Make it count: Do more than just turn off the lights this Earth Hour

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By Marco Passoni

Earth Hour is this Saturday. Organised by the World Wildlife Fund since 2007, Earth Hour is famous for people around the world turning off lights in support of the battle against climate change. But, like so many other things, symbolic support for an issue without taking actual steps is now pointless.

The organisers of Earth Hour themselves spell out the point of the moment: Spend 60 minutes doing something, anything, positive for our planet. This year, we should all spend this hour not just sitting in the dark, but asking what more we can do to help save our planet and our own future.

We live and work in a world where most companies have publicised – and in some cases, performative – sustainability and ESG goals and programmes. At 2.0 & Partners we have been working alongside Ecologi to offset our carbon emissions and ensure we are not doing more damage to the planet. But we wanted to do more as a company, and earlier this year we announced our support for The Ocean Cleanup as an Independent Supporter of their amazing work tackling the plastic plague which is devastating our oceans.

The seas and oceans are a cause close to my heart thanks to my many years as a sailor, and I have seen the damage being done first-hand. Today, 1/3 of fish caught as food have plastic inside them and 8 million tonnes of plastic pollution enter the seas and oceans every day. This devastating state of affairs is reported to cost the global economy between $6bn and $19bn every year.

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Such a huge issue cannot be solved by one person, or organisation, alone. We must work together and we must support those who are in a position to do more than we can.

I am delighted that we are supporting The Ocean Cleanup in their work today. Big problems such as this require big solutions and this organisation is seeking to, in its own words, “turn off the tap and mop the floor” on plastic pollution. They have created technology to intercept plastic in rivers before it reaches the sea and they have crafted systems which can clear and harvest the plastic in the ocean to recycle it.

This is, of course, enormous work and I heartily encourage you all to look them up and support their work.

For us at 2.0 & Partners, we are determined to do our own part too. On 4 June, we will undertake a beach clean in Southend to tackle the problem at its source.

None of this is going to change the world on its own. But we must all take every step we can. This Earth Day, let us all not just turn off the lights and feel like we have done our bit; we must all ask what more we can do.

Marco Passoni has decades of experience in the travel retail sector. He has spent the majority of his career in senior leader positions throughout the market, including a 12-year tenure as CEO of a leading international Duty Free distribution company and a further 8 years running a retail firm that operated fashion mono-brand stores in several international airports.
Today, as Senior Executive VP and founding partner of 2.0 & Partners, he leads the company’s efforts in developing and innovating services which create new opportunities and partnerships for all members of the travel retail Trinity. A former elite-level sailor, with a World Championship to his name, Marco now spends much of his time airside, experiencing the changing travel retail industry first-hand, to better guide partners and clients on the best way to do business in this vibrant and unique market.