The IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) has stated in its 9 August report that its conclusions are ‘a code red for humanity’ and states that ‘if we combine forces now, we can avert climate catastrophe.’
Climate change is happening and it affects everyone on the planet. Enterprises are increasingly looking to address the issue as part of their Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) strategies.
ESG initiatives are not just driven by a nod to social responsibility (ESG is CSR 2.0), but as a strategic issue. Governments, investors, customers and employees are engaged. If enterprise service providers want to be able to compete, they have to take environmental impact seriously, as part of a broader inclusive approach to their markets. Taking it seriously means measuring impact and getting it audited by trusted third parties – in due course ESG auditing might well go hand in glove with traditional financial auditing and compliance obligations.
‘Code red’ is a global call to action
The smartest operators will embrace the emerging ESG value chain, working with both suppliers and clients to assess, quantify and report their impact on the environment, in order to attract and retain the best customers, employees and investors.
Enterprise service providers are in a fortunate position because so many of their offerings are natural substitutes for, and complements to, established ways of working – business travel will return, but the balance has shifted from ‘planes to screens.
Some of a cynical bent might regard such activities as ‘greenwashing’ but the industry’s ability to respond dynamically to the Covid-19 pandemic is proof that making a positive contribution to averting climate catastrophe is both necessary and possible.