Now approaching its 50th anniversary, Earth Day is recognised by the United Nations and celebrated by more than a billion people across the world every year. Initially created to foster an international conversation about the environment, in the early noughties the campaign pivoted towards global warming and a push for clean energy. This has been reflected at the UN Climate Action Summit, with the creation of the six ‘pillars’ of climate action that include ‘energy transition’ which reflects the move away from fossil fuels towards renewable energy sources.
We are committed to creating a smarter future and we do this is by investing heavily in renewable energy sources such as wind power, solar and biomass. However, it is not all up to organisational efforts and drives for change; we can all make small, simple changes in our daily lives to play our part in ending climate change. We’ve outlined a few simple tips below to help get you started this Earth Day.
1. Reduce air pollution on your commute
Air pollution remains a huge problem in our cities in the UK with a reported 9,400 deaths in London attributed to air quality every year. The new ultra-low emission zone (ULEZ) in London, that will be rolled out in other cities in the UK, is a sign that air quality improvement is high on the national agenda.
That being said, with the majority of air pollution caused by road transport, there is a compelling argument for altering your commute to help ease the burden on our cities. Given that on average, people spend over an hour a day commuting, it is no surprise that it plays a big role in our everyday mental well-being, with driving proven to be the most stressful way to commute2. Walking, on the other hand is considered the least stressful form of commuting and leaves only footprints behind.
So, before you set out tomorrow, think about alternatives to getting in the car. Find out if your work has a ‘cycle to work’ scheme like Foresight. If walking or cycling isn’t an option, opt for public transport whenever you can to do your bit to reduce the impact of air pollution in towns and cities. If you’re London-based, you might see the Foresight hydrogen buses or electric taxis reminding you to reconsider their fossil-fuel alternatives.
2. Reduce your usage of single-use plastic
“Single-use plastic” is a dirty phrase in the climate change community and the last few years have seen global campaigns to reduce its use. Every little bit helps, and consequently it has been recently reported that plastic bags were found to make up only 1% of plastic rubbish in freshwater1. The focus of the campaign on single-use plastic has now turned to plastic bottles which are accountable for vast quantities of the plastic pollution in waterways.
At Foresight, we provide all our employees with reusable water bottles and shopping bags and encoura
ge all staff to use them as an alternative to single use products. You will also never see plastic bottles in our meetings rooms, only filtered water in refillable glass bottles. We’re all human and sometimes forget our shopping bags, so we also have a stash of bags for people to use if they need to pop to the shop during the day.
3. Reuse, Repurpose, Recycle
This is a simple way to remember how to prioritise actions to reduce the amount of waste produced. First consider reusing what you have, before repurposing or recycling.
In all Foresight offices, we separate waste into different categories to ensure we don’t contaminate materials that can be recycled or repurposed. Our marketing materials are printed on recycled paper and we ask employees to go paperless in their work and avoid printing whenever they can.
Our investment strategy is centred around investing for a smarter future and will continue to be underpinned by the belief that sustainability is a core element of our responsibility as an employer and business.