It has been a strange time over the past year or so, for all of us. It has also been a strange time for our planet as well, least we do not forget that either.
The planet we all call home, 94.5 million miles on average from our solar system’s bright star, the Sun, the only current proven planet to have a diversity of life, a breathable atmosphere, and sentient lifeforms, has also had a tough 12 months.
Mother Earth has witnessed, or wrought, a multitude of events globally, whether they be firestorms in Colorado, record floods in NSW in Australia, in India, in Pakistan, parts of England, volcanic activities near Reykjavik Iceland, earthquakes in Tokyo in Japan, Tornadoes in Tennessee, Hurricane’s Sally, Isaias, Laura, (to name but a few), and “weather bombs”, felt in other parts of the world, where these occurrences are not the norm, or as usually extreme.
The ten worst weather events in 2020 (combined) cost the areas affected approximately $140 Billion in damages, a sobering number and that is just the top ten (and in one year!).
Is our planet, Mother Earth, trying to tell us something? Or are we as the dominant lifeform on this rock, causing this ourselves?
Have a perspective
With the advent of Covid-19 on the world, it has in my humble opinion, brought a lot of perspective to a lot of people’s lives over the last 12 months or so. Unfortunately, this perspective may have been enforced by drastic changes to people’s incomes, livelihoods, or businesses. It may have meant that some of us became more ‘aware’ of what is important to each of our lives, whether this be more focus on family, work/life balance priorities, or the part we play in society moving forwards.
Personally, I felt more interested in what was happening to the actual world we live in. Whether this was brought on by being at home more (once all the DIY was done) during a furlough period, then going through a redundancy process, brought about by the pandemic impacts. Who knows?
I think also that the biological significance of the pandemic, and its effects on us as a species, it’s virulent speed of communicability amongst us, the ideal conditions required, peaked my interests into other biological and ecological matters around me more. I have never been a card-carrying member of Greenpeace, or the Green Parties, nor other erstwhile organisations in this regard, but I think the pandemic experience has opened my eyes/ears more to what is happening to our beloved planet Earth. After all, let us all address the elephant in the room question, where would we be as a species without it? Answer – (Insert expletive here).
When I write these blogs, I never want them to sound like they are authored by a pulpit bashing sermoniser, or to come across as smuggish. The whole ethos behind Global Talent 2020 as a company that I set up with my business partner, is that we come across as human.
Being human for everyone, means having perfections and also flaws at times.
What is not preachy in the slightest, is that we all need to be responsible for what is happening in, and around us. The times we live in now, really emphasise this, we all need to be more tuned in.
Whether as ourselves, this means being more aware of our individual wellbeing, own mental awareness. The impact we can have on the environment in all we individually daily do, or, taking more ownership, and participatory action in protecting our environment, for our species benefit, the plethora of wildlife, and our oceans. For the marine life’s benefit, and for ultimately our habitat – Mother Earth’s benefit.
We all must be responsible as human beings.
Companies, businesses entities, this also extends to include you.
CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility)
Below is the current UK Government commitment on CSR:
CSR can take many forms in a Business and can be contained scope or have wider, broader remit across a business. What it means basically is the obligatory measures your business, or Employer, has taken, or will take, to make a better impact on the environment, through business processes or practices and policies.
CSR can extend to cover the following example areas:
- Energy use
- Water Use
- Waste Management/Recycling
- Eco-friendly Office
- Business Travel policies
Some of these implemented properly, and adhered to, can have significant cost savings to a business, as well as being more responsible to old Gaia.
For example, all UK businesses should be obliged to have one, in the USA, this depends on individual state as to whether it is legally enforceable, or not, and is only obligatory.
Please also see Mandatory CSR around the World article below:
Article on whether CSR should be legally binding below, and actions in China in second link:
Having a Green CSR also is highly beneficial from not only a conscious responsibility, but again, also fiscally makes better sense for a business. It also allows it to market itself, and be seen by others as responsible, more reputable, thus attracting like-minded entities, new custom, new talent, and being seen as progressive and innovative, whilst also garnering better public perception.
A green CSR for a company, for example, can be simple at first, and can for illustrative purposes cover these four areas:
- Have lighting on activator sensors, so they only come on when necessary, or timed and off when not in use
- Reducing the amount of Water used – having taps that are push activated, so they only flow for a short period, till pushed again, preventing the being tap left on, or left running for longer than necessary
- With Heating the Water/ Power of building = using Solar energy
- Make the Office environment as paperless as possible
All Corporate CSR’s require stakeholders. That extends from the Ownership downwards, to the Board, to the Management hierarchy, to the shopfloor level, to you, the Employee. Everyone needs to understand it, live it, and breathe it, for the CSR to work, and be tangible. If not, it is all just window dressing PR, and ultimately ends with no-one being responsible, or accountable.
Some landmark cases where companies have been held accountable for non CSR over the years, which have then gone on to benefit us all as a society: 3 Environmental Lawsuits That Have Helped Society – Sustainable Brands
Also, some UK companies that have had to pay fines, regards Environmental CSR, breaches: Companies pay out more than £1.5m for breaking environment laws | Pollution | The Guardian
Here is an interesting link to a noted Legal firm with regards on what Businesses can be fined for breaching Environmental Legislation:
As noted previously, CSRs are obligatory in scope and nature, but as you can see it is better to have one, from not only a moral standpoint, and presenting a clear responsibility level to society, but also because it makes good sound commercial business sense.
Does your current workplace, or Employer have a clear CSR in place? When was it last updated? How far does it extend in scope? Do people adhere to it, know what the CSR is? Could it be improved? Do people need educating, training on how they can make a better contribution to it?
On World Earth Day of all days, these are some questions you should be asking, and taking note of, individually, and collectively to ensure we are all being as responsible as we can be whilst in the workplace (or when we return post-pandemic).
Simple steps (HSR?)
WFH (Work from Home): a lot of us are doing this at the time of me writing this blog. Some of us are fortunate to have a dedicated office at home, whilst the majority have maybe a dedicated nook, or place at the dining table that we always use.
Looking around, and being more aware of things of late, I make sure that my CSR now is practiced at home more, we are all guilty of maybe not paying as much attention to these things on the whole, than we should, due to it being “home”.
We should all be recycling, I know where I live there’s a recycling bin for everything: plastics, garden waste, food waste, glass, etc.
Our household carbon footprint has dropped as well. I now walk a lot more, rather than being reliant on a car to get me around. I have also become fitter and lost weight due to this. So, this has been beneficial on more than one front. The family car we run used to do an average of 8000 to 10,000 miles per annum, now it only scrapes 3000 miles in the past 12 months. I appreciate that is due to Lockdown also, but have I really missed it? No.
I have noticed also that our Electric usage has got more efficient at home, lights being used then switched off, electronic devices also, rather than left on, by my teenage children. Paper more sparely used – gone are Post-its, pointless printing, and also more use of a quick showers at bedtimes by all, rather than tonnes of replicated baths per night. Little things, but they add up. I have also replaced all our bulbs in the house to energy saving ones, all 35, again a small change, but we have noticed a difference to our energy bills. With heating we have reduced the temperature, and the length of time it is on, by 2 hours a day, we have not noticed the temperate loss to the home but have noticed the fuel bill savings.
Minute tweaks, but by us all just being at wee more responsible in our use of resources at hand, being more aware of the impact you are making, and not just defaulting to “having things on, because I can”, or “its available” we could all have a HSR, (Home Social Responsibility), as I call it, could be evident in everyone’s household, if we all made the effort. Collectively then, if this were replicated across millions of homes, and adhered to, think of the impact we would make to Greenhouse Gases, Pollution, Carbon Emissions et al?
Below are some useful tips/links on making your house more energy efficient, and saving you money, whilst doing some good to the planet:
Examples of our uses and emissions
UK Emissions from areas of industry
World Earth Day
Found out more and learn about how you can participate: Earth Day 2021 | Restore Our Earth™ | EARTHDAY.ORG
What else can I do for Earth Day?
We’ve already mentioned a few things across a household that can be easily implemented over time, with regards emissions, energy, gases etc, but with World Earth day on the 22nd of April 2021, there are other simpler and contributory activities that we could all do.
- If you are out for your Lockdown walk, or jogging, why not do some “plogging”, which is to pick up some random litter you find and but in the next bin? It is simple, and you are contributing to cleaning up the planet, even for one day. This could also be applied on your next visit to the beach (weather permitting), where you could do your bit in ensuring our beautiful seas, and oceans, are less clogged with waste, flotsam, and harmful materials to its marine inhabitants
- Stop using your car for A to B short journeys, even for one day, walk, or cycle if you are able, or take a public mode of transport (bus firms are going more hybrid or electric. You’re still doing your bit in reducing carbon emissions. Especially if your journey is less than 2 miles. Plan shopping and errand trips more effectively, so you make one, rather that multitudes
- If you have a garden, instead of using a hose or sprinkler from the mains supply, buy or install a water butt, and connect to your guttering down pipes on your home, collect rainwater instead, and fill your watering can etc from there – free water, from nature!
- Create a homemade compost bin – feed your plants that way, instead of using chemicals or bought products
- Stop using disposable bags, get a reusable one. Save money and also saves more plastic going to landfill (and emissions to make more plastic bags)
- Conduct your own annual home energy audit
- When out of lockdown, support local restaurants, eateries, and hotels that source their foods within 100 miles
- If you can, line-dry your washing, don’t default to the tumble dryer
- Unplug unused chargers and charging devices
- Lower your temperature of your hot water
- Coffee drinker? – check this out – Coffee: a brief history, how it gets to your cup (and what do those labels mean?)
- Use cloths to clean your kitchen, not paper towels, re-purpose old t-shirts, or similar clothing and utilise these for this purpose
- Up-cycle old glass jar food containers and re-purpose them to make storage jars
- Fix leaky taps
Just small easy changes and easy contributions we can all make, to make a responsible environmental impact and affect change.
You make it happen
Hopefully, this blog is food for thought, not preachy, and when you start to break it down, you can see it for yourself. This is data that is readily available to anyone, a click, of a cursor or mouse move away, and it will open your eyes to what we are all doing to the world, and the part we can all play moving forwards, to make it a better place environmentally with small responsible changes.
Take ownership not only for you, but more for the world, Mother Earth, you inhabit.