Sustainability

A better world must be inspired by humanity not crisis

By Eline Lhoest
August 21, 2020

Tomorrow is Earth Overshoot Day. This means that just seven months and 22 days into 2020, we have already consumed a year’s worth of the Earth’s resources.

Earth Overshoot Day marks the date when humanity has devoured all the natural resources the Earth can renew during the entire year. In other words, we now need 1.6 Earths to meet our demand for natural resources.

However, as a result of COVID-19, this year’s date is more than three weeks later than in 2019. It’s now back to a level not seen during the last 15 years.

 

14.5% CO2 decrease

According to the Global Footprint Network, which calculates the day, this year has seen a 9.3% reduction in natural resource use compared to last year. Headline figures include a 14.5% decrease in CO2 emissions and an 8.4% reduction in wood harvesting.

At the height of the pandemic we were offered a future vision of what a low emission, low pollution and low resource-use world could look like. Realising this vision of a better world doesn’t require society and the economy to grind to a halt. Change is possible if we all play our part to do things differently.

 

It’s a better world we should all aspire to. But it is a world that must be shaped by humanity, not by disaster.
Siân Hughes, Knauf Insulation’s Director of External Affairs

“This year Earth Overshoot Day is more relevant than ever because the pandemic demonstrated that communities can work together for a common cause — to keep everyone safe,” said Siân Hughes, Knauf Insulation’s Director of External Affairs.

“This energy and sense of common cause must now drive an ambitious recovery that focuses on creating a better world. We need to take dramatic action to reduce emissions and drive circular economies that recycle resources.”

 

A post-pandemic green recovery

So, what are we doing about this at Knauf Insulation?

We have consistently campaigned to put renovation of buildings at the heart of any environmental action. This is because buildings produce up to 36% of emissions and consume 40% of energy.

We have supported countries such as the UK, Italy and Germany, which have announced massive renovation schemes. These will help create thousands of new jobs, improve living conditions and cut emissions.

We have actively campaigned for the EU budget 2021-2027 and recovery plan to help drive mass renovation across the continent.

“Later this year we will also announce a new sustainability strategy for our company. We have worked hard to cut our emissions and energy use by 20% over the past decade. We have reduced our waste to landfill by almost 70%, but we know that in the next five to 10 years we need to be more ambitious,” added Siân.

Earth Overshoot Day is a reminder of why we all need to be ambitious if we want a better world.