Yeah, it’s not always easy to convince your management to take meaningful action. Even when the workforce, the market and the projected costs are on your side. We have shortlisted of five good reasons to send that draft email, knock that door, or send that calendar invite to take climate action in your company upstairs.
In the head of a CEO, sustainability means: consulting, audit, longterm and big investment. Your mission will be to change their mind, firstly because climate change is everyone business, secondly because in 2020 sustainable actions for companies are accessible, affordable and impactful.
1. Reduce cost and maximize profit (yeah you can do so by being sustainable)
According to research done by Bob Willard, the Sustainable Business Expert, a small or medium company using best-practice sustainability approaches can increase its profit by 51% to 81% for a large manufacturing/distribution company, within 3 to 5 years. Best-practice sustainability approaches already exist, just need to get started and implement them at every level of your company.
On top of saving money, you could also maximize your profit, according to a 2019 Harvard Business Review article, sustainable products sales grew 5.6 times faster than products marketed as non-sustainable.
2. Become an industry leader and gain market share
Even big oil and the aviation industry have started reducing their emissions (at least trying by offsetting them). Where does your company stand? How sustainable is your industry?
In Sweden, there was a 9% fall in domestic flights and a 4% drop overall in 2019 due to the increase in the “flight shame”. What was the answer of the flight companies? Offsetting. Easyjet in November 2019 become the first airline company to offset the total of their carbon footprint, followed by many others (British airways, Quantas which has also zero-waste flight, delta, Air France, Air Canada, Air Blue, Jet start…). Individuals acting collectively have the power to create change. When a leader of an industry commits publically to sustainability, all the competitors have to follow, it’s still time for your company to jump in the train of sustainability!
Sadly at the moment, too few companies are taking actions. A survey by The Boston Consulting Group found out in 2018 that only 13% of companies were acting decisively by setting reduction target and reducing concretly their carbon footprint.
3. Improve employer branding
Nowadays people are looking for a job with purpose and values, especially millennials. When it comes to sustainability in the company, they put a strong highlight on this aspect, as Fast Company reported, nearly 40% have chosen a job because of company sustainability. Globally, more than a third of employees said that they’ve given more time and effort to a job because of their employer’s sustainability agenda.
Sustainability is a key to raise your employee’s engagement and improve your employer branding. A recent study by Peakon on 80 million employees revealed that concern about the environmental impact increased by 52% globally. In the Manufacturing sector, the concern rose by 595% in the past year. The global workforce is looking for more sustainability in their workplace and within their company.
4. Retain customers because they are not joking about it
According to Futerra, 88% of USA and UK consumers want brands to help them live sustainably.
From Nutella’s high-profile boycotts due to palm oil and massive deforestation in rainforests all over the world to Nike using waste to create the lastest trendy sneakers, customers are influcing brands to change their production habits. In 2015, Macdonald closed more restaurant than they opened because of a lack of transparency in term of CSR. This kind of naming and shaming are recurring nowadays because social media helps to spread the word and activists are powerful and really good at making noise around a specific problem. Nobody’s perfect but there is always room for improvement, what are you waiting for?
Climate change is now the top priority for both Gen Z and millennials among 20 challenges facing society. (Deloitte Global Survey 2019). You can’t open the news today without seeing an article about climate change. It’s everywhere because it’s important and we need to rush to take actions.
Already 1,341 jurisdictions and local governments covering 803 million citizens have declared climate emergency. Scientists say we have 12 years to change and stop the irreversible effects of climate change. What about taking part in this positive and meaningful change with your company. Is climate change the main concern for your company? How do you answer to your customers’ demands for greener products and services?
5. Make the company more attractive to investors
Investors are following the trend and today the trend is sustainability. BlackRock letter to stakeholders is a great example of a shift of interest for investors.
One indicator of this change of mind is the COP21, institutional investors with assets of more than $3 trillion have divested from fossil fuels in their portfolios, showing a clear wake-up call for investors. Moreover, this shift is necessary, as a report published by the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability in 2015 revealed that global investment portfolios could lose up to 45% as consequences of short-term shifts in climate change sentiment.
As an employee you have the power the make change in your company and empower your colleagues and boss to take action and fight climate change. This article is the first step to create positive change and to prove to the management that corporate climate action can benefit their company.