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Saving earth: the most important job on World Environment Day

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Our oceans, lakes and rivers are drowning in plastic. The fact that this sentence alone isn’t conveying anything new says it all, even as the data grows gloomier.   

Billions upon billions of items of plastic waste are overflowing and piling up on land, impacting plants and wildlife. Plastic pollution is a global emergency, but are we starting to sit up and listen?

Encouragingly, we’re seeing small steps of positive change in pockets of the world, even on opposite sides of the economic spectrum. Canada’s ban on single-use plastic signals progress, with India pledging the same six months earlier.

World Environment Day 2023

This year’s theme for World Environment Day on 5th June will focus on solutions to plastic pollution under the campaign #BeatPlasticPollution. It serves as a reminder that people’s actions on plastic pollution matters, calling out to governments and businesses to take urgent steps to tackle the problem. Considered to be the biggest international day for the environment and led by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), it has been held annually since 1973. It has grown to be the largest global platform for environmental outreach and is celebrated by millions of people across the world.

Implementing ESG goals

It’s never been more critical for each and every business, regardless of size, to actively fight climate change. This means not just defining, but implementing and measuring ESG goals. As more organisations are being placed under increasing scrutiny by consumers and stakeholders, sustainability needs to be top of the agenda. There are wider benefits too.  Companies across many sectors that have developed robust ESG standards are seeing better profitability and stronger financial performance. Not only that, but it is promoting improved wellbeing among employees, something we’re also huge advocates of.

Our collaborative approach

Our own green initiative, One Million Environmentally Better Workdays, has both sustainability and wellbeing right at its heart. Sponsored by Ford & Stanley Group in conjunction with the Better Workdays Trust, the Better Workdays Conservation Meadow is a three-acre site in Derbyshire, dedicated to conservation, teamwork and mental fitness. We purchased it in 2019, and since then the area has been transformed from disused scrubland with limited ecological benefit, to a thriving environmental mecca for a diverse range of creatures, insects, flora and fauna.

The centrepiece of the meadow is the conservation lake, created to provide much-needed protected local habitat for waterfowl, reptiles, British native fishes, insects and water plants. We also have an eco-island too, although this isn’t for glampers!

What we’re equally proud of is that this is a collaborative effort. Supported by our customers Caf Rail UK, Loram and Derbyshire Oaks to name a few, the team collected plastic bottles and other reusable items for several months to aid the project. Everything from bottles, to unwanted plastic piping and cargo netting were amongst the discarded items that were collected and re-purposed to help with the structural support of a variety of native pond plants.

We also run our ‘A Tree For Every Placement’ initiative, where each time the recruitment side of our business makes a permanent placement with a client company, we make the offer to joint-fund the planting of an oak tree. What this means is that, irrespective of the nature of that person’s employment, up to 500 years of daily environmental benefit will be realised as a direct result.

Action speaks loudest

What is ultra important for us as a business is not to just talk environment, but actually do things that make a tangible, positive long-term impact. This can only be achieved exclusively by people being genuinely environmentally passionate and being willing to give up their own downtime to support projects such as this, which is what we are fortunate enough to have.

NetZero is still some way off, but we can still win this if organisations actively work towards that goal by pledging their green commitments through setting targets and measuring their environmental impact.