Content developed by Climate Reality Project and
Harvard Alumni for Climate and the Environment
Session 3, Challenging the Status Quo, demonstrates that addressing the climate crisis is in an organization’s self-interest. It lays out clear, persuasive arguments for supporting environmental sustainability. It helps you anticipate common objections and use them to build your business case.
Humans work to preserve their advantages and wealth, resisting change. Capitalism is incentivized to extend the life of an old investment to increase its return. So, organizations often resist making the new investments required to become sustainable. But, businesses, governments, investors and consumers can require these changes from suppliers and politicians and consumer-facing businesses.
There are powerful forces making it progressively more important for businesses to get ahead of change and seize sustainability as a competitive opportunity. These include changing public opinion that is driving changes in consumer behavior and support for political action. Organizations are requiring that suppliers reduce emissions. Employees are more willing to work for organizations that support policies for sustainability. And a major driver is that Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) investing and changes in insurance markets are also rewarding sustainability. In fact, ESG assets are on track to exceed $50 trillion by 2025, representing more than a third of the projected $140.5 trillion in total global assets under management, according to Bloomberg Intelligence’s (BI) latest ESG 2021 Midyear Outlook report. Huge amounts of money and resources are flowing into organizations fighting the climate crisis.
Addressing the climate crisis is in every organization’s best interest because it provides opportunities for:
1. Improving cost savings and efficiency
2. Reducing climate change-related regulatory, social, health, and insurance risks
3. Enhancing employee recruitment, retention, and motivation
4. Attracting and retaining environmentally and socially aware customers
5. Increasing investment flows and activism from ESG investors
6. Meeting the increasing demands for emissions transparency from related business and other organizations for reporting Scope 1 (direct emissions), Scope 2 (indirect emissions), and Scope 3 (all emissions the organization is indirectly responsible for, up and down its value chain)
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