By Patrick Ear, software engineer, Scality
In 2010–2019, average annual global greenhouse gas emissions were at their highest levels in human history — climate change is now a fact of modern life and it will only get worse until humanity reduces its greenhouse-gas pollution to zero. That’s according to the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) study. Released in early April 2022 and officially known as AR6 [Assessment Report Six] Climate Change 2022: Mitigation of Climate Change, the document stands at a whopping 2,900+ pages. To put it mildly, that’s a lot to unpack.
Climate change is an incredibly serious and complex matter — one that’s difficult to wrap your head around. The reality is that before we can take truly effective action, we must first truly comprehend the essential issues. That’s what led me to get involved as a volunteer with Climate Fresk, an organization focused on educating people about the scientific bases underlying climate change.
The goal of Climate Fresk is to distill the IPCC report through collaborative workshops aimed at raising climate science awareness and improving understanding of the issues surrounding climate change.
Climate Fresk comes to Scality SKO
This year I was able to bring the Climate Fresk workshop to my colleagues as part of Scality’s sales kickoff in Alicante, Spain. The activity aligned perfectly with our company’s values.
Scality for good is an integral aspect of our DNA. With projects around the globe, Scality’s employees are helping to create a better tomorrow. Beyond our technology roots, we strive to encourage positive, healthy human progress as a force for good. Our commitment is focused on three areas: charitable donations, workforce inclusion and the environment.
Sharing the Climate Fresk experience with my colleagues — and with the enthusiastic support of Scality leadership — proved to be enlightening. Participants learned about the different factors, activities and consequences of climate change, starting first with an assessment of their own knowledge. Together, we identified actions that each of us can individually take to mitigate the impacts of climate change — and came up with recommendations for steps that Scality as a whole can take to reduce the company’s carbon footprint.
These recommendations are still being reviewed, but reducing the company’s carbon footprint is a key Scality initiative. Earlier this year, the company joined more than 100 other companies in signing the Climate Act to commit to measuring and reducing our carbon footprint.
As a Climate Fresk facilitator, it’s always interesting to witness the reaction of participants. Several colleagues told me they had no idea what to expect from the workshop and came away with a much deeper understanding of the links between societal, environmental and economic implications of climate change. One participant commented she was particularly surprised by (and glad to have learned about) the impacts of deforestation and what’s contributing to essentially irreversible sea-level rise. Another mentioned he was gobsmacked by the reality that averting every additional tenth of a degree of global warming will not only lessen harm over the next few decades, but resound for centuries — even millennia — to come.
Across the board, we all learned something new. Every time I facilitate a workshop, I leave with more knowledge than I came in with. This time was no exception. Each day at work, I’m impressed by my colleagues’ expertise and thoughtfulness as we put our heads together to create solutions for the world’s biggest data challenges. Seeing the team’s focus applied to this critical topic was really heartening. Tackling climate change requires efforts from both individuals and organizations; while policy-makers have a bigger role to play, every individual can also do their part.
Minds and hearts unite around a common goal
Climate change is one of the most pressing and daunting challenges of our time — as global citizens, we cannot afford to turn a blind eye. Our knowledge must grow deeper and evolve constantly to account for the systemic and complex nature of the challenges we face. Only when everyone understands the current climate emergency will we be able to act at the speed and scale necessary to make a difference.
As a Scality employee, having the opportunity to share realizations and make commitments with my fellow colleagues was an amazing experience. The energy in the room was palpable as we all came together to grasp an eminently complex subject — the urgency of acting efficiently and with solidarity is a lesson that will stay with us.