It’s Earth Day (Again) – What Does it Mean?
This year’s Earth Day will be the 52nd anniversary of a day when growing numbers of people around the globe have paused to think, or taken a moment to act, to limit their impacts on the planet or to take positive steps to improve it. First marked in 1970, after American Senator Nelson saw the devastating effects of a Californian oil spill, Earth Day mobilised 200 million people in 141 countries within two decades and now reaches around a billion people in more than 190 countries.
“Earth Day always falls on 22nd April and it offers us two significant opportunities – first, to change our personal actions to limit or improve our environmental impacts; second, to use our professional roles to help our organisations do the same.”
The first one is important, but the second one has the potential (literally) to change and safeguard our very existence – at a time when a new Google Cloud survey suggests that up to 90% of executives see environmental, social and governance (ESG) initiatives as their organisation’s top priority. Indeed, two-thirds are willing to grow their business in a way that is more sustainable for the planet, even if it means lower near-term revenue.
At Alcumus, our ESG programme – Healthy Planet, People and Business – was built around the sustainability factors that mattered most to our people. We asked them what they cared about most, what they wanted to tackle and how that related to our goals. Our core purpose is to help organisations become safer, healthier and more responsible through risk management technology solutions, so it’s crucial that we also operate in that way.
Not just on Earth Day, but all year-round, we’re committed to tackling climate action by cutting our greenhouse gas emissions. Linked to our thought leadership work in Glasgow at COP26, we’re shaping our Science-Based Target and our pathway to Net Zero. At the Climate Summit, we also launched the world-first Climate Action Game, in association with EcoAction Games – an innovative way of engaging people, teams and groups across clients, suppliers and our business to ‘play their way’ to becoming Net Zero Heroes.
Across Alcumus, our people have also been promising to do One Small Thing – a programme of hundreds of individual pledges to change their behaviours or actions to improve their impacts on the environment, on communities or on the economy. We match each of those pledges with a tree-planting too – for double-benefit – and to continue building both biodiversity and carbon capture across the planet.
These actions all link with the work we’re doing to help our customers build more sustainable organisations too – through solutions like our ESG technology tools, and with thought leadership collateral like our Climate Action Pack. Wherever possible, we try to make it as simple as possible to get started on that journey to action, or to ramp up the progress if you’re already on the way – and emphasising how much of an opportunity this offers for wider benefits.
So – for us – this Earth Day means a chance to take stock of all that we’re doing and see what else we could do, both as individuals and as a collective organisation. With our people across the world, in the UK, in North America and in New Zealand, we’re all ultimately linked by a shared tomorrow. That’s part of your tomorrow too, so (as we said at the start) could you do just One Small Thing differently on Earth Day 2022 that would join up with many others to make a big difference?