My First Antarctic Expedition Story was life-changing. They say the worst part of a beautiful dream is when it is over. The best part is when you realize that that dream just transformed your world and marked the beginning of an inspiration for a lifetime.
How Did it Happen
Early in 2011, I had the exceptional honor to participate in the first of its kind Renewable Energy Antarctic Expedition. In March 2011, I then joined a team of 27 senior environmental experts from across the world. Those were leaders from organizations like Shell, the Asian power house CLP Group, Duke Energy, National Geographic, Lockheed Martin, Newscorp, U.S. Green Building Council, and EPA among others.
This consortium of like minded people got together not only to witness Antarctica. Our goal was to share our own contribution to global sustainability development and to write the first CSR report from Antarctica.
The two-week Antarctic expedition story became possible thanks to “2041” and led by ACORE, American Council on Renewable Energy. “2041” was founded by polar explorer and public speaker Robert Swan, OBE, the first person in history to walk to both the North and South Poles.
Swan has dedicated his life to the preservation of Antarctica. Indeed, he continuously promotes recycling, renewable energy and sustainability to combat the effects of climate change.
Human activities in Antarctica fall under the international agreement, Antarctic Treaty System, established in 1959. In fact, this unique international agreement ensures that people use Antarctica for peaceful purposes only and that they protect its environment. Currently the Environmental Protocol moratorium bans drilling or mining in Antarctica.
The document is up for revision after its 50-year anniversary in 2041. Consequently, Robert Swan’s goal is to ensure that the young people and leaders of today make sustainable decisions for tomorrow.
How Did we Write our Antarctic Expedition Story
Our group stood in awe before the remnants of the Larsen B ice shelf. We camped on snow beside seals and penguins. We dove in sub-zero waters, and hiked volcanoes. As a result, we quickly realized one thing. Yes, we were on a ship with strangers. However, we were part of an exceptionally supportive environment with an incredible pool of knowledge, experience, and decision making power.
We were out of our comfort zone and that lead to a powerful transformation. What is more, the extremity of the surroundings dug deep in our hearts. It motivated us to leverage our joint efforts even more.
In fact, we had the opportunity to step out of the systems we are part of and look from outside at the challenges we face. At the same time, we obtained invaluable feedback from all the team members.
The severe yet pristine and fragile environment of Antarctica re-ignited our passion to power through and inspire sustainable leadership within our communities and companies – for the rest of our lives.
The sheer power and enlightenment of that Antarctic expedition story started to sink in. As a result, I recognized I have a role as an official ambassador of “2041” globally.
Furthermore, through my work in e-waste recycling with Enviroserve and my involvement with various publications and NGOs, I am directly part of environmental preservation and raising awareness on ecological challenges.
It is my long-term goal to progressively move up in the field and assist companies and societies in adopting sustainability practices that benefit everyone – people, profit, and the planet.
Watch the full video of my first Antarctic expedition story.