Tash Allard

Senior Manager, Global Environment Strategy, dentsu international

The effects of the pandemic are easy to see, but what about the real causes. We have a broken relationship with nature – deforestation, exploitation, over production, over consumption – the list is long. When and how we emerge from COVID19 is not clear, but one thing is – the risk of future pandemics will only increase unless we fix our broken relationship with nature.

We have seen an acceleration in climate action and unusual alignment between investors, governments, and consumers. Most of the world’s economies have set or proposed Net Zero targets and 21% of the world’s largest 2,000 public companies worth $14trn, have set net-zero commitments.

Businesses and money are shifting the tide. Investors want executive pay tied to Environmental, Social and Governance factors (69% according to a report from Edelman), and many consumers will consider not acting on climate change as an act of corporate criminal negligence (Consumer Vision 2030, Dentsu). Nature is making its way up the agenda, but slowly. And we must learn from the climate action experience to move forward the agenda on nature.

The upcoming UN Biodiversity Conference (CBD COP 15) and the UN Climate Conference (COP 26) offer opportunities to raise nature’s profile and solidify both country and business commitment.

Throughout the year, key events like Earth Hour will be vital to call for change ahead of these events. Every year, at 8:30pm on the last Saturday of March, millions of people across the world join in a moment of solidarity to raise awareness of the issues facing our planet. These 60 minutes are a symbol of support and an opportunity to reflect or think about making changes in our lives.

The first thing anyone can do to get involved is turn off their lights during Earth Hour. But Earth Hour goes far beyond the symbolic action of switching off - it has become a catalyst for positive environmental impact.

As a business, we are proud to be part of a select, but growing number of organisations that are aiming for the highest level of climate ambition: net zero carbon emissions by 2030.

But the radical decarbonisation of our business and value chain is only the first step. We believe sustainable consumption and production is about creating balance between the needs of the planet and our needs as individuals, businesses, and communities. At present we have an imbalance. Over the next decade we are committed to helping 1 billion people make better, more sustainable choices.

This Earth Hour we have gone one step further by signing the Business for Nature call-to-action, which calls on governments to adopt ambitious nature policies to reverse nature loss.

The need for change is clear and we will keep driving our business towards our Social Impact goals.