Earth Overshoot Day 2020 – when humanity runs out of planet.

Earth Overshoot Day 2020 – when humanity runs out of planet.

Earth Overshoot Day marks the day the global community has used up all those natural resources planet earth is able to provide and regenerate within one year. From this day on, humanity would need a second planet for the remainder of the year.

This year it is August 22nd. The calculation method and more information about the Overshoot Day can be read in our blog article about it last year.

The next image shows a country-based comparison of lifestyles: If the whole world lived and consumed like Austria, the Earth Overshoot Day would already have been on April 8th. More country-based overshoot days:

Earth Overshoot Day and COVID-19

The Overshoot Day moved backwards for 3 weeks compared to 2019. This is partly attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic. While this problem seems a lot worse, scientists point out affluent consumption and resource exploitation as the biggest global threat – even in times of the current health and economic crisis.

A suffering environment makes people suffer just as well. If we continue overusing our planet for the sake of our lifestyle, we destroy our eco-system. Meanwhile, the eco-system is vital for our global economy, food chain, for millions of jobs – in short: for our lifestyle. Thus, it is a matter of self-interest to view environmental and climate protection as an existential necessity.

How does PALFINGER address this issue?

Humanity, businesses, nations, and the global community need to find answers to the question on how we can make the vision #movethedate – moving the Overshoot Day back in the calendar – come true.

Our integrated sustainability management commits to the PALFINGER group-wide goals by means of various measures and thus also supports SDGs like No. 12: “Responsible consumption and production” and No. 13: “Climate action”. Within the field of “Eco-efficient production” resource efficiency plays a particularly high role. More information about our sustainability fields as well as targets and measures can be found on the respectively linked websites.

Further, we would like to talk about two interesting projects tackling resource exploitation.

PALFINGER in Brazil: Saving plastic, wood, and water

At Madal PALFINGER S.A. reusable cups made from coconut fiber were handed out in the wake of the 2019 World Environment Day to substitute single-use plastic cups. Not only do plastic cups lead to huge amounts of waste – they also waste water: Producing one such cup requires about 3 liters of water. The follow-up on this project is amazing: The number of plastic cups used was reduced by 70% – equaling a total of 426,000 cups. Also, by this reduction, more than 1.2 million liters of production-related water were saved. 

At the same location also the resource wood is taken care of: Used pallets from the delivery are given to Ecopallets, a Brazilian company. Ecopallets saves around 1,200 pallets each day from various companies to refurbish them. Some are also given to social projects to be upcycled. This saves about 100,000 trees every year and provides for beautiful pieces of art and furniture, as the following images show:

In current times we particularly know about the importance of facing global challenges together. Let us thus shift the Earth Overshoot Day towards the end of the calendar. Let’s #movethedate!

We drive positive impact!

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