At GRS Group, we are driven by a culture of integrity, honesty, and tenacity. Integrity means to have an uncompromising adherence to strong ethical and moral principles which extends beyond our dealings with our clients to the way we run our business. We are committed to also showing this quality towards nature because we are aware that our activity as a company can have a negative environmental impact.
As a company that operates out of Cyprus and Malta, which are both island nations, we have a first-hand experience of how plastic harms our environment. Due to this, we care deeply about how plastic use and how human activity negatively affects our oceans and environment, after realizing ourselves that our recycle bin was getting filled more quickly and more often than our general waste bin. Hence, we are excited to talk about our new CSR initiatives focusing on reducing plastic use and carbon footprint.
Our first focus is to reduce the use of plastic single-use items by removing those items from our offices and replacing them with more eco-friendly alternatives. We have partnered with the eco-friendly company Earth and Ocean to replace all our plastic single-use items with reusable and sustainable alternatives.
Plastic is especially harmful because it collects in landfills and makes its way into our water systems. It is non-biodegradable, which means that plastic in landfills, does not break down but instead makes the soil less fertile and stops new plants from growing there. Once it makes its way into our seas, oceans, and lakes, it also causes damage to marine life. Smaller fish often get trapped in it and drown, or they swallow and get sick because their bodies cannot break it down. Plastic polluting our water systems has become a world concern.
In fact, according to a study conducted by National Geographic, every year 18 billion pounds of plastic waste streams into the ocean from coastal regions. That amounts to five grocery bags filled with plastic covering every foot of coastline around the world.
Our second CSR goal is to reduce our carbon footprint. As of 1st October, we have implemented a team target of 4000 km, which is approximately the distance of Limassol to London, to be completed by 31st December. We are now tracking and recording this with the use of a Mobile App.
We are incredibly proud to have a team of likeminded individuals that care about the environmental crisis we are facing today. However, we still want to motivate them to do their part and to lead active and healthier lives through walking when traveling short distances. Therefore, when we meet our goal, we have pledged to donate a substantial amount to a local charity.
Carbon footprint is a universal concern that everyone has the responsibility of acting towards reversing its effects. A group of scientists called the Global Carbon Project who are responsible for measuring greenhouse emissions have found that in 2018, carbon dioxide levels rose by 2.7 %. The continuing trend of greenhouse emissions increasing (there was an increase of 1.6 % in 2017) is especially worrying for scientists. The gases are extremely harmful as they trap more heat than needed to sustain life in our atmosphere preventing the excess heat from releasing into outer space. The excessive amount of hot temperatures leads to a multitude of problems such as extreme weather conditions and changing ecosystems.
We felt that this was an especially important cause to support because we are not meeting our universal goal to reduce our carbon emissions to 0% by 2050. Which is critical to do so order to stay within the safer global temperature of 1.5 degrees that would prevent irreversible climate change and total ecosystem failures.
Being part of a positive change is highly important for us at GRS Group. It is something that aligns both with our company values and what makes up our company culture. Therefore, we are excited to begin our CSR journey with these initiatives and to develop new ones for the future.