Five tips on how to save the world

I’m probably not the only one with an alarm that goes off the same time every morning and who prefers to do things in a certain order. Many will recognize themselves in this and our brains are actually put on autopilot a large part of the time, which is crucial for us to get the puzzle of life together. It is more demanding of our brain capacity to do things in a new way and therefore the brain instead looks for things which it already knows, so that it can focus on other more important things.

We were recently asked if we wanted to give a speech on sustainability for companies in the region. Yes, what fun! Of course we said yes to that. It must be concrete, we were told, something like five tips on sustainable business. It must be easy because there are so many who are eternally tired of the word sustainability.

Give me a happy pill!

We talked about it over lunch and concluded that humanity is humanity, as always. We prefer a quick fix that allows us to continue as before. We can possibly receive five tips and maybe choose one where we can possibly make a small change. A small one, because it is very difficult to think in new ways and do things differently. We apply the same mindset when it comes to exercise, lose weight, eat more vegetarian or whatever it may be. It is highly human to want that pill that allows you to get quick results and continue as usual.

Geo engineering and Carbon Capture Storage (CCS) are often suggested as tools for tackling the climate crisis. And it sounds irresistible, doesn’t it? Capturing and hiding the emissions, setting up huge screens that can reflect the sunlight away or toss some chemicals into the atmosphere feels like fantastic happy pills. Then that we can continue as usual with a clear conscience. Bring it on! Or?

Low hanging fruits

One of the Greengoats has been nagging at her mother for several years that she must stop using food wrapping in plastic. It is impossible to convince her; her plastic dependence is too strong. However, the parents haven’t had any problems at all to significantly reduce their meat consumption. They now cook vegan or vegetarian meals several times a week. Her partner’s mother, on the other hand, replaced the plastic wrapping instantly. No problems at all. Meat consumption, on the other hand, is not as easy. It’s worth thinking about – a low hanging fruit for you is not as low hanging for someone else. But it is important to at least pick the fruits that are easy to pick. It’s a good start.

When it comes to our customers, we usually try to find those low-hanging fruits. If nothing else, it instantly gets everyone into the right mindset. Aha, was it that easy? It easily results in new ideas for other activities that can be performed without any particular nuisance. That also helps you to simultaneously analyze the value chain and see where you need to put in the extra effort – where you have your greatest impact. So when all the disposable cups and light bulbs are replaced, you are ready to take on changes that have the real impact.

The political party leader debate yesterday provided additional fuel for the fire. Simple solutions are what we want, and why should we even have to change when it comes to the climate? After all, our impact is so marginal. The party leaders would have no problem at all in delivering five tips on how save the world. But what is the purpose of delivering the tips? To win the election next year or to reduce greenhouse gas emissions?

Of course, we will deliver five tips on sustainable business for companies in the region, but actually, three is enough. We give them to you right away:

  1. Make a materiality analysis and identify where you have greatest impact on the environment, people and profit
  2. Start with the low-hanging fruits
  3. Don’t wait for the magical happy pill