Looking back and reflecting on Earth Day 2019

planet-earth

Ever since the industrial revolution, progress and technology have come at a price. Our increasing dependence on fossil fuels and other non-renewable resources have taken a toll on the planet’s climate, flora, and fauna, and we’ve only recently begun to understand the impacts.

The reality is that we are now in the largest period of species extinction since the demise of the dinosaurs 60 million years ago. We are losing up to 5 species each year. Some species will already be gone by the time we’ve discovered them. Over half of the world’s 500 + primate species are on the brink of extinction, while three quarters are in severe population decline.

Closer to the ground, over 80% of wild plants depend on the movement of insects to spread their pollen. However, studies in Germany now indicate that insect numbers are down to a quarter of what they were 30 years ago. This is also a problem for the bird population – for over half of them, insects are a staple of their diet. Add the fact that almost half of bird species globally are in decline, with 1 in every 8 facing extinction, and we start to see the outlines of a vicious cycle.

Industrialization

Animals and plants are being overhunted and overfarmed for food, for cosmetics, or simply for sport. Developers mow down fields, fell trees, bury wetlands, drain rivers and raze natural habitats to build skyscrapers and factories. Dams divert rivers and reshape lakes, disturbing centuries of natural infrastructure and throwing aquatic life into disarray. Industrial farming and manufacturing then pollute those same waters and soils, compromising their viability for future generations.

Climate change

Climate change is real, and it’s caused by deforestation, burning fossil fuels and overfarming. It’s here that another vicious cycle appears: as our wealth grows, so do our appetites for meat and dairy. The cattle farmed to this end produce enormous amounts of greenhouse gasses, thinning the ozone layer and pushing temperatures upwards. Since worldwide meat consumption has only grown – up to 20 percent in the last 10 years – cutting back on meat and dairy is paramount to staving off the threat to our climate and preserving the conditions plants and animals need in order to flourish.

What can be done?

The longest journeys start with just a small step.

Start by pledging to a small Act of Green. Plant a tree, write a letter to your government, cut back on meat. Stop using plastic bags. Every little bit counts – a small green gesture can be a big inspiration to someone in your life. Stop using pesticides, which are one of the biggest threats to our bee population.

Join a local clean-up action – check the #trashtag challenge on social media. Switch your bulbs to energy-saving LEDs and reduce your carbon footprint. Even better, start using alternate means of transportation: start biking to work, carpool, or use public transportation – your health (and maybe your social life!) will thank you.

Cut back on the waste you produce – start thinking about all the ways you could stop using single-use materials and how you could throw away less food. Recycle. Again, because it’s that important: Recycle. Conserve water (does it really need to run while you brush?) If you have a green thumb and the space, consider planting some vegetables, or composting the ones you don’t end up eating.

Finally, look into installing solar panels on your roof. They’ll eventually pay for themselves, and the energy you’ll be using will be clean, renewable and guilt-free.

What is being done

At DXC, we’ve continuously strived to improve our footprint, both globally and locally. We achieved almost 12% global reduction in our energy consumption and over 15% reduction in our greenhouse gas emissions globally in our first year as DXC Technology. We’ve also sent over 100 metric tons of e-waste for recycling. And we’ve pledged to a 10 percent global waste and water reduction as part of our three year goals.

On a more local level, we’re trying our best to inspire and lead the change. Last year’s Earth Day campaign to raise awareness of single use plastics resulted in a number of our offices looking to eliminate plastics and some excellent results have been achieved.

Our internal DXC Photo Challenge has been churning out some breathtaking shots of local flora and fauna. Each local office has been tasked with documenting an indigenous plant, bird or animal and telling the rest of the organization about it – why it’s threatened, and how to protect it.

What will you do?

Protecting our species means protecting the planet. All life on Earth is connected, and it’s up to us to protect and nurture it the way we protect and nurture ourselves and our loved ones. Our future depends on it.

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