Every Earth Day, my entire family goes for a hike in the state park that’s just behind our neighborhood. We’ve been doing it since the kids could walk (or hitch a ride in their baby carriers) and this year will be no different. Everyone takes turns playing a different part—whether it’s keeping track of the birds with Merlin Bird ID and eBird, using PictureThis and good old-fashioned field guides to identify trees and plants, or setting the pace at the head of the pack. This same spirit gave life to the first Earth Day in 1970, when organizers across the United States inspired 20 million Americans from diverse communities to mobilize in support of environmental protection and human health, and it’s the same spirit that motivates us at Cadmus.
"Earth Day is far more than a one-day event. It’s a celebration of our ongoing commitment to creating a better, healthier, more connected world for everyone."
Today, the effects of climate change that threaten our planet are not always as visible as the oil spills and pollution that motivated those organizers in 1970. Nevertheless, the effects of climate change are there for all to see and experience. The impacts of ever more severe extreme weather, rising temperatures, water scarcity, loss of biodiversity, and threats to the global food supply, among many other dynamic and interconnected impacts, will be felt by everyone on Earth in our lifetimes. We are all in this together, which is why it’s imperative that we bring diverse perspectives, experiences, capabilities, and expertise to our response to the climate challenge.
At Cadmus, we know that equity starts at home; by embracing diversity and inclusion within our firm, we strengthen our own work, enabling a more powerful and positive impact on society at large. Cadmus joined CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion™, committing to taking action to cultivate a workplace where diverse perspectives and experiences are welcomed and respected. This week, in addition to celebrating Earth Day, we are holding our Days of Understanding, where all employees will be given a platform to share their experiences and know that they will be heard. Overcoming societal, institutional, and personal barriers to inclusion makes us stronger, more diverse, and more innovative than ever before—a necessity if we’re going to be equipped to meet the challenge of climate change.
At Cadmus, we have the privilege every day of supporting clients who are leading the charge to mitigate and adapt to climate change through countless groundbreaking projects around the globe. We’re working with federal, state, and local governments and leaders in the private sector to facilitate the electrification of the transportation sector; helping innovators in island nations develop energy solutions that are more resilient to extreme weather and decrease carbon emissions; developing early warning systems that help water utilities withstand storms; helping to accelerate the transition to a decarbonized power sector; increasing access to reliable clean energy solutions in disadvantaged communities; and gathering citizens from around the world to share their voices in thoughtful, respectful discussions about the issues that make their communities healthier, more sustainable places to live. These are just a few of the areas in which we are helping our clients create real and lasting impact.
A truly sustainable future is one that is designed to create a better world for all people. Cadmus’ responsibility to our communities also entails being a positive force in the places where our employees live and work. Nowhere is this more apparent than through our longstanding partnership with the Nature Generation (NatGen) and our support of the Green Earth Book Award, including our sponsorship of the Children’s Fiction Award. NatGen’s work can make a real difference in a child’s life—and in our shared future—by inspiring a lifelong commitment to environmental stewardship. The Green Earth Book Award is an especially powerful program, harnessing the magic of a good story and amazing illustrations to capture a child’s imagination and, in some cases, transform the course of their life. Children who have been a part of NatGen’s programs have chosen to pursue academic paths in environmental sciences, engineering, and the social sciences. We’ve even been at this long enough to see some of them choose careers in public service, environmental consulting, environmental education, and policymaking!
As a member of the panel jury for the Young Adult Fiction Award, I’m delighted to have a front-row seat to some of the most exciting, transformative literature being published each year and to see the effect these wonderful books have on so many children. It’s an incredibly rewarding experience to make these books more visible and more accessible to children and young adults. Even more rewarding is seeing kids’ joy when they receive one of these books and watching their relationship with the natural world change through the power of a story.
For my colleagues at Cadmus and for all the children, young adults, and volunteers inspired by NatGen, Earth Day is far more than a one-day event. It’s a celebration of our ongoing commitment to creating a better, healthier, more connected world for everyone. And there's a role for everyone as we work together to build a sustainable future.
President and CEO, Cadmus
Chairman of the Board, The Nature Generation