Earth Day 2023: Investing in a Green Future for Plank
April 21, 2023
Around here, we love Earth Day. Meeting high environmental standards is something we are super passionate about. As the big day approaches, we want to talk a bit about what Earth Day means to us and how we are constantly working to improve upon our own practices to invest in our shared future.
Earth Day 2023
The annual day of celebration and awareness of our planet has made 55 trips around the sun. But the history of Earth Day actually goes beyond that. In 1962, conservationist Rachel Carson published the influential book, “Silent Spring.” The publication raised awareness about contemporary environmental issues and highlighted the negative effects of the chemical industry, particularly the harms caused by pesticides.
While the book laid the foundation for an environmental revolution, it wasn’t until years later that the gears were set into motion. In 1969, a massive oil spill rampaged Santa Barbara, California. As a result, Wisconsin senator Gaylord Nelson became inspired to bring attention to the increasing environmental crisis to college campuses. After bringing activist Denis Hayes on board to spearhead the effort, the campaign grew into a national and eventually global success.
Earth Day is celebrated annually on April 22. This year, the theme is “invest in our planet.” The organizers behind the campaign laid out a number of actionable steps to follow in order to work towards a greener and better future. The mission this year asks individuals and organizations to “act (boldly), innovate (broadly), and implement (equitably).”
It’s important that everyone does their part to achieve a more sustainable world. This means there must be action on both the micro and macro levels in order to make a difference. As an organization, Plank has an obligation to ensure that our own company policies are aligned with our values.
In August 2022, Plank became a Certified B Corporation. As part of this certification process, we evaluated and measured our actions in relation to our standards. We also published our very first Annual Impact Report at the end of 2022. This gave us a great opportunity to reflect on our progress towards achieving our environmental objectives.
When the world shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the way that we work changed enormously. Our homes became our offices, travel became non-existent, and in-person meetings became virtual Zoom calls. In the years since, we have made slow and safe steps to return to a version of normal that more closely resembles the pre-pandemic era. That being said, we have taken a closer look at our travel policies. With the ability to collaborate remotely, we can be more strategic about when and how we travel. This looks like reducing plane travel, finding more sustainable modes of transportation, and attending virtual events wherever possible.
Additionally, we’ve made efforts to improve our office and make it a greener space—and this doesn’t just include our beloved plants! We take great pride in providing environmentally conscious or recyclable office supplies for our Montreal and remote offices. We are taking strides in reducing paper use and ensuring our kitchen supplies are non-toxic and unbleached. In 2022, we did a major cleanout which involved the safe recycling of the things we no longer needed—old files, receipts, and financial documents. We also continuously up-cycle our electronics with our hardware sales where we sell older models to team members when they are no longer in use.
In spite of these strides, we recognize there is always room for improvement. As an organization, we have a long way to go. As a Certified B Corporation, it is in our DNA to be ever-improving. We are continuously looking for ways to reduce our carbon footprint and invest in our planet, and we look forward to sharing our steps with you!