Coming Together While We’re Apart to Celebrate Earth Day’s 50th Anniversary

April 22, 2020

Now, more than ever, we fight for a clean environment with increasing urgency. Amid the COVID-19 global pandemic, we have seen some silver linings shine through in the form of the environment having time to heal. In Venice, Italy, the canals are clearer than they have been in 60 years, and in Thailand, rare leatherback sea turtles built more nests on beaches bereft of tourists than in the last 20 years. With a reduction in global travel, the Earth is taking a pause along with us. There are many more anecdotes like these that give us hope for a brighter future.

TransformFP (TFP) is the social impact arm of our business and has been a curated and cared for part of ForwardPMX for many years now. The TFP team is dedicated to integrating social purpose into the everyday TransformFP, grounded in the mission of harnessing the talent of our people to support changemakers to tackle some of society’s toughest challenges.

“Modern business should aspire to be more than just commercially successful – they should be an agent for change – inspiring, provoking and challenging our people to use their skills to improve the world around them.”

– James Parr, CFO, ForwardPMX

While we can’t celebrate Earth Day together in person this year, we’d like to highlight what Earth Day means to our employees and partners across the globe, by sharing some key focus areas that our organization is working towards to ensure greater sustainability and environmentally friendly practices, as well as the small changes we all can make as individuals on a daily basis – that when added together, yields a powerful collective impact. 

What makes this year’s Earth Day so special and unique? 

2020 marks 50 years of Earth Day, which makes it quite a special year Today, Earth Day is the largest secular observance in the world, recognized by more than a billion people every year. Its aim is to change human behavior and create global, national and local policy changes.

The Earth Day Network continues to build a diverse movement, through the empowerment of individuals by arming them with the information, tools, and messaging they need to drive real change. This year, we find ourselves in a much different situation than in previous Earth Days, however, we can use this time to reflect on what aspects of our lifestyles or different habits we can change to create a collective positive impact. And we can take a pause as a business to evaluate our methods as we move forward into the future.

We asked people across the business at FP: What does Earth Day mean to you, and what actions have you taken? Here are some of their responses:

“Earth Day is such an important reminder to stop and think about the environment, and to consider the small things we can each do now to protect it for generations to come. In my daily life, I try never to use plastic plates, cups and utensils. I’m finding it particularly hard this year being home with kids all day, but Earth Day is a reminder than we do these things for good reason!”

 – Caroline Klatt, Co-Chief Innovation Officer, Voice & Chat Lead

“Ever since Earth Day last year in 2019, I’ve been using a timer for my showers. I used to take really long showers, using it as time to just space out, relax and think. Last year, I did an online activity that Google made for Earth Day that showed all of the ways you could be more environmentally conscious, one being showers kept to five minutes or less. Long showers were by far my biggest offense in wastefulness, so I decided to use the timer moving forward.”

– Nico Campbell, Senior Specialist of Display & Paid Social

“Years ago, I started to make my own produce bags out of tulle and kitchen string. You can buy them online for about $5-10 each, or make them by yourself for about 50 cents if you have a sewing machine. And, you can make them any size you want! They can also be machine washed. Mine have lasted years of weekly use!” 

– Aryn Kennedy, Senior Director, Earned Media & Creative Services

“To do my bit, I buy larger rather than smaller packages of food (e.g. larger cereal boxes), but only when I know it’s feasible for it to be used before its expiry date. I also make meal plans to ensure nothing goes to waste!I try to buy fruit and veggies without plastic packaging, when possible too. Another tip is to carefully check whether any food packaging can actually be recycled (the package should say so clearly), rinse it, let it dry and save it for when recycling collection is going to start again. This should reduce the amount to keep, while avoiding hygiene-related issues.”

– Sara Tecchiato, Associate Director (Paid Search Performance Operations)

“Recently the main thing is trying to buy local and from more sustainable brands. Groceries (which is harder at the moment), clothing, beauty products etc. Also being aware of the products I buy regularly, and how I can reduce the amount of plastic packaging in these areas (using shampoo bars instead of bottles, bamboo toothbrush etc). I’m also attempting to grow my own herbs and some veg, rather than buying from the supermarket! Having come home pre-lockdown without realizing how long for, it means I brought limited belongings, however has made me realize I don’t actually need as much as I think! So hoping this will curb any unnecessary spending habits I have acquired in the past.”

 – Sophia Parsons, Account Director Client Services 

“To me Earth Day means recognizing how lucky we are to be surrounded by so much natural beauty and understanding that we all have a responsibility to protect this planet for all life, present and future. I celebrate Earth Day by reflecting on what more I can do to have a positive impact on the world, for example, recycling more and shopping more sustainably.

To do my bit, I started cycling to work. I have cut down on my meat intake. I try to buy most of my vegetables at a local green grocers who use less plastic packaging. I’m more considerate of environmental impacts when I shop for clothes; looking for longer lasting quality over quantity.”

– Alex Bugle, Senior Account Manager Client Services 

Personally I really support Earth Day very much, and I do try to do something to reduce the waste in my daily life:

– I always keep the recycling paper for printing internal documents and cutting into small pieces to replace notepads.

– It is a tradition that Chinese people give Red Packets to all staff during Chinese New Year, and this year I designed the red packet packing and printed on the recycled paper to reduce waste.

– I prepared some tableware in the office and encourage everyone to use them instead of using disposable tableware from take away meals. 

– I sometimes buy second-hand things, and also share out my used things to people in need.

– I use Hong Kong-made Mil Mill Toilet Rolls which is made of recycled paper, this can support local business as well

– Gladys Hou, Office Manager 

 

We hope to inspire our people at ForwardPMX and beyond to join Earth Day’s for 24 hours of action. Earthday.org provides some fantastic inspiration for ways to get involved in Earth Day from your own homes. They include:

  • Share your air: document your air quality with the ec2020 app
  • The great global (solo) cleanup
  • Create for the earth
  • Make climate a class
  • Share your #hopeforearth
  • Act on plastic pollution
  • Make your next meal plant-based
  • Go clean energy

Many more are available here via Earthday.org.

TransformFP (TFP) is the social impact arm of our business and has been a curated and cared for part of ForwardPMX for many years now. The TFP team is dedicated to integrating social purpose into the everyday TransformFP, grounded in the mission of harnessing the talent of our people to support changemakers to tackle some of society’s toughest challenges. Most recently we devoted focus to re-imagining how we’re working to this mission, with the support of social innovation agency Impactful  

Under our Sustainability Pillar, in 2020 we are stalwart in understanding how we can work more sustainably as a company in achieving our business mission. To thrive in the future, we realize we need to understand the environmental impact we are having today. With 25 offices globally, we aim to fully review our existing supply chain spend, identifying areas of opportunity to switch to ethical and social suppliers, everything from where our coffee beans come from to ensuring we have chemical free cleaning products, recycled stationary and environmentally informed waste practices etc.

At ForwardPMX we have partners dedicated to tackling environmental challenges, and we intend to seek further partnerships with this same focus in 2020. 

  • Plastic Shed is based in Manchester. They’re a Social enterprise that works with local schools and communities to repurpose plastic waste through workshops and creative classes.
  • Supply Change is a London-based business who connects organizations that require goods and services, with social suppliers who can deliver quality and a positive impact. In partnership with the Social Value Exchange they’ve created the Social Enterprise and Community Organizations Directory, which enables public sector organizations and corporate businesses to see who they can either buy goods and services from or offer financial and non-financial support to during Covid-19 times. They are continuing to add organizations on a weekly basis.

 Organization Spotlight: 

  • Kiss the Ground is an environmental nonprofit organization that a dedicated FP team out of our LA office supports pro bono. Kiss the Ground’s mission is to inspire global regeneration and effectively reverse climate change, starting with soil. Why soil? Regenerative agriculture, which begins with healthy soil, actually sequesters carbon and therefore restores the earth to balance. Since being established in 2013, KTG has since educated millions of people across the globe through their everyday work, their specialized soil advocacy courses, as well as other educational initiatives that empower passionate citizens to help lead their communities to engage more responsibly with the environment.

As a business, we are seeking to understand how we rebalance our carbon emissions across three models; Offsetting – portion of spend given to projects that have positive effects on the environment for every flight we take, Investing – fundraising to invest in environmental focused ventures/social enterprises and Developing – offering our digital marketing expertise pro-bono to support environmental organizations. 

We hope that you all will celebrate Earth Day in ways most meaningful to you. Stay safe, healthy and inspired everyone.

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