Today, BARR Advisory celebrates the 53rd observance of Earth Day by reflecting on the theme—invest in our planet—and sharing ways in which we work toward a sustainable culture.
As environmental risks continue to grow, so does a sense of urgency surrounding sustainability efforts. In a worldwide study by Ipsos, 68% of respondents think we need to act now or risk failing future generations, while only 39% feel confident that there is a clear plan in place to tackle climate change.
With these numbers in mind, let’s take a look at how BARR continues to invest in our planet.
Kyle Helles, head of BARR’s Attest Services, said, “I’m passionate about rising sea levels, rising sea temperatures, and the acidification of our oceans. I live on the coast of Maine where the ocean is rising and acidifying at a much faster rate than the global average. This process puts marine life at serious risk, as well as countless residential homes and primary local industries like lobstering that so many Mainers rely on.”
Last year, Helles took the opportunity during our annual BARR Day of Giving to help clean the coast near her home.
Ashlyn Jones, senior consultant for BARR’s Cyber Risk Advisory, said, “I’m incredibly passionate about the impact human beings have on climate change. I believe it’s irresponsible to live as if we have an unlimited amount of time and resources on this earth.”
Additionally, Helles said she finds ways to stay eco-friendly during her day-to-day activities.
“I try to bike instead of drive whenever possible, and I’m big into recycling and making intentional purchases that will last a long time. I also purchase my produce through a Community Supported Agriculture program with a local organic farm, which is a great way for me to buy local.”
While individual efforts create a big impact, it’s also important for organizations to invest in sustainability. Studies show there can be a direct correlation between sustainable business practices and business performance, where companies who implement Environmental Social Governance (ESG) standards see outcomes like better profitability and employee retention.
“I think it’s important to hold corporations accountable for their actions around pollution, fossil fuel usage, etc.,” said Jones, adding, “That’s why I’m proud to be working for BARR. It feels good to be part of a team that holds themselves accountable and works to continuously improve.”
Many organizations like BARR have adopted green practices in the workplace, especially throughout the past few years. Shifting toward less-wasteful, paperless documentation and work from home initiatives, which helps reduce carbon emissions, are two ways we see organizations taking action.
Here are some additional short and long-term ways in which individuals and organizations can further participate in workplace sustainability:
- Stay mindful of plastic waste at the office and when working from home
- Use local recycling and composting pickups
- Provide eco-friendly materials and resources for your team
- Reduce daily energy consumption by turning off devices when not in use
- Create educational and volunteer opportunities for team members
- Practice to sustainable investing
- Include ESG factors into your business analysis
Jones added that tech will be huge factor when looking toward a sustainable future.
“If we’re trying to reverse the damage that’s been done to our planet, technological advancements will be our saving grace. The real heroes are the engineers and developers who spend their lives looking for solutions such as alternative energy sources.”
The BARR Belong Foundation continues to create initiatives that keep associates engaged in timely causes like Earth Day. This year, each associate was mailed wildflower seeds they can plant at their home, and we look forward to seeing BARR blooms pop-up throughout the country this spring.
Through continued education and environmental initiatives, BARR believes in celebrating our planet on Earth Day and investing in a sustainability culture as a year-round effort.
Are you interested in working for a team that is committed to causes like environmental sustainability? Take a look at BARR’s open positions.