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My name is Mark Bell, and I head up 1Spatial’s Transportation Vertical.  In my spare time I am also studying an EMBA at Warwick Business School, the current focus of which has been my dissertation on the Diffusion of Sustainability Orientated Innovations.  This recent study has opened my eyes to our species impact on our environment and sparked an interest in me on the wider topic of Corporate Sustainability.

Many organisations talk about Sustainability or Corporate Sustainability, but how many of those truly understand what Sustainability is, where the concept comes from, or what it aims to solve?  Organisations who just use the term in their vision statements run the risk of being accused of ‘Greenwashing’, a term coined to describe the approach to sustainability that favours style above substance.

Thankfully, 1Spatial with its 1Community Sustainability Initiatives Team and its list of clients in the Transportation, Government and Utilities sectors, all exposed to the risks of climate change, isn’t a ‘Greenwasher’.

In celebration of Earth Days’ 50th Anniversary, we at 1Spatial are running a series of lunchtime seminars focused on sharing knowledge, stimulating debate, and providing progress on existing sustainability initiatives within our company.  All with a view to enhancing our knowledge of Sustainability and encouraging further innovative action.

Yesterday, we took a brief look at the concepts of Sustainable Development and Corporate Sustainability.  We explored the variety of concepts and their definitions, their historical context and how sustainability is emerging as the overarching badge, bringing together other socially and environmentally focused concepts such as Corporate Social Responsibly and Environmental Management.

We looked at the megatrends driving the move towards Sustainable Development, with special focus on the climate emergency and its potential impact on our societies.

We talked about how the rapid expansion of mankind dramatically increased in the mid-20th century, driven by the resource intensity of the ‘Developed World’, compounded by the rapid growth in the global middle class.

The environmental impacts of our rise in population numbers and increasingly demanding consumption patterns have produced more greenhouse gas emissions.  These gases have been caused by burning fossil fuels and intensive agriculture, raising our planet’s average temperatures to above 1°C, causing a multitude of serious consequences such as the melting of ice sheets, desertification of arable land and the loss of natural carbon sinks.  These rises are set to continue, without radical innovation to wrestle down our carbon use and reduce global temperatures.

We touched on the international and national responses set in place to tackle the climate emergency.  From international action in the form of the 2015 Paris Accord and UN Sustainable Development Goals, to the more recent move by national governments to net zero carbon targets for 2050. We also talked about how organisations like 1Spatial could support the fight against the climate emergency through radical, data driven innovations.

Today, my colleague John Hartshorn will talk about the biodiversity loss and ecosystem collapse, and why this is important to the global economy.

Then on Thursday, my colleague Ben Crowther will wrap up our triptych of seminars by talking about 1Spatial’s sustainability linked initiatives, including our progress with our Environmental Management System, an update on our environmental objectives and a whole host of other exciting 1Community initiatives.

For fully referenced posts on the drivers, impacts and international response to climate change, please see:

Happy Earth Day!