There is little doubt that the world is facing many ecological and social crisis, including climate change, biodiversity loss and global inequality. This increasingly stresses the need for a new sustainable era – also for businesses. But how should a business face these challenges and this need for change? As a small green business ourselves we have written down some thoughts about this…
Do something! It makes sense
Consumers and employees are becoming more aware of these global issues, due to a more connected world which improves the spread of information, and due to more medias providing fact checks of companies as well as politicians. As people become more aware, their demands change as well. The future consumers are demanding green products and future employees point to a company’s environmental profile as an important factor in choosing the right job. Also, it is becoming clear that businesses can do well by doing good – that is, it is becoming more economical viable for businesses to have a sustainable profile compared to not having it. So, do something – there is no reason not to.
Do it right – avoid greenwashing
If you choose to do something, then make real changes – nobody likes a faker. Transparency is becoming more important for consumers, and it has become easier to discover greenwashing and cheating with regulations due to a spread of technology and an increasing “army of watchers” around the globe. The scandal of Volkswagen Dieselgate proves that faking green initiatives can hit a company hard on its economy and its image. So, don’t fake it till you make it – do it right!
Do it better – be the change we need to see
The science is clear – we need to be climate neutral by lowering carbon emissions in the end of the century to stay below 1,5 degree warming and avoid immense catastrophes around the world. This is a journey all cities, countries, individuals and companies should prepare for. So why not be the change we need? So far, climate solutions in businesses has mostly focused on energy and resource savings. This is necessary, but it is far from good enough. Luckily, more companies have realized that in order to be truly green and sustainable, they need to leave the world in a better condition than when they came. This can be encompassed by the term “climate positive”, where companies capture more CO2 than they emit. Companies which goes beyond LED bulbs and recycle bins include not only small companies, but also large transnational companies like IKEA and MAX Burgers. For example, MAX Burgers increased their vegetarian and vegan meals by five-fold in 2016, reduced their climate impact by different initiatives and they planted trees to offset 110% of their emissions. IKEA focuses among other on increasing the lifespan of their products, has made an app with green tips and has made a vegan option of their iconic meatballs. These are companies which prepare for the future!
It is for everyone – also you!
No doubt that some industries will have more challenges to transform to a new society. However, instead of fighting the change which will need to happen, companies can transform themselves to fit into the new world. Some companies have already made this transformation successfully. Take for example the Danish company Ørsted, former DONG (“Danish Oil and Natural Gas”), which after an era of black energy made a decision to only embrace green energy, and lately has been ranked the most sustainable company in the world in the Corporate Knights 2020 Global 100 index of most sustainable corporations. So, don’t spend valuable time on fighting a necessary change – instead, learn from the frontrunners and join the green journey!
What does Green Bike Tours do?
Our main mission is to do climate communication in an easy and exciting way, and by that educating about climate change and most importantly how we can change society and how it is already being done in different cities. Lately, we have also made a decision to interact more closely with our guests on how each of us can change our climate footprint and provide green tips for how to do it on our tours and online. As a company we aim to be as climate friendly as possible. For example, we only travel by bike or by walking on our tours, and we use buses or trains on long distance travels. We wish to act on what we speak!
So, has your company made the green decision yet?
Interested in learning more about Green Bike Tours, visit us at www.greenbiketours.org where you can sign up to our newsletter containing tips and ideas as how to lower your own carbon footprint.
This article is written by the team of Green Bike Tours and is based on the following sources:
DW, 2020: https://www.dw.com/en/opinion-a-big-defeat-for-volkswagen/a-53562396
Deloitte, 2017: https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/nl/Documents/public-sector/deloitte-nl-ps-megatrends-2ndedition.pdf
Fast Company, 2019 https://www.fastcompany.com/90306556/most-millennials-would-take-a-pay-cut-to-work-at-a-sustainable-company
IPCC, 2018: https://www.ipcc.ch/sr15/chapter/spm/
Max Burgers: https://www.maxburgers.com/climate-positive/climate-positive/