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10 ways companies can do more to fight climate change
Private sector companies of all sizes have a crucial role to play in fighting climate change. Here are 10 ways companies can do more to fight climate change now.
Last updated23 Aug 2022
Reading time7 min
The private sector has a crucial role to play in fighting climate change. Despite the fossil fuel industry's best efforts to concern individuals with their comparatively minor impact, companies have largely flown under the radar when it comes to climate accountability.
Yet, the agility and wealth of tech companies make them highly adaptable to change. This enables them to enforce meaningful policies and quickly adapt to external pressure.
Climate justice doesn't start with asking people in developing countries to use paper straws, but instead it should start by holding corporations accountable for their impact on the planet.
So, from one climate-conscious company to another, we're here to highlight 10 ways companies can and should help fight climate change.
1. Become a B Corporation
B Corporation certification assesses the social and environmental impact of for-profit organizations. It seeks to ensure businesses maintain a high standard of social and environmental performance and that they're transparent and accountable in doing so.
Join the likes of Patagonia, the Body Shop, and Danone North America, who are focused on purpose-driven business practices.
2. Reduce the carbon footprint of your product
Switch to renewables
This one is pretty straightforward. If you still have an office presence, switch to a green energy provider or find out what options your current provider has.
Advocate for a greener internet
While the internet is still abstract to some people, it's important to understand its significant carbon footprint. It’s so big that it's equivalent to the entire airline industry. So, if you're a distributed, digital-only service provider, switching to renewables may be the number one way to reduce your carbon footprint.
Start by looking at your data centers and where your services are hosted.
Dedicated to achieving a fossil-free internet by 2030, the Green Web Foundation is an excellent resource for switching to renewable energy to power your services.
To achieve carbon neutrality, companies can offset emissions through tree planting, donations to green energy projects, or buying and preserving rainforests (to name a few!). And, respectfully, we think this is about the bare minimum that established for-profit companies should be doing.
In 2020 Hotjar released 535.70 tonnes of CO2. That is equivalent to a team of 133 people. In 2021, we offset an additional 10,000 tonnes of CO2, bringing our total offset to 20,000 tonnes.
This was all made possible by investing in the San Antonio El Sitio Wind Power Project, the first wind project in Guatemala.
3. Reduce employee carbon footprint
Depending on the size of your organization, empowering and supporting your employees in reducing their carbon footprint will go a long way to fighting climate change.
At Hotjar, we've sought to do this in two significant ways, primarily made possible by being fully distributed.
Eliminate (or reduce) commutes
With transportation accounting for 37% of carbon emissions based on end-user consumption, cutting employee commutes is a significant area for emissions reduction.
When employees work remotely, it's unlikely they want to travel far to do it.
If going fully remote isn't an option, hybrid work models also reduce average commute times across your workforce. Consider public transport allowances for team members who are still on the move, and if company cars are necessary, move to electric!
Ditch the big office
Commercial offices are significant emitters, so implementing remote and hybrid working will significantly reduce your need for office space, therefore reducing emissions and running costs.
4. Nurture biodiversity: reforestation and conservation
Reforestation plays a significant role in fighting climate change. The loss of forests significantly reduces the earth's capacity to capture carbon and destroys crucial ecosystems for healthy biodiversity.
Thankfully, company efforts can go a long way to fighting deforestation. Why not buy an acre of rainforest for every employee? In partnership with World Land Trust, that's precisely what Hotjar did as part of their conscious capitalism pledge.
In 2021 we bought an acre of land for every employee who started that year, and we also bought an acre per every year an employee was in the company to support land purchases in Argentina, Brazil, and Kenya.
Tree-planting is another option. In 2021, Hotjar reached its goal of planting one million trees. The new goal of planting 10 million trees for 2022 is well underway. Local tree planting efforts can also be fun team-building exercises.
5. Cultivate a zero-waste culture
Perhaps not quite what it sounds like, zero waste focuses less on the rubbish you're throwing out (although that's important, too—here are 10 ways to generate less waste in your personal life) and focuses on doing less while achieving more.
It’s about using everyone’s time effectively and collectively reaping the biggest rewards. By prioritizing the most important tasks at any given time, teams can save on resources—notably time and headspace.
It can be daunting to know where to begin, so a good starting point is to simply stop spending time on tasks that produce little or no results. Learn how to find the tasks that will produce the best results in this post.
6. Create a climate-conscious workplace culture
Extend your company values beyond your customers and employees, and factor in fighting climate change too. After all, isn't the environment our biggest stakeholder of all?
Unlike zero waste, cultivating a sustainable workplace culture instills an eco-friendly mindset through education and awareness. It taps into how people think about the environment and what it means to work sustainably.
Ways to achieve this are:
Positive messaging around ways to behave sustainably
Offer paid time allowances for volunteer work
Plant trees, learn to cook or grow a community vegetable garden as team-building activities
Alongside our zero waste training initiative, Hotjar seeks to apply minimalism at work. In doing so, we remain focused on our priorities and strive to direct resources (yes, natural ones, too!) in the most efficient manner.
7. Match employee donations to climate change initiatives
This one is pretty self-explanatory. Not only does it extend your employee contributions, but it also fosters an impact-driven culture within the workplace (see above). By demonstrating interest in what your employees care about, you're nurturing an environment of giving back.
8. Monitor Scope 3 emissions: suppliers and customers
Do you know where your office waste goes? Or, how environmentally friendly is the IT hardware you've supplied to your staff?
These considerations are what climate-fighting communities call Scope 3 emissions. Scope 3 emissions refer to emissions within your supply chain yet contribute to the overall function of your business.
Consider a deliberate approach to managing your business's day-to-day operations.
Research climate-conscious companies to supply your IT products or offer employees a list of preferred vendors when allocating their supplies budget
Reconsider business travel or find environmentally friendlier options
Consider the size, location, and function of your office space
Seek out climate-conscious vendors for office supplies or services
Present concerns to building managers to enact change across the whole facility
9. Switch to green business travel
Some travel is unavoidable. So, consider green alternatives! Opt for trains for shorter journeys or partner with a platform with tools for planning and measuring travel-related CO2. Make sure they also offer complete transparency around carbon offsetting.
10. We're going carbon neutral, why aren't you?
The only kind of peer pressure that we think is okay! In the spirit of making meaningful change, it's time for drastic action!
When Hotjar fired a Trump-Pence campaign merchandise website after Donald Trump's hate speech, we stood by our core value to ’work with respect.’ It was a bold move. However, the reception was overwhelmingly good. As society becomes more aware of social and climate injustice, the more they’ll seek to partner with companies that care.
We understand that fighting climate change is not so cut and dry. However, the question worth asking your potential clients is, "what are your policies around fighting climate change?"
Work with integrity, challenge the status quo and always stand by your core values. That way, you get to work with companies whose values align with yours and inspire real change.
In 2017, as part of our Giving Back initiative, Hotjar joined a growing list of companies that donate 1% of their revenue to impact-driven causes. A major portion of these proceeds is dedicated to climate justice through our four pillars of conscious capitalism.
As of May 25, 2022, our Giving Back account reached over €500,000. This fund is what makes much of our climate-fighting capabilities possible.
Additional Hotjar initiatives worth mentioning are:
Matching the cost of carbon offsets
Implementing zero-waste training for our business operations team and sponsoring up to €250 worth of training for any interested employees.
For a closer look at how we support climate-focused organizations, check out how Hotjar is giving back.
In the meantime, we hope this list inspires your organization to take a look at ways we can fight climate change together. As business owners with the resources available to us, we have a responsibility to the communities that use our products or services.
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