Today is the first ever digital earth day. Our Social Impact Manager, Scott Sallée shares the steps that we're taking as a business to drive sustainable behaviours.
Earth Day was first launched in 1970, when millions of people in America took to the streets to protest for environmental reform.
Today, more than one billion people globally take part each year in marches, petitions and clean-ups to protect the environment, making Earth Day the largest civic observance in the world.
This year, people are encouraged to mobilise virtually, in order to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and respect social distancing policies in place in most of the world.
Therefore, the 50th anniversary of Earth Day will be the first ever Digital Earth Day. Participants are encouraged to share the hashtags #EarthDay2020 and #EARTHRISE to inspire governments, NGOs, and companies in a call to action for our planet.
What is the theme of this year’s Earth Day?
Society is facing some of its greatest challenges. Climate change, biodiversity and inequality are causing exponential disruption. Businesses, brands and governments are under pressure to respond and citizens are calling for change. On January 1st 2016 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) came into force. The goals universally apply to all countries and are designed to mobilise efforts to end all forms of poverty, fight inequalities and tackle climate change, while ensuring that no one is left behind.
This year, the focus of World Earth Day is Climate Action – Sustainable Development Goal 13 . Climate change represents the biggest challenge to the future of humanity and the life-support systems that make our world habitable.
"Amid the recent outbreak, we encourage people to rise up but to do so safely and responsibly — in many cases, that means using our voices to drive action online rather than in person,” Kathleen Rogers, president of Earth Day Network, shared. "Whether it be coronavirus or our global climate crisis, we cannot shut down,” said Rogers. "Instead, we must shift our energies and efforts to new ways to mobilize the world to action."
“It may be difficult for people to feel encouraged and hopeful for the planet amid the coronavirus pandemic, and before that, the horrific fires in Australia, California, and the Amazon”, Earth Day Co-Founder Denis Hayes admitted. “Don't lose faith”, he said.
"It is depressing," Hayes said. "But I got a message for you: We've not reached the end of the line. We've still got time to be able to turn this around before we reach tipping points that do become irreversible."
Dentsu Inc and Dentsu Aegis Network has the honour of working with the United Nations on Common Ground, and more recently on the UN Global Call to Creatives for Covid-19. We have a target to reach one billion people globally with Sustainable Development Goal led campaigns by the end of 2020.
We work with our clients and partners to transform the role of brands and drive sustainable behaviours such as our work with Brands for Good.
To be a credible partner, we’ve been taking steps to ensure our own house is in order. Business as usual is no longer enough; best in class environmental performance is now a license to operate. Our focus is to decarbonise our business through reducing our environmental impacts and switching to renewables.
As the only marketing and communications group member of the RE100, we procure 100% of our energy from renewable sources across our UK business. Globally, we have achieved 90%, with a target of 100% by the end of 2020.
Our UK business is certified ISO14001 for its Environmental Management, and both Dentsu Aegis Network and Dentsu Inc were awarded an A- by the Carbon Disclosure Project; other global holding groups score between C and D.
Through our DIMPACT project, in partnership with Bristol University, Sky, and the BBC, we are creating an online tool to map the carbon emissions of digital products and services.
“The climate crisis is pushing organisations to go beyond their immediate footprint and look at the end to end value chain of the media industry,” said Anna Lungley, Global Head of Social Impact, Dentsu Aegis Network. “This is a complex area, with each stage of the delivery chain having different owners. For the first time the media industry will be working together to tackle this head on, understand their ‘downstream’ carbon impact and enable brands to reduce the overall carbon footprint of digital media communications.”
The 50th Anniversary of Earth Day is also the first Digital Earth Day. How can you still get involved?
Consider your Digital Impacts as well and consider doing a Digital Clean Up Day!
Storing 1GB of e-mail for one year consumes 32.1 kWh - equal to baking ten hours with your household oven.
If each adult in the UK sent one less email a day, it would save over 16,000 tonnes of carbon per year - the same as 81,000 flights from London to Madrid or taking 2200 diesel cars off the road. Do you need to send an email that just says ‘ok’ or ‘thank you’? Can your team be more efficient and move to collaborative spaces such as Microsoft Teams, or work from a single shared document?
If every person in France deleted 50 emails, this would be equivalent to switching off 1.6 billion low energy light bulbs for one hour, turning off the Eiffel Tower lights for 24 hours, or even half a day’s worth of electricity consumption across Paris.
(Source: Digital Clean Up Day)