Guest Post: By Mark Roberts
Right now world leaders are meeting in Poland to try and figure out how they can combat complete climate breakdown. When the UN announced the Paris Agreement in 2015 it was to inspire the leaders of the global community to work together to keep the planet’s warming to a minimum.
3 years on and we are now hearing the first scientific predictions of what our world would look like in just over 10 years if we don’t change our habits that are currently heading to complete ecocide.
What does this mean for businesses?
All over the globe, economists are looking at models that will predict how our current consumption rates work in a system designed to put growth above all else. Countries are graded on their GDP, which isn’t the right metric at all and in the business world we are told that only bottom line profit matters.
In 1994 John Elkington posited that there might be another way and that we should look at the Triple Bottom Line as a way forward. This means that it’s not about putting just profit first but also our effect on the planet and our people.
The old guard is still trying to convince us — through monopolised media — that we should put aside climate concerns and focus on wealth as the ultimate goal. But what good is money when our planet is dead and can no longer sustain human life?
The IPCC report is telling us that we should be looking toward leaders like Kate Raworth who postulates that an economy based on her ‘doughnut’ principles would ensure that everyone prospers together. Not the rich getting richer but ensuring everyone has the fundamental right to live safely in our communities and on a thriving planet.
The future for your business
Consumerism is changing for the better. In a recent survey, 35% of consumers said they’d pay more for a product that is better for the environment. Among millennials, that figure rises to almost 75%. And it’s likely that both figures will grow as we become more aware of our impact on the planet.
Last year, the value of ethical spending in the UK hit a massive £81.3 billion. Consumers are increasingly choosing ethical products, from household cleaning products to renewable energy providers. The ethical consumer is no longer an ideological dream — it’s a reality that is changing the world of commerce.
If you are looking to future-proof your business, it is time to review your goals. Now is the moment to ensure they are meeting not only financial goals, but meeting this new wave of consumer demands.
3 actions you can take immediately
For personal and small business offsets I’d recommend CarbonFootprint.com and for larger corporations, Eco-Act. Both of these organisations make it easy for your company make a positive change to our environment.
Making the switch to 100% renewable energy companies like Ecotricity or GoodEnergy are great choices to cause less harm to our planet. Companies like RenewableUK offer great support to businesses making the transition.
Use a framework:
If you are reading this and thinking that while this all sounds great, it also sounds tough to implement then you are right. It’s not going to be easy but it’s beyond that now. This isn’t just a nice gesture — it’s necessary for the future of our planet.
We highly recommend using the B-Corporation framework because they address both environmental and social issues within your company, pushing you to create a more diverse and transparent company.
Mark Roberts is CEO of Conscious Creatives, a group of like-minded individuals helping to make the world of business more responsible.