Institutionalize Climate Solutions in Every Department of the Business

by | Nov 23, 2022 | Corporate Social Responsibility, Sustainable Development

The United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has called on the world’s leading companies to embrace ambitious benchmarks and advance the integration of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into core business management processes and systems.

Corporations should question the adequacy of the prevalent corporate social responsibility (CSR) departments in fulfilling their social and environmental responsibilities.

Today, all operational units of a company including marketing, R&D, manufacturing, operations, finance, human resources, legal, and others have key-performance-indicators (KPI) that are directly or indirectly aimed at supporting the profitability and shareholder-value growth strategy of the company.

Likewise, every department of the company needs to have KPIs for climate restoration and social justice.

In addressing the climate change threat, businesses can adopt three distinct approaches:

  1. Do better by reducing their carbon footprint
  2. Place climate change solutions the same level of priority as other business imperatives
  3. Make climate change solutions and social justice their work.

Today, the vast majority of even the conscious companies are at the first stage. Stage three means having a climate action plan in every department of the company, supported by a cultural norm that environmental and social justice is our work

Setting climate action KPIs in every department changes the company culture, minimizes the need for CEO intervention, and empowers the lowest level of the organization to innovate in a new space of opportunity for creating solutions for mitigation of global warming, adaptation to climate change threats, and reducing inequity.

To realize the great economic, social, and ecological benefits of solving the climate and social injustice crises, corporations need to make tackling the challenge central to management of every building block of their organization including Leadership, Decision making, Strategy, Marketing, Research and Development (R&D) and Engineering, Manufacturing, Operations, Supply Chain Management, Legal Affairs, and Performance Management System. 

The path to the urgently needed new economy and corporate business model is not straightforward, and obstacles are abundant. Only a steadfast optimistic outlook, creative imagination, and a deep love and care for others and for nature can energize the pursuit of sustainable development.

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