Celebrating 50 years of protecting the planet

Celebrating 50 years of protecting the planet
Apr 22, 2020
What Earth Day means to ICF employees in the midst of a pandemic

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, a momentous occasion many—including ICF employees—will greet with much fanfare.

Yes, the celebrations will look a bit different this year due to COVID-19. Instead of gathering for group activities, we’ll celebrate quietly within our households. Garden. Bird watch. Take a nature walk.

Our isolation helps us appreciate the planet in a new way. We’re quieter, listening—and the earth is benefiting.

But it’s more important now than ever to celebrate. Especially as we bear witness to cleaner air around the world. And begin to see food, water, and supply chains differently.  

A look back—and ahead

These are issues ICF employees have worked on for the bulk of our (now 51-year) history. Our environmentalists built the foundation for transformative change—including U.S. federal environmental and risk assessments that led to the identification of Superfund sites. ICF also helped develop the first-ever U.S. national greenhouse gas inventory—and we have supported every inventory since then. We helped launch the ENERGY STAR label for energy-efficient products and buildings—and continue to grow the program. And we’re proud of our status, since 2006, as net carbon neutral.

As the world comes together to address environmental challenges, ICF has always been there, playing a pivotal role. Even today. As we continue our environment and climate change work, we guide commercial businesses (like utilities) as well as state, local, and federal governments through adaptation and resilience plans.

Teachable moments

That said, this is no time to rest on our laurels. There is potential for positive change to come from this pandemic, from an environmental perspective. ICF’s Green Team—a volunteer network of employees who promote eco-friendly ideas—suggests these activities to get us a little closer to the earth, and ourselves:

  • Enjoy nature. Step outside. Be still. Use all five senses to appreciate the natural world.
  • Garden and compost. Get your hands dirty. Educate yourself and your kids about the full lifecycle of food.
  • Reflect. Consider how to be a better steward of the planet. Engage your household in that discussion.
Across the globe, the rhythm of our daily lives has been altered, to say the least. One day, hopefully soon, we’ll move about freely again. But when that day comes, we cannot ignore the lessons learned. Our movements directly impact the world around us. Let’s move more mindfully. And celebrate the planet each and every day, not just on April 22.
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