The Amazon fires are still raging. Your company has the power to change the status quo.
The scale of the devastation that the Amazon fires have caused in the rainforest is unknown, but reports are bleak and video footage shows apocalyptic scenes.
Last week we wrote about how consumers and concerned environmentalists can help prevent this from happening again. Today, our focus turns to industry.
How companies operate has a huge effect on our planet and the people living on it. Every decision your brand makes, from your supply chain to how you treat your employees, has an impact.
The fires in the Amazon are not a coincidence. They were set to clear the way for agriculture and mining. They were a deliberate choice.
While your company may operate on the other side of the world, you have the power to make deliberate decisions to make the world better.
Start with structural change
If your company is driven solely by profit, either people or the planet (or both) are being exploited. It’s that simple.
When profit is the only measure of success, staff and suppliers get paid less. Materials are chosen for their cheapness, at the cost of environmental regulations and quality.
By implementing a system whereby people, the planet and your profits are considered, we become well-rounded companies with positive impacts. This isn’t about reducing harm — it’s time for brands to do good.
That system is the Triple Bottom Line.
The Triple Bottom Line (TBL) seeks to improve your impact on the world and the people in it by creating an annual evaluation of your processes. Just in the same way you’d look at your profits, the TBL requires companies to state directly how they are working towards a better world.
We based our entire business around the Triple Bottom Line. If you’d like to learn more about how it could help your company, speak to us.
Audit your supply chain
Part of the TBL is about looking at your supply chain. How ethical are your suppliers? Are the materials they provide made sustainably?
How we create our products and services impacts the world more than you’d think. It’s easy to ignore the journey our paper, plastic or metal has been on, but it’s time to start paying attention.
The Amazon has been abused for decades for agriculture, logging and mining. The desks in your office may have an unsavoury past. The paper in your printer might have been sourced unsustainably. The lorry that delivers your products may be a big polluter.
Now is not the time to beat yourselves up. It’s time to act deliberately and be conscious of the products you use.
Audit your supply chain and see where you can make a difference. Look for recycled (and recyclable) materials. Demand certification that upholds environmental standards. Check that the companies you buy from are treating their staff properly — if they’re not, or you’re not sure, make a change.
Be a leader for change
One of the most effective ways to change your behaviour is to follow the example of others. Likewise, being a leader in your field can inspire others to change for the better.
If protecting the environment is important to your company, show us! Your company should have a strong sustainable marketing plan to spread these messages far and wide.
The time of brands being impartial is over. Consumers are more informed than ever before, and young people are more concerned with ethics than price alone.
When you show the world that doing good is integral to your brand, you’re saying that this is something worth shouting about. It’s not a partisan issue, it’s not left versus right — it’s our future and we need responsible businesses to help lead the way.
Change to a renewable energy supplier
Mining for oil and gas is a cause of deforestation in the Amazon. Whilst not on the same scale as logging or agriculture, the effects are just as harmful.
We can show companies that fossil fuel demand is dead by changing to renewable energy providers. It’s one of the most effective ways to change the global attitude to our environment.
Oil and coal are not just harmful because of the emissions. The extraction process destroys biodiversity, decimates communities and poisons our water and air. There is no excuse for supporting these industries any longer.
Donate time, money or resources
You might be too far away to fight the Amazon fires in person, but that doesn’t mean you can’t help. Consider donating to groups that are tackling the fires — and causes of the fires.
Helping organisations that fight unsustainable deforestation will have a huge impact on biodiversity and the climate crisis.
And if you want to get more hands-on, think about ways your company can volunteer for the environment. Local conservation groups always need help, whether that’s through planting trees or raising funds. Every business is different, so contact some charities to see how your employees’ skills can best help.
There is hope
The Amazon rainforest is a symbol of our troubled times. The devastating fires have generated a pitiful response from our world leaders — but there is hope.
The groundswell of public support, from protests to donations, is cause for optimism in these dark times.