July 29 is the day that humanity has exceeded the carrying capacity of our planet for the year. In 1971 we still lived “within our means” meaning that nature could still regenerate the resources we were using. Since then we’ve been living at a deficit, meaning that the earth is no longer able to keep up with the rate we’re using resources. Fast forward to today, we’re now consuming nearly double the capacity the earth is able to restore. Anyone who has ever had a savings account can do a calculation and understand that this situation is unsustainable. Anyone watching daily news accounts sees the evidence of overshoot – extreme weather, mass migration, deforestation, massive fires…
What can individuals do?
We as individuals can play a part in replacing Earth’s carrying capacity. The Footprint Calculator has been around for decades. The Global Footprint Network has released a Move the Date Solutions Map that will facilitate the amplification and facilitation of efforts by aggregating and sharing global solutions. A recent count was 288 solutions subdivided into categories like energy, cities, food, human development and nature.
What can businesses do?
As businesses we have a larger role to play. Even just focusing on the categories of energy, human development and nature we could create the shift that can move overshoot back into balance. Moving the date back 5 days a year would result life back in balance by 2050. Schneider Electric has calculated that by equipping today’s buildings and infrastructure with current efficiency and renewables, we could move overshoot back by 21 days.
Imagine industry collaboration on a global level. What is your company and industry doing to restore our planet’s carrying capacity?
We enable change leadership. Sustainability is an area where we see leaders grappling with starting and/or sustaining efforts. If your business needs a journey partner, get in touch.