It is a day for engaging governments, businesses and citizens to focus their efforts on pressing environmental issues.
The theme this year is biodiversity – a concern that is both urgent and critical to the existence of the human race. Recent events, from bushfires in Brazil, the United States and Australia to locust infestations across East Africa demonstrates the synergy between nature and humanity and it’s clear that nature is sending us a message.
The emergence of COVID-19 has underscored the fact that, when biodiversity is destroyed, we destroy the system that supports human life. By upsetting the delicate balance of nature, we create the ideal conditions for pathogens – including COVID-19 – to spread.
We are intimately interconnected with nature. If we don’t take care of nature, we can’t take care of ourselves.
World Environment Day is a global platform for inspiring positive change, recognising that lasting change requires consensus from the global community.
It is an opportunity for individuals to think about the way they consume; for businesses to develop greener models of operating; for farmers and manufacturers to bring their produce to market in a more sustainable fashion; for governments to safeguard and improve wild spaces and Natural Capital; for educators to inspire students; and for young people to focus on a greener future.
This year instead of gathering together in person, because of COVID-19, millions of people will be celebrating digitally, worldwide.
At Morton Fraser, the role of our Community & Environment Committee, amongst others, is to promote measures within the firm to make positive changes to protect the environment.
Examples of their initiatives thus far are: organising annual employee blood donation drives to local blood banks; promotion of recycling by increasing number of recycling stations, investing in clearer labelling and bringing in ENVA to reinforce the importance of efficient recycling; promotion of the cycle to work scheme; engaging with a locally sourced catering company to reduce transport pollution; encouraging our employees to use the Firm's facilities to run meetings virtually etc. and reduce travel; Provision of chilled and filtered water taps from the mains water system which offers employees clean fresh drinking water negating need to buy plastic bottles of water; and operated a "paper light" policy to reduce amount of paper consumed.
As a firm, we are always looking at ways to do more, for example one of the initiatives we are looking into is a scheme which plants a tree for every tree we use in volume of paper.