It’s the year of Green - 2019! Awareness of the impact we have on our planet is growing. More and more people are turning to greener methods of living and working. Which is great!
The UK Government has declared a National Climate Emergency. There’s no better time to start making a change. And not only for us as individuals. Companies are also needed to revolutionise their methods.
Huge Pressure on Corporate Companies to Make Changes
Since the declared Climate Emergency, targets have been set to reduce carbon emissions.
The aim is to reach net zero by 2050.
What does this mean?
That emissions coming from every household should be almost none. Amounts that are still produced will be offset by trees.
Reducing companies' emissions will also play a big part in reaching this target. To do this they can set science-based emissions targets to reach by a certain year. 80% of the world’s 500 largest companies have already set these targets. But only 10% of UK companies have done so.
Creating More Sustainable Products
Let’s give a spotlight hour to some of the companies and movements setting the precedent for change.
IKEA set it’s targets to use materials from only 100% recycled materials. It achieved this for cotton in 2015 and more recently for wood. Now, IKEA is broadening its horizons, and aiming to use only renewable energy sources. It’s also giving a brighter spotlight to the positives of a plant-based diet. IKEA is making huge efforts to become more sustainable.
Mcdonald’s & The Plastic Straw Movement
The eradication of plastic straws has been in the public eye for a while now. A ban that started in one city in 2018 is now a worldwide trend.. McDonald’s is one of many international companies to adopt the trend. They’ve replaced their plastic straws with biodegradable paper ones. Nando’s and Britain’s iconic pub chain Wetherspoons are among many others to jump on the trend.
Supermarkets battling Frosty Fridge aisles
Technology first designed for planes and F1 cars now keeps more cold air in their fridges. Starting with Sainsbury’s and then M&S, its now adopted by supermarkets across the UK. The ‘technology’ is a simple shelf attachment. The shape of it redirects escaping air back into the fridge. There is also a vent at the bottom to recirculate the air, saving even more energy. This change can reduce energy consumption by up to 15 percent.
So, we’ve come this far...
Considering the Future
Well, there are many options for the next big thing to tackle. Right now we’re only seeing the tip of the iceberg.
Continuing to get rid of and replace common single-use plastics seems to be a good follow on. This could be things such as plastic cups or food packaging.
The next step for supermarkets is putting doors on fridges. The next step for supermarkets is putting doors on fridges. Myles Mccarthy, a director at the Carbon Trust, says this could reduce electricity usage by 30%-40%.
But big corporations aside,
What can we do?
There’s lots of things we can do to encourage companies to work towards being more sustainable. This can be buying only from brands that you know are sustainable, or by speaking out on social media.