Influence

4 pressing climate questions to ask your CEO right now

Ask questions. Get your boss to take climate action seriously. Simple.

Article by
Emily Kratzmann
A man on a Zoom call.

If you’re reading this, there's a 99.9% chance that you care about climate change. And if you’re working for an organisation that’s dragging its heels on taking climate action, it’s likely you’re feeling pretty frustrated too.

But how do you get your boss to take climate action seriously when they’re too busy or motivated by other things?

Start by being proactive. By researching the importance of committing to science-based targets or switching to renewables, asking simple – but direct – questions of your employer, and then making a business case, you’ve got the power to start making change.

Here are some questions to ask your boss to get them thinking about how your organisation can best address climate change, and what it will take to get there.

1. Is the business planning on making the switch to renewable energy?

Switching to renewable energy is the fastest and easiest way to reduce emissions (and it’s definitely not as hard as many people might think!). While making the switch to renewable energy might be more expensive in the short term, the long-term benefits see cheaper energy bills, your organisation may become more appealing to customers and investors, and you’re dramatically reducing carbon emissions.

If there’s no plan in place, put your hand up to help; scope out the project and present it to your organisation’s key decision makers. Read up on what’s involved – and start making your case – on our Renewable Energy page.

2. Do we have a plan to align with the Paris Agreement? If not, how can I help?

The Paris Agreement is a legally binding international treaty on climate change, with the goal to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (compared to pre-industrial levels).

A plan to align with the Paris Agreement means setting a corporate emissions reduction target, and it’s not as hard as it sounds. Committing your business to either net zero emissions or a science-based target is an ambitious goal, but can increase profitability, boost your reputation among staff and customers, and – the big one – benefits the environment.

Find out more about how to set a corporate emissions reduction target here, or whether net zero or science-based targets are best for your business.

3. Is there a plan to divest the business’s default super fund away from fossil fuels, and switch our business banking to an ethical alternative?

Financial institutions like banks and super funds wield huge amounts of power when it comes to funding fossil fuel projects. Take the power back by encouraging your employers to make the switch to a fund investing in conservation and renewable energies instead.

A slight spanner in the works. At the time of writing, ethical super funds aren’t eligible to be considered as default funds for organisations. However, every employee can choose where their super is invested. Encourage your employer to switch to a default super fund that has the lowest investments in fossil fuels, or ask them to chat to staff about opening a fund with an ethical super company, likeFuture Super or Verve. This is an easy switch that won’t cost your business anything.

Read up on what’s involved in making the switch to an ethical fund.

4. How are we future proofing our business against the risks associated with climate change?

More and more businesses are establishing climate strategies, such as reducing greenhouse gases, assessing their carbon footprint, and offsetting carbon emissions, to protect them against the ongoing effects of climate change.

You can help your business by continuing to ask questions of key stakeholders, developing business plans, putting your hand up and getting involved.

Interested in flexing your persuasive muscle? Read this advice from Work For Climate's Director, Lucy Piper, around how to convince your CEO to take climate action seriously.

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