What is Earth Day and why is it important?
Since 1970, Earth Day has been commemorated every year on the 22nd of April. It is now widely renowned as the largest secular campaign for environmental protection in the calendar year. More than 1 billion people take part in Earth Day in some form – that’s around 12.5% of the global population – in more than 190 countries. This makes it a highly powerful medium to drive awareness around the importance of climate action and the potential consequences of failing to act at the pace and scale needed.
This year, a core message of Earth Day is the importance of collective action in realising the green, prosperous and equitable future the campaign envisions. It is calling on everyone – governments, businesses and civil society – to unite and work together to inspire action, in recognition of the role we all must play in protecting the environment; no one group can do it alone – we need everyone on board!
The theme of this year’s Earth Day is to ‘invest in our planet’. Through this mantra, one of the issues that the campaign seeks to raise awareness about is the need to re-direct global investment away from harmful fossil fuels, towards cleaner, greener sources of energy. As earthday.org explains, “it’s not “alternative” energy — it’s better energy”; investing in a zero-carbon grid can help restore the natural world to health, and protect it against the worst effects of climate change.
What Earth Day means to us
As a specialist in solar energy development, production and storage, this is a message that strongly resonates with us. Our mission is to deliver a net zero future across Europe – for this and every generation – and we’re hard at work to deliver our 11GW development portfolio of projects that will provide clean power and prevent thousands of tonnes of C02 emissions from entering the atmosphere. The very nature of our operations means that environmental protection is a key concern for the business, and we’re particularly proud of our commitment to investing in the right projects for the right reasons, actively seeking out those that can deliver tangible benefits to nearby communities. One example of this is our investment in agrivoltaic solar farms.
Our Pontinia project in Italy will be home to both solar panels and agricultural crops, which will be tended to through collaboration with a social farm. The social farm will cultivate the crops, using biodynamic and fuel-efficient methods, while providing opportunities for the reintegration of vulnerable or socially excluded people.
Onwards and upwards
While we are incredibly proud of the contribution our projects are making towards Europe’s energy transition and to realising the green, prosperous and equitable future that Earth Day imagines, we recognise that as a business our role is not just to invest in our planet, it is also to inspire climate action and lead by example. As we continue to grow and expand, this will be a key focus for the company, as part of our broader plans to ensure that sustainability underpins both our external and internal operations.
Our CEO, Marta Martínez Queimadelos explains:
“Cero has made impressive headway since being founded in 2021. We’ve grown rapidly, quickly establishing a strong position in the European renewables market and expanding into 7 different countries. We’re now in the process of developing our formal sustainability strategy to ensure our business operates sustainably inside and out. As part of this, we’ve introduced climate-friendly initiatives to support staff on their own sustainability journeys, including cycle to work schemes in the UK.”
In many ways, Cero’s approach to sustainability echoes Earth Day’s 52 Ways campaign, which sets out many small actionable steps we can take on a daily basis to increase our positive impact. We’re pleased to be playing a part in this by creating accessible initiatives for our employees, and looking at other ways to inspire climate action among staff is something we’re investing more time in this year. Watch this space!
 In Italy, a social farm is one that partners with a social cooperative or another institution to integrate vulnerable or socially excluded people into agricultural practices. You can read more about social farms here