Laura Tamayo
Director of Public Affairs, Communication and Sustainability
Expert Contributor

The Climate Approach Is a Must for Companies

By Laura Tamayo | Tue, 08/02/2022 - 12:00

The planet has been warning us for many years that climate change must be addressed. The effects of this crisis are already impacting our daily lives and each one of us is seeing first-hand the consequences of ignoring these signals. A recent case in point is what is happening in Nuevo Leon, where a historic drought has disrupted the daily lives of millions of people.

In addition to droughts, we are going through natural phenomena that increase in strength year after year: floods, hurricanes, fires, plagues and desertification are just some of the climatic events that are hitting the world.

Data from the Weather, Catastrophe, and Climate Insight report prepared by Aon, indicate that in 2021, the world faced a series of major catastrophes that caused more than US$343 billion in economic damages, making it the third-most costly year in history related to these weather phenomena.

Against this backdrop, it is of utmost importance that organizations adopt environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices and focus on sustainability as an overriding business issue.

Companies must reinvent themselves, rethink their traditional strategy, seek a different vision of marketing and better understand the relationship between good environmental performance and the rewards of being a company that creates value, not only for itself, but also for the communities in which it operates.

The success of the companies of the future will depend to a large extent on the way they relate to society and their environment, as well as the relationship they have with other stakeholders: NGOs, regulators, and government.  

The benefits of companies adopting sustainable practices are many; costs can be reduced, operations can be made more efficient and productivity can be increased. Sustainability can be an ally and a business opportunity in the face of the economic and social changes occurring in the world.

However, for many companies, knowing where and how to address climate change can be overwhelming. Goal 13 of the United Nations (UN) SDGs provides a few points to get you started: 1) improving their energy efficiency, 2) reducing the carbon footprint of their products, services and processes, 3) setting climate-aligned carbon reduction targets, 4) increasing investment in the development of innovative and inclusive, climate-smart, low-carbon products and services, 5) preparing to adapt to climate change and strengthening resilience within their operations, supply chains and the communities in which they operate.

In the same vein, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Financing for Climate Action 2021 proposes a line for financial markets to support the evolution toward a zero-emissions future. The goal is that by 2050, they will be positioned to finance a carbon-free world.

It also seeks to help organizations achieve a resilient, net-zero emissions transition that allows them to thrive, avoiding the growing costs and risks of the high-carbon economy

Companies, the public sector and civil society have a critical role to play in ensuring a sustainable future for future generations. Addressing climate change is a priority and we must all contribute to providing solutions. It is imperative that companies focus on and adapt to new regulations in this area and take a long-term view to responsibly comply and move toward low-carbon business practices.

If we understand that this also brings benefits to the companies themselves, it may be easier to navigate and address climate change, as these issues become increasingly important to the reputation and performance of organizations. Incorporating ESG strategies will facilitate talent attraction and retention, increase workforce engagement and motivation and enhance organizational strength and resilience.

The new generations are looking to belong to companies whose perspective of social responsibility is in tune with their own values, and which, in addition to wealth, generate values of trust, satisfaction and well-being for the common good of our planet. Attracting this talent will help us to build resilient organizations that are prepared to overcome current and future challenges.

In this way, as ESG actions become a constant in the daily operations of organizations, it will be easier to connect them with people and evolve the way we do new business. Let's be aware, offer solutions and be consistent with what we say, who we are and what we do.

Photo by:   Laura Tamayo