Climate change means culture change

Janice Tyler, sustainability manager at BriggsAmasco
Janice Tyler, sustainability manager at BriggsAmasco

In this blog, Janice Tyler, sustainability manager at BriggsAmasco, discusses waving goodbye to COVID-19, adapting to a changing world and embracing a new way of life.

When I was asked to be a guest speaker at the RCI Show to talk about climate change, I immediately thought of how difficult it is to embrace change. Therefore, I decided to begin by discussing how little steps still get you there, and how they allow time for that change to become embedded in the psyche.

Little did I know that within a couple of months, we would all have to deal with giant-step changes. As a result of this, I’ve changed focus slightly, and this is a brief discussion of why I still believe in the old cliché that you have to learn to walk before you can run.

COVID-19 has blasted us all out of our comfort zones, creating uncertainty and actions that most people wouldn’t dream of doing in a ‘normal climate’. One potential outcome is a reduction in the acceleration of climate change if we continue with these big-step changes once this is all over. Working from home, virtual meetings and travel avoidance will help to reduce emissions and consequently slow down climate change.

Will people and companies expect to return to their old ways, though? It’s probable. Human contact is essential for our wellbeing and being jolted into a total lifestyle change doesn’t always foster an enthusiasm for that change. Of course, the longer this goes on, the more the new ways can become embedded.

Stay focused
We must not become side-tracked with the chaos but keep calm and carry on with our encouragement of taking little steps. One of BriggsAmasco’s latest initiatives, in line with our carbon reduction commitments, is moving towards green energy suppliers for all of our branches.

I had a very positive virtual meeting with our energy management company early on in lockdown, and now have a much better idea of the types of green energy suppliers, what the benefits and costs are, and how soon we can progress towards achieving this in all our branches (one branch is already on board).

The world is changing, and we need to adapt. Green energy is one positive way of doing this. Let’s utilise a resource that doesn’t take millions of years to replenish. Tidal, wind, solar all offer a renewable resource, so let’s invest in them. And let’s hope we can soon wave goodbye to COVID-19 and embrace a new way of life. I truly hope that some of the big changes this has brought about will remain embedded in our psyche.