Why Businesses Should Care About Climate Change,
and What They Can Do to Help
Climate change has been a hot topic of discussion for many years now. Businesses worldwide are being increasingly encouraged to consider it through fear that failing to do so could have significant ramifications. Is it really something that every company should be prioritising, though?
The simple answer is yes, and there are several compelling reasons why. Any business that hasn’t yet turned its attention to dealing with climate change should feel inclined to do so after learning about these.
There’s no shortage of things they can do to tackle this growing problem either, as you’ll discover in this article.
It’s Not Going Away
Climate change isn’t something that happens overnight. No one is going to wake up and find that the world has frozen over or burned alive. Unfortunately, the slow pace of it is part of the problem because it convinces people that nothing’s wrong. They need a drastic change in the current situation to show them what’s happening globally, but they never really get that.
Regardless, this issue has been with us for decades, and it’s not going away unless everyone does their part. Things might never worsen dramatically overnight, but your business will definitely experience a lot of negative changes. The cost of doing business will continually increase, particularly in industries directly impacted by the climate, such as agriculture.
Nearly every company will be affected in some way, meaning it’s going to keep getting more expensive to do your job without a gain in profits. It’s better to start tackling the problem now - while change is still possible - before your finances take a significant hit.
It’s Better to Be Ahead Of The Curve
If the issues regarding climate change continue to worsen, drastic action will likely be taken by the government. Steps are already being made in the UK, with many companies compelled to begin disclosing climate risk reports by 2025. This mandatory move is part of the country’s aim to become a net zero-carbon country, and it means that a lot of businesses soon won’t have anywhere to hide.
With such procedures being enforced, it makes sense for companies to act sooner rather than later. Not only will you avoid some surprise headaches later in the future, but it will also help with your reputation. A business that willingly tackles climate change will be viewed more favourably than one that was forced to adapt to the times.
Given how the perception of environmental issues is slowly changing in the public eye, you don’t want your stance on climate change to be what affects your profit margin.
It Influences Employee Hire and Engagement
An excellent reason why businesses should care about climate change relates to how their employees feel about the matter. People are increasingly interested in working for a company aiming to tackle climate change, with a 2020 UK survey placing the figure at roughly two-thirds. Too many businesses aren’t yet meeting these expectations, meaning the selection that are dealing with the issue are seeing a lot of employment interest. If the people they hire also have a strong set of skills for the job, it means they get a leg up on their competitors.
Although not all workers care about climate change, and some who do will still prioritise getting a job over their environmental concerns, the landscape is slowly changing. As the issue becomes more pressing, the pool of people willing to put money and employment first may well shrink. Those who are left won’t necessarily be the best ones for the job, so businesses are better off not limiting themselves to this batch of candidates.
It’s Starting to Matter to Investors
As climate change becomes harder to avoid, employees aren’t the only ones realising something needs to be done. Plenty of investors are also becoming wise to the situation and putting their money into businesses that help to tackle the problem.
It’s not yet at the point where a company that pretends this issue doesn’t exist is unable to seek funding. However, the likelihood of such a business being backed by investors may be smaller now than it was a few decades ago. What’s more, this trend is likely to continue, with funding opportunities shrinking year after year as change becomes vital.
Businesses can avoid running into this wall by adopting environmentally friendly initiatives, removing a hurdle from the investment process. Given this can make a significant difference to economic sustainability, that’s not a bad thing.
Consider Taking A Climate Change Course
Adapting your company to tackle climate change is a significant task if you’re uninformed about the issue and how it affects or can be affected by businesses. That’s why it’s worth taking a climate change short course.
This will teach you all about climate change risk mitigation and adaptation, so you understand how to move a business towards zero emissions. It’s not something that will take up a lot of time – climate change short courses only last a few months – but the payoff will help you for potentially decades to come.
Becoming a more environmentally friendly company could help businesses generate trillions in revenue over the next few years. You just need to know how that’s possible, which is what such courses are here to teach you.
Start Off Making Small Steps
All businesses must start enacting positive changes regarding their impact on the environment. However, while big initiatives are great, they’re not the only way you can make a difference.
Even if you need more time to properly adapt your company or generate the funds to carry out your plans, there are still some small steps you can take to help the cause. For instance, ensuring that everything is done digitally or enforcing strict regulations around saving energy and recycling in the workplace. These things are easy for staff to adopt that won’t cause any disruption to the business.
Alone, these alterations might not seem like a big deal. However, if every company had these in place, we’d already start to see good progress towards waste reduction and controlling deforestation. No change is insignificant when it comes to helping the planet.
Encourage Remote Working
The COVID-19 pandemic wasn’t something that was welcomed with open arms. Despite all the devastation it caused, though, it showed us how we could help the environment recover from climate change.
The lack of commuting during the lockdowns meant that CO2 emissions were lower. Unfortunately, now that restrictions are mostly lifted, these are back on the rise. However, businesses can ensure they don’t get too high by facilitating employees to work from home.
Although some jobs can’t be done remotely, those that can should largely remain that way. At the very least, responsibilities should be split between home and the office, so that there’s less commuting throughout the working week.
Given that three-quarters of UK businesses are reportedly looking to sustainability to bounce back from the pandemic, this is an excellent way for them to achieve their goals. Not only will they reduce emissions, but they can also save a lot of money by getting rid of the office, or by downgrading to a smaller or co-working space.
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Climate change isn’t going anywhere, but its impact is yet to be decided. It all depends on the actions people take to try and stop it. Everyone needs to do their bit, but businesses have a more significant influence than the average person. That’s why it’s essential that every company takes it seriously and does what they can to make a difference.
About the Author
Zoe writes articles for a wide variety of career websites, blogs and magazines, has a strong understanding of current business trends, and a passion for entrepreneurism.