Print & Packaging
When I write this line on the 18th day of the World largest lockdown, I got flooded with WhatsApp messages on lockdown that may be extended to another 14 days. In the midst so many depressing news, there are multiple positive news on environment & ecological front too. Levels of toxic air pollutants are dropping, and The Himalayas are visible after 30 years from 200miles away; air quality in New Delhi, recently told as one of the worst in the world, has dropped to “satisfactory” levels. But will this sustain once the lockout is relaxed?
As “Economist” reported, a similar pattern unfolded during the global financial crisis of 2007-09, when worldwide CO2 emissions from fossil fuels and cement production dropped by 1.4% in 2009. As this chart shows, in 2010 CO2 emissions were growing again by 5.8-5.9%—faster than they had done since 2003. By the end of the year, annual emissions were greater than they had ever been. So how Future unfolds? Will emission patterns go to pre-covid levels or can we make the world greener? It all depends on our consumption patterns/activities.
I’m highly positive because, If Social distancing becomes a norm, work from home another new normal, we can think of a new scenario where people will value a cleaner and greener tomorrow. The Corona Virus epidemic shows us during the crisis that it is possible to make transformative changes rapidly. We are in different economic zone that what was not dreamt of last month. Every Government across the world have taken drastic actions to protect their citizen’s life over the economy. Surely this crisis must be utilized to usher in global systemic change. It is time to move away from look into a single bottom-line mindset (profit) to triple bottom-line mindset (Profit, Planet & People).
Few examples are as follows
- It is the right time to phase out fossil fuels and change to renewable energy technologies, most of which are now globally available and already economical than fossil fuels in many cases. Government subsidies should also support those opting for renewable energy.
- Coronavirus pandemic is causing a massive rethink in the entire food supply chain starting from the way we produce to the way we eat. Regenerative Agriculture is recommended by sustainable agriculture specialists as it helps to sequester carbon in the soil at a rate that is enough to reverse the climate crisis. The Government is planning for separate eco-labels which creates awareness among customers on the externality effects of what they consume.
- As a responsible business community, printing & packaging converters should consider alternate material choices and their impact on the environment. Projects like Waste recycling, chemical effluent treatment, reducing waste to landfill, using renewable energy to simple process improvements like color management, waste reduction etc should be initiated to reduce business impact on the environment.
By nature, we homo-sapiens are strong and perseverant. We will bounce back again. But we should also examine our flaws, we can build a brighter future than the one this is presently in store for us. Let us embody this second of upheaval as an opportunity to begin making an investment in resilience, shared prosperity, wellness, and planetary fitness. For sometimes, we have been indulging in activities that have exceeded our natural limits; it’s time to strive something new.
“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein.