22 April 2024

Global Challenges, Local Actions: the Significance of Earth Day 2024

Earth day 2024 - POLIMI GSoM

"Two Years to Save the World": the UN Executive Secretary on Climate Change, Simon Stiell, spoke on this subject at Chatham House in London. Taking a deliberately strong tone right from the opening, he wanted to emphasise the seriousness of the moment and how essential the next two years are for taking action in support of our planet. In his speech, he recalled how crucial each country's climate response is in a context where record heat is affecting all economies and influencing different habitats in different ways. Many states are drafting new climate plans, but the need for a greater reduction in emissions is clear. Against this backdrop, Earth Day 2024 is being celebrated on 22 April. Never before has celebrating the day aimed to involve everyone, to raise awareness, because protecting the planet is everyone's responsibility.

The history of Earth Day: from 1962 to 2024

At a time when record temperatures are shaking the foundations of our economies and threatening natural habitats, it is essential for every nation to act decisively. While many countries are drawing up climate plans, the urgency of the situation calls for even greater emissions reductions. It is against this backdrop that we celebrate Earth Day 2024 on 22 April.

Fighting Plastic: the theme of Earth Day 2024

Earth Day is not just a day on the calendar. It is a reminder of our responsibility towards Mother Earth, our shared home. It originated in 1962 with the groundbreaking publication of Rachel Carson's "Silent Spring", and in 1970 gained official recognition by the United Nations. Since then, it has become a moment of global reflection and concrete action. 

The Global Commitment Against Pollution

This year's theme, “Planet vs Plastics, confronts us with the challenge of plastic pollution. Pending the approval of the UN treaty on plastic pollution by the end of the year, we must intensify our efforts to reduce plastic consumption and protect our oceans and lands.

POLIMI GSoM: daily habits towards the goal

We as an institution also join this daily struggle. We are aware that even the smallest actions can make a difference. Every gesture counts.

Through our educational offerings, we prepare the leaders of the future to face environmental challenges and adopt innovative solutions. From sustainable resource management to designing eco-friendly business models, we equip students with the knowledge and skills needed to drive change towards a greener, more sustainable world.

Our campus management reflects our focus on sustainable practices. For example, we have reduced paper consumption and, in addition to waste separation, we promote the collection of items that can be reused. On the Navigli campus, we have also adopted mechanisms to limit the energy consumption of our lighting and air-conditioning systems and we constantly monitor air quality through sensors.

But we don't stop there: after joining the CO2 coalition manifesto for Europe in 2022, we started working on calculating our emissions (starting with Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions in 2023) and funding projects to offset our School's environmental footprint.

Over the past year, through our collaboration with Green Future Project, we have supported projects including:

  • the generation of 755,550 MWh of clean energy at the Tamil Nadu wind farm in India;
  • the regeneration of mangrove forests through the planting of native species at the Marovolavo plant site in Madagascar;
  • the preservation of the Canandé reserve in Ecuador;
  • the conservation of the Narupa reserve in Ecuador.

Several ambitious international actions in Asia, Africa and South America which, together with our other activities, allowed us to offset a total of 1,252 tonnes of CO2

Along with the crucial commitments to preserve and regenerate our planet, individual practices are of paramount importance. It is essential to promote a change in mentality and full awareness of the virtuous actions to be taken. Therefore, in addition to institutional initiatives, at POLIMI GSoM we have implemented several actions aimed at sustainability, including:

  • The adoption of a paper-free policy and the total elimination of printers from our Navigli campus;
  • Strict control of the supply chain, favouring only suppliers who meet the highest standards in terms of sustainability;
  • Sustainable mobility incentive policies, through welfare plans for the use of public transport;
  • focus on staff training on issues crucial to safeguarding the ecosystem. A tangible example is the ongoing Climate Fresk workshop involving the entire staff of the Business School, focusing on environmental sustainability and climate change.

Every day is Earth Day: every action counts

Each day is Earth Day. And every action mattersIt's time to act, because protecting our planet is a commitment that concerns us all.

22 April 2024

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