COP26 (Conference of the Parties), has been described as the world’s biggest summit on the world’s biggest issue. It’s the 26th convention on climate change under the United Nations framework.
The 12-day mega event currently taking place in Glasgow brings world leaders, scientists, businesses and the public together to tackle the pressing issue of global warming.
What’s significant about COP26?
Whilst every summit on climate change is important, this year marks five years since the signing of the Paris Agreement. This is a legally binding document in which nearly 200 countries committed to limit global warming well below 2°C, preferably 1.5°C.
Four main talking points at COP26 include coal, cars, cash, and trees.
COP26 holds the first review of the plans that each country put in place to reduce emissions. It will assess their progress to date.
How are businesses involved in COP26?
Big businesses are in attendance. By 2023, most large firms and financial institutions in the UK will have to publicly reveal their plans to reduce carbon emissions in line with the 2050 net-zero target.
Whilst the onus and attention may be on big businesses during COP26, everybody can take action to prevent climate change. For example, SMEs are encouraged to join the UK Business Climate Hub to sign an SME Climate Commitment and start their own net-zero journey.
SMEs can be part of the solution
A better planet is beneficial to all and SMEs, along with their employees, can play a crucial role in driving change and making a difference.
Small businesses in agriculture, manufacturing, hospitality, tech, retail, and more, will find specific tips on how they can improve sustainability measures in their industry on the Business Climate Hub.
In general, almost any business can implement conscious changes to their every day, from reducing waste to installing a smart meter, or promoting the Cycle to Work Scheme. That’s only the beginning.
Benefits to a business involved in climate action
Aside from contributing towards a healthier planet and partaking in local community efforts, there are further benefits to businesses working towards a greener future.
Your response to the global issues of today directly impacts the workforce of tomorrow. We are already seeing trends in which millennial and generation Z employees seek an employer that matches their values, which increasingly equates to purpose over profit.
Introducing greener processes and methodologies to your business can give you a competitive edge when attracting top talent. Sustainability is also about setting your business up for the long term.
Going green with your team
Are you ready to lean into a greener future? Doing so can be an excellent opportunity for promoting employee voice, team building and collaboration.
To get started, why not collect suggestions from your team on how each department and the wider business can be more environmentally conscious. Employees are more likely to maintain initiatives if they have had a hand in the ideation process.
Some suggestions from us to get you started – carpool club (karaoke optional), recycle bins, cloud storage to cut down on paper.
You could even assign someone to be your in-house Climate Captain, encouraging others to align their activities with a green code of conduct.
If you have already made a climate commitment in your business, share your success with your local and online networks. You may encourage others to do the same, creating a safer and healthier planet for all.