It has become increasingly difficult to ignore the consequences of climate change on our every day lives. And so the responsibility to protect nature and curb the effects of climate change lies upon every single actor in society, including businesses.
For many years now climate change has been making its way into our daily lives. But the last few years have probably been the most determinant in convincing those who still fell somewhat distant from the consequences of our changing climate.
Droughts, forest fires, rising sea levels… the latter affect everything from food supply to the quality of the air we breath, meaning climate change is a problem for virtually everyone in the world. And so the responsibility and opportunity to make a difference lies within every actor in society: individuals, governments, organizations, and of course, businesses.
Business and climate change
The link between climate change and business activities and practices is undeniable. We cannot escape the fact that the products we consume and the services we use come at a price for the environment.
Our fast growing societies have required new production and consumption methods and trends that predominantly underestimate long term effects for our biodiversity and livelihood in favor of short term gains.
Pollution, scarcity of resources, land exploitation, overproduction… these are some of the problems that characterize the relationship between businesses and climate change.
So what can companies do to reduce their impact on the climate?
1. Climate disclosure
Perhaps the first step to actually reduce negative impact on the environment, is to understand what such an impact looks like in the first place. In other words, we cannot manage what we don’t measure, and consequently understand.
Beyond mandatory regulations that help investors put their money in what is needed for the future and properly asses risks and opportunities, disclosure of climate related matters is also crucial for companies themselves.
Understanding climate risks is essential for companies to allocate resources and capital, manage their supply change effectively, and overall achieve a strong long term business strategy that gradually reduces its negative impact on the environment.
2. Climate advocacy
Companies have an advantage when it comes to public influence, and although it should be taken cautiously, the latter can become a great force for good when done properly.
Using social, cultural and capital influence for advancing climate related policies at all levels of governments is crucial to push necessary regulations that help fight the effects of climate change.
Additionally, public advocacy can raise awareness outside a company’s own industry, as well as outside the geographical location of the given organization, further advancing climate advocacy.
3. Long-term thinking
On a more general note, companies that want to help protect the climate should think of their business strategy, and any kind of decision making, in the long term.
What we choose to do today has an effect on future generations, so we should start by changing our short term profit over planet mindset into one that looks far into the future for the sake of the planet and the people who will inherit it.
Long term thinking means measuring progress in all of its realms. Is the current economic and strategic model of the company suitable to protect biodiversity loss and natural resources? If the answer is no, then maybe we should reconsider what progress is altogether.
Much of what we have talked about today is nothing more than transparency. In fact, is the lack of information and a transparent look into what businesses are doing to give an effective response to climate change that has become one of the biggest obstacles preventing us from effectively fighting its consequences.
In this regard, it is essential to our work to promote good corporate governance, meaning that the processes of disclosure and transparency are followed so as to provide regulators and shareholders as well as the general public with precise and accurate information about the financial, operational and other aspects of the company.
We have developed a corporate government tool that helps establish ESG impact objectives for employees in regards to the sustainability strategy of the company. Through our technology we are able to activate and track employees’ impact, creating engagement that translates into improved ESG metrics, reputational value and an overall positive impact for the environment and society.
If you want to know more about how we work to create a positive social and environmental impact, click here.