International Mother Earth Day: building a healthy planet for our children
Earth Day has its roots in the 1960s in the United States. One of the fundamental factors that led to the creation of this day was the great social activism of a large part of the population in the face of the fact that environmental issues did not feature as part of the country’s political agenda.
Years later, on April 22, 1970, a US senator from the state of Wisconsin raised his voice and called for one of the largest demonstrations that had ever been held, with more than 20 million people participating across the country, with the involvement of thousands of universities, public schools and communities. This is how the American people expressed their concern about what was happening on the planet and demanded the creation of a dedicated agency to watch over the environment.
This protest bore fruit, and two years later the United States government created the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with the aim of improving air and water quality. The government also passed a series of laws focused on environmental protection. Another important milestone achieved as a result of that demonstration was the holding of the first international summit in Stockholm to try to make other world leaders aware of environmental problems.
Since those first acts, protests and summits, different actions have been carried out on July 22 around the world. For example, in Asia, a multitude of mountaineers from all over the world went on an expedition to Everest to collect trash. In France, people joined arms to form a human chain 800 kilometers long along the bank of the river Loire, while in Italy, people came together to block a large number of roads around the country to protest against the damage caused by vehicle emissions.
What’s the theme for International Earth Day 2022?
In 2009, a resolution of the United Nations General Assembly officially recognized April 22 as World Earth Day, with the aim of making humanity aware of the problems generated by our actions in nature.
The theme for this year is “Invest in our planet“, which calls on the entire population, political groups and companies to go green and fight the climate crisis to “build a healthy planet for our children.” All parties across the political divide are called on to act: “now is the moment for unstoppable courage to preserve and protect our health, our families, and our livelihoods.”
We’re taking action to combat the climate crisis
One of our objectives is to be an active agent of this necessary and urgent transformation toward a low-carbon economy, and towards the sustainable development of the planet. We are #PlayingOurPart through action in areas such as the protection of species and their habitats, reforestation projects, the corporate volunteering program, the reforestation of the Doñana National Park, the Bosque project, and the cleaning of natural spaces.
In addition, we hold a series of environmental certificates that attest to the work we do for the environment within the framework of management model, such as ISO 14001, ISO 50001 and ISO 14064 and Zero Waste, which ensure our environmental commitment based on general corporate services, the design, development and commercialization of our insurance activities, and the quantification and verification of our group’s carbon footprint.
In the face of the global climate emergency, and the need for a solution on a global scale, at MAPFRE we want to be part of the change through the creation of our Corporate Environmental Footprint Plan 2021-2030, giving continuity to the previous Energy Efficiency and Climate Change Plan 2014-2020, this time incorporating other environmental variables into the adaptation and mitigation processes.
This plan includes 8 decisive lines of action to achieve a reduction of at least 50 percent in the group’s carbon footprint by 2030.
- Energy Efficiency: Improving the energy efficiency of buildings is key to reducing environmental impact.
- Sustainable buildings: We are committed to executing all new construction projects and major renovations with the aim of obtaining sustainable building certificates, which will mean significant savings in multiple environmental aspects.
- Carbon footprint: We are committed to cutting the Group’s carbon footprint by at least 50 percent by 2030 compared to 2019.
- Sustainable mobility: We will reduce the impact of the carbon footprint of our vehicle fleet by reducing the number of trips, promoting work methods that require less physical presence and the use of more ecological means of transport.
- Water management: We will reduce water consumption by 2024 and 2030 compared to the 2019 baseline, harvesting rainwater and reusing drinking water, in addition to identifying facilities in areas of water stress, and carrying out awareness campaigns.
- Circular economy: We are transitioning toward a circular economy through the use of sustainable materials, reducing our waste generation, doing business with waste management partners whose business models are in line with the principles of circularity and the promotion of projects related to the circular economy.
- Green procurement: Our objective is to deploy a model for the purchase of products, services, works and contracts, which incorporates an evaluation model that includes environmental aspects that ensure the minimum environmental impact during the life cycle of the goods or services involved.
- Management of natural capital and preservation of biodiversity: We will act on the recovery of ecosystems through solutions based on nature and the preservation of biodiversity.
Promoting change and taking action to combat climate change and commemorate International Mother Earth Day is not only within the reach of institutions and companies: individuals can also invest in our planet directly, either through the decisions we make as consumers, organizing an event to clean up our environment, or lending our voice to spreading the word about the urgent need to reduce our carbon footprint and minimize other harmful effects on our environment.