By Sian Ineson • LinkedIn
Aug 25, 2021
The new giants of our Australian business community have proven to be incredibly powerful change agents, and there are high impact roles for everyone in driving action on the most important threat humanity has ever faced. One that poses a significant risk to global financial stability, and the people and operations of every business (unless you build bunkers of course).
Comprehensive knowledge of climate risks remains rare in business, though the need for risk assessments, disclosures and adaptation are yesterday’s news. Discussion on the subject generates growing concern but minimal action, even in corporate circles where risk exposures to global warming are realising now and intensifying alarmingly.
🔥 physical risks of extreme weather events, for example on stability of utilities, reducing agricultural yields impacting food supply, property damage, workforce disruption
💰 volatility of asset values, insurance and operational costs
🔒 reduced access/viability in markets with shifting consumer and regulatory demands
⚖️ increasing liability for companies and government who have and/or are contributing to large scale negative environmental outcomes for society
🔎 growing pressure and increased scrutiny from clients, customers, employees, investors, government and the community around the quality of a businesses environmental assessment and response
The impact of our inaction is frequently painted across global news feeds, so why are we still operating as though this is a problem for tomorrow? And what role can business play in shifting that standard? For both climate change and biodiversity, the faster we act the more we save. Increasingly, the business community here has left others scrambling to catch up, imitate and acquire. They have proven that if they lead the way, others will follow. So, we have the ability, now let’s find the will.
Short term thinking got us here; we need to look beyond a 3-year planning period to see the forest for the trees. The need for every business to have environmental governance and a steering framework goes far beyond corporate social responsibility obligations; it’s about taking a strategic look at the threat so that we can best mitigate the risks and capitalise on the opportunities.
The goals we set need to be in line with, or exceed, the recommendations in the Paris Agreement and the latest IPCC Report. The time for short term, quick-fix solutions has long passed. By definition, sustainability is good for business in the long run and the regenerative agriculture movement is evidence enough that economy and ecology work hand-in-hand when we stop blindly doing things ‘the way they’ve always been done’.
The risks are clear but the future is not. Are you ready for climate change? Is your business moving to adapt? What does your brand stand for if saving humanity isn’t high enough on the priority list yet?
If your business has environmental governance and goals that will make a real difference, for the love of all things on Earth, shout it from the Truffula tree tops!
For your team, your clients, your business, your family, your legacy, help drive the #socialtippingpoint and make having a meaningful environmental strategy a top priority and the standard for business.
We can do this, and make it one more reason why Australian innovators are helping shape the future for the better, in the most important way yet.
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