Earth Day 2024: Initiatives Businesses are Implementing to Promote Environmental Sustainability

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Earth Day 2024: Initiatives Businesses are Implementing to Promote Environmental Sustainability

Earth Day 2024 just rolled past us on April 22, and almost every business in the world was seen posting on their many social media platforms to celebrate. The annual event brings awareness to environmental issues and promotes efforts aimed at protecting our planet. However, one may ask do businesses that outwardly celebrate Earth Day actually implement initiatives aimed at protecting our planet?

This article will examine how some businesses are responding to this necessity to protect our environment.

Shifting to Products that Produce Less Carbon Emissions

Heightened carbon emissions are a huge problem in the world right now that not only negatively affect our environment, but also us humans. The use of greenhouse gases trap heat in our atmosphere, causing global warming. They also contribute to respiratory disease from the smog and air pollution they release. The highest amount of carbon emissions come from those who rely heavily on fossil fuels, like automobile companies.

However, some of these companies have recently taken steps to cut out the large amount of greenhouse gases being released into the atmosphere. The newest trend in the automobile market to reduce carbon emissions is by manufacturing electric vehicles. Tesla has taken ahold of this initiative already, producing solely electric vehicles on their production lines. But these vehicles remain at a high price in the automobile market. Apart from this, Tesler is being increasingly criticised worldwide for its production and working conditions. Fierce protests are currently taking place around the Tesler factory in Brandenburg. Tesler is not only poisoning the groundwater, but is also influencing politicians to obtain exemptions for tapping groundwater reserves, which local people and nature need much more urgently. Honda and General Motors (GM) are currently attempting to combat this problem by partnering together to develop affordable electric vehicles by 2027. GM has even taken it a step further by pledging to sell only zero-emissions vehicles by 2035. Carbon emissions are slowly killing our planet and us, which is why it should be a huge initiative by all companies to drastically reduce the greenhouse gases they are emitting into the environment.

Eliminating Single-Use and Plastic Items

Single-use plastic items have a huge impact on our environment. Apart from animals consuming plastic waste causing health problems, plastic now makes up 4-8% of annual global oil consumption. This percentage is projected to increase by 2050 if companies continue to not take their use of plastic items seriously.

A huge amount of plastic waste created by companies comes from single-use cups and utensils. Single-use cups make up about 20% of global plastic waste alone. Many companies, especially those in the food industry, have already pledged to reduce plastic waste by switching to non-plastic alternatives like wooden forks and paper straws. However, Starbucks has taken this a step further by implementing something called a cup borrowing program. Customers will pay a $1 deposit on a reusable cup, which will be returned to them once they bring the cup back. The reusable cup is then cleaned and reissued to future customers. Through this program, Starbucks aims to cut their plastic waste in half by 2030. If more companies can follow suit, then plastic waste around the globe will drastically decrease.

Switching to Renewable Energy

Switching to renewable energy is a huge trend in the business world today. This is when companies use alternatives to fossil fuels like solar energy, wind energy, or geothermal energy in order to reduce their carbon footprint.

Clothing brand Patagonia has shown to be the leader in these efforts to switch to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. They have installed solar panels and windmills at distribution centers and headquarters around the world, utilizing many types of renewable energy. They have switched to 100% renewable energies and pledge to be completely carbon neutral by 2025. Another company, New Belgium Brewing, has also pledged to becoming completely carbon neutral by 2030. They have followed suit with Patagonia, utilizing solar power to run all operations. In doing this, they have marketed their Fat Tire Amber Ale as “America’s first certified carbon-neutral beer.” If more beer companies around the world can adopt New Belgium Brewing’s pledge, then all beer around the world can become carbon-neutral.

Importance of Environmental Sustainability in the Business World

These initiatives adopted by companies around the world are a step in the right direction in terms of limiting our negative impact on the environment. The quicker environmental sustainability becomes the business world’s #1 priority, the more positive our impact on our planet will become. When Earth Day’s yearly return occurs, it should be a call to businesses around the world to do their part in making sure generations to come will be able to enjoy our beautiful planet.

Do you have an innovative and sustainable startup idea? Be sure to submit it into the Citizen Entrepreneurship Competition 2024! This runs from June 1st through August 31st!

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