Did you know that today (22 April) is Earth Day? If you did – all credit to you! If not, don’t worry – it’s hard to keep up with all the dedicated days that come around each year.

Earth Day is a key event in the environmental calendar. It’s over 50 years old and its purpose is to activate the environmental movement worldwide. This means getting people talking about their impact on the planet and the steps we can all take to reduce the damage we are causing to the world’s ecosystems. for me, my approach was to write this blog. 

This year’s Earth Day strap line is:“As the world returns to normal, we can’t go back to business as usual”. This is a really powerful statement and one which I am sure many of you will agree with. COVID 19 has forced all of us to make changes to our lives. My travel footprint for example, has massively reduced as last year I drove 20,000 miles less, and as a consequence saved approximately 4 tonnes of carbon. With the introduction of home working and the acceleration of flexible working, I will be aiming to keep my impact low and I definitely won't be returning to ‘business as usual’.

It’s not just about making changes to the way we do things. It’s also about helping to restore, what we have previously damaged or destroyed. That’s why the theme for Earth Day’ 2021 is ‘Restore our Earth’. For me, restoring our earth, means putting back the things we take form the earth (its natural capital to give it its correct term) which are all too often taken for granted.  Recently I was able to take part in the restoration process first-hand, whilst using my allocated BAM volunteering days to support a tree planting event. 

Held at a Secondary school in Hull the event was part of the Northern Forest initiative and organised by the Plant a Tree foundation (PATT foundation). BAM FM has supported PATT who are also known as the Green Task Force by supplying equipment, setting up their website and business mentoring. They support ex-forces veteran's suffering with their mental health and PTSD by enrolling and training them in horticultural skills and therapies. You can read more about their amazing work here.

For me the event was both rewarding and an eye opener. It was great to be involved in ‘re-foresting’ in a school, where the 4000 native saplings we planted are not only ‘restoring our earth’, but also brightening up the uninspiring playing fields, creating habitats and sequestering (sucking in) CO2. 

Engaging with environmental charities is only part of BAMs journey to Net Zero. Our Science based target backed plan will see BAM become net positive by 2030. We are already delivering on the first part of our journey  by electrifying our car and van fleet , buying only 100% green energy, installing the latest solar and battery technologies and operating our buildings more efficiently. These are all part of our roadmap to Net Zero. 

But for now, I’m asking you to join me this Earth Day and aim to restore our earth where we can.  

About the author

Anthony Heaton

Sustainability & Social Value Manager - BAM FM

Anthony studied Construction Management at Sheffield Hallam University. He first worked for BAM during his university placement year and in 2004 joined us a Graduate Assistant Site Manager.
16 years later, Anthony became BAM FM’s Sustainability Manager and has been instrumental in leading the development of their approach to sustainability, with a strong focus on enhancing lives and social value.

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