Earth Day 2020: championing Sydney's reputation as a leading sustainable destination
Today marks 50 years of Earth Day, and this year is the first time ever that it will be a solely digital global event. From virtual conferences to global conversations, performances, and video teach-ins there are plenty of ways to get involved and demonstrate support for the environment.
Global initiatives such as Earth Day strike a real chord with BESydney. First and foremost, our organisation places a strong focus on the environment and sustainability. Together with a number of our Global Partners and alongside Strategic Partner, City of Sydney, we’re committed to the Sustainable Destination Partnership; working together to improve environmental performance and building Sydney's reputation as a leading sustainable destination.
With our partners we strive to foster a city that cares about the environment, has a strong economy, and that connects its people to each other and the rest of the world – to be green, global and connected. Specifically, our shared goal for Sydney is to achieve a 70% reduction in carbon emissions, divert 90% of waste and source 50% of electricity from renewable sources by 2030, and reach net zero emissions by 2050.
Importantly, we are also highly focussed on driving social outcomes. For a long time, our sector was only recognised for the expenditure we generate for the visitor economy; in fact, the outcomes of hosting a global meeting are so much broader across the economy and society as a whole. Every meeting that we have in our pipeline is aligned to solving a global issue or playing to a New South Wales industry or academic strength. For example, global health security or looking for foreign direct investment into infrastructure in Western Sydney.
Hosting the 2006 International Congress on Obesity in Sydney concentrated thinking on this world challenge, and helped spark the idea for the Charles Perkins Centre, which opened six years later at the University of Sydney. Today that’s a world-leading centre dedicated to easing the burden of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease and their related conditions, informing and improving the quality of life in Australia and globally. It's outcomes such as these and the social purpose to provide a platform for Australia’s best to solve those big social challenges, that drives our team and leaders every day.
Being a future focussed organisation, innovation and digital literacy are a must for us. So too is ensuring diversity of thought along with good robust discussions and today it is certainly timely that we acknowledge Earth Day and take the opportunity to come together, connect and join one of the many virtual meetings taking place around the globe. Whilst we are not currently meeting face to face there are many great ways that we can continue the global conversation.
A number of BESydney's Global Ambassadors are at the leading edge of climate action and sustainability in their respective fields. We're privileged to share more about their stories and the impact they're having on our community and our planet.
- Lucinda Corrigan - Sowing the seeds of change: Farmers for climate action
- Scientia Professor Veena Sahajwalla - Recycling reimagined and Manufacturing a green future
- Professor Ken Maher AO - Sustainable cities: designed by architecture
- Scientia Professor Deo Prasad AO - Deo: the green builder
You can find out more about BESydney's commitment to sustainability here.