AXON’S Sustainability Series – finding our why!

Starting the day before Earth Hour, this month we hosted a Sustainability Series, watching weekly TedTalk sessions, followed by a passionate discussion on the issues raised in each video, and ending with a live event on Earth Day.

The aim of the series was to learn, share ideas and inspire change regarding the topic of sustainability…..and it was a huge success!

The TedTalk Series

Week 1: Why you should be a climate activist

Climate activist Luisa Neubauer shared some startling facts about the climate crisis, the importance of acting now and simple recommendations for making a difference, including:

  • Tell your local parliamentarian that you want this topic to be a priority in every election
  • Write to your preferred newspaper and asking them to report on this matter in every issue
  • Investigate if your bank invests in fossil fuels and, if it does, looking to move your account

Week 2: My country will be underwater soon, unless we work together

In this TedTalk, Kiribati President Anote Tong explained the impact of rising sea levels on his country, and that “in order to deal with climate change, there’s got to be sacrifice and commitment.” The team learnt that if you’re finding that your actions against climate change are easy, then you’re probably not doing enough; there’s always more you can be doing.

Week 3: A healthy economy should be designed to thrive, not grow

Oxford economist Kate Raworth discussed the question: ‘Can an economic model obsessed with growth be sustainable?’ As a company, it was hugely important to remember that economies don’t need to follow an “ever-rising line of growth” to be successful, and that we should “reimagine the shape of progress” to meet the increasingly important consideration of sustainability.

Week 4: The link between climate change, health and poverty

This TedTalk highlighted a number of important topics in economic and social justice, particularly surrounding health. Physician Cheryl Holder shared that “for the poor and vulnerable, the health impacts of climate change are already here.” As a team who are passionate about diversity and inclusion, and specialise in health matters, this talk left the Healthcare team investigating pro-bono options to support organisations combatting the health implications of climate change. It was also the inspiration for the topic of our live event.

Live Event: The link between climate and social justice – why these forms of justice must go hand in hand, with external speaker Ayo Sokale

To mark the occasion of Earth Day, we hosted an internal virtual event discussing the link between climate and social justice with speaker Ayo Sokale – Chartered Civil Engineer, Project Manager & BIM lead for the Environment Agency, Labour and Cooperative Councillor and public speaker. We were in awe of her, and left the event inspired by the knowledge she shared with us!

Get inspired yourself, with a short clip from her presentation here:

 

She taught us a lot about the global issue of climate change and the knock-on social, economic and environmental impacts of environmental inequalities:

  • Environmental justice is the fight to support all communities at a disadvantage and/or at a disproportionate risk of being exposed to environmental hazards – whether due to race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, immigration status, lack of land ownership, geographic isolation, formal education, occupational characteristics, political power, gender or other characteristics.
  • “D&I is nature’s agenda”, and this should be applied to all aspects of life. For example, diversity within a wildflower meadow allows plants to survive different weather conditions; similarly, research has showed that scholar teams with high levels of cultural and ethnic diversity produce the most influential work.
  • “Your actions reflect your priorities.” The first step in acting for environmental justice is to analyse your personal strengths and find a topic that you’re interested in. Then you can focus on what you want to change, before setting out steps to make that change happen by playing to your strengths. In Ayo’s words: “The world needs you to be you!”
  • Friends of the Earth is an environmental network with 70 national member groups and ~5,000 local activist groups, working to combat environmental injustice – find your nearest group here and get involved!
  • Surfers Against Sewage have a selection of working documents to support people to take action against negative environmental impacts on the oceans – check out their website to start leading your own plastic-free community.

If you’re interested in driving positive change to shape the future, then check out AXON’s latest vacancies or contact AXON Europe careers at hr-ldn@axon-com.com – we’d love to hear from you!