22nd August 2020 was Earth Overshoot Day. This marks the date when our demand for ecological resources in a given year exceeds what planet Earth can regenerate.
Humanity’s ecological footprint has contracted almost 10% since 2019 but only due to disruption by the pandemic and yet we still consume like we had 1.6 Earths.
The global lock-down has given nature some breathing space, but if we are to make the all-encompassing changes necessary to combat climate change and depletion of natural resources, then environmental gains must be planned and systemic, not pushed by crisis.
Most environmental issues can seem too overwhelming to tackle, but plenty of opportunities are within our reach. For one, we can take simple and immediate action to address the growing levels of toxic electronic waste generated by businesses.
To date, governments have been solely focussed on what manufacturers and consumers can do to stop unwanted technology hitting landfill. Concrete actions from the business community remains a glaring omission. With the equivalent of 1000 laptops thrown out every second and the amount reaching new highs each year, businesses with poor IT disposal practices cannot deny their part in this alarming situation.
Business leaders must use their influence to introduce greener, more responsible processes that significantly reduces e-waste. Managing business-critical technology like laptops, smartphones and desktops more sustainably and ensuring used devices are given a second life is a must and easy to introduce into IT operations. I’m calling on all business leaders now to make this year the year to take a stand and make that change.