An increasing number of companies and business leaders are beginning to recognize that climate change threatens their economic success, in some cases their survival. As a concept this is not new. The negative economic impacts of climate change have long been clear, both broadly and on specific sectors. The difference now is two fold – timing and tangibility.
After two decades working inside large corporates on sustainability I’ve developed a good sense of what drives real change. No matter how logical and convincing arguments are about economic impacts, unless they are both tangible – understandable and “felt” in the day-to-day business – and sufficiently close in timing to count, business just doesn’t act at scale. Timing doesn’t have to be this quarter’s earnings, that’s a myth, but it does need to impact major business decisions within 5 – 10 years rather than some vague concept of “future decades”.