Between September 20 and 27, a record 7.6 million people took to the streets and went on strike for climate action. It was the most significant climate mobilisation in history involving 186 countries, 73 trade unions and 3024 businesses.
It’s these businesses that I want to focus on in this post. It was amazing to see companies like Ben & Jerrys, Patagonia and others closing their offices and stores around the world, to support their employees in striking. It was good to see them putting their money where their mouth was and taking a short term financial hit, for doing what was right.
That said there were a lot of companies that didn’t do the same. These companies are keen to talk about climate action and social responsibility in their marketing, and many even paid lip service to how they supported global climate strikes. But they continue to operate their businesses as usual, not willing to bear the financial cost of practising what they preach.
While I do care about the issue of climate change, I am not arguing in this piece that you or your company should care as well. However, I find it highly hypocritical that companies who advocate for social change in their mission statements and marketing activities refuse to make the difficult decisions required to make the change they claim to desire.
For many of these companies, doing social good is a significant component of their brands. It helps them sell their products and recruit talented employees. They reap the financial rewards that come with standing for more than just economic enrichment. Isn’t it time they also put their money where their mouth is and invest in the change they claim to want?