Today is Earth Day. A day that sits amongst many other designated days where individuals and business alike attempt to demonstrate a common understanding and focus on the ‘issues of the day’. Many of the causes championed by a day are worthy and important, however I am reluctant to say all, as we do live in a world that has given us a ‘Fruitcake Toss Day’ and ‘Bubble Bath Day’. I think we all can agree that no matter how well made and delicious a fruitcake may be or how comforting and fun a bubble bath can be for a child, and let’s be honest, even an adult too, neither deserve a whole day devoted to them.
If I place my cynicism calmly to one side for a moment, Earth Day does bring some vital issues to the fore. Working for a cloud computing company as I do, I am extremely aware of the amount of power required to maintain 10 UK datacentres and six offices, all of which are up and running 24 hours a day. These functions are not only vital for us but for every single one of our customers. It was with this in mind that prompted us to look at ways in which we can reduce the environmental impact of what we do and proactively support an important environmental cause.
Among the many industry accreditations we hold is ISO 14001*, which makes us accountable for our environmental performance. Our Energy Management System also operates to ISO 50001:2011 which means that we are continually looking at how we can improve our energy usage and impact.
After years of supporting the environmental charity Rainforest Concern with its conservation efforts we wanted to go beyond the typical ‘corporate responsibility’ line, beyond the cynical flag waving to say ‘’look, at us, we are giving back!’’ So we have re-invigorated our relationship to help deliver a more tangible and positive outcome. By donating a fixed sum every month, augmented by an additional donation of £3 for every Microsoft Office 365 licence we provide, we are helping Rainforest Concern to buy parcels of land in the Ecuadorian Cloud Rainforest. This means that instead of pointing to carbon offsetting or green footprints, we are helping actually protect the rainforest in real terms. By helping purchase physical land the vital ecosystems within the rainforest and the communities that rely on them can be protected.
Since 2003, through generous donations from its members and supporters, Rainforest Concern has been able to purchase areas of rainforest to protect in an area between the Paso Alto Mountain Range and the Cotacachi Cayapas Ecological Reserve, known locally as Intag. The intention is to link these two protected areas through land purchases, creating one continuous corridor and it is on this project that we are now working alongside Rainforest Concern. The area is called the Neblina Reserve, and to date it comprises 1,761 hectares which has been declared protected. The area is home to a huge variety of wildlife including the Spectacled Bear and Jaguar. It is also one of the most bio-diverse areas in the world.
There are so many vital environmental causes to get involved with across the world, it is a challenge to commit to just one. The important thing that Earth Day reminds us, is of the importance to do just that, pick something that you feel you can make a difference with.
So, this Earth Day, try to do something positive, enjoy all the lovely animal pictures that will be shared on social media, marvel at the wondrous landscape images, but also make a change. If it is just to recycle a can or crisp packet, or turn off a light as you leave the house, make a real change and maybe, just maybe Earth Day won’t need to be the day of championing the environment, it will be the day we recognise all of our efforts every day of the year.
Digital & Social Media Coordinator
As the internationally acknowledged framework, a certified Environmental Management System (EMS) shows how an organisation manages, measures, evaluates and audits their environmental performance including any productivity improvements, with a defined policy and objectives that take into account legal requirements and other obligations to which the organisation subscribes. It determines a Cloud Service Provider’s environmental position and performance.