Looking Forward: Supporting Environmental Sustainability at PAN

At PAN, our Approaches include social change and equity.  An essential piece of supporting the “dignity, health and wellness of all people” is recognizing the interdependence of all species, and the urgent need to take active steps to prevent the destruction of the ecology and environment on which we all rely.

Late in 2019, PAN formed a staff “Green Team” committee, who were tasked with assessing our next steps in promoting environmental sustainability. Drawing on our value of being “knowledge-driven”, the Green Team has spent time reading, researching and discussing what steps would be most impactful for PAN to take in our current context. We have begun to make changes accordingly, as we believe that promoting a sustainable future is crucial in supporting the health of all people for generations to come.

Stemming from these initial Green Team meetings (even prior to COVID-19), we began exploring how to reduce travel and move towards virtual meetings as a “green change” to our working process. And to commemorate Earth Day this year, we have committed to buying bulk carbon offsets to offset emissions produced by our travel, up to $2000. Carbon offsets work by consumers paying into (either by buying in bulk or per trip) projects that reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere- for example, projects that promote reforestation. The goal is for these projects to cancel out the emissions of travel, so that travel becomes “carbon neutral”. Carbon offsets don’t reduce emissions, but rather mitigate some of the impacts of high emissions travel (particularly air travel).

You can learn more about carbon offsets here:

6 questions about carbon offsets for flights, answered (the Washington Post)

Carbon offsets: Worth buying to fight climate change? (CBC)

 

PAN is also committed to promoting sustainability by making intentional decisions about the food served at our in-person events. This includes moving away from menu options that require significant resource investments of land and water, such as factory farmed meat, and focusing on providing lower impact meal choices, such as plant-based options, as well as working to ensure that meal options are locally sourced wherever possible. In this process, we commit to continuing to work to ensure that our event attendees have meal choices that will work for them.

You can learn more about food choice and environmental impacts here:

What is the true cost of eating meat? (The Guardian)

Climate change food calculator: What’s your diet’s carbon footprint? (BBC News)

 

In closing: we know that in these rapidly changing times, it can be difficult to predict what the future may look like. The landscape is shifting from hour to hour, day to day, week to week. Amidst all this change, however, we know that it is vitally important to continue to work to protect our environment – to ensure a sustainable, healthier future for all.

PAN will continue to work to come up with innovative and effective ways that support our membership to ensure our work promotes this sustainable future. And the Green Team welcomes your thoughts and feedback on this as well… feel free to get in touch!

 

Learn more:

6 questions about carbon offsets for flights, answered (the Washington Post)

Carbon offsets: Worth buying to fight climate change? (CBC)

What is the true cost of eating meat? (The Guardian)

Climate change food calculator: What’s your diet’s carbon footprint? (BBC News)

 

Questions? Feedback? Get in touch!
Madeline Gallard, Community-Based Research Coordinator

[email protected]