COLLABORATION, URGENCY & ACCOUNTABILITY
Climate is currently an industry blindspot, with more focus on operational footprints rather than our full ‘brainprint’, which is an estimate of the difference between the global carbon footprint associated with a good ie. Advertised Emissions. The Advertised Emissions report estimates that advertised emissions are roughly x200 times the total emissions of the industry’s operations - time for high tempo change with more accountability and action. It’s important for brands to be reactive to the demands of young consumers or face a loss of market share.
“What I want business leaders to do is wake up to the opportunities they have in front of them. Most businesses are currently working to reduce their negative impacts rather than looking at it the other way around and increasing their positive impact. We must stop looking at business and positive environmental and social benefits as mutually exclusive. The core goal of businesses should be to create positive impact for the environment and for our societies, so if business leaders find themselves trying to constantly reduce their negative impacts, they must rethink their entire model and think: "how can I make my business centered around creating positive impact rather than negative impact?" Finnur, 20, Iceland
“I think the biggest thing that businesses should do after COP27 is consider how they can uplift youth engaging in these spaces. Attendees at these large multilateral conferences are often the same businesses that have contributed the most to the problem [over 600 oil and gas industry lobbyists registered to attend COP27], so if they have these spots, they can be allocated toward better representatives. So instead of youth advisory boards [at COP27] that occasionally can meet some mid-level executives, I think better youth representation can make a tangible difference.” Angela Zhong, 20, USA
“To remember that Planet Earth is one big, connected living system that we as humans are embedded within. Nature is often overlooked and/or mistreated and this cannot continue. For any climate ‘solution’ to be truly effective it cannot infringe on the rights of nature to exist and thrive. I want to see businesses and brands throwing their weight, including financial power, into meaningful, just, and sustainable solutions that work with nature to combat both the biodiversity and climate crises. They might not offer the quickest returns on investment but these solutions have the largest potential to stabilise our planet, for the benefit of all Earth’s inhabitants.” Joe, 23, Wales
A Handbrake Turn Is Still Needed - It’s so important to reinforce the important influence and responsibility associated with the outputs of our industry. COP27 has highlighted that we are all still headed in the wrong direction. As many of the young people we spoke to have highlighted, we are past the point of incremental change. What are the conditions you need to create to accelerate and/or deepen the change happening in your business to align with keeping the vision of a 1.5 degree world a reality?
Keep Listening To Youth - Youth are continuing to use their voices to ask businesses to stretch ambition through the lens of Sustainable development and a just transition. By listening to their voices you can become a future-fit leader. Listen to youth activist Clover Hill’s words as inspiration for your next Climate positive action.
Tune In To Industry-Specific Analysis - There are brilliant resources available to tune into to get to grips with some of the COP27 thought leadership. For example, check out Outrage and Optimism’s live podcast on The Future of Food.