The water we drink, the air we breathe, the soil we use to grow our food are seldom top of mind in our daily lives unless there is some catastrophic event that disrupts the supply of water, air and food. Businesses could now be accountable for the effects that they have on these natural resources. Why now?
We now have technology that can measure pollution from the planetary system down to the levels of any species and individual. The same goes for pollution sources from man-made machines. Houston, Texas, for instance, has persistent air pollution problems including ozone or smog due to the density of petrochemical plants, shipping activities, car culture and climate. A recent study collected 53.7 million data points that provide insights into the relationship between weather and impacts to pollution; air quality and emission sources. The study is also working to determine whether insights from one city are applicable to others.
Health and economic impacts from air pollution will soon be traceable to fleets and individual locations. License to operate will be a question when impacts are linked to specific operations and facilities. Some leading companies have already invested in reducing emissions from their supply chains through the purchase of renewable energy and cleaning up transportation footprints.
What can be done now?
What can your company do for accountability and to maintain your license to operate?
- Conduct energy audits, invest in energy efficiency, reduce environmental footprints
- Invest in renewables or purchase clean energy
- Clean up your supply chain, set science-based targets, adopt best practices and measure/report progress
- Partner to accelerate your progress
- These are just a few ideas, find others from the Environmental Defense Fund here
While you’re at it, align and set targets to meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Now that we may be accountable for measuring our collective progress at scale we can accelerate efforts to slow climate impacts.
We help business achieve big, hairy, audacious goals. If you need help in achieving your sustainability goals and measuring your impacts, get in touch today.