Earth Day 2020 – Why should innovators and startups take notice?

Belinda Gibbons, resident expert on the Principles of Responsible Management Education, like many of us, finds herself clinging to our earth like never before.

Whether this is due to the need for outdoor activity or interaction, an activity much like the rest of us, she took for granted a couple of months ago. Or perhaps it is knowing that while humanity is in crisis, the earth is slowly regenerating. Pollution rates are dropping, rivers are becoming more clear and carbon and nitrogen dioxide levels are falling as nature bounces back. However, in this time of great environmental recovery, we have been impacted by the loss of thousands of jobs and those who are vulnerable are even more in danger than before.

Started in 1970, Earth day is about understanding and taking action to reduce the impact of industrial development on the planet. In the fifty years since the first earth day, science has progressed to provides us with evidence-based policy decisions that have changed air and water laws. Innovations have seen the rise of solar energy, increased battery storage technology, zero-emission targets, circular economy concepts, water conversation, and packaging material conservation. As big a feat as this is, it is NOT enough.

To drive meaningful action for our planet in businesses, we need to use the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal framework. The SDG framework provides a common language and lens through which we can take a holistic view of our ideas and support Earth Day’s objectives. In particular:

  • Clean Water and Sanitation
  • Affordable and Clean Energy
  • Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • Responsible Consumption and Production
  • Climate Action
  • Life under Water
  • Life on Land

To raise awareness and build on the current mind shift and behavioral changes that have occurred due to COVID-19 to reduce the demands we place on the environment we need to ask ourselves what could we do better?.

Innovators and start-ups need to holistically examine their current business ideas and endeavor to align them with the United Nations CDG’s. Think about the impact your startup is having on the earth. Analyze the impact it could have! What could you do differently that you just hadn’t thought of before?

Read more on Belinda Gibbon’s thoughts on Earth Day and why it should matter to Innovators and Startups here.


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