When skinflint was founded a decade ago we made a conscious decision to actively promote product circularity by salvaging and restoring lights rather than producing and adding to the waste pile. Reducing, reusing and recycling our product range means sustainability always has - and always will be - at our very core. We know that others passionately share our ethos of looking after our planet whilst taking steps to becoming as carbon neutral as possible, but we must all step up our commitment to addressing climate breakdown. Which is why as a business we are officially declaring a climate emergency and pledging to take immediate action about climate change by releasing the results of our carbon audit.
What does declaring a climate and ecological breakdown emergency mean?
There are many different definitions but broadly, declaring a climate emergency is an acknowledgement that fundamental change is required in order to respond to scientific predictions of global warming. This change must mitigate climate breakdown, defined as an irreversible change to the earth and the extinction of many species. At skinflint we are aligned with Extinction Rebellion’s view that this involves three elements:
- Committing to tell the truth about the reality of the climate breakdown. This is an emergency and we will treat it as one.
- Acting now to take radical steps to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero by 2025.
- And, that we share the belief that we are stronger together, working with others to create new solutions together.
Who else has declared a climate emergency?
At the time of writing (28 August 2019), a total of 967 jurisdictions in 18 countries around the world have declared a climate emergency, amounting to 212 million citizens - 47 million of these living in the UK. The UK Parliament as well as many British universities and businesses have officially declared a climate emergency. This is a start, but urgent action still needs to be taken.
What are the facts?
- We are on track to reach a global temperature rise of 3 degrees by the end of the century (Nature.com 2018)
- We need to reduce carbon emissions by 50% by 2030 and to zero by 2050 to limit warming to 1.5 degrees (IPCC)
- Over the past two decades, sea levels have risen by 3.2mm per annum (The Royal Society)
- The last five years – from 2014 to 2018 – are the warmest years ever recorded in the 139 years that NOAA has tracked global heat (The National Geographic 2019)
- 60% of wildlife has been lost since 1970 (WWF 2018)
- Climate change will drive the migration of 200 million people worldwide by 2050 (The National Geographic 2019)
- With the current rate of soil degradation, we have 60 years of farming left (Scientific American)
It sounds serious…
It is. At skinflint we have deliberately chosen to fully adopt the language of immediate crisis and existential danger to adequately reflect the emergency situation our earth is in. We are running out of time and must reverse global warming reaching negative emissions as fast as humanly possible. This requires massive whole-of-government effort at a speed and scale never before seen in peacetime. But it has been done before and fast political change is possible if we work together.
What can we do?
At skinflint we believe the best way is to lead by example. As well as the three climate emergency pledges mentioned previously, we are carrying out our own company carbon audit which includes commissioning an independent greenhouse gas emissions report. In the coming weeks we will publish these results, using this to update our sustainability policy, drive further actions to becoming carbon-neutral as fast as we possibly can, and to support projects to cancel out our emissions from the past decade. We are looking forward to embracing new practices and business models that offer solutions to the climate breakdown, and hope other businesses, institutions and individuals will join us on this journey.