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A Short Earth Day Reflection

on Apr 23 2020
Co-Founder and CEO of Brightest

As many of you know, yesterday was the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. The first Earth Day in 1970 was a historic event: millions marched, and, as a result, the EPA was created, and the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts were passed.

Earth Day also reminds us why we started Brightest and why this work is so important to us: our economy *is* transitioning, and *needs* to transition toward greater environmental sustainability to create a healthy, prosperous future for us all.

Investors want sustainability. Big endowments like the University of California and Michigan are divesting. Yesterday, Japan's government said they will no longer invest in coal power plants anywhere in the world. Before then, they were the #2 global coal investor.

Employees want sustainability. The biggest, most valuable companies in the world like Amazon and Google are currently under intense pressure from their own employees to make greater sustainability commitments and stop working with fossil fuel interests.

Customers want sustainability. According to Nielsen, 66-75% of people choose to buy product they know is environmentally sustainable over a less sustainable or generic alternative, even if they have to pay more money for it.

And, perhaps most importantly of all:

Physics wants sustainability. All the science (and our best scientists) say change is necessary over the next 5-10 years, or the consequences will cost far more than the investments needed to transition our economy and prevent them.

But when we think creating this change, many of the biggest changes we need involve changing organizations and inspiring people.

Solar panels and wind farms are cheap enough to electrify our economy today.

Electric vehicles are good enough to shift transportation today.

Biodynamic and renewable farming know-how exists today.

What we need to create is the inspiration, will, and framework (system) to bring people, teams, and organizations together to do this work.

What we need is a better operating system.

What we need are better standards, benchmarks, and collective pressure.

What we need is better measurement (after all, you can't improve what you can't measure)

And we need global information distribution that can only be created by combining the right messages with the right technology.

That's the work that needs to be done.

We're excited, we're ready, and we want to work together with all of you to create the world we know is possible.