Corporate Climate Action: 5 Tips To Help Your Business Be More Environmentally-Friendly
We all know that climate change outcomes have affected the global environment in numerous ways, such as increased heat, drought, declining water supplies and flooding.
Businesses, governments and communities are beginning to step-up. However, many organisations are noticing that sustainability initiatives are also boosting employees’ productivity, engagement, and contentment factors, as shown by research conducted by UCLA professors Delmas and Pekovic.
Experts observe that millennials are passionate about corporate climate action against global warming. In fact, survey results published in FastCompany found that 40% of people choose to work for a green business that cares for the environment and has outperformed other companies when it comes to sustainability.
Further, 75% of them are ready to leave a higher compensation to work at an organisation aligned with their values.
What’s more interesting is that a survey conducted by Gallup revealed that a whopping 85% of employees do not feel connected to the company’s vision if its culture displays no dedication to addressing climate change. And this has disastrous consequences.
So, how do you demonstrate your commitment to climate action?
How can your organisation contribute to a better future?
Let us first define corporate climate action to help answer these questions.
What is Corporate Climate Action?
A corporate climate action plan is a comprehensive strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions produced by a business due to its economic operations. A recent study by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) shows how important it is for everyone—including businesses, nonprofits and individuals—to take a stand to reduce global warming and execute the necessary steps to make it happen.
With effective climate change strategies, businesses can:
Lower carbon footprints
Decrease their cost
Reduce energy usage
Improve brand awareness
Incorporating a comprehensive corporate climate action plan is, in fact, the initial step toward minimising the greenhouse effect. You can conduct an emissions audit in collaboration with a sustainability consulting company. Once you estimate your corporate emissions, you can create a plan to reduce them.
Every organisation might face a few challenges regarding means and ways to introduce innovation, internal carbon pricing or external carbon offsets, etc. However, if you have energy usage or emission data at your end, you can easily use that to generate ideas that can help you mitigate climate change.
Thus, an effective climate action plan can solve both the purposes - minimising carbon emissions and driving innovation while helping a company meet its goals.
Are you ready to take action?
Five tips to help your business go eco-friendly
Here are some tips to decrease your business’ carbon footprint.
1. Reduce business travel
For those in the professional services sector, travel is one of the greatest contributors to corporate carbon emissions and according to Reuters, about 90% of business travel emissions are from air-based travel choices. Travelling via car and planes and the food waste generated due to corporate travels significantly rack up greenhouse gas emissions.
However, post-COVID, we all have seen how it’s easier for organisations to arrange virtual meetings and conferences using software like Zoom, Google Meet, etc. It does not only help the team collaborate from the comfort of their home but also reduces gas emissions and saves money.
2. Establish internal carbon pricing
Another step toward corporations’ call for action on climate change can be establishing internal carbon pricing. According to the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, 1,200 companies across the globe are planning on pursuing internal carbon pricing in the coming years.
This strategy allows companies to develop a corporate carbon price and thus assign a specific monetary value for each business activity that causes carbon emission. Then, they can categorise the price factor into different investment decisions.
So, if a business activity moves from emission-intensive products to carbon-resilient and low-carbon alternatives, it is provided with an incentive.
3. Pay attention to energy efficiency
This is probably one of the most essential components of corporate social responsibility and climate action plans. Many companies are now participating in a global initiative to improve their energy productivity, which according to the United Nations Environment Programme may help the world save around $2 trillion by 2030.
Employing energy efficiency strategies can even help you with issues regarding supply chains, cross-cutting, internal operations, and products and services.
However, you need to bear in mind that energy efficiency strategies are a success when:
They are an integral part of corporate plans.
The organisation has set efficiency goals in terms of accountability, time-bound, etc.
There is a robust tracking and measurement system.
The organisation communicates its results both internally and externally.
4. Deploy innovative financial tools
You might be surprised to know how many corporations support corporate climate actions while deploying a wide array of innovative financial tools.
The World Economic Forum found that many companies tap into the rise in investor demand by issuing sustainability bonds or green bonds to finance environment-friendly projects. These projects address climate change using low-carbon products and drive innovation.
Besides this, certain energy producers offer on-bill financing to their customers to invest money in energy-efficient products while adding payments to their utility bills. This strategy encourages them to work directly with utilities while removing the high upfront costs on efficiency products.
On the other hand, some big energy buyers are encouraged to participate in green pricing programmes that allow them to buy energy at a premium from a renewable project. It enables them to use sources, like solar, wind, biomass, geothermal, landfill gas, and low-impact hydro, that are good for the environment.
5. Influence climate action in society
Being a climate leader, you should use your network of suppliers, NGOs, customers, and government to support and accelerate climate actions. You can collaborate with suppliers and customers to:
Advance and support innovative technologies
Integrate a climate action commitment into all the corporate policies, including financial investments
Influence a circle of policymakers to step up their climate actions and policies in line with the commitment to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050
Besides that, you can also introduce additional sustainable options to your workforce including:
Paid volunteering program
Sustainability challenges among employees
These options will enable you to get your employees on board to run a green business and keep them connected to your vision.
So, how do you engage your employees in corporate climate action plans?
By integrating the strategies mentioned above into your system, you can simultaneously create business growth and drive innovation. You can influence your circle of community to be a part of a sustainable change by emerging as a climate leader.
Irrespective of whether you are a start-up or a multinational company, we urge you to start your journey now and join the climate movement.
1. How to write a climate action plan?
Developing an effective climate action plan is not a one-time task. Rather it is an iterative process. To bring it into fruition, you need to:
Set your primary goals.
Evaluate specific measures that can help you go eco-friendly.
Calculate what financial impact it may have on your company and how you will manage it.
Revise your goals, and make the changes if required.
2. What is the purpose behind a climate action plan?
The purpose behind creating a strong climate agreement and backing it up with concrete actions on the ground can help you achieve some sustainable goals, including:
Reduce the poverty rate
Build stronger economies
Provide safer and healthier societies
3. What can we do to reduce the greenhouse effect?
Here are a few simple ways through which you can reduce the greenhouse effect:
Eliminate single-use plastics
Reduce energy use, for it consists of around half of an organisation’s carbon footprint
Switch to low-carbon energy use items
Reduce, reuse, and recycle products
Educate your employees
4. What are the seven strategic priorities of NCCAP?
National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP) focuses on the following seven strategic priorities for adaptation from 2011 to 2028:
Ecological and environmental stability
Climate-friendly industries and services
Knowledge and capacity development
5. What defines a green business?
A green business or a sustainable business is an establishment with a positive or minimal negative effect on the local or global environment, community, or economy.