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World Environment Day: Go Wild For Life

23 May 2016
5th June 2016 marks the 45th World Environment Day. This year’s theme is Go Wild for Life - find out what you can do to support the cause and how your organization can enhance its environmental performance.

The significance of world environment day

World Environment Day has been supporting action and raising awareness for more than four decades. It was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1972 and has become a global platform for raising awareness and taking action on a range of significant and urgent issues, including:

  • Poverty and human rights
  • Ecosystems and habitats
  • Sustainable development and population growth
  • Pollution prevention and climate change
  • Resource scarcity and sustainable consumption

These issues are often related but the aim of WED is to focus on the heart of each theme wherever they may be located. And each year a host country is selected as the ambassador for the theme of the WED.

We are connected

The interrelated nature of our world economy, global supply chains and demand for natural resources connects us all to the global ecosystem – individually and organizationally, we are all dependent on the environment of Only One Earth.

The international environmental management systems standard, ISO 14001:2015, defines the environment as:

“Surroundings in which an organization operates, including air, water, land, natural resources, flora, fauna, humans and their interrelationships.”

It also recognises the global nature of these surroundings as:

“Extending from within an organisation to the local, regional and global system”.

By this definition, all organisations are connected to and dependent on the environment – the purpose of World Environment Day is to raise awareness of this fundamental truth and inspire action to protect and improve the environment.

Why go wild for life?

Each World Environment Day is organized around a theme that focuses attention on a particularly pressing environmental concern. WED 2016 is themed on the illegal trade in wildlife under the slogan ‘Go Wild for Life'. The logo and other materials are available for download here.

WED2016 encourages you to celebrate all those species under threat and take action of your own to help safeguard them for future generations.

This can be about animals or plants (identified by ISO 14001 as flora and fauna) that are threatened within your local area as well as at the national or global level.

You can use World Environment Day as a way of keeping momentum and celebrating the achievements of your environmental management system (EMS), if you have one. If not, it is a great opportunity to build the support required to implement an EMS and start improving environmental performance in a more structured and proactive way.

Previous WED themes:

  • The Environment Millennium – Time to Act
  • Green Cities: Plan for the Planet
  • Green Economy: Does it Include You?
  • Seven Billion People. One Planet. Consume with Care

enhanced environmental performance

The act of supporting WED2016 will contribute to improving your environmental performance, which is an explicit objective of ISO 14001. It could also improve efficiency, reduce resource consumption and improve relationships with your stakeholders and interested parties.

The collective impact of thousands of global WED2016 supporters taking action could be enormous, so get involved – for more ideas, inspiration and information about World Environment Day 2016, visit WED2016.

If you would like to sustain your efforts to enhance environmental performance, find out more about ISO 14001 and its additional benefits here.