by Guiomar FERNANDEZ
Wednesday, June 5, 2024

World Environment Day 2024: How can businesses impact sustainability?

World Environment Day 2024 is celebrated globally on June 5. Our ecosystems are in danger. According to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification, “up to 40 percent of the planet’s land is degraded, directly affecting half of the world’s population. The number and duration of droughts has increased by 29 percent since 2000.” Now, more than ever, it is time to join forces to stop this threat. That’s why World Environment Day 2024 focuses on land restoration, reforestation, halting desertification, and building drought resilience under the slogan “Our land. Our future. We are #GenerationRestoration.”  
 

Plenty of initiatives are being developed to combat this issue and restore lands for future generations. In this blog post, we outline some of the actions companies can take to contribute to protecting and preserving the environment.

 

Support organizations that promote reforestation 

Nature, forests, and jungles regulate the earth's temperature and help store carbon. Protection of biodiversity areas and initiatives that aim for restoration, agroforestry, and assisted natural regeneration become imperative. Through these measures, it will be possible to reverse the effects of deforestation, urbanization, industrial development, agricultural expansion, and unsustainable farming practices. Corporations and even small enterprises can support organizations that promote reforestation and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) committed to planting trees in different areas of the globe.

From Markem-Imaje France, we support Reforest’Action, a B Corp-certified company dedicated to preserving, restoring, and creating forests in France and worldwide. Our commitment is to plant one tree in Brazil or Peru for each box of MEK-Free CIJ ink bought. The offer applies to the extrusion sector with the EC582 and EW581 inks and FMCG with the EB588 and FB655 references. The goal is double: to reduce the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) released into the environment and regenerate forests.

Recently, Markem-Imaje Germany started a partnership with EcoMatcher, another Certified B Corporation that plants trees and complete forests with vetted foundations/NGOs specialized in planting trees. In this case, for every new employee in this location, EcoMatcher plants a tree. Besides, the employee can track the tree's evolution.

World Environment Day 2024: EcoMatcher

Conduct an environmental audit

An environmental audit is an evaluation intended to identify compliance, management system implementation gaps and related corrective actions. Nowadays, more and more companies embark on this type of assessment. Through this best practice, companies comply with existing regulations but can also increase employees' and stakeholders' awareness of environmental standards and responsibilities.

Markem Imaje manufacturing sites are on-site audited by external third parties (Sedex Members Ethical Trade) through SMETA audits. This year, 2 SMETA audits will take place, in China and US (Keene). But also, every year with EcoVadis assessment 

Additionally, we obtain and maintain certifications that validate our company practices. That is the case of ISO 14001 audits, which set criteria for an environmental management system for our France, US, China, India, and UK sites. 

 

Invest in renewable energy

The International Energy Agency (IEA), an intergovernmental organization that provides policy recommendations, analysis, and data on the global energy sector, forecasted that renewable energy sources would account for half of the world's electricity by 2030.

Shifting to renewable energy is strongly recommended for companies to reduce their carbon footprint and even save money in the long term. 

Our manufacturing operations in Bourg-les-Valence (in France) already benefit from renewable energy produced by 2,000 square meters of photovoltaic panels. It generates 17% of the site’s energy needs. In addition, we installed 619 solar panels at our Bhiwadi facility in India, generating up to 200kW of renewable energy. Our installation will directly reduce our scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions. We estimate this installation will save approximately 30% of our grid electricity bill.

World Environment Day 2024: Photovoltaic Panels

 

Evangelize your Employees

The environment should be a priority for companies and employees. Moreover, companies should communicate about the climate emergency and promote best practices for both the workplace and our daily lives.

Markem-Imaje launches regular internal campaigns to raise awareness on a wide range of sustainability topics, from reforestation, food loss, and waste reduction to digital file management and email retention policies, among other initiatives.

 

Certificate your progress and promote sustainability 

Certifications play an essential role when it comes to sustainability and the environment. These achievements are more than a logo on a webpage; they can help brands pass an impact assessment, become accountable to stakeholders, improve operations, and connect with customers.

The environment is one of the main pillars of our CSR Audits (Ecovadis & Sedex), which are essential for our key customers as they enable them to assess our environmental responsibility.

Our customers increasingly request the EcoVadis certification, making it an important milestone for us. The EcoVadis platform is designed to help companies better manage and communicate their company's sustainability performance in a clear and actionable way. They provide holistic sustainability rating services for companies.

Markem-Imaje US, Keene, recently achieved the highest EcoVadis certification, the Platinum medal. With this recognition, Keene joins the Bourg-lès-Valence (France) site in the top 1% of industries in the sector. Markem-Imaje China achieved its second Silver Medal, and our site in India got its first one and has just renewed its assessment, whose results are pending now.

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