Johan Scheepers, SE Director MESAT for CommVault in South Africa

By Johan Scheepers, Systems Engineering Director for MESAT at Commvault

#EarthDay is an annual call to arms for the public (and more recently corporates), to learn more about the beauty of the world and the dangers threatening the natural order. The celebration on April 22 every year, sees the participation of hundreds of millions of people across almost 200 countries.

This year was the 49th annual Earth Day, since its inception in 1970. A date which for many marks, the birth of the modern environmentalism movement. Organised and promoted by the Earth Day Network (EDN), the movement has helped act as a catalyst for governments to pass the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act.

While hundreds of millions of participants is certainly an impressive figure, many more are still needed to persuade the majority of the world’s citizens and corporations to collaborate on what is still the biggest threat to planet Earth and its species – climate change.

Today many people are looking to advanced new technology as the main hope to ‘solve’ the climate change challenge. Artificial intelligence, genetic engineering, the Internet of Things and renewable energies can contribute solutions to this massive and complex issue, but on Earth Day 2019 we are all encouraged to look a little closer to home, and consider more immediate, practical responses to the challenge presented to our planet by climate change.

Ghandi once said: “be the change you wish to see in the world,” and this frames the approach we must all take to reversing climate change and ultimately saving our planet. Increasing global awareness of the subject is certainly important, but the key on Earth Day 2019 is to educate people all over the globe about the role they can play as individuals.

If one person buys an electric car, stops using products with micro-beads or cuts down their plastic consumption that is a good start, but imagine if six billion people actively started to make these kinds of changes too…

It’s one thing to change your behaviour as an individual, but what about corporate behaviour too? It cannot only be left to individual contribution and at Commvault we recognise the role global enterprises have to play in the movement towards more sustainable, greener behavioural practices.

That is one of the reasons we supported (storing and managing all the SPEC mission and 2041 Foundation data), Robert Swan’s South Pole Energy Challenge last year (the first South Polar expedition to rely entirely on ‘clean energy’), and championed a greener approach to Commvault GO18 in Tennessee last October; including the donation of 42,000 sq. ft of exhibit carpet to local housing charities, and replacing the majority of single use plastic with cardboard, china and glass.

If it is possible to power an expedition to one of the most inhospitable environments on the planet through sustainable and greener energy sources, surely it is possible to take greener approaches into the corporate workplace. Corporations of all sizes, especially those in the technology sector, can (and should) be doing much more to lower their own carbon footprints, and that of their customers too.

Ultimately, there is no ‘silver bullet’ to address the issue of climate change. However, the more organisations and individuals can band together around shared objectives, promoted by organisations like EDN and the 2041 Foundation, the more positive the future of our diverse, beautiful and remarkable planet will surely be.