You had to have noticed by now. The new decade began with unseasonable warmth. The most obvious sign was rain followed by more rain in many parts of the country, but that didn’t seem like more than a minor annoyance. In addition to the odd fact that the Canada Geese still haven’t left New York in mid-January. But what might be marginally annoying to us translates to extremely worrisome for environmental scientists, who see the rain and can’t help but notice the increase in West Nile Virus cases. Where we see goose-poop, they see an increase in Lyme Disease and an overall change in bird migration patterns.
Earth’s climate is changing
“The Earth's climate is changing,” warns the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA[KH1] ). “Temperatures are rising, snow and rainfall patterns are shifting, and more extreme climate events – like heavy rainstorms and record high temperatures – are already happening.” Scientists offer a variety of reasons for the warming trend, including both the possibility that the earth’s temperature is actually in the process of stabilizing following the most recent Ice Age or that human activities are causing the rising levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in our atmosphere.
Greenhouse gas emissions are real
We’re not here to convince you whether climate change is or is not a manmade process. However, greenhouse gas emissions have demonstrated some impact on climate change, which proves that we do in fact have some degree of control over how hot it’s getting and can make change by reducing those very same greenhouse gas emissions. Here are some of the major factors provided by the EPA that are responsible for the increase in the release of greenhouse gases:
- Transportation: Nearly a third of greenhouse gases are attributable to cars, trucks, ships, trains, plains, and other forms of fueled transportation.
- Electricity Production: Over a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions can be attributed to the burning of fossil fuels like coal and gas.
- Industry: Nearly a quarter of our greenhouse gas emissions come from the use of fossil fuel-based energy and chemical reactions that occur in the production of goods from raw materials.
- Commercial/Residential: Over 10 percent of greenhouse emissions come from heating, gas, and handling of waste.
- Agriculture: Nearly 10% of greenhouse gas emissions are, perhaps ironically, produced in farming, including methane gases from livestock, the working of agricultural soils, and rice production.
The “Paper Problem”
One thing that helps offset greenhouse gas emissions is the presence of forests and natural green land, which the EPA states can be credited with cutting slightly over 10% of greenhouse gas emissions. Unfortunately, forests are disappearing, and research indicates our planet’s reliance on paper is a factor in at least 10% of worldwide deforestation. These are not new facts and by now many people are aware of the paper problem, and are already in the process of reducing paper consumption through digital transformation initiatives.
The power to make change happen
But who can ignore the fact that 2019 ended as the second hottest year on record, capping off one of the hottest decades on record? Whether you believe Earth is going through nothing more than a mundane “inter-glacial cycle,” as opposed to a melting trend being hastened by humans, reducing greenhouse gas emissions has the power to slow the creeping up of the thermometer. Which means that we all have the power to control what we’re putting out there.
Who are “we”?
By “we”, we’re referring to both ourselves as individuals and as global citizens. With regard to ourselves as individuals, there are a great many actions to take or refrain from taking , and there are equally as many with regard to ourselves as global citizens. As a company whose mission is to help the business world reduce its reliance on manual processes, Exela is in a unique position to facilitate change amongst our fellow global citizens in the corporate arena.
Our pledge to Planet Earth
Accordingly, “We” at Exela, both as individuals and as global citizens, are pledging to make 2020 the year we make an impact by making less of an impact. We have several initiatives already in development and as a business, we are working to emphasize to our customers and potential customers the importance of incorporating digital transformation, automation and innovation into their businesses for the betterment of the planet. We are planning our inaugural 24-hour global “One River” event, during which Exela employees, friends and family will step in to literally stem the flow of plastic into the vast ocean that comprises nearly three-quarters of the Earth’s surface. As a collection of 23,000 humans across the globe, Exela is, this month, ushering in its “I’m Accountable” campaign, through which we will be asking every single one of our employees to make a personal pledge to take specific action in the interest of environmental sustainability--and to hold themselves accountable. We’ll be keeping track of our progress here on the Exela Blog, so please stay tuned for updates on our “I’m Accountable” campaign.
We look forward to making a big impact by lessening our environmental impact in the coming year and we hope you will do so as well.
Exela Technologies is a global leader in digital transformation, information strategy, and business process automation. Our innovative data-driven business solutions drive growth, competitive advantage, and agility for businesses in all industries. Let us transform your business processes into efficient workflows generating actionable intelligence. Here are just some of the solutions Exela offers that promise to change make your business more efficient and the world a cleaner, more sustainable place.