Our Sustainability Advisor, Maisie Collins, shares her thoughts on the events of this week and how there might just be a silver lining…

What just happened?!

Our Sustainability Advisor, Maisie Collins, shares her thoughts on the events of this week and how there might just be a silver lining…

This week, the UK had more than a glimpse of what our future holds if we don’t take immediate and impactful action to tackle climate change.  We experienced our first ever red warning for exceptional heat as temperatures hit a high of 40.3 degrees Celsius for the first time since records began.  The London Fire Brigade had its busiest day since World War II and declared a major incident in response to a huge surge in fires across London.  Railways cracked and roads melted, causing major disruption across the country.  The transport secretary declared that it would be decades until the infrastructure could cope with such high temperatures.

And in the same week, the High Court ruled that the UK’s net zero strategy was unlawful for being too vague and insufficient to meet our next two carbon budgets in 2027 and 2032.  It seems the built environment as a whole is unlikely to deliver the carbon reductions required.  Meanwhile, the candidates to be the next Prime Minister had to be strongarmed into declaring that they would not try to water down the UK’s 2050 net zero target.  It was very evident that climate action was very low down the priority list of every single candidate.  It all feels like a very empty promise from government just as we are all experiencing human-induced climate change first hand.

This week has been a wake-up call for a lot of people and perhaps presents a silver lining in a week that has delivered hardship for many across the country especially here in London seeing temperatures nearly hit 40 degrees.  There has been an a crazy amount of news coverage about what’s caused the extreme weather, the impact it’s having, and how such events aren’t stopping any time soon.  The climate emergency is something that can be no longer ignored by the general public and government and people now can first-hand see and experience the negative effects it can have. Speaking to colleagues and friends, this is now at the forefront of their minds, which I believe is the silver lining.  The climate crisis is very real and happening now, and whilst government has been found to be falling short, I’m optimistic that businesses and individuals have their eyes wide open.  Nobody wants the events of this week to be the new normal, especially me with my Irish skin!

At Powerday, we been working to reduce our carbon footprint since 2020.  We have set out our 2022 carbon management targets in our latest Sustainability and Wellness Manifesto and these include plans to set a net zero carbon target by the end of this year.  We are also making a focus on our employees this year, helping them reduce their own carbon footprint with monthly tips, promoting our cycle-to-work scheme and providing plastic free alternatives like the new Powerday water bottles we just got or eco-friendly shopper bags instead of plastic bags.