But as well as that, it's a day for us to take pause and reflect on what we can all do in both our personal and professional lives to play our part in building a more sustainable future.
Invest in our planet
The theme of this year's Earth Day is 'Invest in our planet' and as we face into challenging and uncertain times, thinking about how we can invest our time, energy and resource into safeguarding the future of our planet couldn't be more apt.
The latest IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) reports make for tough reading. More than 800 of the leading climate scientists from around the world tell us it is unequivocal that climate change has been caused by human action, that the consequences will be devastating and far reaching to us, to nature, to the very place we call home. It shows us that we have already currently locked in around 1.0 degrees C of warming above pre-industrial levels and are likely to reach 1.5 degrees C between 2030 and 2052 if we continue at the current rate of emissions - overshooting the very target that 195 nations signed up to in 2015 in The Paris Climate agreement.
It's easy to feel overwhelmed and helpless when reading these statistics but the most important message to take away is that there is still hope. If all of us - governments, companies and citizens - play our part, work together and act now, we can stave off the worst impacts of a climate breakdown, transition to a low-carbon economy and protect lives and livelihoods across the globe.
At Nestlé, as the biggest food and drink manufacturer in the world, we're playing our part. We're committed to, and on the road towards our goal of, halving emissions by 2030 and reaching net zero by 2050 at the latest. Peak carbon is behind us and we're focused on a largescale shift towards more regenerative agricultural practices, transitioning to renewable energy, transforming our packaging and embracing plant-based options.
In the UK and Ireland, we're doing our bit too. We're working collaboratively with dairy farmers and partners on the Nestlé Milk Plan and are on track to reduce emissions from fresh milk by 50% by 2025. Environmental stewardship is at the heart of our milk sourcing programme and initiatives like hedgerow planting and watercourse fencing are a key part of this work to foster biodiversity and protect the environment.
We know it's important to work together to tackle common goals, and sometimes that means forming unlikely partnerships with others in the food and drink industry. In recent years we've teamed up with peers in the sector to work towards a more circular economy, through the Flexible Plastic Fund to recover flexible plastics that are hard for consumer to recycle, and through Podback to help recycle and give new life to coffee pods.
We're making good progress but know we still have much more to do.
Helping create a more sustainable and prosperous future must be part of everyone's job. So this Earth Day, let's all invest the time, energy and headspace to reflect, to take a stand and drive action in the fight against climate change.
What will you do?