When Michael Jackson released the song Earth Day in 1995, many of us really knew very little about climate change. Despite it having an epic chorus that is like a ear worm to this day (I challenge anyone to get to the end of this passage without singing some sort of ahahah combined wailing in their head… ) any message of action needed from the world’s no.1 artist at the time was difficult to hear in the UK above the general sniggers about his recent nose job, rumours about Neverland and Jarvis Cocker upstaging him at the Brits. We’re a charming lot really, aren’t we.
27 years later, although most remain skeptical about receiving lectures on action needed by us all from reality and pop stars alike, there’s no mistaking that the environmental movement has turned a corner and there’s a genuine recognition of the action we need to take to secure the future of the planet. Earth Day today – 22 April – not only marks the anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement, but is an organisation whose aim is to diversify, educate and activate the movement worldwide, recruiting people to the movement right, left and centre. More specifically, it aims to mobilise those in the race to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by mid-century.
It can be overwhelming to think about how ‘little old me’ can affect any change on a cause and issues so monumentally massive as climate change and sustainability – standing out as Frog-enstein on any to-do list – let alone to start to think with my ‘leader’ hat on about what you can do as a business to join the race. But just like any other mountainous goal that threatens to overwhelm us when looking at it from the bottom, the key is to take it one step at a time.
Corporate and Social Responsibility (CSR) is growing up. No longer the preserve of a policy which only sees the light of day when an RFP is required, smart business owners & teams are realising that it’s key to their future prosperity and environmental wellbeing too. And so as you iterate your future plans, scan your office and chat to your teams in various All Hands, make room on the agenda for how you can get more sustainability into your business.
And your teams will help, so you will not be alone in this. No-one expects miracles from their leaders, but a survey by Unily and Censuswide in 2020 found that almost two-thirds (65%) of employees said that they were more likely to work for a company with strong environmental policies. So give people a chance to get involved and help drive the positive changes they want to be part of.
This year’s focus on Earth Day is a clear one: Invest In Our Planet. From individuals to corporations and those in between, it encourages everyone to look to see what we can contribute to the global good by putting our money where our mouth is. Travel used to be one of the biggest sources of impact that business had in relation to impacting the environment, however with less people on the move both locally and internationally, it’s easy to see why many will be scratching their heads thinking, what can I do?
There are many ideas you can find on the EarthDay site which relate to personal action you can take – from armchair hashtagging right through to investing in innovation and sustainability in various forms and organising your own events – but below, we’ve listed some simple ways that SMEs can add to their current green efforts that go beyond recycling the printer cartridges:
Switch your search: try downloading Ecosia as a search engine rather than using Google.
Netflix with a twist: encourage individuals to sign up or sign up as a business to Ecologi – possibly the world’s most eco-friendly subscription service?
Give the gift of time: allow people some time off to invest in their own knowledge in what they can do to adopt more sustainable living or volunteer to contribute to their community
Clean up: Encourage environmental wellbeing of your team by organising or joining a local clean up
Charge up your benefits: Expand your salary sacrifice schemes to cover electric cars
We’re definitely not going to be able to promise to deliver net zero anytime soon, but if you need a hand getting your team more engaged behind your sustainability goals or understanding how benefits can help, drop us a line via firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call on 0203 6277048.
#InvestInOurplanet #WhatWillYouDo #EarthDay #EarthDayEveryDay #ClimateChange #Environment #Sustainability #TakeAction