How are Businesses Responding to the Global Climate Strike?
October 9, 2019
Climate strikes being organized across the globe are spurring businesses into action. In addition to political response, business owners and management are taking the opportunity to greenify business structures to reflect a renewed dedication to sustainability.
Worldwide resistance to climate change has brought cities and countries – separated only by distance – together to combat the onset of an imminent environmental crisis. We’ve seen businesses closing their doors to stand with activists and everyday earth dwellers to give voice to sustainability issues intertwined in the global economy and what can be done to resolve them in a manner that will be beneficial to all.
We’ve seen businesses take action at a corporate level to initiate the transition to a greener, more sustainable framework that fully acknowledges the synergy between profits, people and the planet. Here’s a look at how businesses, the driving forces in our economy, are evolving procedures to take a stand against climate change.
Taking a multi-faceted approach to sustainability
The secret to tackling climate change from a corporate perspective is implementing a multi-faceted approach that addresses multiple sustainability concerns in unison. Approaching issues in isolation on a one-by-one basis is in itself an unsustainable practice that has received overstated appreciation in recent years, encouraging businesses to do the bare minimum. While we have argued that any contribution, no matter the size, is better than no contribution, the time has come for businesses to ramp it up. Time is of the essence.
Examples of a multi-faceted approach can be seen from corporate community outreach programs, partnerships with not-for-profits, supply chain and marketing strategy updates, installation of net zero emissions technology, and more.
Small businesses are not exempt from this revolution (and by no means are they demonstrating they’d like to be!). In fact, many of the radical changes we’ve heard about come from just this business demographic. Small businesses are reevaluating supply chains for sustainable practices, implementing strict recycling and composting programs, examining packaging procedures, and participating in community initiatives to enact change.
Advocates for the multi-faceted approach are encouraging businesses to view their local economies and environments as a single living organism to which they are contributing to sustainably for optimal health.
Environmental impacts in review
Before implementing a multi-faceted approach for tackling climate change, business leaders must first take stock of their current environmental impact. Taking into consideration the areas in which a business is currently falling short of sustainable practices is an important place to start for a number of reasons.
Engaging in an in-depth assessment of current practices will elicit a clearer picture of the measures that will be required to resolve or offset the environmental impact of overall operations. It will also prevent understatement of issues through uneducated estimation processes.
The first place to look is the supply chain. What purchases are you making from suppliers, whether it be components of production, products for resale, office supplies, or promotional materials? How these essential elements be sourced more sustainably with minimal impact on profit margins?
Secondly, businesses are taking into consideration the health of their employees, both physically and mentally. The incorporation of green space and increasing biodiversity in the workplace contribute to better overall employee health, which in turn contributes to greater productivity. Green space also contributes to a healthier community of consumers for business offerings.
Opportunities for collaboration with developing nations
Some businesses have taken the climate crisis as an opportunity to collaborate with developing nations. Much of the world’s innovative sustainable technology is coming from this third world demographic, and at a price that first and second world businesses can afford.
We’ve also seen corporate leaders harnessing the opportunity to leapfrog sustainable infrastructure into developing countries to foster stability and efficiency in addition to sustainability within these economies, increasing the viability of securing new business relationships.
Often developing countries will agree to adhere to sustainability requirements of global trade partners in order to form ongoing business partnerships, making this both a cost-effective solution an environmentally sustainable one.