What it means to flick the switch during Earth Hour
By Roger Sharp, Bupa ANZ Chief Sustainability & Corporate Affairs Officer.
This Saturday, Bupa will be joining millions of people worldwide to help #ShapeOurFuture by switching off all street-front signage in corporate offices and retail stores across Melbourne, Brisbane, and Sydney from 8.30-9.30 pm for Earth Hour.
I’ll also be observing Earth Hour in my home; switching off the lights and other electronic devices each year is now an annual ritual for my family, however my thoughts will also turn to the even darker situation planet earth finds itself in.
The very real effects of climate change are now being felt in every corner of the globe, and as we’ve seen closer to home by the devastating floods in NSW and South East Queensland.
Of course, Earth Hour is a symbolic act. You cannot just flick a switch and stop climate change… however what we’re starting to understand is that if you flick enough switches, you can start to make a difference. As the saying goes, every journey starts with a single step.
In recent times, Bupa has taken a number of significant steps to create a better world by building awareness and driving sustainable action. Recognising that climate change needs to be tackled from a range of community, industrial and corporate angles, we have adopted a multi-pronged approach to achieving our goal of becoming a Net Zero business by 2040.
- Sourcing 100 percent renewable energy to meet the energy needs of our Australian locations, including aged care facilities and corporate offices.
- Funding sustainable start-ups through our global eco-Disruptive program.
- Embedding the Bupa Foundation’s new partnerships with UNICEF Australia, Conservation Volunteers Australia, and Project Crimson in New Zealand.
- Funding community organisations focused on sustainability and building mentally healthy and resilient communities at a grassroots level.
Again, we know these are just a start and that much more is needed at a government, business and community level to help restore the health of our planet and give us a chance to reverse the damage. But we need to believe we can do it and can’t do it alone.
The road ahead can seem overwhelming, but with the lights out during Earth Hour we can focus our thoughts on what sort of world we want to live in and make some choices about what we can do to get there.