As the new year approaches, we have the opportunity to make some resolutions. And I think it’s time we make some for the planet.
Sound familiar? We did this same article last year, but a little like your gym membership, promises of tangible corporate climate action were made, but probably discarded or forgotten about. So it's time to get back on track.
We saw large corporations do some amazing things this year, but we can’t all have our own Yvon Chouinard at the helm, and some leadership teams will take a little more convincing in 2023.
The best way to add weight to your argument at work is to garner support from colleagues. A simple one-question Survey Monkey poll sent around the office should do it – 'do you support our company taking more climate action in 2023?'.
Once you've gathered the data, you can plot your details into the below email template and send.
New Year’s Climate Action Email Template
Subject line options:
Let’s make 2023 the year we take a stand
Allow me to speak completely out of turn
Three steps to help us save the planet in 2023
"Dear [insert CEO’s name here],
Happy new year to you! I know this is a time of year when we all make resolutions and promises about how we’re going to be better next year, so I wanted to take this opportunity to suggest a couple of resolutions for [insert company name here] (if I may be so bold!).
I know we haven’t had all that much to do with each other, so I hope you don’t mind me dropping you a note. I wouldn’t do it if this wasn’t important to me. And let me tell you: this is very important to me. I think it’s pretty important to you, too.
There’s no disputing that the climate crisis is the issue of our time, and I believe that if we aren’t actively working to combat it, then we are complicit in it.
But while all the media headlines focus on doom and gloom (to be fair, there is much to be doomy and gloomy about), I think there’s an incredible opportunity here: one in which we can transform our businesses, workplaces and societies to work more harmoniously with the planet.
I don’t know about you, [name], but I think that’s pretty exciting.
Even though we don’t work directly in the ‘climate’ or ‘sustainability’ sector, I am a huge believer in the power of business as a force for good in the world. And I think [insert company name here] could be a leader when it comes to taking tangible climate action.
In fact, I actually polled the entire company, and a massive [INSERT PERCENTAGE FROM POLL HERE] % of employees of [INSERT COMPANY NAME HERE] think we could be taking more tangible climate action in 2023 and beyond too.
So, you know… how about it?
I know many of these conversations are likely already happening beyond the day-to-day of my role, but I just wanted to put forward three things that I believe we should commit to working on in 2023 and beyond:
1. Switching to 100% renewable energy. If 260 companies around the world (including Bank Australia, Coles and Woolies) can do it – so can we. Even NBN is getting in on the action. It’s a no-brainer: it won’t affect operations, can save us money (especially with the current energy crisis), and will be an excellent PR story to boot. WorkForClimate has some brilliant resources that can help organisations make the switch.
2. Moving our default banking/superannuation to banks and super funds that don’t invest in fossil fuels. FutureSuper, Australian Ethical, Beyond Bank, Bank Australia – there are plenty of options out there now that haven’t just divested from fossil fuel-supporting practices, but actively dedicate resources and profit for the benefit of people and planet. I reckon they’d make pretty good partners for [INSERT COMPANY NAME HERE].
3. Engaging staff. I know #1 and #2 will take a little work, but one thing we can do right now is to develop and facilitate more company-wide conversations about the climate crisis and how we can seek to have more of a positive impact at work. Whether this is bringing in guest speakers, offering incentives for ‘green’ actions (eg. cycling to work, working remotely), or starting a weekly/monthly climate club – the best ideas and resources we have for doing this work effectively are already here. All we need to do is get them in the same room and let the magic happen.
I believe that the organisations who act first and take a stance on these issues will be the ones that will stand the test of time.
If you need any more persuading, check out these excellent resources:
I’d love to talk to you more about this – could we set aside some time to talk in January?
Thanks so much for your time, and talk soon.
[Insert your name here]."
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Feature image by Chris Gilbert via Unsplash.