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Brands can not continue avoiding climate change

Whiplash Team. November 2018

In today’s hyperconnected world, users, shareholders, and workers have all the information they want in one click and are much more aware of the impact that businesses have on our planet. Responsible consumption becomes mainstream, while awareness grows that organizations either take an active part in the sustainability challenge or disappear.

Although there are still voices that deny pollution and climate change’s impact on the planet, users, shareholders, and workers –that is, any organization’s stakeholders– demand action from companies.

Perhaps one of the most significant examples of stakeholders growing activism is the so-called disinvestment movement, whereby almost one thousand institutions have taken out 7.18 trillion dollars from carbon intensive investments, while about 58,000 individual investors have withdrawn about 5.2 billion dollars from this sector, according to data from the Go Fossil Free  organization.

In contrast, according to the US foundation SIF, the value of funds that meet ESG criteria (Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance), amounted to more than 2.5 billion dollars at the end of 2016. On the other hand, investments in companies actively committed to responsible and sustainable growth in the United States reached approximately 8.7 trillion dollars in 2015. All this has not gone unnoticed by organizations on a global scale that since the beginning of the 21st century have gradually incorporated the figure of the Chief Sustainability Officer into the Boards of Directors.

In today’s world, where we are all connected, companies can no longer afford to ignore the impact and urgency of climate change. In addition, the adoption of new and more efficient monitoring and classification of emissions systems will pinpoint those brands that do not act in consequence, generating a negative perception in public opinion, creating detachment in users and increasing the risk of penalties by regulatory bodies.

For organizations it is essential to be aware of what the challenge of sustainability implies and that users in the world demand concrete actions in relation to climate change, the Planet’s health and social, economic and environmental sustainability, demanding from brands greater understanding and empathy with problems concerning society. Connecting the brand’s purpose with social collective aspirations, answering the questions “why does the brand exist?”, “Why does it exist?” and “why should someone care?”, pushes the brand to find an inspirational moral compass that helps it define its role in society by contributing to the construction of a responsible relationship with our planet