I have spent the #ClimateWeek in Karachi, Pakistan where I travelled for work, taking an overseas flight for the 1st in months. The travel experience felt different, intimidating at times a crowd appeared and I kept sanitizing door- knobs, my seat or rather anything that I touched. I landed in Karachi which had suffered its worst ever flooding for the last 90 years leaving 63 dead and many residential areas and markets submerged. The city’s situation is a glaring example of what can happen when climate change warnings and sustainable growth are overlooked.
As for the pandemic; it is as if a mist of hard immunity has convinced the public that they can do without the masks even in public; leaving me more assured to double on my mask. The week has been dedicated to drawing awareness to our changing climate globally; a much needed effort not for a week but every single day. The drive from my hotel to the factory takes 15 minutes to an hour depending on the traffic and here is when I get a full snapshot of the world-the poverty, the pollution, the plastics mounts and the people getting on with their lives. This brief or not so brief journey connects me to others – behind the glass windows of the car as our eyes meet, as a stray skinny dog crosses, as bikes merge and separate at junctions and as people settle on weathered blankets to spend the night.
I have spent the whole week focusing on the sustainable expansion and sustainable denim and jeans collection developments at Soorty ; (the re-known denim and jeans manufacturer based in Karachi, meeting with teams of technical designers, reviewing how we can further enhance and communicate the responsibly engineered production infrastructure as a service rather than a set of products. I attended a virtual class at the SCAD University in NY and the online students from multiple countries; talking to fashion students on how Soorty is dissecting its products to construct for the better; taking them through the framework and SDGs integration and happily answering their curious questions, talking about the DenimUniverse (the sustainability framework of Soorty) and the DenimKind (the recently launched garment facility).
It feels that we are doing so much, that I am doing so much and then it also feels like all this is not enough, not complete as the business model is complex and needs healing in multiple layers where accountability is rare other than promises and claims. The decade of action as a call for our collaborative efforts to take meaning. We have to imagine where we want to be in the coming decade; individually, as a part of the community, within the corporate entities, industry wise, nation-wide, internationally and device our personal path.
As consumers we vote each time we make a purchase, eat at a restaurant, buy our groceries, go online shopping, chose which bank to trust. These votes make the base of economies, regeneration or depletion of natural resources and the human labor which is mostly disregarded as value and referred mostly as cost. There is hope and the hope lies in waking up, feeling, coming eye to eye with real people who suffer the most from bad industry habit driven climate impact, getting interested and desiring to think like trees would – like a forest would.
An extract from the GreenBiz @SBGolden by Sarah Golden as the highlights favorite for heads of states and companies alike to make bold climate commitments where she reports on the dozens of corporations re-upped goals, reflecting that the private sector is internalizing what’s at stake — physically, reputationally and economically — if climate change is left unchecked.
- Morgan Stanley became the first major U.S. bank to commit to net-zero emissions generated from its financing activities by 2050.
- AT&T pledged to be carbon-neutral by 2035, a step up from its previous goal to reduce Scope 1 emissions by 20 percent and Scope 2 emissions by 60 percent. This comes following AT&T’s leadership in wind corporate procurements.
- Walmart pledged to become carbon-neutral across its global operations by 2040 — without relying on offsets. In a separate announcement, Walmart joined forces with Schneider Electric to “educate Walmart suppliers about renewable energy” and accelerate deployment with the aim of removing a gigaton of carbon from its supply chain (aka Scope 3 emissions).
- Google committed to becoming powered by clean energy — in real time — by 2030.
- Amazon got companies to sign on to its Climate Pledge, including Best Buy, McKinstry, Real Betis, Schneider Electric, and Siemens. Signatories agree to implement decarbonization strategies in line with the Paris Agreement.
- Intel Corporation, PepsiCo, ASICS (Japan-based apparel company), Sanofi (healthcare company in France), SKF (Swedish manufacturer) and VELUX Group (Danish manufacturer) all signed on to RE100, a commitment to procure the equivalent of the company’s annual electricity consumptions from renewable sources.
Are you ready to hold these corporations accountable ? Will the certifications help? Is there enough traceability, do the consumers understand their options? Can we think like trees? Can we become the forest?