How Small & Medium Sized Businesses Can Lead the Charge Against Climate Change
In most of the Climate Change discussions these days, there appear to be two players fighting to shift culpability. One is individual humans who are encouraged to use plastic straws, recycle their almond milk cartons, and adopt a more plant-based diet in the hopes of reversing centuries of environmental damage by their own sheer will. The other side is mega-corporations who have been belching and burning fossil fuels for a century and are being nicely nudged and explicitly ordered to stop literally burning the planet.
Many argue that individual action will certainly not be enough, while others raise concerns that fundamentally and quickly altering the way that large companies do business could impact the working class people whose jobs might be eliminated.
But we’re skipping the whole middle section. The actual majority: small and medium businesses. Small to Medium Enterprises, according to The World Bank employ half of the global workforce and make up 90% of businesses. NINETY PERCENT. In the US, that number is 99.9. Moreover, the fact that very few of them are “too big to fail” makes them more aware and acutely concerned about the impact that climate change will have on their businesses, suppliers, and consumers.
So what can Small & Medium Sized Businesses do in order to be active participants in combating climate change?
The short answer is, a lot! The first step is the hardest and the simplest: wanting to make changes in the first place. Once a business refocuses a portion of its mission on sustainability, there are a variety of small, meaningful options that can help make huge differences.
Make a Carbon Pledge
Many small and medium businesses (as well as large corporations like Delta and Microsoft) have committed themselves to reducing their carbon emissions to 0 by a certain deadline. These initiatives have also proven to be good for business as companies with a targeted plan to decrease emissions demonstrate an 18% higher ROE than those without one.
Join an Industry Collective
Many industries have organizations that are leading the way toward a more sustainable and environmentally friendly future. In the advertising industry, initiatives like Clean Creatives, invite marketers to take a pledge agreeing not to do work for or take money from oil companies or those who benefit financially from oil and fossil fuels. Research to see if your industry has a similar faction, and see what steps your organization can take in order to participate.
Know Where Your Energy Comes From
One of the best and easiest things your organization can do to combat climate change is to switch to a sustainable, eco-conscious energy provider like Catalyst Power. Whether you decide to participate in Community Solar and invest in your local renewables while cashing in on solar credits, go big and install solar panels on your property to build a Connected Microgrid, or even just switch your commercial power and gas to a corporation who does traffic in those options, the way you keep the lights on can light the way for the future of climate change initiatives.
No matter what actions you take for your business, deciding that action is required is the first and most important step. Small and Medium businesses have been the silent majority of corporations for years, and it’s time for all of us to step up, put a stop to the silence, and get the most out of our majority.