Nowadays, most companies understand the importance of reducing their carbon footprint. Consumers are more likely to spend their money with brands that care about the environment. But beyond the bottom line, everyone should want to do their part to help the planet.
However, there’s also no denying that many companies across different industries are some of the biggest contributors to waste production and carbon emissions. Thankfully, industries including big tech, construction, agriculture, and banking have come to a crossroads where modern tech and environmental protections are starting to overlap.
What you might not know is that, while shifting to a sustainable business model can help the environment, it also can end up helping your business. There is a push-and-pull between the state of the environment and the rate of success in multiple industries. Simply put, the climate is impacting companies and companies are impacting the climate. When more businesses start to take positive steps to fight back against climate change, they’ll start to see greater returns for their endeavors.
So, how can you restructure your business for environmental efficiency, and why is climate change such a big deal for your business, anyway?
The Climate Change Cycle
It’s fairly easy to understand how companies impact the climate. From excess waste production to practices that produce carbon emissions, most people have a basic understanding of the issues facing the environment.
But did you know that the climate impacts your business in return?
Climate change, and everything that goes with it, might not be causing major impacts on your operations now. However, if things don’t change quickly, it could cause problems for companies in the future, including:
- Cap and trade rules;
- Higher prices for goods and services;
- Dangerous international shipping;
- Changes in demand for certain goods.
With unpredictable changes in weather patterns, you could start to see issues with your supply chains and costs will undoubtedly go up. You’ll either have to raise your prices (and risk losing customers as a result) or struggle to stay afloat. Certain industries may be more likely to experience these challenges, or experience them more severely, than others.
For example, climate change may have impacts on construction projects — and significant impacts at that. Extreme weather conditions could make it nearly impossible to complete certain jobs, and work could become easily damaged. On top of that, the cost of materials could skyrocket as resources become scarce. These issues will likely compound on each other, resulting in long-term difficulties for businesses in this industry, as well as their employees and customers.
Unlivable Working Environments
It’s not just the construction industry that will be impacted by climate change. A 2019 report by the UN’s International Labour Organization report stated that 80 million jobs would be at risk due to rising temperatures and temperature predictions. Working conditions would become “unlivable” and people would no longer be able to safely do their jobs.
The agricultural industry will take a huge hit if climate change predictions come true. Flooding, droughts, and extreme temperatures are risky for both livestock and crops and could cause prices to rise across the globe.
Even the tourism industry is in danger. As weather patterns shift and seasons transition slower, everything from beaches to ski resorts could see a decline in visitors. Things like wildfires in Australia (and even areas of the U.S.) have already impacted the tourism industry, and climate change is largely to blame.
One 2019 study found that the United States could lose $520 billion across 22 sectors if climate change predictions hold up.
These facts and figures aren’t meant to fearmonger, but there’s no denying they’re terrifying. Not only will people not be able to work, but it will also be hard to survive with little food and unsustainable weather conditions.
How Can You Make a Sustainable Shift?
So, what can you do? How can your business be more sustainable, not only to protect the planet but everything you’ve worked for?
Thankfully, it’s not too late to make viable changes that can have a positive impact. Restructuring for sustainability isn’t an easy task, and you’re not going to be able to implement a plan overnight. However, you can make it easier on yourself (and keep things organized) by using charts and models to plan for the future of your organization.
It’s also important to utilize modern technology to improve your business’ sustainability. The construction industry is already using things like passive house technology to produce fewer carbon emissions.
No matter what industry you’re in, you can decide whether you’re currently able to take small steps or make large leaps into sustainability. If you want to start small, some of the easiest ways to fight back against climate change include:
- Changing waste habits;
- Cutting back on energy consumption;
- Minimizing travel;
- Choosing sustainable suppliers.
Most importantly, educate your audience about the effects of climate change and what you’re doing to fight back against those issues. Motivate your employees not only to do their best work, but also to help combat the climate crisis. One company can make a difference, even when you start small. However, things will go much faster and improve that much more if you have everyone on board, following your mission for a brighter future.
If you want to make larger bounds to combat climate change, consider restructuring where your funding goes. Take a look at your yearly budget, and consider offsetting your carbon emissions by donating to a reputable organization that’s trying to make the world carbon-neutral. Or do something a bit more personal and practical by planting trees every quarter as a reminder of your dedication to helping the planet.
If you own a business, no matter the industry, lean on technology, practical solutions, and small changes to make a big difference. You can fight back against climate change and influence other companies to do the same. In the end, your efforts to stop the climate crisis will benefit your business, your employees, and society at large.