This New Year, will you make a resolution that will make the world of difference? asks Steve Malkin, founder of The Planet Mark.
2020 to 2030 will be the most important 10 years for us and our planet. What we do in this period will determine the course for humanity. If we act now, we can avert irreversible environmental damage and hold on to a planet that is fit life, now and in the future. This must a Decade of Action.
This mission has never been more critical. Everyday, we are reading about the damaging effects of the climate crisis around the globe. 2014 to 2018 were the five warmest years ever recorded. Now, there is half as much ice in the Arctic, rising sea-levels are causing extensive flooding and forests are catching fire with heart-breaking regularity. The effects on our lives, businesses and society as a whole are mounting but this does not have to continue. We can halt climate change and we must.
It is time for every person, organisation and government to take decisive actions that will take back our climate with a vengeance. At The Planet Mark, we know that by applying the very best of people, technology and nature, we know we can radically reduce carbon emissions and halt climate change. We are helping organisations to make ambitious commitments, take transformative action and tell their story so that others follow suit. It is when we are tested that we the best of people, and now is the time to come together to unleash the full force of human ingenuity to tackle the climate crisis.
And it is already working. Governments, organisations and individuals are already taking action. The climate strikes of this year were the largest demonstration of climate activism in history. England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland joined over 250 Local Authorities and Cities to declare a climate emergency. And in June 2019 the UK became the first major economy to enshrine zero carbon targets into law.
Climate change apathy has given way to an overwhelming attention. Scientists, environmentalists, business leaders and financial specialists are ostensibly saying the same thing: we need more urgent action on climate. Recent polling illustrates that orthodoxy has suddenly and dramatically reversed, with over 50% of the UK supporting a national target of zero carbon emissions by 2030. This is a target that Childbase, a member of The Planet Mark, has adopted. They are the first company to adopt The Planet Mark Zeroby30 programme and have begun the journey to radically transform their business.
They are a business that is turning risk into reward. As Mark Carney, the Governor of the Bank of England said: “Firms that align their business models to the transition to a net zero world will be rewarded handsomely. Those that fail to adapt will cease to exist.”
At The Planet Mark, we see a world where we all contribute to a thriving planet and are a collective force for good. We believe that organisations can lead the way. Those that we certify are delivering results far beyond regulation and compliance. Making deep and significant contributions to society and the environment and engaging their people in the process. Together we are proving that sustainability is good for business and that acting responsibly is the new norm.
Through our #1Planet1Choice campaign, we are spreading the message that now is time for every organisation to measure and reduce their carbon emissions. Your can use The Planet Mark, another certification, or do it yourself with our free carbon calculator. Many companies have chosen to join the The Planet Mark programme in recent months because of the many added benefits. Many more are now joining in January for The Decade of Action. Our programme is based on measuring and reducing your carbon footprint year-on-year so that you are directly doing your bit to help radically carbon emissions and ensure that we keep global average temperature increase to a maximum of 1.5C. Why would companies, many of whom are SMEs and charities want to make such commitments? It is because, as Mark Carney said, there are real and measurable benefits to your business for reducing your carbon emissions and embracing sustainability.
Reducing carbon means reducing energy and consumption, finding efficiencies that save money and add to your bottom line. By cutting carbon, energy, water and waste, you show that your business understands the issues and challenges of climate, plastic and other environmental impacts. This enhances your brand which helps attract and retain great people and customers, making sustainability a great way to win business.
By 2025 about 75% of the UK workforce will be millennials who care deeply about contributing to society and the environment. They are choosing organisations and brands to work and buy into that align with their values.
The most exciting thing is that reducing carbon emissions is easy. We can help you measure your business operational carbon footprint using data you already have (e.g. from your electricity, gas and fuel bills). It is the first of our tried and tested 3-steps to sustainability and The Planet Mark.
Step 1 MEASURE: Understanding the impact of your business on the world is essential for progress. We have created a simple way for you to get a clear picture of your environmental impacts using one metric –carbon dioxide
Step 2: ENGAGE: We help you engage your staff to unlock their knowledge and drive passion for change. Empower your employees with knowledge and passion to make year-on-year progress. The Planet Mark toolkits provide advice and resources to support you towards achieving your carbon reduction target
Step 3 COMMUNICATE: We give you tools to communicate your progress, influence others and build a positive brand. With thousands of people engaged through The Planet Mark, it has become a recognisable symbol of a company’s social and environmental progress.
Understanding your carbon footprint will help you find efficiencies and ways to cut carbon. By engaging your employees in the process, you unlock the passion in your business and build a culture of sustainability that goes beyond behaviour change – it is who you are and comes from a place of authenticity. It makes communicating your progress and achievements genuine and trusted, which helps people buy into your programme and your brand.
Results from our holders are phenomenal. Our 2018 Impact Report highlights the combined achievements of our holders and their people who are committed to positive action. In the 2018-19 reporting period, holders of The Planet Mark reduced their tonnes of Co2e per person by 14%, and delivered £7.7M in social value contributions. In the process we are helping release the full potential of people inside every organisation to drive change and deliver positive impacts in their place of work, at home, in their communities and in wider society. This is beyond behaviour change. It is cultural change, and it’s transformational.
This 10-year period to 2030 will determine our future. Together we can make it the most exciting period of action imaginable. And a time when, if people ask where you were when the climate debate became a national and international movement, you can say I stood up and I did my bit. We believe the climate challenge is far from insurmountable. Sir David Attenborough has said “Humanity is a very, very ingenious species. After all, an American president once said, ‘within 10 years we’re going to put a man on the moon.’” In 2020, will your resolution make the world of difference? Join us in The Decade of Action.