On the tube this week I overheard someone asking “What are we actually supposed to do on Earth Day?”
It’s a reasonable question. Pancake Day wasn’t long ago. We made pancakes.
The website (www.earthday.org) tells us that “For Earth Day 2023, we need to act (boldly), innovate (broadly), and implement (equitably). Businesses, governments, and citizens — everyone accounted for, and everyone accountable. A partnership for the planet.”
But what does this mean for the average person on the street, or my fellow passenger on the tube?
Well, let’s just simplify things a little bit. Let’s think of it as a day to celebrate our wonderful planet. If that means all of us taking a few moments to reflect on our own personal relationship with Earth and with nature, then that’s a very good thing. But the real value would be in us going a little deeper, thinking about how every action within that relationship has an impact – then deciding that this ‘Earth Day’ sounds like a pretty damn good day to commit to a change, perhaps even two.
Just as any responsible business has done, we’ve committed to reducing our operational impact. We’re now striving to decarbonise all of our choices, from using recycled materials to reducing waste, and energy consumption, and travel – encouraging rail over road. There seem to be more and more stones to unturn. For our upcoming IT upgrade we’ve found ourselves analysing the footprint of laptops and monitors not just from usage, but from manufacture (where 80% of lifetime GHG’s are produced).
We know this is just the start – but that doesn’t mean it has to be a slow start. For AMS, the next six months of our action plan includes achieving ISO14001 accreditation, setting up an Environmental Management System to both challenge and guide us, with Net Zero in our sights.
So, what can you do to celebrate Earth Day? Give the planet a BIG mindful hug and use it as a catalyst for some kind of change, anything from leaving the car keys hanging to supporting clean energy. We all, as businesses and individuals, have the power to make a positive difference – and what a perfect day to do it.