Over the last few months climate protests, marches and talks have become increasingly more heated and intense, culminating in: the Emergency UN Climate Conference, the biggest Friday for Futures marches with over 7 million people taking to the streets, and Extinction Rebellion bringing various city centres to a halt.
It looks like everyone (or nearly everyone) knows now that we need to do something about climate change but many people don’t know WHAT to do about it.
Direct action by politicians and governments to change laws, devise new policies, and impose necessary carbon taxes are expected, but will require intense debates and unpopular reforms.
However, waiting for those to be implemented, as a corporate company, is not a good business strategy to adopt.
It will be your client’s demands, more than political frameworks, which will force you to integrate sustainable business practices at all levels into your daily operations – and which will determine whether or not your company will still be relevant 5-10 years from now.
Additionally to that, it simply makes good business sense to act now – according to the latest research released by the University of Oxford and Arabesque Partners for the latest UN Global Compact Progress Report, good ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) performance results in:
90% lower cost of capital
88% better operational performance
7% higher return of equity
Sitting on the streets of any major city blocking traffic to raise the level of urgency on climate action is necessary to get politicians to finally make concessions in favour of the environment – but real climate action is the one taken every day in your normal behaviours and routines.
It is for business leaders to show they are responsible by taking ‘a lead’ on this and helping their employees, staff and teams to make these changes to become future-proof.
According to findings discussed during the WTTC’s Climate Action conference in New York – the three key areas for tourism businesses to focus on when it comes to climate action are:
Afforestation or Marine Conservation projects
Single use plastics are of course an on-going challenge to phase out of any hotel’s operations but as many of those products are being banned legally in Europe by 2023 this is already being addressed by most businesses.
So you need to ask yourself this:
1- Do you actually have a solid strategy on how to adopt sustainable measures? And are you aligned to an international framework? We also recommend the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – use https://www.un.org/en/actnow/index.shtml as a good navigator.
2- Do you know what your company’s major environmental impacts are?
3- Do you understand the processes required to reduce these impacts, and are you creating a timeline and budget with ROIs for certain investments that might be needed to make your business future-proof?
4- Are you taking your team on the journey with you, offering behavioural change workshops, training various staff members to become environmental ambassadors in your companies, and creating jobs for sustainability officers?
5- Last but not least, do you have a solid communication strategy on all of the above to let your customers and clients know that you are serious about adopting climate measures by being transparent and honest about your processes?