Welcome to First Capital’s Climate Action Video and Blog Series. In this four-part series, we’ll be discussing the climate crisis facing our planet, identifying the three largest contributors to climate change, and talking about how we can take action in both our homes and in the workplace to create positive change.
Since 2006, First Capital has committed to corporate sustainability through a variety of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) initiatives. As leaders in the commercial real estate industry, we believe it is our responsibility to drive sustainability efforts and are committed to doing our part.
Ever wondered how you can take action to help offset climate change? Climate change is a journey, and it affects us all. Let’s work together to create a promising future for our planet and generations to come.
Climate Change & Taking Action
What is climate change?
Climate change is the long-term shifts in temperatures and weather patterns due to human activity. It is one of the most pressing challenges humanity currently faces. In looking at the state of our environment, we can see the effects of climate change all around us such as extreme weather, rising sea levels, melting glaciers, and more. The push for global climate action has never been greater and we are in a defining moment. Now is the time to take action before climate change becomes irreversible.
So, what can we do?
The good news is that no matter who you are or where you live, there are actions you can take to make a difference. Did you know that buildings and homes account for 40% of global energy consumption and 30% of greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs)? By making small changes in our buildings, homes, and workplaces, we can make a positive impact. Something as simple as turning off the lights and unplugging appliances when not in use can save up to 25% on our energy bills and reduce our carbon footprint by 1 ton per year.
A common misconception we hear often is that people believe making minor lifestyle changes such as cutting out meat one day a week or opting to bike to work every so often won’t make a difference. While this may be an accurate assumption on a singular scale, the truth is that if everyone (or a large group of people at least) adopts these practices, together we can improve the livelihood of our planet.
Transportation is another significant area where we can make a difference. Did you know that transportation is responsible for 23% of global energy-related GHGs? Replacing single occupancy car rides with walking, biking, or public transit can significantly reduce air pollution and subsequently better our carbon footprint. In fact, taking public transportation instead of driving a car can save you an average of $9,000 per year on vehicle-related expenses and reduce your carbon footprint by up to 30%.
Food Consumption & Diet Changes
Another way we can make a significant positive impact on our carbon footprint is by changing our diets and focusing on preserving the biodiversity of our planet. Large scale food production and overexploitation are the primary drivers for biodiversity loss. Did you know that livestock production accounts for 14.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions?
Eating more plant-based meals, reducing our meat consumption, choosing locally grown foods, as well as planting a small garden at home can greatly reduce the emissions associated with food production and transportation. By adopting a plant-based diet, you can reduce your carbon footprint by up to 50%. Now, we understand a plant-based diet isn’t for everyone, but even just reducing your weekly meat consumption makes a difference. If everyone cut out meat one day a week it would have the same impact on GHG emissions as taking 240 million cars off the road each year.
Climate change is a complex issue, but taking action doesn’t have to be. In our next three installments of our Climate Action Video and Blog Series, we’ll be identifying the three largest contributors to climate change, and how we can take action in both our homes and in the workplace to create positive change: energy consumption, transportation habits, and our diet/biodiversity.
This spring, we’re participating in Project Neutral’s “Green From Home” program where we’ll be challenging all First Capital employees to reduce their own carbon footprints. By making small changes in our daily lives and practices, we can all work together to create a more sustainable future for our planet and generations to come.