Ebru Carter, the Communications Team Lead for INSEAD’s Community Impact Challenge, one of its founding members, and Chief Marketing Officer at eevie – Your Climate Guide, shares the importance of protecting our planet this Earth Day.
The global challenge of Covid-19 has rocked the world and is still very much dominating the headlines. Being confined in my home, it has given me ample time to think about what we can do better when this is over, to ensure a similar pandemic does not re-emerge.
As we approach Earth Day on April 22nd with this year’s theme of “Restore Our Earth,” I reflect on my 18-month journey with the Community Impact Challenge (CIC). CIC consists of climate-passionate volunteers who are affiliated with INSEAD, and supported by its Hoffmann Global Institute for Business and Society. When I joined CIC in fall 2019, I did it as a promise to myself to become active in supporting the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
My MBA class on Strategy and Impact left me with the strong feeling that each one of us must do more to fight climate change, and to support social justice. But how could I expect others to do something, if I was not? After all, most of the climate change trends we are seeing today were created during the 1950s, the time of the Great Acceleration and thus during my own lifetime. As a mother and a concerned human being, I wished to return the damages previous generations have caused for the benefits of our descendants.
I joined the CIC because of its strategy to ignite powerful networks of individuals from the INSEAD community to take action towards the SDGs. Since then, a community of ambitious and driven volunteers developed and provided practical and purposeful tools that have empowered individuals to reduce and offset their environmental footprint. Since the official inauguration of the CIC in December 2019, the group has created two challenges tackling in particular SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities, SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production, SDG 13: Climate Action, and SDG 14: Life Below Water.
Webcard from our CIC 2020
The first challenge tackled Single-use Plastics (SUP). SUP is increasingly disturbing our environment and worsening climate change. The production, which uses fossil fuels, emits large amounts of greenhouse gases, and the plastics eventually end up in the oceans - having already created two large patches in the North Pacific, also called the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Sea animals such as whales are consuming larger or smaller debris, with many sadly found on shores filled with plastic in their stomachs.
With the Single-use Plastic Challenge, the CIC engaged over 2,300 people in 90 countries, with those participants further engaging 181,000 people within their networks. The Boston Consulting Group issued a report predicting that if the challenge participants continued with their newly acquired habits, they could save up to 4.5 tons of plastics per year from ending up on landfills or oceans.
The second challenge was the Sustainable Food Habits Challenge, where the community became more aware of the interconnection of carbon emissions and the food we eat. Through the challenge, we encouraged over 5,000 participants to reduce their consumption of animal products such as meat and fish, to source food more sustainably and to reduce food waste, all having a significant impact on greenhouse gas emissions. As we eagerly await the results of this challenge, we hope the impact and awareness will only continue to grow well beyond the challenge.
Similar to the Earth Day celebrations, which are running from April 20th – 22nd, CIC has created the much-needed awareness for the problems we face, educated with qualitative and science-based content and started mobilising a large community to alter their behaviour to revitalise our earth – one challenge at a time.
Keen to be part of the next CIC’s Challenge? Join the Race To Zero Accelerator! Find out more here.
Curious about our other stories on the school’s walk-the-talk on sustainable habits? Explore them here:
- Cooking Up Sustainable Food Habits at INSEAD
- INSEAD and Ecovadis: Two Decades of Sustainability in Business
- Earth Day 50th Anniversary at INSEAD
- INSEAD Sustainability Report showcases action towards global goals