the modern environmental movement.
The theme for this year’s Earth Day is ‘Invest in Our Planet.’ The question which should be on all our minds is do we invest enough in our planet? How are you investing in the planet? The answer currently is no, globally we are not doing enough for the environment and if we did, we wouldn’t be in the current climate crisis. So what more can your organisation or you as an individual do?
Many clients and companies have been smart and have realised that there is no longer a choice to turn ‘green’, there is now a requirement; driven by legislation, reputation, customer requirements, or competition. Therefore, for business reasons, it is essential to embrace the benefits of being an environmentally sustainable company.
As a further commitment to becoming more sustainable, it is recommended that companies develop strong Environmental, Social Governance (ESG). This in turn has proved an output of better profitability, happier employees, and an improved corporate image.
All companies, no matter their size need to ‘invest in our planet’. There is often financial support to improve sustainable practices, familiarise yourself with these schemes, sign up and benefit from them. Where there is no support available consider low cost, no cost savings initially to start making small effective changes.
Below are our 5 tips on how your business can ‘invest in our planet.’
- Go Paperless: Many businesses in the 21st century have now reverted to sending out E-bills, app notifications, and internet banking instead of sending our paper bills. You now can give your customers the choice of paperless bills, and proposals and try to ensure when you are using paper, that we avoid using things such as single-use paper towels and kitchen roll.
- Use local suppliers: There are many benefits to sourcing local and this includes improving your business’s environmental impact as suppliers don’t have to travel as far and it is also an opportunity to take advantage of increased brand awareness.
- Measure and reduce carbon footprint: With the UK aiming to achieve net-zero by 2050, every business should also be aiming to achieve this goal. To do this means measuring the business’s carbon footprint, considering ways to reduce carbon emissions, and eventually considering becoming a carbon-neutral business.
- Environmental Management System: Implementing an Environmental Management System such as ISO 14001 can help your business to become more eco-friendly and put in place a system of continual improvement.
- Make energy-efficient changes: Making energy-efficient choices doesn’t only help to shrink carbon footprints but also helps to reduce energy bills. Many things such as using energy-efficient appliances, moving to LED lights, taking advantage of natural light, and using laptops instead of desktop computers.
Every business has a different impact on the planet, but as a whole, we contribute to climate change, pollution, and the waste crisis. Every business has a part to play and by taking account of each carbon footprint and taking steps to decrease them and hopefully reverse the effects of climate change. Practice a simple act of earth kindness every day.