Weekly Highlights April 22, 2014 Weekly Highlights April 22, 2014 Weekly Highlights April 22, 2014
Wednesday, April 23, 2014 - 11:45am

This week: The 44th Earth Day in Focus And…The European Union Directive

Two important focal points for this week’s issue of Sustainability HQ Highlights – we celebrate the 44th Earth Day and the European Union makes a dramatic move, mandating corporate responsibility reporting. 

The first Earth Day was staged back in 1970, we could say, as pollution in the U.S.A. reached a tipping point, and “something” had to be done.  And so U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin gathered colleagues and worked to create a day to call attention to the dangers posed to Mother Earth by growing pollution.

That first Earth Day galvanized public opinion and helped to bring about change in the way we treat our planet and its marvelous resources (like our oceans, and air, and land).  Senator Nelson corralled bipartisan support and targeted the media for “education” about the great damage by done by all manner of institutions (public and private sector alike) to the Earth with unsustainable practices and policies. 

That first day did help to launch or at least solidify a social movement – the environmental movement – and helped to pave the way for passage of landmark legislation to stop pollution, mitigate and reverse existing damage and prevent future damage.  The National Environmental Policy Act had just been passed by the Congress and signed into law by President Richard Nixon.  The US EPA was being organized (it was launched December 2, 1970). 

Soon after that first Earth Day, the growing pressure of public opinion led to passage of such important legislation as the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, RCRA, CERCLA (the Superfund Act) and much, much more oversight and regulation to protect our land, water, air, and living creatures (including we  humans!).

It was reported that 20 million or more Americans assembled to demonstrate at rallies and meetings. This was the age of demonstration – there were massive protests against American participation in the Vietnam War, for example.  A social and cultural revolution was underway – and the outcome over time helped to bring about cleaner skies, safer drinking water, stopping the wholesale dumping of industrial and civil society wastes into rivers, and much, much more.

This is just a sample of some of the articles from this weeks SustainabilityHQ Highlights.  You can view the full Highlights by using the following links. Sustainability | ESG, Highlights for the Week of April 22, 2014