April 21, 2022 •Jim Madej
It’s been 52 years since Earth Day’s inaugural celebration in 1970.
“Invest in our planet” is the theme for this Earth Day 2022.
The International Energy Agency notes that there’s been no shortage of government investment in
clean energy solutions across the globe. We expect to see $470 billion invested by 2030, a 20%
increase from last year. That’s on top of the $800 billion already extant in the industry. Growth
predictions across the clean energy spectrum range from 8% to 20% annually.
My guess is that the “invest in our planet” theme is not about where we are just investing our capital.
It’s more a call to action about the values and behaviors that each of us — business leaders, policy
makers, engaged citizens—demonstrate every day.
While we have seen increased spending and emphasis on clean, sustainable business practices,
especially in the last decade, there is still a long way to go. Regardless of the size and type of
enterprise, every company must thoroughly commit to adopting environmentally-friendly business
practices, from sourcing raw goods to producing the final product.
Additionally, we must continue calling on both local and federal governments for investment in clean
initiatives. As utilities, energy providers, and even energy solution implementers like Franklin Energy, we
must continue efforts to electrify our economy, with government support and funding key to a
successful transition. For example, we must build a new and vast electric vehicle charging
infrastructure across the nation if we are going to make the switch to electrified transportation. An
initiative of this scale is simply not possible without government investment and incentives.
As individuals, we can also make a difference by deciding where we exercise our purchasing power.
Before making a transaction, however small, it’s important to research a company’s business practices
and understand its effects on the climate. If something is offered at a price that seems to be too low, it
may be due to exploitation of workers or the use of cheap materials whose production is a detriment to
the environment. Investing in trustworthy organizations that take their responsibility for sustainability
seriously is always a good use of resources.
And finally, there’s our personal investment, our focus, our priorities. Time is one of the greatest
investments we can make. That’s not just on Earth Day, but we must find a way every day to consider
the ways we can best invest our time on the planet. That could include educating yourself on civic
issues and energy policy, picking up trash at a local park, planting trees, volunteering at community
events, or simply living a life of greater awareness.
Some days, investing your time can be as simple as getting outside and enjoying nature by finding a
walking path or biking trail. There’s no better motivator for investing in our planet than by experiencing
the joy and peace offered by the great outdoors.
Investing in our planet really means investing in the right priorities for ourselves, for friends and
families, for our communities. That’s what will make Earth Day 2022 special. Enjoy your fully-invested
day. Help save our home, our planet.