“Britain became the first country to use coal for electricity when Thomas Edison opened the Holborn Viaduct power station in London in 1882”, and today will be the first working day since the Industrial Revolution without coal power generation in Britain (according to the Guardian). By 2025, coal power plants will be entirely phased out in the UK. This is a landmark moment for our society, not because ‘coal is the enemy’ or because this alone will resolve our troubles with climate change, but because it represents a milestone in the evolution of our global energy economy. 135 years ago coal power generation was hailed as a revolutionary new technology, empowering Britain and soon the world to produce and innovate at a rate never seen before. And now we are rapidly transitioning away from coal and diversifying into an array of cleaner, more efficient modes of energy production.
Here at Burton, our theme for this year’s Earth Day is PROGRESS. We recognize that there is no single correct definition of what “progress” is and what it looks like. We consider ourselves lucky to have the opportunity to work with a diverse set of businesses that each define progress differently, and we enjoy the challenge of adapting our services to meet each client’s particular needs. But Earth Day is the perfect time to reflect on the paradigm shift that we are all collectively experiencing: the advancement of our industry and economy has historically led to increasingly harmful impacts on the Earth, but today our vision for progress includes a world in which all our needs are met without sacrificing the environment.