sustainable business

5 ways businesses can amplify their voice on climate change

Anya Khalamayzer | October 5, 2020

Photo by Alexander Tsang/Unsplash

Climate change squeaked into the first presidential debate (barely!), reflecting the fact that it’s now top of mind for Americans. New research from YouGov and Climate Group finds that Americans believe climate change poses more of a long-term threat to society than COVID-19 (55% vs. 44%, respectively), with nearly half believing that climate change will impact underserved groups more than others.

And most Americans say companies aren’t doing enough to address the threats posed by climate change (55%). That means those that are truly committed to being part of the solution must speak louder and stand together.

Strength in numbers

Joining an organization that uses the power of collaboration and accountability to accelerate climate action is an essential step, so here is a short list of networks with real impact. Many of them work together, so joining one can help the others (and can even make your business more resilient).

  • American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC): ASBC comprises over 250,000 businesses in a range of sectors, from consumer goods like Lego to finance organizations like RSF Social Finance. It informs business owners and the public about opportunities to build a sustainable, market-based economy and advocates for policy change. Last year, ASBC helped House and Senate staff draft federal legislation on plastic waste reduction, and supported two sustainable packaging bills in California. See membership options here.
  • B Corporation: As a B Corp, Thinkshift’s mantra is to “be the change” and use the power of business for social and environmental good. When we were certified in 2010, there were 370 companies in two countries; now there are over 2,500 certified B Corps in over 50 countries, including companies like Patagonia and Danone North America. Many, like us, are members of the B Corp Climate Collective, a group committed to achieving net zero emissions by 2030 within a social justice framework. You don’t have to be a B Corp to join, but if you’re interested you can learn how to get certified and find B Corps in your area.
  • Ceres: This nonprofit works with companies and investors to tackle sustainability issues like water scarcity, pollution and workplace equality. Founded in 1989 in response to the Exxon Valdez oil spill, Ceres works with over 230 investors and companies, from small businesses to Fortune 500 corporations. Its policy network, BICEP, advocates for climate and clean energy policies that are critical in the wake of the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement. Join the network here.
  • The Climate Collaborative: This group of over 660 natural foods companies, including Miyoko’s and Annie’s Kitchen, has made nearly 2,500 public commitment to integrate carbon farming into their supply chains, reduce deforestation, reduce packaging waste, commit to 100% renewable power and more. See the commitments here (or make one) or donate to support the group.
  • We Mean Business: This coalition has galvanized over 1,300 companies with $24.8 trillion in market capitalization to catalyze business action on climate. It helped businesses craft policy asks during the Paris Climate Agreement, and just released a guide for what corporate climate leadership must look like in the next decade. You can join the action here.

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