The first week of June sees the spotlight fall on the world’s environment and its oceans, highlighting how the preservation of both is something we can all play our part in for both today and for future generations.
World Environment Day
World Environment Day on 5th June was first designated by the United Nations General Assembly in 1974 and has developed into a global platform for raising awareness and taking action on urgent issues from marine pollution and global warming to sustainable consumption and wildlife crime. Millions of people have taken part over the years, helping drive change in our consumption habits as well as in national and international environmental policy making.
This year’s theme calls for urgent action to revive our damaged ecosystems. Ecosystem loss is depriving the world of carbon sinks, like forests and peatlands, at times humanity can least afford it. Global greenhouse gas emissions have grown for three consecutive years and the planet is on pace for potentially catastrophic climate change. The Emissions Gap Report from 2020 finds that, despite a brief dip in carbon dioxide emissions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the world is still heading for a temperature rise in excess of 3°C this century – far beyond the Paris Agreement goals of limiting global warming to well below 2°C and pursuing 1.5°C.
Reducing our own CO2 emissions
As a business, Waterlogic is committed to reducing its carbon emissions. We have streamlined our supply chain, and in 2020 we saved 1,115 tCO2e (equivalent tons of carbon dioxide) in freight and component parts by meeting 15% of global demand through existing stock.
As far back as 2017, we switched to environmentally friendly refrigerant gases in our water dispenser compressors ahead of the European ban on harmful refrigerant gases that comes into force this year. By the end of 2020, compared to the previous gas used, we reduced the CO2 equivalent by 99.8% per dispenser, saving a total of 30,881 tCO2e.
We continue our focus on refurbishing more dispensers to reduce the strain on production, leverage the associated environmental benefits, and meet the needs of customers’ own environmental agendas. We’re expecting to refurbish 27,000 units this year, and plans are also under investigation to open a European Refurbishment Centre. For those dispensers that reach their end of life and cannot be refurbished, we re-use components. Components that cannot be reused, can be recycled.
World Oceans Day
A United Nations (UN) initiative, the concept of a 'World Oceans Day' was first proposed in 1992 at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro as a way to celebrate our world’s shared oceans and our personal connection to the sea, as well as to raise awareness about the crucial role oceans plays in our lives and the important ways people can help protect them. The 8th of June was officially confirmed as World Oceans Day by the UN General Assembly in 2008.
The world’s oceans – their temperature, chemistry, currents, and life – drive global systems that make the Earth habitable for humankind. Our rainwater, drinking water, weather, climate, coastlines, much of our food, and even the oxygen in the air we breathe, are all ultimately provided and regulated by the sea.
Helping keep our oceans plastic-free
Waterlogic’s commitment to reducing single-use plastic is helping to keep our oceans free of plastic waste, where so much of it ends up. Globally, one million plastic bottles are bought every minute with just 9% recycled. By 2050, it is estimated that our oceans will contain more plastic waste than fish.
The effect of this plastic pollution is detrimental to ocean wildlife such as seabirds, whales, fish, and turtles who mistake plastic waste for prey, and most die of starvation as their stomachs are filled with plastic debris. It is suggested that 700 species of marine animals are in danger of extinction due to plastic.
Our 1.4 million mains-fed dispensers in usage around the globe are helping to save 23.8 billion plastic bottles each year. Other initiatives such as ‘Freefill’ in the UK are encouraging our commercial customers to install bottle filling stations in their premises, helping to save even more single-use plastic. Purezza, our specialist brand for the hospitality sector, has helped eliminate 60 million single-use bottles from the supply chain as of the end of 2020. As more and more people turn their backs on plastic and embrace a refill lifestyle, collectively we can help drive down both the production and subsequent waste of single-use plastics and help preserve our oceans for future generations.
Waterlogic is proud of its efforts to make a real and tangible difference to the environment through the products and services we offer, to the way in which we do business. We are not resting on our laurels and we will continue to focus on improving in all areas. If you have an idea of how Waterlogic can do more to help the environment, please let us know through the usual channels.
Sources: National Geographic; Euromonitor; World Economic Forum; University of California; Hydration in the Workplace.