Earth Overshoot Day: A Countdown to Ecological Tipping Point

Earth Overshoot Day signifies when human consumption of natural resources surpasses Earth's capacity. This article delves into how companies can combat this challenge through sustainable practices
Forest being deforested by machines
Published on
August 2, 2023

Humanity has been consuming more natural resources than the planet can replenish annually for decades. The Earth Overshoot Day marks a critical moment when human demand for natural resources exceeds what the Earth can renew in a year. Starting from August 2nd, the Earth's renewable resources are depleted for the entire year.

What is the Earth Overshoot Day? 

The Earth Overshoot Day signifies the point at which our collective ecological footprint surpasses the Earth's biocapacity for that year. Essentially, it shows that we are consuming resources faster than the planet can replenish them and absorbing more carbon dioxide than our forests and oceans can absorb. It is a concerning indicator of our unsustainable lifestyle, putting enormous pressure on ecosystems, biodiversity, and the climate.

With their current lifestyle, humanity needs 1.75 Earths per year. In other words, we are using 75% more resources than the Earth can regenerate.

Image Credits: Earth Overshoot day

The G20 alone is responsible for 81% of the global CO2 emissions, as reported by the Federal Statistical Office.

How is the Earth Overshoot Day calculated?

Earth Overshoot Day is hosted and calculated by Global Footprint Network, an international research organization that provides decision-makers with a menu of tools (e.g. Footsprint Calculator, Footprint Scenario Tool ) to help the human economy operate within Earth’s ecological limits.

EOD is calculated by dividing the world biocapacity (the amount of natural resources generated by Earth that year), by the world ecological footprint (humanity's consumption of Earth's natural resources for that year), and multiplying by 365 (366 in leap years), the number of days in a year:

Empowering Companies for a Sustainable Future

Companies hold significant power to create a positive impact and play a crucial role in combating Earth Overshoot Day. At Impact Hero, we offer three empowering solutions that enable businesses to make a difference in the areas of Marketing, HR, and Corporate Impact. 

With Marketing Impact, companies can effortlessly execute sales and marketing initiatives that not only enhance ROI and performance but also foster a strong sense of social and environmental responsibility. Impact Hero's innovative approach ensures that every stakeholder engagement creates greater social awareness. For every sale made, the organization facilitates the planting of 10 trees, collects 5 kgs of plastics for each booked call, and supports 2 hours of education for every survey filled. These impactful actions not only drive positive change but also reinforce the company's unwavering commitment to sustainability, leaving a lasting impression on customers, employees, and partners alike.

Moreover, HR Impact allows companies to engage employees and potential candidates by promoting positive impact as a core value. With Impact Hero, businesses can embark on initiatives like growing a coral for every newly onboarded employee, collecting 1 kg of plastic for every job application, and gifting 100m2 of biodiversity protection for corporate anniversaries. These efforts not only attract environmentally-conscious talent but also foster a sense of purpose and pride among existing team members, resulting in a more motivated and engaged workforce. As Chris Donovan from Alcatel is integrating the HR solution: "We plant a tree a month for every employee and encourage (with a voucher) every employee to plant at least one more to match. Together, we can build back our forests for the safety of our planet."

Furthermore, Corporate Impact encourages companies to incorporate positive impact solutions into their corporate sustainability strategies, aligned with the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals and GRI standards. By showcasing their sustainability commitment, businesses can strengthen their brand reputation and resonate with environmentally-aware consumers. Impact Hero's tools enable the integration of impact results into Corporate Social Responsibility reporting, providing transparent and measurable outcomes that highlight the company's contributions to global sustainability efforts.

Addressing the challenges posed by Earth Overshoot Day

The Earth Overshoot Day underscores the urgency of resource consumption and calls for sustainable action and accountability. Companies have the power to make a significant difference.

By collaborating with Impact Hero and implementing effective measures, they can lead the way towards a sustainable future, create positive changes, and address the challenges posed by Earth Overshoot Day. By generating positive impact, companies can become multipliers for positive change, transforming the economy from being part of the problem to an active part of the solution. These conscious steps contribute to delaying the Earth Overshoot Day and building a responsible and sustainable economy that benefits both people and the planet. It is in the hands of companies to leverage their power and influence to shape a sustainable and liveable future for generations to come.

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