Earth Day and the Importance of Sustainability:
It can be a shock looking at the news in today’s climate, it can be even more daunting to figure out how to act as an individual or a business. It almost feels like we as people are powerless to halt the global temperature increase, or the microplastics in the ocean making their way into our food and bloodstream. But spreading awareness and education and holding people to account can be one of the first steps to wider action that we as business owners can take. Our new Green Guide aims to provide short, fortnightly summaries on climate news, highlighting our actions as business owners, and quotes from experts on the importance of sustainable business practices. As Earth Day has been celebrated for 2022, take a look at our handy summary and a quote from a sustainability expert!
Climate News Summary:
There’s a lot to unpack in climate news, as such, at the end of this piece there are some links to useful sources for extra reading.
This week we want to focus on the IPCC report on climate change which highlights how we are now at a point where some of the damage could perhaps be irreversible.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has stated how humans and nature are being pushed beyond their abilities to adapt. A shocking 40% of the world’s population are going to be highly vulnerable to the climate the study has found. It isn’t all doom and gloom however, if the temperature rise is kept below 1.5C it will reduce the suspected losses. To read more about the full report, click here.
The report really captures the need that government and international bodies, businesses, and individuals must all be working on their efforts together to help the climate situation. This is where practices such as sustainability come in. Here at Goodman Corporate Finance, we aim to become leaders in business sustainability within our field, we want to advise businesses on the best sustainable practices to take forward. This means we all will be doing our bit to keep the temperature rise below 1.5C.
The expert quote:
Dr Alina Mia Udall, a Sustainability Researcher and Supervisor at Warwick Business School, has award winning published works on the topic of sustainability. You can find these linked here and at the end of this piece.
Dr Udall has discussed how her research has revealed that identity (how we perceive ourselves and others) plays a big role in encouraging sustainable actions. It’s important to reflect on how we consider the actions of us as individuals, and us as a collective (like as a business) when it comes to making the right decisions for the climate. Dr Udall notes how messages can be tailored depending on the type of identity in question.
Alina discusses the “3 Ps of Identity”, noting that:
“We found that there are three main types of identity (me, we, and place identities) that are important for encouraging sustainable actions.
Personal (me) identity:
- How I see myself personally, e.g. as an environmentalist, or a colleague individually.
- Focus on ‘I’ and ‘you’ statements as a way to encourage sustainability.
- For example, to encourage cycling to work a message like this could be crafted – ‘When going to work, please think about your role personally in protecting – Positively imagine yourself cycling’
People (we) identity:
- How I see myself in relation to other people, e.g. as part of a group of environmentalists, or group of colleagues.
- Focus on ‘us as people’ and ‘we people together’ statements to encourage sustainability.
- For example, to encourage cycling to work a message like this could be crafted – ‘When going to work, please think about how our role as colleagues together can protect the planet – Positively imagine us as colleagues cycling and we as colleagues together having the power as a group’.
Place (business) identity:
- How I see myself in relation to places, e.g. affiliated with a small, medium, or large (SME) business, or affiliated with a company.
- Focus on ‘us as an SME ‘ and ‘we as a company’ statements to encourage sustainability.
- For example, to encourage cycling to work a message like this could be crafted – ‘When going to work, please think about how us as an SME or company can protect the planet – Positively imagine us as an SME or company cycling and we as an SME and company together having the power as an organisation’.”
To see more on the topic, please connect here with Alina via LinkedIn.
Our actions as a company:
As a company, we are looking into various measures to promote sustainability within our own practices and with who we work with and fund.
A recent action that we have taken to improve our own sustainability is by signing up to Eevery – an ESG (Environmental, social, and governance) improvement platform for small and medium businesses (look out for something on our website on this in the coming weeks!).
Eevery’s goal is to empower SMEs to improve their environmental, social and governance performance which in turn will help to contribute to the sustainable future of business and the planet. Eevery have noted how 50% of SMEs within the UK account for more than 50% of all businesses CO2 emissions. Many of these are unsure on how to prepare for net-zero. Additionally, 64% of millennials now would not take a job with a company that wasn’t socially responsible. This is such a high figure that is likely only going to increase.
Finally, by signing up to Eevery us here at Goodman Corporate Finance can measure our activities and effects of our company – this means we can optimise our impact on people, the environment and society.
Useful Sources and Citations:
1. Udall, A. M., De Groot, J. I. M., De Jong, S. B., & Shankar, A. (2020). How Do I See Myself? A Systematic Review of Identities in Pro-Environmental Behavior Research. Journal of Consumer Behaviour, 1–34. doi: 10.1002 / cb.1798. Retrieved August 18, 2022, from: https://doi.org/10.1002/cb.1798
2. Udall, A. M. (2020, May 1). How I See Me: The Power Of Identities For Encouraging Sustainable Actions. Bath Business and Society [Web log post]. Retrieved May 19, 2022, from: http://blogs.bath.ac.uk/business-and-society/2020/05/01/how-i-see-me-the-power-of-identities-for-encouraging-sustainable-actions/