Global Footprints: Why Footnotes on Headstones Helped Reopen my Eyes - Intelsius - A DGP Company | Cold Chain Packaging Solutions
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Global Footprints: Why Footnotes on Headstones Helped Reopen my Eyes

David Walsh, CEO

For most of us it is personal and it starts with a moment of clarity.

It must be about five years ago that I first read Jared Diamond’s book Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed, which among other things explained what happened to all the people, and all the trees that used to live on Easter Island in the remotest part of the Pacific Ocean. The Island as it turns out had its renewable resources used up faster than it could renew them with the result that the Islanders’ population collapsed from a sophisticated, Polynesian “Ahu” or monument building society of 15,000 souls to 2,000 cannibalistic troglodytes by the time a Dutch seafarer stumbled over the island in 1722. The conceit was that Easter Island is a metaphor for Planet Earth in terms of its remoteness from any other habitable environment and has limited resources which we are absent-mindedly chewing through with a studied air of detachment.

While I was reading this I was also skimming around the San Juan Islands off the coast of Vancouver Island chasing resident pods of killer whale as they in turn and far more beautifully pursued the pacific salmon that they survived on. I learned then that female Orcas live longer than male Orcas. Not exactly surprising in the grand scheme, I thought.

What is surprising is why.

One of the reasons is that the female Orcas do not have the same heavy metal load as their male counterparts because female Orcas expressed the metals as part of their milk production, passing the toxic load to their newborn calves. That was it: that was the moment of clarity for me.

Nothing much happened immediately after this so-called epiphany. I came home but on the way I started to try to figure out how I could do something to help. Five years later, I am still working on this.

In the meantime, apart from all the good earth citizen activities that one tries to follow, I realised that my biggest weapon to somehow help in the battle to redress the depletion of our planet was and is who I work for i.e. INTELSIUS. The simple insight for me is that as anyone can be part of the problem or part of the solution, it is a matter of personal choice. In being a solution provider our solution is that we do more with less, simple. We have launched a major environmental product or solution initiative every year since. For example, ATMOS our unique proprietary Virtual Design Qualification tool which saves a minimum 70% of the energy used to develop thermal control packaging systems.


It’s why I know there will be more done, must be more, because it matters that we don’t become Easter Islanders standing in front of the last tree with an axe and a conundrum.

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