In business school, you learn the importance of numbers and what they can say about a company.
Things like monthly sales growth, average profit margins and sales targets are part of a universal language taught all around the world. And these metrics, or KPIs, have one purpose: judging performance.
So when SodaStream Canada and its global network joined the climate strike last week in support of young people around the world, we got to thinking: what if we looked at humanity through a business lens? What would our environmental balance sheet say about our performance as a society? Which is why we ran some numbers:
54.9 million – the number of plastic bottles wasted every hour globally.
1.3 billion – the number of plastic bottles discarded around the world each day.
3.2 million – the tonnage of plastic waste generated each year in Canada.
Nine. The percentage of Canada’s plastic waste that is recycled each year.
The most important number on our balance sheet, our “profits” if you want to look at it that way, and we couldn’t even make it into the double digits.
In the business world, this would be considered a colossal failure.
We don’t like using the words “would be” -Like we’re still dealing with a metaphor. Like these numbers are just a fun thought experiment, divorced from the devastating reality that we are creating for the next generation.
Unless you’ve been on a social media detox, you will have seen that millions of young people, (both in Canada and around the globe) have been reminding us this week that these numbers are a reality.
And as a business community, we’ve been given fair warning by young people like Sophia Mathur and Greta Thunberg that their eyes are on us. For them, business, as usual, is no longer an option. For SodaStream, they are listening. They know that environmentally sustainable solutions must be core to their ethos; that their waste must be minimal, and our environmental impact negligible.
It’s why one of their most ambitious goals is to help eliminate 4 billion single-use plastic bottles by 2025.
With the opening of their first Canadian refilling station in the spring of 2019 in Mississauga, SodaStream Canada eliminated truck travel to the next closest refilling station, in New Jersey. This means that by 2025, 2.1 million km of truck travel will have been eliminated.
While these are steps in the right direction, they recognize that they still have a lot of work to do. SodaStream makes this pledge to future Canadians: they will do their part to build a cleaner, greener world that you will be proud of.
By eliminating one plastic bottle at a time.