The European Green New Deal has been the topic on everyone’s lips in this new start to the decade. Businesses, governments, non-for-profits and individuals alike are waiting to see how these innovative pledges will shape the coming thirty years. What exactly will this ground-breaking initiative mean for your organisation and your communications?
Be part of the solution: Embracing the Green New Deal is the right thing to do and makes sense from a reputational perspective. It also makes sense from a business perspective: today, customers, employees and investors want businesses to value people, planet and profit rather than merely pursue profits. By taking part in this landmark European project, your company would become an active player in the fight to cut emissions at a global level but also a leading actor in EU innovation and job creation. After all, solving the biggest problems also offers the biggest rewards for companies.
Be seen to be active: No one is expecting your organisation to become a climate-neutral business overnight. However, outlining the different steps to becoming a more sustainable company will help manage stakeholder and customer expectations. Sharing progress, as well as setbacks, is key in indicating that you are working in the right direction. Communicate about your progress, take part in events, seek for public consultation or organise employee debates around the topic of sustainability. Be active about the Green Deal and shout it out loud. Purpose is now a competitive advantage.
Beware of greenwashing: There are few things more disappointing or infuriating as a hollow purpose. Public scrutiny regarding environmental topics has reached unprecedented heights in the last year and will not cease to increase. Companies are oftentimes labelled as “greenwashing” because they appear to adopt purposes such as sustainability only to attract talent and customers, and not because they genuinely care about the issues. Such short-term thinking is bound to fail.
Drawing from the words of Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz, we have to retrofit the global economy for climate change. It is my hope that politicians and businesses alike follow this calling to change the world for the better. As Ursula von der Leyen herself said, be sure to make this your organisation’s “man on the moon moment” and your solution to growth in the upcoming decades.