Saturday 25th March will mark the 10th anniversary of WWF’s Earth Hour, the largest global demonstration of support for action on climate change. Every year since the inaugural Earth Hour event in Sydney in 2007, millions of people across the world have switched off their lights for one hour in a show of solidarity and support for this important cause. In 2016 over 178 countries took part, and in the UK alone, six million people joined in the event and switched off their lights at the same time as major landmarks such as Big Ben, Buckingham Palace and Edinburgh Castle in the UK, to the Eiffel Tower and the Sydney Opera House further afield. As you can imagine, the effect of such famous landmarks switching off is incredibly impactful. And that is the aim of Earth Hour: to drive home the message that climate change remains a global issue that should continue to demand our attention and spur us into action. With 2016 being the hottest year on record for the third year running, it is becoming ever more crucial for us all to do what we can to limit and mitigate the effects of global warming.
At Marks & Spencer, we are also showing our support and getting involved. Last year our Paddington Head Quarters turned off all non-essential lights and will be switching off again tomorrow. We wanted to take this one step further in 2017 so for the first time ever, at 8.30pm tomorrow we will be switching off the store window lights and external lights at over 100 of our stores across the UK. Stores will range from Flagships to Foodhalls, focusing on those near major landmarks also taking part in Earth Hour.
Our involvement with Earth Hour supports our own ongoing commitments to tackling climate change issues via our Plan A programme
. We are continually looking at ways to reduce our energy consumption in our stores and offices, to become more energy efficient and produce less wastage, as well as inspire our staff, suppliers, customers and communities to work towards the same goal. Working with fantastic partner organisations, such as WWF, helps us to achieve these ambitions.
We are excited to be involved in this major global event and hope to encourage others to do the same. You too can sign up for WWF’s Earth Hour
. Set your alarm for 8.30pm tomorrow and switch off your lights in a symbolic show of global support to protect our amazing planet. Whether you decide to have a candlelit dinner or a digital detox, make Earth Hour Matter. As WWF says, “the time is now, for us to make climate matter.”