Since the beginning of the coronavirus lockdown we’ve had to analyse what is ‘essential’; essential services, essential travel, essential overheads. For most, by focusing on what’s ‘essential’, we’ve been able to reflect on what’s important.

A positive outcome of the Covid-19 pandemic could be that it has forced us to take stock of what’s valuable in our lives… could this have been the most extreme reality check?

  • How much more respect do you have for our health services?
  • How much have you enjoyed quality time with your closest family members…
  • …and how much has lockdown made you miss friends and family you haven’t been able to see?
  • Have you felt re-energised because of a reduced need to commute or travel?
  • Are you sleeping better, eating better, exercising more?

  • The biggest reality check however, has been the impact Coronavirus has had on the environment. Orchestrated global action, as seen during this pandemic, has provided a blueprint for how collective behaviour shifts could be beneficial to people and planet.

  • We’re on track to seeing the biggest fall in anthropogenic carbon emissions (created by human activity) since WWII.
  • NASA’s satellite images have shown a decline in pollution levels due to decreased economic activity.
  • The Global Carbon Project says that carbon emissions could fall by 5% (2.5 billion tons), the lowest levels in a decade.
  • The Centre for International Climate Research found that, in February, there was a 20% decrease in air pollution, which kills an estimated 7 million people worldwide every year.

  • Although for all the wrong reasons, this data is a small piece of good news and demonstrates that by making sustainable changes we could reverse damage to the planet.

    As part of our transformation strategy, Cordant’s leadership team has been reviewing the small steps we can take as an organisation to contribute to environmental improvements.

    Decreasing Mobility

    National data from the Cabinet Office found that motor traffic dropped by 73% in March, when compared with pre-Covid levels – just imagine the environmental impact if a quarter of UK drivers continued to work from home after lockdown.

  • At Cordant we are setting a goal of 35% decrease in mileage across our business and have reduced the number of company cars on the road.

  • Streamlined Office Space

    Encouraging colleagues to work from home means businesses could benefit financially by cutting property rental and associated utility and maintenance costs. The cost of under-used office real estate in England and Wales £10 billion a year!

  • We plan to close 28 office locations this year and post-Covid we’ll move colleague who can work from home to mobile working contracts.

  • Colleague Accountability

    Lockdown has demonstrated that positive change is possible but we have to be accountable for our own actions. If we responded to climate change with the same sense of urgency as our response to Coronavirus, we might be able to protect our planet’s future.

  • At Cordant we are reviewing our policies to ensure colleagues are accountable.
  • We are on a journey to becoming paperless by 2022.
  • We are tightening the restrictions on waste, limiting unnecessary mileage and travel by utilising technology.

  • COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on the world, and although we’ve seen some initial reversals of the impacts of climate change during lockdown, it’s likely to be short-lived, particularly once normal life resumes and we have to work harder in the face of a recession.

    At Cordant we don’t want to revert back to bad habits and damaging action – we want fewer cars on the road, more people working from home and fewer people travelling miles for meetings when technology can deliver the same result.

    We’ve reflected on what’s important, and are introducing measures to change behaviours and make employees think before acting. We all need to play our part in protecting the planet.