As we approach April, there are several significant environmental days to be aware of, including World Health Day, Earth Day, and Stop Food Waste Day. Each of these events presents an opportunity for individuals, communities, and governments to come together and make a positive impact. In this month's World Environmental and Awareness Days blog post, we will focus on what these events mean and how we can take action.
World Health Day provides us with an opportunity to celebrate and reflect on the strides made in improving public health over the past 75 years. This year, on April 7, 2023, the World Health Organization will commemorate its 75th anniversary by bringing attention to the theme of "Health for All." This theme serves as a call to action to ensure that every individual has access to quality healthcare, regardless of their background or circumstances. It's an opportunity to address the persistent inequalities in health outcomes and to highlight the challenges that still need to be addressed. The COVID-19 pandemic has emphasized the importance of global cooperation in responding to health emergencies and the necessity for investment in public health infrastructure.
Let's come together on World Health Day 2023 to reaffirm our commitment to Health for All. Whether you're a health professional, policymaker, or simply someone who cares about the health of your community, there's a role for everyone to play in creating a healthier and more equitable world. The 75th anniversary of the World Health Organization should be a celebration of progress and a call to action for the future. Join WHO on a journey to achieve Health For All.
Read more here.
As the world faces the climate crisis, it is clear that we must take decisive action to protect our planet. Earth Day 2023 is especially important, urging governments, businesses, and citizens to invest in a green economy for a healthy, prosperous, and equitable future for all. The theme for this year's Earth Day is "Invest in Our Planet," building on last year's successful campaign and emphasizing the need for everyone to participate. EARTHDAY.ORG is leading the effort to raise awareness about the importance of investing in a green economy.
Governments have already taken steps towards enacting green policies, but more needs to be done. Every country needs to achieve Greenhouse gas neutrality by 2050 to keep global warming below 1.5°C. Businesses, inventors, investors, and financial markets have the power to create value and drive significant change through green innovation and practices. Citizens also have an important role to play, pushing for sustainable solutions as voters and consumers.
Earth Day 2023 presents an opportunity for everyone to make a difference. Whether you plant trees or participate in local events, reduce your plastic consumption, or spread awareness on social media, there are many ways to get involved. Investing in a green economy is crucial for a healthy, prosperous, and equitable future. Earth Day 2023 calls upon all of us to do our part and be accountable. Together, we can make a difference and ensure a bright future for generations to come.
Read more here.
Stop Food Waste Day is an annual worldwide event that raises awareness about food waste and encourages action. Initiated by Compass Group USA in 2017, it has gained global recognition. On Wednesday, April 26, 2023, people from all walks of life are invited to participate in this day of action to reduce food waste. Globally, one-third of all food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted, contributing to hunger, poverty, climate change, and unsustainable agriculture and oceans. Food waste also wastes energy and resources and produces potent greenhouse gases.
Stop Food Waste Day aims to educate and inspire individuals to prevent, inspire, and repurpose food waste. Simple steps like storing food optimally, using every edible part of an ingredient, and planning meals ahead can prevent food waste. Repurposing food by redistributing surplus and giving new life to wasted ingredients can make a positive impact.
To participate, individuals can find simple recipes, create grocery lists, freeze leftovers, and attend events in their communities. By taking simple steps, we can minimize food waste and ensure everyone is fed.
Read more here.
Environmental and sustainability issues are becoming increasingly important, and it's crucial to spread awareness and celebrate the efforts that people are making to protect the planet. That's why throughout the year, every month is packed with different days to commemorate and create awareness for specific environmental and sustainability topics. These topics cover various fields like social sustainability, the environment, animals, economics, and more.
With March being a busy month in terms of environmental and sustainability events, we've chosen to focus on five world days: World Wildlife Day, International Women's Day, Global Recycling Day, International Day of Forests, and World Water Day. By summarizing what each day is about and why it's celebrated, we hope to inspire you to join in and make a difference in your own way.
World Wildlife Day, an annual event established by the United Nations, serves to acknowledge and increase awareness about the world's flora and fauna. This year's theme, "Partnerships for Wildlife Conservation" highlights the importance of forming partnerships at all levels to protect the earth's biodiversity. Given the current biodiversity crisis, it is imperative to recognize the numerous advantages of conservation and take action against wildlife crime and human-induced reduction of species. Sustainable Development Goal 15, which aims to halt biodiversity loss, emphasizes the need for collaborative efforts to safeguard the planet's ecosystems.
On March 3, 2023, World Wildlife Day will also mark the 50th anniversary of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), which has granted protection to over 37,000 species of animals and plants. CITES has been successful in building partnerships and reconciling differences between groups guided by its regulations. Sustaining existing partnerships and building new ones will be crucial for the future of life on earth. From intergovernmental to local scales, partnerships for conservation must find ways to include businesses to reverse the loss in biodiversity. It's time to change our relationship with nature and work together to ensure the sustainability of our planet's wildlife and ecosystems.
Read more here.
International Women's Day (IWD) is a worldwide celebration of women's achievements and a call for gender parity. It takes place on March 8th and is marked by activities that range from celebrating women's successes to raising awareness about women's rights and fundraising for female-focused charities. The 2023 campaign theme is #EmbraceEquity, which encourages people to challenge gender stereotypes, discrimination, and bias and embrace differences as a positive element of life. The campaign highlights that achieving gender parity is not only about equalizing the rights and opportunities of women, but also recognizing and celebrating the unique contributions and perspectives that women bring to the world.
IWD is not specific to any country, group, or organization, and everyone can support it and you can mark IWD in many ways, including hosting an event, running a campaign, launching an initiative, reporting on achievement, and donating to a female-focused charity. The day is about advancing women's equality in all its forms, and has a long history dating back to 1911. It is celebrated in many countries, with purple, green, and white as its symbolic colors.
So make International Women's Day your day and do what you can to truly make a positive difference for women.
Read more here.
Global Recycling Day is celebrated on March 18 every year and encourages us to rethink what we throw away by seeing it as an opportunity instead of waste. By recycling, we lessen our energy use, improve air and water quality, and combat climate change, all while saving money and natural resources. The last decade has seen extreme temperatures and a climate emergency, making it essential to make significant changes to protect the planet and humanity. The Global Recycling Foundation created this day in 2018, with the mission of telling world leaders that recycling is a global issue, and asking people to think about resources, not waste.
This year's theme is #RecyclingHeroes, which recognizes the role recycling plays in contributing to an environmentally stable planet and a greener future. By supporting the global green agenda, recycling is on the front line in the war to save the future of our planet and humanity.
Read more here.
Forests are often taken for granted, but they provide countless benefits to our lives. They clean our air, purify our water, and provide food and medicine. On March 21st, we celebrate the International Day of Forests, which highlights the role of forests in combating climate change and in the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
This year's theme, "Forests and Health" underscores the link between forests and human well-being. Forests stabilize the climate, protect watersheds, and enrich the soil, contributing to healthy, resilient communities and prosperous economies. It's our responsibility to safeguard these natural resources from deforestation and promote education on sustainable forest management. A sustainable forest industry can also provide new and sustainable ways to produce bioenergy.
Let's work together to protect and preserve these precious resources for future generations.
Read more here.
In 2015, the world made a commitment to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 6, which aimed to provide safe water and sanitation for everyone by 2030. Unfortunately, billions of people and institutions still lack access to these basic human rights. The lack of progress in water and sanitation undermines efforts to address various global issues, including health, hunger, gender equality, education, industry, disasters, and peace.
To accelerate progress and address this crisis, World Water Day 2023 will focus on the theme "Accelerating Change" This day coincides with the UN 2023 Water Conference in New York, which will offer a unique opportunity for governments and stakeholders to make voluntary commitments towards accelerating progress on SDG 6 and other water-related goals. These commitments will form the Water Action Agenda, which aims to bring about rapid, transformative change in the coming decade.
Everyone can play a part in achieving this goal, and even small actions can make a difference. Rapid, transformative change is needed to ensure access to safe water and sanitation for everyone.
Read more here.
Sustainability is becoming increasingly important in the face of rapid climate change, and companies are eager to prove their commitment to sustainability. The key is finding an assessment process that is publicly accepted and reliable. Certifications are just exactly the solution! They provide a way for companies to demonstrate that they have met certain standards and achieved certain goals within their sustainability commitments and management approaches. In this blog post, we will explore some of the available certifications and how they help businesses prove their commitment to sustainability. We'll also look at other ways businesses can show their customers that they are taking meaningful action on environmental issues.
What is sustainability management?
The term “sustainability management” refers to the process of incorporating sustainability principles and initiatives into an organization’s decision-making and operations. The goal of sustainability management is to create long-term value for the organization and its external stakeholders while minimizing its environmental impact and maximizing social and economic benefits.
To be effective, sustainability management must be integrated into all aspects of an organization’s operations, from strategy development to day-to-day decision-making. It requires commitment from senior leaders and buy-in from all employees.
There are a number of different certifications that organizations can pursue to demonstrate their commitment to sustainable practices. The most common certification is ISO 14001, which is an internationally recognized standard that outlines requirements for an effective environmental management system. Other popular certifications include the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program and the Carbon Neutral Protocol.
Why certifications are important
Certifications are important for several reasons. First, they provide independent, third-party verification that an organization is adhering to best practices currently available within sustainability. This can help the organization attract and retain customers, as well as improve its bottom line. Additionally, certifications can help an organization access new markets and build trust with stakeholders. Finally, certifications can serve as a motivational tool for employees, helping to engage them in the organization's sustainability efforts.
The different types of certifications
There are different types of certifications for those working in sustainability management. The two main types are voluntary and mandatory certifications.
Voluntary certifications are not required by law but may be beneficial to those working in the field. They can show that an individual or a company as a whole has a commitment towards their professional practices and is willing to invest in their own development, or the company’s case, the whole business development. Voluntary certifications can also help individuals or companies stand out from the pool of talents and employers.
Mandatory certifications, on the other hand, are required by law in order to work or operate in certain roles or industries.
While there are benefits to both types of certification, mandatory certifications tend to be more expensive and time-consuming to obtain. Therefore, weighing the costs and benefits of each type of certification is important before deciding which one is right for you.
Which certification is right for you?
There are a few different types of certification that you can get in sustainability management. Here is a breakdown of just a few of the most used ones and what they entail:
1. LEED Certification - A green building rating system that has widespread adoption worldwide. LEED offers a foundation for healthy, highly effective, cost-effective green buildings and is available for almost all building types.
2. TourCert - A certification for tourism companies and destinations on their way to sustainable business operations.
3. Green Globe Certification - An International Standard for Sustainable Tourism.
4. Green Key - A voluntary eco-label certified to more than 3,700 hotels and other establishments in 60 countries.
5. ISO 9001 - An international standard that specifies requirements for a quality management system (QMS).
Each certification has its own requirements, so it is important to do your research to see which one would be the best fit for you and your organization. For example, if you are looking to get certified for a specific type of building, like an office space, then you would want to look into the LEED or BREEAM certification. If creating a sustainable and healthy workplace is your goal, then WELL would be the right choice for you. And if you are in the travel or tourism industry, then Green Globe, ToruCert, or Green Key would make more sense. There are also general certifications like ISO 9001 that can be applied to any type of business or organization. No matter which certification you ultimately choose, getting certified demonstrates your commitment to sustainability and shows that you are taking responsibility.
How to get certified
To become certified in sustainability management, there are a few steps you need to take. First, research the various certifications that are available and find one that suits your needs. Next, attend a training course or program that will teach you the necessary skills and knowledge required for the certification. Finally, make the necessary steps to receive your credential.
By becoming certified in sustainability management, you will be able to demonstrate your commitment to environmental responsibility and social justice. This can give you a competitive edge when competing with other companies in the same field. Many countries now require companies from specific industries to have some level of certification to adhere to the country’s regulations.
The importance of certifications within cannot be overstated. Not only do they provide transparency into a company's environmental and social management practices, but they also assure customers that their purchases are helping to reduce waste and promote sustainable operational methods.
The certification process is an important way for businesses to demonstrate their commitment to reducing their impact on the environment and providing quality products that will last for years to come. In so doing, acquiring the right sustainability certification can help a business make a positive impression and gain the trust of consumers who will want to support companies that are doing good for the planet for years to come.
Find out how BeCause can support your business by effectively acquiring the necessary certifications and further management of sustainability-related information!
At BeCause, our mission is to make it easier for companies to track and improve their sustainability performance. We are proud to have partnered with Group Online, a Danish online marketing and web agency, to help them achieve their sustainability goals.
As Group Online has grown over the years, their environmental impact has also grown. Recognizing this, the company's management decided to implement BeCause's sustainability management software. By doing so, they are now able to simplify their data tracing and analysis processes, save time and resources, and unify their sustainability data.
One of the key benefits of BeCause for Group Online is its ability to guide the company in what data to collect and how to collect it. This allows Group Online to focus on the sustainability impact of its operations, rather than administrative tasks. The software also provides tailored recommendations on how the company can improve its sustainability performance, which has proved invaluable in helping them achieve their sustainability goals.
By using BeCause, Group Online are able to track and analyze their sustainability figures, identify opportunities to optimize and reduce greenhouse gas emissions under the ESG framework, and implement targeted strategies to reduce their environmental impact. The savings achieved through efficiency measures more than compensated for the resources spent on implementing the sustainability management software.
"Our collaboration with BeCause has given us a better understanding of the entire ESG universe, which can be challenging and difficult to grasp. With the right amount of advice and a system to set everything up, delivered by BeCause, it is made concrete and relevant, and they have been both helpful and supportive in our ongoing work to be a sustainable company"
Marianne la Cour
Head of HR, Group Online
Overall, BeCause has been a valuable tool for Group Online. It has helped the company track and improve its sustainability performance, reduce its environmental impact, and align with the ESG and UN Global Compact frameworks. We are proud to have partnered with Group Online on their sustainability journey, and we look forward to helping more companies achieve their sustainability goals through our software.
If you're interested in learning more about how your company can get started with BeCause, please visit our website for more information.
Read the full case story on Kompasbank Navigator here.
Is it officially that time of the year when it is already allowed to start thinking about Christmas? Here is a little checklist you can go through to assess whether it is a yes or no for you!
1. Summer is over, you have started to layer up the cozy knitwear, and started switching up your iced coffee for a hot chocolate?
2. (In the Northern hemisphere) You are losing more and more minutes of daylight every day and have started thinking whether it is about time the town Christmas lights went up already?
3. Halloween planning is done and you’re dangerously close to making a fresh Pinterest board of this year’s Christmas craft projects? Soon, no surface in your apartment will be safe from glitter and crochet yarn.
4. You have been seeking for an excuse to start playing Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’ on loop?
Besides the fact that many associates this darker time of the year with chunky knit sweaters, hot chocolate (or mulled wine J), and office Christmas parties… for many this is a time of stress linked to the need (social pressure?) and want to buy things. People are currently caught in economic and cultural systems that make shopping for new things an indispensable part of the Holiday season. You consume; hence you exist! We have literally constructed and set out our own consumption traps with very little personal control over them and are justifying it with the need to continually purchase to ensure the survival of our current economic system. Because what would our world look like if there would be no positive growth rates within our markets?! Well…maybe there would be less natural raw material extraction, less biodiversity loss, less pollution, even lower rates of climate change, and in so a happier society?
Yes, yes to all of the above! We think that reducing overconsumption would have a positive impact on all aspects of our livelihood. Let’s break things down a bit.
Just think, nothing just magically appears from thin air…Each purchase that you make from the store (retail or e-com) relies on the input of natural resources, which are extracted from the environment and often processed or manufactured to form the final products and services that we produce and consume. This includes everything, like farming that produces our food and drinks, clothes that we wear, and mining that provides us with materials, like minerals and metals, that are used to create jewelry and electronics. And these would be and could be all sustainable practices but…Unfortunately, the number of materials used in production and consumption continues to rise at the global level. The rate at which materials are being extracted globally is outpacing both - population and economic growth, meaning we are using more but much less efficiently, because we always want more, and we want it new! Such unsustainable consumption and production practices not only deplete natural resources but also cause negative environmental impacts as a result of processing, manufacturing, consumption, and waste disposal at every stage of a product lifecycle. Hence, by buying yet another gift, you indirectly impact every aspect of this product’s value chain.
Important to repeat that one of the most well-known environmental impacts of unsustainable production and consumption is climate change. And no, the impact does not only come from the necessary disposal and treatment of waste, but the primary impact comes from burning fossil fuels to create the energy that powers economic activity that creates the stuff. And…in addition to energy, climate change is also caused by the extraction and production of certain materials, which can release greenhouse gases as a result of, for example, material chemical processing, use of fertilizers, use of livestock, and/or clearing of forests that capture CO2 from the atmosphere.
One key way to combat overconsumption during holidays, and especially during Christmas, is to buy products with longevity in mind. Try to avoid trends and the newest “must-have” items but aim to shop with a purpose, potentially repurpose, and always aim to buy something that will last and be of use for many years to come, be it a new or a second-hand product. In doing so, you can noticeably reduce natural resource consumption, waste streams, and lower the rates of pollution from all of the bad-quality stuff that would otherwise end up in landfills…
From a more societal perspective now - research shows that current levels of consumption do not make people much happier than, for example, the people were in the 1950s! In fact, most articles state that current levels of consumption make people feel more stressed out and anxious in comparison to what was 70 years ago… When you think about it, don’t you agree that we live in our own world of assumptions about how much we need? For example, companies quite often say that they only produce and sell what the public demands. When talking to family and friends, don’t they often say that they buy only the stuff that the other needs? But do we all need what we or others think we need? Isn’t it all more based on somewhat deeper psychological aspects of our desire to belong? To elevate our feeling of self-esteem and external validation?
Changing our habits is definitely a daunting task…however, we suggest starting with a conversation! Be it at home, at the office, or at a friends’ gathering, we invite you to be just a little courageous and suggest discussing other ways of celebrating and showing your love and affection to people rather than just by giving purchased gifts. Because it only takes a bit of inspiration and leadership on one topic to make it go viral! #sustainableholidays
Soundtrack suggestion of the week: instead of humming Mariah Carey’s ‘All I want for Christmas is You’, you are humming ‘All I want for Christmas is a lower rate of consumption’!
Carbon - a theme that is continuously on the news in various shapes and sizes, usually with a negative connotation... We think that with all that is happening in the world right now, we desperately need some positive and inspiring news too.
So, this week we decided to focus our discussion on some more uplifting aspects of carbon and would like to share with you some of the most interesting and innovative carbon capture methods that are out there!
Once our discussion started, we actually realized that we are all a bit confused about the terminology used relating to different carbon-related technologies. So, we might as well share a little glossary regarding CO2 here too before diving into the most interesting finds:
So here are the top 3 most interesting carbon reduction/decarbonization technological inventions, strictly in BeCause’s opinion, that might just help us limit global warming below 1.5°C:
Physicist and engineer Klaus Lackner, director of the Center for Negative Carbon Emissions at Arizona State University, has developed an artificial tree that can capture carbon dioxide directly out of the air and perform as much as 1,000 times more efficiently than nature’s trees in doing so.
These trees look nothing like your average oak or maple, in our opinion, it looks more like a bottle washing brush or a feather, nevertheless, it functions similarly to a natural tree by absorbing carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. These “trees” are made from a special resin, a unique plastic that sponges up CO2 from the air in a chemical reaction. When the resin is dry, it absorbs the C02. And when the resin is submerged in water, it releases carbon dioxide.
This technology could recycle the captured carbon dioxide and use it to as a resource to make fuel, “closing the loop” of industrial carbon emissions.
However, quite an impressive amount of Lackner’s units would need to be produced, each unit removes one metric ton of CO2 daily, we would have to install one hundred million of these to remove the amount of CO2 the world is currently emitting annually.
This technology is currently being field tested, and who knows, maybe soon you shall be admiring these on your daily walk! We are not sure about the aesthetic appeal of having such “trees”, but I guess that is jumping in into a whole new discussion...
Diamonds are a girl’s best friend, especially if the bling holds a carbon-negative aspect one could brag about! We have discovered Aether, aetherdiamonds.com, a jewelry company that is creating artificial diamonds by capturing carbon from the atmosphere.
Their diamond creation includes a 4-step production process:
Their vision to create the world's first positive-impact diamonds is just the beginning, as they are committed to becoming an independently carbon-negative company by 2023. Aether is actively building a future where they also generate their own renewable energy sources, and furthermore return excess clean power to the grid.
We wish them all success with their sparkling endeavors! And, Aether, we wouldn’t mind testing your products! #influenceralert 😊
(Not technological, but let’s count it as a product of our planet’s bio-engineering genius)
We live on a blue planet, meaning that three quarters of our planet are covered in water and as much as 97,5% of this water is salt water. This, very evidently, gives us a huge potential for finding ways of efficiently using the space for carbon reduction projects.
This is already happening under the beautiful turquoise waters of the natural park of Ses Salines, a huge underwater meadow of Posidonia seagrass, not far from Ibiza and Formentera. This plant, Posidonia oceanica or posidonia mediterranea, is an aquatic plant endemic to this region of the Mediterranean Sea, and holds the capacity to store more CO2 than your average forest of the same size! Of course, many factors influence the exact amount of how much carbon that can be taken up by a seagrass meadow, but rough calculations show that if one hectare of seagrass would be planted, the amount of carbon it would sequester would correspond to at least 10 hectares of dry-land forest.
Planting such meadows also does not pose a massive challenge, as these plants produce seeds that can be sown in the seabed or small shoots that can be planted by divers, what a holiday destination activity that would make! Sign us up!
As you see, carbon is not always a doomsday-related topic but can present itself in various shapes and sizes. For example, we wouldn’t mind at all sharing the carbon removal burden by wearing an 8-carat diamond ring, and to be extra supportive, we can take it on a dive while distributing some Posidonia oceanica seeds and then drying up in the shade of Klaus Lackner’s tree! Sold!