Business reputation can be boosted by implementing measures to tackle climate change.
We at Syntegra tell this to our clients day in and day out – and fortunately they believe us and work with us to test the theory and see for themselves the positive results.
So we were delighted when an international survey revealed that three-quarters of UK business chief executives believe that responding to the climate emergency through new business pledges and initiatives will provide a reputational advantage, with climate change climbing fast up the corporate agenda as the climate crisis hots up and moves to halt the damage gather pace around the world.
How many more eco-friendly boasts do you read in promotional collateral from organisations these days?
Fortunately, the answer is significant numbers with the clear message that green credentials are a badge of honour; they make you attractive to customers, they enhance your image as a forward-thinking organisation and help you stand out as the good guys to deal with in your particular space.
PwC’s 23rd annual CEO Survey, revealed that 64% of UK chief executives feel that climate change is a threat to their organisation, with a quarter claiming to be extremely concerned about the issue. This is triple the rate from 2016 levels, which sat at just 7%.
Of the 1,581 chief executives surveyed globally, 51% believe that responding to climate change will lead to new business opportunities. In the UK, 74% believe that response measures will create a reputational advantage for their organisations amongst key stakeholders.
PwC’s chairman and senior partner, Kevin Ellis, said: “The impact of climate change has soared up the CEO agenda. CEOs see the impact across all aspects of business, from assets and investments to products and jobs. They are facing pressure from their consumers to play their part.
“This means boards need to assess their strategies, risks, and business models. Achieving net-zero by 2050 will demand innovation and transformation at an unprecedented scale and speed and will require business to take positive action.”
In the UK, 54% of chief executives do not believe that international policies are being introduced to mitigate climate change risks and only 21% believe they are seeing effective change.
Among UK chief executives, 36% are more concerned about climate-related regulation compared to other areas.
However, a survey from Vlerick Business School has found that only 6% if UK chief executives have financial incentives and bonuses tied to environmental strategies and performance across the business practice.
While we accept it’s not our place to preach particular business models to organisations to maximise their profits and fulfill shareholder commitments or create an all round feel good factor, we are qualified to offer advice on all things sustainable.
And we have gathered a wealth of experience of how to kickstart a business’s green credentials – often by making just slight tweaks to policies and practices – with the end result being an improved reputation among peers an clients alike.
We can’t put that image boost into a hard cash figure to represent profitability, but trust us, indicating that you’re serious about tackling climate change is a very definite box you need to be ticking if you want to be viewed as a go-to organisation.
Naturally, there’s a vast spectrum of services available to help enhance your reputation from the simple, cheap (or sometimes even free) practical changes that can be made to everyday operations to a root and branch overhaul of practices and procedures.
The choice is yours, ultimately, but one thing’s for sure: keep playing the ostrich game with your head in the sand around climate issues means you will almost certainly be left out in the cold by your clients.