An indicator species is one whose condition tells us about the state of the environment and the ecosystems in which it lives. Lichens, bees, frogs and butterflies are just a few examples. These indicator species can tell us whether not only their existence is in danger because of environmental damage, but perhaps ours as well.
The theme of Earth Day 2019 is protecting our planet’s species. As we take time to reflect today (and hopefully more so in the future) it’s important to understand the small yet incredibly vital elements of a healthy ecosystem. When one part of that ecosystem stops functioning correctly, when an external actor is introduced into this delicate balance of organisms, the effects can be far-reaching.
At Intelex one of our core tenets has been to do business in a way that minimizes potentially damaging impacts on the environment. While we may not have a direct line to the frogs or bees or other indicator species, we do work with experts in-house to help guide best practice. Working with experts in EHSQ enables us to read the signs, develop best practices and create strategies to build a more sustainable business model.
I asked our EHSQ experts, Scott Gaddis and Nicole Radziwill, what businesses and individuals should be thinking about on this day and what strategies we can implement to help promote environmental sustainability and corporate responsibility.
“Earth Day 2019 and the theme ‘Protect Our Species’ is a clear and motivational focus for all of us to contemplate and respond to. All of us have a responsibility to help protect the environment from climate change, deforestation, pollution, excessive chemical use and habitat loss. It’s simple: Earth Day is our ‘rallying cry’ to meet the needs of the current generation with great stewardship of the earth and strengthen the ability of future generations to meet their needs.
Several actions you might consider are to ensure that you are heard by writing your elected officials on environmental matters, to join an organization that can help influence government policy and change public opinion on environmental matters, and, most importantly, to make every day Earth Day by making lifestyle changes at home and in your community while sharing your passion with those closest to you, your family, and friends. “
“How can we monitor our own operations to ensure compliance to environmental rules and regulations, while still making sure that we can contribute to solutions for large-scale environmental challenges? To me, Earth Day is about awareness — raising the profile of tools and techniques available to us at a personal level, as well as at the organizational and societal levels — to help us protect our planet.
In the US, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been dedicated to providing the structures and policies to support a cleaner, healthier environment since 1970. Other countries have implemented similar governance to protect the environment. The policies and regulations issued by these governing bodies can be supplemented by management systems — like ISO 14001 — that provide a cyclical, iterative framework for linking strategy with objectives, monitoring performance, and continuous improvement. Many research studies suggest that companies that attend to environmental and social factors also tend to have stronger financial performance. So what are you waiting for? Protecting the Earth is good for business.”
We hope you will join us in celebrating Earth Day 2019 and reflecting on how human activity has a far-reaching and potentially devastating impact on the success of our planet and the continuation of its varied and rich species. While the life of a bee or butterfly may seem small and insignificant, it is usually the success or failure of the most vulnerable parts of a system that can give us the most information. Let’s try and listen a little more closely.
Earth Day campaigns
Intelex Ultimate Mission: Help stop global warming. Globe and Mail.