In business, time is money. It’s also a limited commodity when it comes to getting climate change under control, and businesses worldwide are stepping up to do something about it.
Toy giant Mattel introduced a toy recycling program and has set a goal of using 100% recycled, recyclable or bio-based plastic materials by 2030. Nike uses recycled materials in three-quarters of its products and aims for a 30% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions across its global supply chain by 2030. Microsoft plans to become “carbon negative” by 2030, taking more carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere than it emits—with plans to remove the equivalent of all the carbon the company has ever emitted by 2050.
These dates are far from magic numbers. Scientists say that by 2030, climate change could be irreversible. By 2050, we need to be at net-zero emissions—meaning the greenhouse gas produced and the amount removed from the atmosphere is the same for our planet - or more accurately, us - to have a chance. More than 160 firms with a combined $70 trillion in assets are on board to meet this target, though every person and every company can make a difference.
If your company doesn’t have a climate plan, it doesn’t have a business plan. Aside from the effects climate change has on resources and populations, it has the potential to damage the economy and the cost of doing business. Further to that, making environmentally sound choices can save your business money here and now, and consumers want to support companies that are making such choices.
So, where do you start?
1. Assess your carbon footprint
Look at how your company is currently operating. How are you sourcing materials? What materials are you buying? What are your policies on recycling, if you have them? Which sources of energy are you using? What are you serving at company luncheons and events? Yes, even certain foods are carbon-intensive to produce.
There are companies that can help you assess your actual carbon footprint. Examining how you operate right now can be an eye-opener in itself.
2. Set targets
You likely have a mission statement, and this is kind of the same thing—except the mission is to reduce your carbon footprint. This is where you think about how you can reduce your carbon footprint and put it into tangible targets.
“Our company will reduce its carbon footprint by 40% as of 2025,” may be your mission, with targets like, “we’ll only serve plant-based meals by the end of this year” or “we’ll only purchase recyclable materials.”
By looking at your overall carbon footprint and breaking the solution into smaller, more manageable steps, you’ll make a bigger impact.
3. Communicate your goals
Let your staff know of your plans. Educating staff will increase buy-in, which will help your company advance its goals—and perhaps spark a change within staff members, too.
4. Keep track of progress
With tangible targets on your radar, it’s easier to check in to see how your company is faring. By setting certain check-in points, say the end of the fiscal year, you can compare your current and starting stats to measure how far you’ve come—or how far you have yet to go.
5. Enlist the right help
Talk with trusted professionals about your goals. Your legal or financial advisor—or both—can help you establish a climate risk assessment for your business, taking into consideration your current and future operations. They can also give you advice to further develop your climate plan.
Use Vexxit to connect with professionals who can work with you to achieve your climate goals. With lawyers, accountants and other professionals in our network—which is always free to access—you can join the ranks of those who have committed to building a better future for their businesses and their planet.