Whereas, in addition to being the world’s only headline story, coronavirus will be reintroduced into the news agenda in other major global issues, as climate change may be the main focus.
Thanks to activists like Greta Thunberg and Sir David Attenborough, the increasing climate crisis has gained prominence in recent years. However, the conversation on climate change is likely to intensify as the UK is ready to host the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in November.It’s not a discussion that can be avoided in this town. Whereas sustainability was once considered a “nice to have” component of a company’s strategy, it is now required to be a primary concern across the economy.
Climate change is important not only to national and local governments, but also to policymakers, shareholders and investors, suppliers who want to work with sustainable businesses, and, most importantly, consumers who are far more picky about where they spend their money.
It may be tempting for smaller businesses to believe that they should wait for bigger corporations to lead the way, but with policymakers around the world asking big businesses direct questions about their carbon footprint, environmental practices, and responsible procurement, smaller businesses in their supply chains may soon have to show their own credentials.
Northern Ireland is a SME economy, and many of our companies are active in supply chains that provide products and services to people in the United Kingdom, Europe, and beyond, so if you haven’t already been asked to demonstrate that you’re working sustainably, you will be soon.That may seem awesome, but the good news is that most of us are in the beginning of our climatic journey and every business can take a few simple first steps. Think of it as a way you would like to go.
The first step is to understand really what your impact is before you plan. Carbon training is a good starting point and helps you understand your carbon footprint.In Northern Ireland, organizations such as Business in the Community NI provide this training, and Danske Bank is currently assisting a number of our customers in completing this training as part of our first Danske Bank Climate Action Programme.
If you’ve identified your impacts, you can start developing a climate plan that benefits your business, consumers, and other stakeholders, such as suppliers. Setting science-based climate goals is essential when developing this type of strategy.
Even if it seems that meeting these goals would be challenging, announcing these promises and reporting progress gives climate policy a framework.As your awareness grows, your behaviors begin to have an effect, and your plan begins to take shape, you will circle back around the pathway. To put it another way, dream big, start small, revisit, evaluate, and develop.
Businesses that implement green and sustainable strategies now to will their environmental effects, in my opinion, will benefit financially in the long run. As fossil fuels are phased out and carbon taxes rise, business owners may have to reconsider how they power their offices, warehouses, and manufacturing facilities.Companies who are proactive and prepare ahead would have the least effect on their long-term performance, while those who wait too long will have to invest more money in a shorter period to make improvements.Though it was difficult to think this way in the Covid-19 crisis, the pandemic also showed that the way we live and work can change completely. Those companies that do not see climate change only as a risk but as an opportunity for growth are the companies that reap the benefits on a long-term basis. My recommendation is no longer to wait, now to take action.
Source: The Irish News