With climate events dominating news headlines today, we are all aware of the detrimental impacts of climate change in every part of our life. And as a business owner, you have the power to help with the environmental and socioeconomic concerns we face. Start with initiating climate leadership.
Based on the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, we are set to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius to avoid climate catastrophe. As a result, businesses are encouraged to take part in achieving this goal as one of the significant contributors to the crisis.
So if you want to become a climate leader, a great way to start is by assuming climate leadership and incorporating sustainability into your business. Let’s dive deep into knowing its concept and how it can provide meaningful change inside and outside your organization.
Defining Climate Leadership
By definition, climate leadership refers to putting oneself ahead of the economic and political transitions to make a global response to climate change. In the business sector, it is an approach to mitigating climate change by actively managing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across their operations. And your goal as a company initiating climate leadership is to decarbonize and be consistent with it.
Furthermore, “climate leadership means policy leadership,” as Victoria Mills, managing director of the Environmental Defense Fund, mentioned at the Climate Leadership Conference. She also said that now is the time to move the discourse from “what we can do” to “what will it take” to address climate change. And that to achieve net-zero emissions, your voice in the business sector is needed for the government to act and make better public policies.
With this in mind, we can say that climate leadership is more than just adopting sustainability practices. Businesses should also be willing to deploy the full power of their mission in the legislative world.
Steps To Become A Corporate Climate Leader
As you start your journey of being a corporate climate leader, there are a few things you need to consider doing. These include:
1. Making Climate Change Mitigation A Priority.
The first thing you should know about in taking this new step is that you must be intentional about it. As a corporate climate leader, you are seen as someone who makes climate ambitions for a sustainable future.
Today, our goal is to achieve the 1.5-degree celsius global warming limit. IPCC advised companies to halve their GHG emissions by 2030 and reach net zero no later than 2050. These goals are achievable by dedicating your company to creating sustainable decisions.
2. Measuring Your GHG Emissions
Measuring your GHG emissions is the primary action you must take. You won’t be able to make strategic climate decisions if you don’t know how severe your environmental impact is. If you’re in the shipping sector, you can use a carbon intensity indicator (CII) to learn about your GHG emissions. But if not, there are also other tools you can use in carbon accounting.
Nevertheless, knowing your company’s GHG emissions will give insight into which business operation is more polluting. From there, you’ll be able to think of solutions to address these issues inside your company and supply chain.
3. Investing in Eco-Friendly Infrastructure and Equipment
Fossil fuels are a significant contributor to the climate crisis. With this in mind, reducing your energy consumption and investing in green buildings and sustainable equipment are recommended.
When you need electricity, you can use localized solar and wind power generators to eliminate the need for coal. Despite having significantly lower risks, these renewable energy sources can offer the same amount of electricity.
Also, aside from sustainable equipment, it is best to choose your packaging materials and promote sustainability. Always remember that in becoming a corporate climate leader, you must think big and ensure that all your means are sustainable.
4. Educating Your Employees On Sustainable Ways
You won’t be able to accomplish your company’s sustainability target alone. To do it, the entire team should be working together. So, lead your staff by educating them on how they can help reach your climate targets. Doing this creates a productive and happy workplace for your employees. How? When they learn that they also have a macro-level impact, they become more motivated to do their best.
Here’s what you can do for your employees:
- Create programs about conserving water and energy
- Develop waste reduction and recycling programs
- Encourage your employees to volunteer
If you’re unsure how to do this alone, you can always partner with non-profit environmental organizations. They can help you with their expertise and resources as you start your sustainable journey.
5. Supporting Climate Change Legislation
As mentioned, being a corporate climate leader doesn’t end in leading your company towards sustainable goals. That said, it would be best if you also took it at a global scale by using your voice to urge the government to act on the climate crisis. After all, legislators are the ones who make policies. So, they hold complete power over how we should move forward in this crisis.
Now more than ever, taking climate leadership is crucial to inspire everyone to partake in environmental causes. The climate crisis affects everyone: the people, the economy, and the planet—and we cannot afford to lose another decade to address it. So take a step now, be a climate leader, and commit to corporate sustainability to achieve the 1.5 degrees celsius threshold. Doing all this will help us look forward to a greener future.