In 2018, the government launched a 25-year Plan for the Environment with an aim of handing over a better-quality environment to our children, a laudable aim, supported by all political parties. It is hard to see many people arguing against this ambition. In Oct 2019, the Environment Bill was announced, putting into law some aspects of the Environment Plan and allowing for binding targets to be set.
But the scale of the challenge we all face is enormous.
The recent report on wildlife in the UK showed rapid loss of species and habitats. It is likely that we are deforesting in England, at a time when more woodland is needed.
To keep global temperature below 2 degrees, we will need rapid decarbonisation of our economy and that will make business as usual almost impossible.
And the next generation are the ones arguing that we need to do better, to provide them with an environment – and by that we really mean a place to live – that is at least as healthy as that which we enjoy today.
Many of the issues we face need national, government led action. But we can all act locally. There is a route through these challenges that perhaps can secure business, jobs and prosperity for our and future generations – if we act smartly and quickly.
Many businesses are already making changes to how they do business to reduce their carbon impact and their reliance on non-renewable materials. In many cases businesses have “done well from doing good” saving money or gaining competitive advantage.
The Mersey Forest is an initiative celebrating 25 years of environmental action this year. We have planted more than 9 million trees and helped to adapt towns and cities to projected climate change. But, we still have lots to do and like businesses we also need to rethink how we achieve our goals to reduce carbon and maximise the positive impact we can make.
The presentation will look at what business might consider as it looks to play its part in creating a healthier, sustainable environment.