The phrase ‘climate action’ is increasingly thrown around. Just as ‘sustainability’ has taken over to the point where some question what exactly it means, the same can be said for credible climate action. According to the SME Climate Hub survey, two-thirds of small businesses are concerned regarding how to navigate climate action. They understand the importance of things like reducing carbon emissions but are unsure how else to tackle the environmental crisis.
The research found the main reasons small businesses are delaying climate action are due to a lack of knowledge and skills (63%), funding (48%), and time (40%). With knowledge and skills surpassing funding and time, it’s clear businesses need a better understanding of what credible climate action looks like and involves. Continue reading to learn what is meant by credible climate action and how businesses can kickstart their sustainability journey today.
What does credible climate action look like?
Climate change is currently impacting every single country on each continent. It is disrupting national economies and affecting livelihoods, communities, and countries. People are experiencing rising sea levels, changing weather patterns, and even more extreme weather events.
Greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise and to achieve the global climate goals, we need everyone – small and big businesses, governments, and individuals to contribute credible climate action. Put simply, the idea of climate action refers to practices or efforts taken to combat the environmental crisis and its associated impacts.
For individuals, this could mean simple actions like reducing waste by switching to reusable products or limiting greenhouse gas emissions by cycling instead of driving. On the other hand, for businesses, climate action involves reviewing the entire supply chain to see where positive changes can be implemented.
For example, improving waste management, enhancing energy efficiency, working with more eco-friendly suppliers, and much more. New research indicates that the majority of small businesses now check suppliers’ sustainability credentials, reflecting a growing trend towards environmental responsibility in supply chain management. It is essentially about saving resources. Climate action is the thirteenth UN Sustainable Development Goal, and it surrounds strengthening resilience and adaptive capacity.
Additionally, integrating climate change measures into planning and policy and building knowledge and capacity to meet climate change. Finally, implementing the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and promoting mechanisms to raise capacity for management and planning. In essence, it is all about climate change mitigation and climate change adaptation.
Summary – how can businesses take climate action?
Earlier this year, Bloomberg reported that a study discovered that European companies still lack credible climate action plans. While they say they want to tackle their carbon footprint, just a fraction of them are taking actionable steps to get there. With this in mind, credible climate action is all about transforming words, commitments, and pledges into actionable steps.
Businesses should define which areas they would like to focus on and create a roadmap for here on how they will achieve these goals. It is also important, as referenced above, that we tackle the skills and knowledge gap concerning the climate crisis. We need to act urgently, and our online course in sustainability leadership are designed to give you clarity on the complexities of business sustainability.