Yesterday, June 5, 2022, was World Environment Day. This year’s theme, #OnlyOneEarth, was the motto for the UN’s 1972 Stockholm Conference — the first world conference to make the environment a major issue — and the first World Environment Day celebration in 1974.¹
Nearly 50 years later, #OnlyOneEarth could not be a more pertinent slogan.
Our one Earth is currently experiencing a climate crisis. Some may argue that the term “crisis” is an exaggeration, but we see it as an accurate depiction of the magnitude of human activities on the planet. In an article published in the BioScience journal in January 2020, 11,258 scientists from 153 countries also argued that this urgency was appropriate:
“Scientists have a moral obligation to clearly warn humanity of any catastrophic threat and to “tell it like it is.” On the basis of this obligation and the graphical indicators presented below, we declare, with more than 11,000 scientist signatories from around the world, clearly and unequivocally that planet Earth is facing a climate emergency. […] The climate crisis has arrived and is accelerating faster than most scientists expected.” ²
Despite this heavy load, the Alliance of World Scientists in this article were simultaneously “encouraged” by the surges of concern:
“Governmental bodies are making climate emergency declarations. Schoolchildren are striking. Ecocide lawsuits are proceeding in the courts. Grassroots citizen movements are demanding change, and many countries, states and provinces, cities, and businesses are responding.” ³
Recent climate narratives often have this direct juxtaposition in tone of alarm and hope. The connection point between these two sentiments is action; to recognize urgent needs and harbour concern for climate issues gives rise to action, and acting in response to these concerns provides the grounds for optimism.
In other words, to call our current climate state a “crisis” is to care. To act during a climate crisis is to hope for a better future.
Today, tomorrow, and in the years to come, we are determined to carry on the actions celebrated on World Environment Day. As a biotech company born in response to the climate crisis, it’s rewarding to be part of a global movement that strives to change the relationship we have with our planet, ensuring both its safety, as well as our own. It’s also exciting to see just how many businesses in all industries truly do care for the environment, embedding sustainable innovations into their business models and supply chains. We look forward to the day when the standard modus operandi isn’t just addressing a deficit gap, where we mitigate damage, but producing an abundance gap, where we design environmental benefit from the outset, creating mutual abundance and prosperity among business, social, and environmental systems.⁴
Alongside 11,258 scientists and counting, we believe that acting on the climate crisis is an act of hope. As articulated in the same BioScience article:
“The good news is that such transformative change, with social and economic justice for all, promises far greater human well-being than does business as usual. We believe that the prospects will be greatest if decision-makers and all of humanity promptly respond to this warning and declaration of a climate emergency and act to sustain life on planet Earth, our only home.” ³
Here’s to the sustainability innovators for our continued courage and drive to make the world a better place. #OnlyOneEarth
- https://doi.org/10.1093/biosci/biz088 — “World Scientists’ Warning of a Climate Emergency.” BioScience, Volume 70, Issue 1, January 2020, Page 8 and 9. Emphasis added by Future Fields.
- https://doi.org/10.1093/biosci/biz088 — “World Scientists’ Warning of a Climate Emergency.” BioScience, Volume 70, Issue 1, January 2020, Page 11.
- https://ssrn.com/abstract=2933616 — “Hybrid Organizations: The Next Chapter in Sustainable Business.” Haigh & Hoffman, October 2011. Organizational Dynamics, 41(2): 126–134., Ross School of Business Paper №1347.