The effects of climate change are becoming easier to spot regardless of where you live. The heat waves in Europe made the news over the past two months, with Italy, Greece, Spain and France particularly affected. In Asia, China, India and Thailand experienced record temperatures as early as April. In many areas, it’s not just the heat but also the humidity levels that are climbing above levels comfortable for the human body. Agriculture has also been affected, leading to skyrocketing prices for the staple foods of many regions, including tomatoes, olive oil, rapeseed and wheat.
August brought a series of wildfires in Hawaii, predominantly on Maui. The disaster resulted in hundreds of fatalities and cases of missing individuals, evacuations and widespread damage. However, according to climate experts, this is what the future looks like unless urgent climate action is implemented. The situation could even become worse, and the record temperatures recorded this season could seem low compared to what the future holds.
It’s clear that the situation is dire, so it’s crucial that everyone is involved in the effort to protect the environment and mitigate the effects of climate change. And it’s not just members of the public but businesses too that must play their part and do so without resorting to greenwashing or other disingenuous practices.
An eco-conscious product does not harm the environment in any way. The sourcing and manufacturing processes must be clean, ideally using renewable energy sources, ensure that the workers benefit from ethical conditions and that the materials don’t hurt the environment. If you use recycled materials to remake them into something new, you ensure that the carbon footprint is lower since you avoid the depletion of natural resources.
The EPD is a directive you should comply with if you’re a business owner. It quantifies the environmental information related to the life cycle of a category of goods, enabling the objective comparison of products that fulfill the same function. The legislation also permits the verified evaluation of a product’s environmental footprint, making it easier to determine which areas could bear improvements.
Using eco-friendly power sources will significantly impact your carbon footprint, allowing you to reduce the emissions your enterprise produces quite drastically. If the shift is impossible all at once, you can gradually shift to clean energy, with the ultimate goal being to rely only on renewable sources. The type of green energy you should move towards depends on the country and region where your business operates. All parts of the world can use one of the options more successfully, and while some are better equipped for solar power, others will do better with wind or hydropower.
Energy efficiency is just as important. By eliminating waste, you guarantee that you can use less power for the same tasks. It also means lighter bills since you don’t have to pay extra for something you don’t consume anyway. Newer, energy-saving equipment is a must, and all electronics should be shut down and unplugged after working hours have finished. Setting monthly goals can help achieve new efficiency targets, but involving your whole team is essential; otherwise, it won’t have the required scope.
If society moves towards clean energy, the future can be cleaner, healthier and fairer. It could solve problems for areas affected by energy poverty, which in turn contributes to the propagation of systemic issues such as educational attainment. In the long term, this furthers inequality among people and exacerbates poverty.
Impact on the community
All people have a responsibility towards their community and planet. It’s not just crucial for the present human beings but also for future generations. Animals and plants are also affected, as biodiversity suffers under the yoke of changing climate patterns, warming oceans and astronomic pollution levels. Businesses should use data to conduct a thorough LCA, also known as a life cycle assessment, to establish and address the environmental impact associated with all stages of the life cycle of a consumer product.
While discarding goods in a landfill is unquestionably harmful, this is not the only time the environment can be affected. A comprehensive view allows entrepreneurs to see what they’re doing wrong and how they can switch to an ecological design. While taking these steps is vital for a business’s reputation, especially when considering that an ever-growing number of customers are searching for products and services that are in full accordance with environmental standards, you shouldn’t do it to increase your sales figures.
You can only commit to real change when you realize how high the stakes are and that neglecting to answer the call for climate action will inevitably lead to environmental collapse. Doing everything as part of a growth strategy falls into cynicism and can do more harm than good since your clientele will feel cheated, and it will seem like you have no genuine desire to add your efforts to the fight against global warming.
The only way society can have actual change and the planet can be helped is through collective action. Actors have recently declared their support for an initiative to reduce the impact of making TV shows and films. The measures range from reusing costumes to avoiding private flights and bringing one’s own reusable bottles and coffee cups on set.
There is good news, and it’s essential to be aware of them to have a comprehensive picture. It also means you can see firsthand that the measures have concrete, tangible results. There’s a company in France that paints the roofs of buildings white to keep indoor temperatures cooler. The United States has recently conducted a legal battle that resulted in courts reaching a decisive ruling that states children’s right to a healthful environment is backed by the Constitution.
India’s emission rate has dropped by 33% in fourteen years, faster than anticipated. The figures are expected to continue to go down even further due to the growing consumption of renewable energy. In the UK, a wild baby bison was born for the first time in thousands of years, a welcome surprise for the charities developing a rewilding project.
It’s important to understand that everyone must play their part in protecting the planet to create a better, healthier future for all.