Life on LandSeptember 2022
Last month we looked at Sustainable Development Goal 9: ‘Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure’, celebrating the advanced technology features we’ve designed for our products and what’s new from our research and development teams across the group. We also provided a ‘Beginner’s Guide’ to Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions reporting.
This month we focus on Sustainable Development Goal 15: Life on Land
This goal is about protecting and restoring land-based ecosystems – from combatting desertification and degradation of land quality to promoting sustainable use and management of forests and woodlands to halt biodiversity loss.
This takes many forms, from combatting poaching to including biodiversity values in government planning, conserving land-based habitats, and reforestation.
Why is Biodiversity loss bad?
The Earth’s natural assets are made up of plants, animals, land, water, the atmosphere and humans. This means if there is a biodiversity crisis, millions of people face a future where food supplies are more vulnerable to pests and disease, and where fresh water is in irregular or short supply.
In short – it’s everyone’s problem.
One million animal and plant species, out of a total estimate of 8 million, risk extinction, many within decades. This has been referred to as the Earth’s 6th major extinction event.
There are 5 main threats to Biodiversity:
Land & Sea Use Change
Including habitat loss and degradation.
E.g. Expanding the UK road network, which physically intrudes on natural habitats.
Makes the environment unsuitable for survival directly and indirectly. This can be noise, air or water pollution.
E.g. Overharvesting of tree species for their wood, such as mahogany, leaves them under threat.
Global temperature changes make areas uninhabitable for species currently located there and changing rainfall patterns, extreme weather events, and ocean acidification put pressure on species survival.
Invasive Species & Disease
Compete with native species for space, food and other resources; sometimes spread disease that native species have no immunity of.
Why is this relevant to The Traffic Group?
When introducing Corporate Social Responsibility, we felt it was important to focus on a variety of goals within our Policy Aims that are both industry and non-industry related, and that cover all three areas of sustainability: Biosphere, Society and Economy.
All three areas are equally as important and interrelated
Authentic in our willingness to make a difference (it’s not a self-serving agenda)
Ensure everyone’s areas of interest are included
Include major issues faced by the UK, not just our industry, as we’re a UK group
This ‘Wedding Cake’ diagram shows you which goals sit in each category, and how the categories are interlinked:
Why ‘Life on Land’?
- As part of our ‘Community Responsibility’ Policy Aim, we are responsible for taking care of our local natural environment.
- This is a core goal for the Biosphere area of sustainability.
- This is an area where the UK is poorly performing compared to all 17 SDGs.
- Our association with the UK road network provides an opportunity to focus on the impact our highways have on natural habitats.
- All group locations are landlocked, so a land-related SDG is more relevant to us than ocean-related SDGs.
How are we going to help?
Firstly, we’re going to choose a charity partner to support as a group. This means all our voluntary and monetary efforts will be concentrated in one area to make the biggest impact and in exchange, we can learn more about the issue and ways to help – both at work and at home.
As there are so many ways to help, we’d love to know what you think.
Please take a look at the following categories and share your thoughts using the link below.
Rewilding is a specific form of conservation aimed specifically at restoring and protecting natural processes and wilderness areas. It emphasises humans stepping back and leaving an area to nature.
This involves reintroducing a plant or animal species (especially a keystone species or apex predators such as the gray wolf or lynx) into a habitat from which it has disappeared.
- Successful projects need little ongoing human attention, which saves resources.
- Poorly executed projects can have an adverse effect on biodiversity.
2. Urban Greening
Urban Greening is exactly what it sounds like. It’s public landscaping and urban forestry projects that create mutually beneficial relationships between city dwellers and their environments – aka making cities greener.
This looks like covering roofs and walls in plants and adding street trees and small pocket parks.
- Creates natural habitats in urban areas.
- Has mental health benefits.
- Acts as sinks for carbon dioxide and heat, making cities more resilient to climate change
- Increased irrigation, fertilizer, mowing and leaf blowing mean upkeep can be costly and polluting.
Conservation is a very common way of preserving life on land, and consists of preserving, protecting and restoring natural areas and the wildlife that lives there.
Some of the largest conservation non-profits in the UK include the National Trust, Woodland Trust, and the RSPB.
- Effective and established way of preserving nature and land biodiversity.
- Limited to the areas controlled by the trust or non-profit.
- Donations to larger trusts can be diluted by wages for permanent staff, building upkeep, etc.
We are pleased to announce that we have now published our first-ever Sustainability Report!
his Sustainability Report highlights the progress that has been made towards our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policy aims. Most of the statistics relate specifically to 2021, but there are also examples included from preceding years that we take pride in sharing.
We have now reached a size that means we have the available resources to start effectively reporting our CSR activities. These reports will be published annually and will allow us to benchmark our Group’s efforts against previous years.
A huge thank you to all those involved in this project. I look forward to sharing more positive news and progress made by The Traffic Group in this new area.