Our Planet: Our Business

By Grace Melville

A new short film, inspired by the Our Planet Netflix series, has been published by WWF, calling on the business community to recognise the link between environmental degradation and business prosperity in order to drive change at scale.

Produced in collaboration with WWF and Silverback Films, the organisations involved in the Our Planet Netflix series, the new short film features insight from notable business leaders on the threats and opportunities of mitigating and reversing global environmental trends such as climate change, plastics pollution and deforestation.

Christiana Figueres, considered the chief negotiator of the Paris Agreement, and Dave Lewis, Tesco’s chief executive and chair of the Champions 12.3 Coalition, feature alongside scientist Johan Rockström, and economist Kate Raworth.

WWF’s executive director and conservation advisor for Our Planet, Mark Wright, said: “We won’t achieve real change unless the business community is behind us. The private sector has a key role to play, representing 60% of the world’s GDP.

One way in which businesses can show ambitious commitment to combating climate change is by joining the Science Based Targets Initiative and committing to reduce Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions in-line with the latest climate science.

In 2017 we helped Tesco become the first corporate in the world to set an approved 1.5oC science-based target, the most ambitious pathway of the Paris Agreement. This commitment cemented their position as a leader in sustainable retail.

The film frames the current thinking that business is can be a positive force against the effects of climate change. “We cannot think of economic success if we are deteriorating the environment… that has to be in the essence of each person that would want to lead a country and would want to lead a company” says Ivan Duque Marquez, President of Colombia, during which a montage of insects consumed and destroyed by parasites plays on screen. Perhaps a clever cinematic hint that this is what business has become to the natural world if left unchecked.

However, it is recognised that there is a growing upswell in momentum from businesses stepping up to meet this challenge. “The good news is that there is growing support from the business community. The bad news is that there isn’t enough. Businesses, individually and collectively, have a striking role to play.” says Mark Wright.

Our research that last year found that 57% of employees think that their employer is not doing enough to involve staff in cutting their carbon footprint at work, and that only 10% of companies had set carbon reduction targets. Yet there is an appetite from employees to be engaged and help organisations to become more carbon efficient; this engagement is key to the success of carbon reduction initiatives according to our research.

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How can your business step up and fight climate change? We have seen in practice that sustainability can align with business values, making the move to be sustainable both good for business and good for the planet info@carboncredentials.com