Whether humanity agrees on the exact proportion of man-made and naturally occurring climate change is irrelevant at this point, what matters is that it is happening and there are things the private sector can do about it.
Luckily, many businesses are waking up to the gravity of the situation and the role they can and should play in helping stave it off and, ideally, reversing much of the potential damage. With that in mind, below are 3 ways companies can help fight climate change starting today.
Many companies don’t realize that who they bank with can have an outsized impact on their contributions to our collective fight against climate change. Many of the largest global banks, for instance, continue to invest heavily in the fossil fuel industry and other carbon-intensive industries, others, and particularly smaller green banks and credit unions, go to great lengths to divest from these industries–if they already have things like oil and gas companies as significant portions of their portfolios–or to actively support causes and companies that are trying to combat climate change and reduce their carbon emissions.
Reduce Energy Consumption
There is almost zero chance that a for-profit business anywhere in the world is incapable of making significant reductions to its energy consumption. If you are a brick and mortar, for instance, operating out of an older commercial building or space that has windows and lights that are not energy efficient, replacing these is one small thing you can do (there are tax breaks to offset this expense in many places) to cut down on your energy consumption.
You can also make sure that any computers and electronics are powered down at the end of each day, ensure your HVAC system is always tuned up and operating efficiently, control the amount of sunlight you receive using blinds, use fans instead of air conditioning, and even institute a casual dress code that allows people to wear more comfortable clothing during extreme swings in weather.
Subsidize Cleaner Transportation for Employees
Your employees, as an extension of your business, are also able to help you reduce your carbon emissions. You can do things like encourage and reward office carpools, and provide people with subsidies for bicycles and public transportation. Studies show that if even a small percentage of the population started to bike to work instead of driving their car, carbon emissions could be cut by up to 67 percent.