– Teresa Madaleno:
The World Economic Forum indicates that people around the globe now feel that climate change is one of the most urgent issues facing humankind. Generation Z (those born between 1997-2015) are especially vocal about their demand for businesses, institutions, and government to help the environment.
Recent surveys, including one by public-relations firm Edelman, shows people have more faith in business than they do in politicians or institutions, so this presents a real opportunity for corporations to take the lead on influencing climate action.
How to be a climate influencer
The most obvious way to be an influencer when it comes to climate change is to walk-the-talk. Levi Straus & Co is a good example. Levi has saved over 4 billion liters of water since introducing Water<Less® a decade ago. Additionally, Levi uses more sustainable materials and many of their manufacturing facilities run worker well-being programs. Our own company is another example. Sparta Capital Limited, operating as “Sparta Group” is an environmental technology company, but its management and staff also works hard to protect the eco system through day-to-day practices. For example, Sparta’s truck fleet uses fuel produced from waste plastics and the company’s e-waste recycling division has a zero-landfill policy, meaning nothing gets thrown in the trash. Like Levi, Sparta has taken steps to protect human health in a more direct way. In late 2020, Sparta established a new division, Sparta Health Group, to assist businesses and their employees with safety tools that can add layers of protection for them during COVID-19.
Beyond walking-the-talk, businesses also have the power to influence by challenging individuals and organizations. According to Pew Research, nature-based solutions tend to attract attention. In the United States, planting trees is an action supported by 90 percent of people surveyed. Forests are amazing at carbon capture. A single tree is said to take in about 48 pounds per year when grown. With trees as an example, your company can encourage groups to try to set community, city, or even world records for planting trees.
The Global Water Challenge (GWC) is another example. It’s a coalition of organizations fighting for access to safe drinking water for everyone. Many companies, including Coca Cola are involved with (GWC). Their focus is to encourage innovation for sustainable solutions. Thanks to both public and private partnerships the GWC campaign has influenced a lot of action. In fact, since the campaign began in 2006, over 2 million people that didn’t have access to clean water do now.
Currently, Sparta tries to use its social media platforms to encourage action on climate change, but as the company grows, a more targeted approach to influencing change is expected.
Whether it is through your company website, through social media, or targeted communications campaigns, having the power to influence change that is crucial to our survival is an opportunity your business shouldn’t overlook.