A "Greenprint" For Companies And Their Brands
As the ´sustainable´ agenda grows in strength, companies need to ensure they get the balance right between promoting a green stance and being true to what they say.
We have entered 2007 with few doubts being expressed any more about the harm we have inflicted – and continue to inflict - on our natural environment. The recent Stern Review gives us a clear base from which to move forward - on current trends, average global temperatures will rise by 2-3 degrees over the next 50 years, high enough to see significant effects on economic and social systems. The economic cost is thought to be about 1% of global GDP, but Stern warns that the cost could be much higher if we do not begin to act seriously now. We need to stop, think and change the way we do things.
Which are the parties that can help to effect this change?
Governments, international economic/political organisations, campaigning organisations and individuals all have a role to play. For example, in the Queen’s Speech last November, the Climate Bill was announced – this will make the UK government’s long-term goal of a 60% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2050 a legally binding target.
Informed individuals are, quietly and gradually, starting to make the small changes that add up to greater effects. In the UK for example, within six months of the launch of ‘Recycle Now’, WRAP’s (Waste & Resources Action Programme) national recycling campaign for England, the number of people classified as committed recyclers had risen from 45% to 50%. Today, nine out of ten people in England and Wales would recycle more if it was made easier for them.
The influence of many other ‘campaigning’ organisations such as WRAP is on the rise, including the Carbon Trust, The Climate Group and the Soil Association. The Carbon Trust’s new advertising campaign launched last November encouraged businesses to take action to lower carbon emissions – it had three core messages: how lower carbon emissions can help businesses strengthen their brand value, attract talent and compete more effectively.
And the Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change pointed out, on 16th January, that of the 100 most powerful economies, 52 are companies, not countries, and that the importance of partnership with business was essential – governments could not expect to design solutions to climate change on their own.Download the full report