This year Earth Overshoot Day lands on 2nd August, although this is later than last year which landed on 28th July we are still no where near where we need to be.

What is Earth Overshoot Day?

Earth Overshoot Day was first conceived by Andrew Simms of the UK think tank New Economics Foundation in 2006.  It is the date at which humanity has used all the natural resources that Earth can regenerate in that year. After this day we are in the red, in a deficit, borrowing from next year. The earth naturally replenishes resources such as water, soil, gas, and vegetation, all the things we rely on day-to-day. Yet we are using them at an alarming rate. Earth Overshoot Day is a stark reminder of the pressure we as humanity put on a delicate system.

At Greenham we are dedicated to reducing our consumption as much as possible for example we have had a 24% reduction in Scope 1 & 2 emissions between 2019-2022, 100% of the electricity we use is from REGO-backed renewable sources and we have reduced our fuel consumption by 15.9% since 2019. In November 2022 Bunzl plc gained approval from the SBTi for our carbon reduction targets across all three scopes:

• 50% reduction relative to revenue by 2030 across Scopes 1 & 2

• 27.5 % absolute reduction by 2030 across Scope 1 & 2

• 79% of our suppliers by emissions having their own science-based targets by 2027

How is the day calculated?

According to the methodology used by the Global Footprint Network to determine Earth Overshoot Day, the date is calculated by dividing Earth’s biocapacity (the ecological resources Earth can generate in a year) by humanity’s Ecological Footprint (humanity’s demand for resources in a year), and then multiplying by 365, the number of days in a year. This calculation provides an estimate of the day when humanity’s demand exceeds Earth’s capacity to regenerate resources.

To determine Earth Overshoot Day for the current year, the Global Footprint Network relies on the latest edition of the National Footprint and Biocapacity Accounts. However, due to reporting procedures, there may be a “time gap” between the data and the present year. To address this gap, trendlines are established from the available data, and these trends are extended to the present year. Additional recent data from sources such as the Global Carbon Project and the International Energy Agency may also be incorporated to enhance the assessment for the gap years.

Based on all the data extrapolations and analysed factors, the Global Footprint Network has concluded that Earth Overshoot Day for the year 2023 will occur on August 2.

How Greenham are supporting #MoveTheDate

Here at Greenham, we have made great efforts to reduce our carbon emissions over the past few years, this has given us some positive results:

  • Kg CO2e reduction of 19.5% since 2019
  • Electricity consumption reduction of 23% since 2019
  • Gas consumption reduction of 10% since 2019
  • Diesel consumption reduction of 20% since 2019

April Sustainability Event

Teams across our Service Centres were challenged to make sustainable changes within their everyday operations for one week in April, and to choose at least one action to carry forward.  Across our teams we saw more colleagues car sharing and cycling to work, paperless days and some of our service centres moving to milk deliveries to reduce on single-use-plastic.

Other actions included turning computer monitor brightness down to 70%, which can save up to 20% on energy consumption; switching to 100% recycled printing paper and removing individual waste bins to encourage recycling.

This event was a great opportunity for teams to take part in some healthy competition to win some sustainable prizes whilst also making some important sustainable changes which they will continue with moving forward.

Carbon Forecast Case Study: Customer A

One of our customers trialled a reduced delivery service beginning at just one of their sites by reducing to a 2-day delivery week.  Over the trial period they prevented an average 628kg CO2e per month.  Since the success of this trial the customer will be adopting the reduced delivery week across all regions, with the possibility of reducing emissions by 92,702 kg CO2e over 12 months. A fantastic saving, this was calculated using our Carbon Forecasting tool which you can learn more about on our Carbon Forecasting page on the website.

Product Award Case Study: City of London

We have been supporting the City of London Corporation in sustainable procurement of personal protective equipment and cleaning and hygiene products. Using our sustainable solutions, we have found ways to reduce single-use plastic and carbon emissions within the supply chain of their products. The City Corporation is committed to reaching net zero in their own emissions by 2027 and their whole investment and supply chain by 2040 as part of their Climate Action Strategy.

Using the Product Award, we have demonstrated the sustainability of individual products the City Corporation purchase and were able to suggest more sustainable alternatives. Such alternatives include replacing 750ml ready-to-use trigger-spray bottles with a 5L concentrates. This allows the City Corporation to reuse one 750ml bottle by dispensing the cleaner in-house, saving 34.5kg of single-use plastic in six months, for every product switched. The City Corporation have also trialled swapping the type of toilet paper and dispensers used within their high footfall areas. This has the potential to reduce use and therefore replenishment, saving over 57,000 kg CO2e and over 400,000 litres of water.

To further reduce the use of single-use plastics, the City Corporation now receive their goods in reusable tote boxes on our new electric van. Products are packaged in the tote boxes, dropped off on site and previous tote boxes collected for the next delivery. This system has removed the use of plastic pallet wrap, the equivalent of 40g of plastic per pallet, and reduces CO2 emissions in the heart of the City.

Contact your local Service Centre or check out our website today for more information on how to reach your sustainability goals and helping to #MoveTheDate.