“We have become the greatest threat to the health of our home but there’s still time for us to address the challenges we’ve created, if we act now.” – Sir David Attenborough
This isn’t just about saving the planet; it’s about saving ourselves. We are in a crisis and it isn’t being solved quickly enough. There is no “them”. It is up to “us”. And we must take action immediately.
The CEO of BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, challenged businesses across the world to make a positive contribution to the environment and to society while The Bank of England has warned climate change could have a “catastrophic impact” on the global financial system. Last month, students across the country took to the streets to demand that we do more.
From children, to CEOs, there is a strong call for change – but we need to transform talk into action. Governments are not taking action quickly enough. If global temperatures rise above 1.5°C, 97% of scientists agree humanity will face untold damage to our health, our prosperity, and our planet. We’re currently on a path toward 3-4°C of warming.
Your organisation can’t afford to sit back and watch for any longer.
The science is plain to see
97% of scientists believe we are the cause of climate change. In 20 years of climate science, less than 0.2% of peer-reviewed articles rejected the idea of global warming. This great website tells the story of scientists who work tirelessly to explain how we are endangering ourselves and the world we live in. They say we’re set to miss the 2030 climate target which would allow us to minimise the damage that is set to occur.
But we can feel the effects of climate change today. Can you name the hottest four years since records began? They are: 2015, 2016, 2017 and, you guessed it… 2018. Last year, the 10 worst climate-linked natural disasters caused over $85 billion worth of damage, and these devastating events are happening more often because of increased heat. In the UK, our health suffers due to air pollution, resulting in 40,000 lives lost and costing the NHS £157 million every year. Moreover, 56% of the UK’s animal populations have decreased between 1970 and 2013, and recent news of the impending mass insect extinction causes more worry. Our health, our wealth, and our surroundings have all begun to deteriorate around us, but we hold the power to change.
Yes the climate has changed before. But it’s obvious temperatures are getting hotter at a faster rate, and fluctuating more, than ever before because of human actions. Unless we do something now, the speed at which we have changed the world creates a future of hardship and uncertainty.
Business must lead the charge
Businesses are in a the best position to take the reins and tackle climate change. With lack of governmental action, our businesses must take responsibility for our own negative impacts. A smart and future-proofed business leaves a positive impact on every customer, employee, and their supply chain. As well as benefits to the world, this brings huge benefits to businesses. The fact is we live in a world where people are increasingly conscious of the impact their spending has. After watching Blue Planet II (the most 2017 UK show with 14 million viewers), everyone around me became more aware of the plastic they consume and started a plastic revolution. Whether it’s about carbon, waste or water, consumers are beginning to care about who they give their money to. Those same people also care about where they work.
Businesses with strong sustainability policies have higher retention rates than those that don’t, and the next generation of talent increasingly cares about the social and environmental impact of their employer. Though change takes time, action provides benefits from day one. Energy efficient businesses can reduce bills and save carbon immediately, build a profitable brand based on purpose and environment-conscious workplaces can create sharper, happier and more productive employees. It’s no wonder that over 150 of the largest corporations in the world have committed to running on 100% renewable power.
Make a commitment to cut carbon today
You can’t change what you can’t measure. There are many organisations and methods you can choose to help you. At The Planet Mark, we have created a simple way to calculate the carbon footprint of any organisation and we give them advice on how to reduce their emissions every year. Businesses that work with us make real change, by reducing an average of 12% carbon emissions per employee. We’ve certified the progress made in reducing carbon footprints of over 400+ organisations and they wear The Planet Mark with pride; a symbol of progress. We also help organisations engage their stakeholders and communicate their success so that we can all begin to take the journey toward a sustainable future.
You can even choose to manage your carbon yourself with the help of our free materials. We see a world where we all contribute to a thriving planet and are a collective force for good. Join us by making a commitment to tackle climate change today, not tomorrow, but today.