World Environment Day
World Environment Day: Our eco-friendly practices
‘You see, big problems are made up of little ones, and solutions are the same way. They start in this room and end under the sunlight of a new day’
By poet and activist Jordan Sanchez
Since its inception in 1974, World Environment Day has grown into a global platform that has enabled and fostered awareness and political leadership around growing concerns, such as ozone depletion and global warming. This Saturday, June 5, 2021, is also the start of the United Nations decade on ecosystem restoration. Many people, organizations, politicians and businesses over the years have celebrated this day and have participated in promoting national and international public or private environmental initiatives and programs.
The current focus on environmental protection and sustainable development by companies can be explained, among other things, by the impact of the concept of corporate responsibility (CSR). The environmental commitment of companies is associated with sustainable development, which was defined in 1987, after several decades of reflection on the link between economic activities and the environment, by the World Commission on Environment and Development (Brundtland report). For the Commission, sustainable development has to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet theirs. It has three components: economic progress, social justice and the preservation of the environment. Companies are very directly concerned with sustainable development because they can play a crucial role in achieving these three objectives. Corporate responsibility and performance must include an ecological and social approach to its business plan.
In this context, many companies support projects and initiatives that help achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in connection with the ecological transition. At Prodie Santé our commitment is ethical and proactive. It means that we are committed morally through our support for the United Nations Global Compact and actively through creating projects within the company aimed at participating in the construction of a fairer world and the restoration of our ecosystems. It does involve protecting and enhancing biodiversity and preventing and even reducing the degradation of these ecosystems. The background document developed for Environment Day 2021, ‘A Practical Guide to Healing the Planet’, indicates that there are several forms of engagement:
• To act and take initiatives in the field
• To reconsider our behavioural habits to individually and collectively reduce our environmental footprint at the local and/or global level
• To speak up and make our voice heard on the management of local projects to put pressure on decision makers
Our ecological approach is therefore very concrete and transversally integrates these forms of participatory engagement. At Prodie Santé, we have already set up a carpooling and shuttle service to drastically reduce the number of cars within the company. We collect and send batteries and coffee capsules from our various offices to the community recycling centres. Soon, all our teams worldwide will be composting (our Canadian office currently leads this initiative). In the coming months, we plan to shift almost exclusively to homemade organic household products made by our co-workers. Finally, the new software for our customer relationship management (CRM) allows us to save paper drastically.
Among the various tools at our disposal to make our voices heard, our new website under construction, Prodie Santé Wellness, will be dedicated to promoting a healthier lifestyle that respects our environment and our desire to put forward ecological solutions to our daily problems. It is about making nature protection a crucial topic for the business world and placing the fight against climate and biodiversity crises at the centre of private-sector decisions. It is our responsibility and our duty to invest in these structural transformations. No matter the scale of our actions, we have an individual and collective mission to reimagine, recreate and restore our ecosystems.