The Three Levels of Global Warming: Personal, Company and Political
Let’s start January off big, with a topic that is at the core of Komoneed: Climate Change.
A big, scientific term which has found its way to mainstream media, social media, and even to the education of our youngest.
For this month’s article, we want to break climate change down into three levels of change and action: the personal and practical level, the company level, and lastly the political level.
The personal level – what practical things can we do to help combat climate change?
First of all, a brief reminder of our new year’s resolutions for this year of 2022 – in case you haven’t read it yet, or want to review it for inspiration. Among these 10 resolutions, you can already find great sources for implementing green and healthy habits into your life!
But as always, before taking actions, it is essential to be informed about the background and the possible effects of such measures. Therefore, why don’t you read through some of our previous articles covering various topics? You can gain knowledge on packaging, circular economy, mobility, finance, automation, offices, or cryptocurrencies – among others.
Think of all the areas of your life which may impact the environment: your living space, energy usage, shopping habits, mobility choices and nutrition are only few among the many ways in which you have a direct and an indirect impact on the planet.
For a better understanding of your personal ecological footprint, visit this website and take the assessment test: Ecological Footprint Calculator.
After your result has been calculated, you will immediately find additional actions you can take moving forward to better your lifestyle.
Generally, one tip that is applicable for most is to try and reduce your overall consumption of water, electricity, gas and goods. Often, this effort alone can improve our impact.
Lastly, for a quick overview of great sustainability tips, visit our Instagram page. Here you can find a useful collection of easy actions to take to help combat climate change.
The company level – what are businesses doing against climate change?
Next, let’s move onto business. As we are all aware by now, they also contribute to climate change through direct and indirect ways. Consequently, they too have a responsibility to make a positive change for the planet. This is a responsibility for which both consumers and legislators can hold companies accountable.
But how are companies handling this responsibility?
There are certainly numerous best practice examples from which others can learn.
For some in-depth insights into the business side, you can find our company interviews with Active Giving, DNV, and Rosencreutz Wine Co. There, they explain the meaning of sustainability for them and their businesses, and detail the actions which they take to improve their impact. Each business’ effect is different, and heavily depends on their business model and the framework under which they operate. Nevertheless, each business also needs to pay attention to its triple bottom line – aspiring net benefits for people, planet and profit.
Positive actions that companies can take include resorting to renewable energy for their operations. For instance, Mercedes Benz announced that it would source CO2-free electricity starting this year. In fact, they will use wind and solar energy for the Mercedes factories.
Another way in which businesses can make a difference is by firstly assessing their carbon footprint (of the company, of its products or of both), and then implementing measures to reduce their carbon missions – supporting employees in taking public transport, providing mostly electric vehicles, enhancing energy efficiency, investing in smart technologies, and so forth.
But you as an individual can also make a change and impact companies – on the one hand, by deciding what to purchase with your money, and on the other hand, you can suggest setting up a CSR council in the company you work at, if there isn’t one yet. There, different employees can collect measures of positive change, such as offering vegan options in the canteen, installing automatic sensors for water and lights, among others.
The political level – what actions are countries or supranational bodies taking?
At the last level, we find countries and organizations such as the United Nations.
Taking a look at the latter, the United Nations has enabled a comprehensive and common approach to sustainability by formulating the Sustainable Development Goals. These 17 goals with many sub-targets, actions, publications and events support nations, businesses and even individuals to make positive contributions to society.
However, taking a global view on the political landscapes of countries, there is overall a lack of decisions and actions still persisting. Despite having set and agreed on the Paris Climate Agreement and the need to keep the global temperature increase well below 2°, countries are lagging behind in doing their part to fulfil this goal.
Still, there are countries with great efforts to combat climate change: Guatemala, for instance, has drafted a National Climate Change Policy with the pledge to reduce emissions, similarly to many other countries. It is imperative that countries, globally, act to reduce their own emissions.
Nevertheless, you are not powerless here either – you have the most direct link with your local government, so start there. Send you local representative or mayor an email or pay them a visit and propose to install urban (farming) gardens to drive local consumption and improve the feeling of community, as well as suggest improvements for waste management.
All in all
Overall, these three levels of combating climate change all have their respective impact levers, but us individuals actually have ways of affecting each one.
We can personally do our best to live sustainability, we can “vote” with our money by purchasing products and services which are in line with our values, and we can put pressure on national and regional governments by protesting and exercising our right to vote.
If we want to succeed, we need to all come together and each do our best, given personal and practical limits, to help our planet – to help ourselves, and each other.
Become a part of the Komoneed community and join us in our effort to inform and discuss sustainability!
And let us know…
- Which tips do you find the easiest to implement in your personal life?
- What companies do you know are doing a great job for their sustainability?
- How is your country responding to climate change?