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 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 is often synonymous with consulting, audit and large long term investment. Your mission will be to change their mind, firstly because climate change is everyone’s business, and secondly because in 2020 sustainable action for companies is accessible, beneficial and impactful.
1. Reduce cost and maximize profit (by being sustainable)
According to research done by Bob Willard, author of The Sustainability Advantage, a small or medium company using best-practice sustainability approaches can increase its profit by 51% to 81% for a large manufacturing or 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 oil & gas and the aviation industries have emitted carbon reduction pledges. Does your company have a stand on reduction targets and offsetting programmes? Asking this can be a great conversation starter.
In Sweden, domestic flights fell by 9% fall in 2019 due to the growth of flight shaming. In response, companies have increased their commitment through offsetting. In November 2019, Easyjet became the first airline company to offset the entirety of their carbon emissions.
This ambitious move was 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!
At the moment, too few companies are taking actions to regenerate our planet, yet the movement is growing faster each year. A survey by The Boston Consulting Group found out in 2018 that only 13% of companies were acting decisively by setting reduction targets and reducing concretely their carbon footprint.
3. Improve your image as an employer
Nowadays people are looking for a job with purpose and values, especially millennials. When it comes to sustainability in the company, applicants put a strong emphasis 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 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 59% 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 their unsustainable palm oil to Nike using waste to create the lastest trendy sneakers, customers are influencing brands to change their approach. In 2015, Mc Donald’s closed more restaurant than they opened in part because of a lack of transparency in the long term and poor ratings by the public. Whether by will or by force, companies have to take a stance. Better get help to do it right.
According to a report by Deloitte, climate change is now the top priority for both Gen Z and millennials among all challenges facing society. Climate change is everywhere because it’s important and we need to rush to take actions.
Already 1,341 jurisdictions and local governments covering 803 million citizens across the world have declared climate emergency. Is climate change the main concern among employees in 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 both reacting and encouraging the sustainable trend. After a long period of observation, the largest players in the world such as BlackRock Investment or the Norwegian Sovereign Fund have decide to divest from the most polluting industries.
The Paris Conference (COP21) saw institutional investors with assets of more than $3 trillion divest from fossil fuels. 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 to create change in your company and empower your colleagues and boss to take action and fight climate change. Why not start by preparing a short presentation to your manager on why it all makes sense?
We believe that climate is everybody’s business. Plan A supports companies in their transition to sustainability. We help companies create a true culture of consciousness and reduce their footprint across the board.