The climate change threat to your business

Earlier this year, I interviewed Felix Dennis about climate change and sustainability for Sustainable Solutions magazine. Dennis is probably best known for creating Maxim although he has heaps of other titles …

By
10th December 2007 at 11:17 am

Earlier this year, I interviewed Felix Dennis about climate change and sustainability for Sustainable Solutions magazine. Dennis is probably best known for creating Maxim although he has heaps of other titles to his credit, including PC Pro and The Week. He also owns masses of farmland which he’s gradually converting to broadleaf forest which he intends to leave, in trust, to the nation.

At almost the same time, I read a column by John Timpson in Real Business (Boo. Hiss. Only kidding.) where he addressed global warming in the context of his businesses. Timpson runs a chain of keycutting/shoe repair shops and he also owns a seaside pub.

Fundamentally, both men were accepting that global warming was real but each doubted the extent to which we humans were able to change things for the better. Dennis likened the crusade to religious movements of the past in which innocent people ended up being burned at the stake, while Timpson saw the exercise more as a tax-raising opportunity for Gordon Brown.

So these are two businessmen, admittedly an anecdotal sample, who don’t believe that we humans can do a great deal about climate change. Dennis scoffs at the idea of sustainability, pointing out that life wasn’t very sustainable for the animals that lived here when the icesheets came over. And Timpson suspects that we’ll find creative ways to secure grants and avoid taxes, just as we always do when the government tries to modify business behaviours.

If the attitudes of Timpson and Dennis are typical of small(ish) businesses, then we all have a problem. Whether we like it or not, agree with it or not, think it will work or not, the politicians are determined to get us to toe the environmental line. Through publicity, the general public is increasingly concerned about the provenance of their goods and services. And the corporate social responsibility momentum is creating a ‘do no harm’ mentality at board level.

It really doesn’t matter what you believe. When it comes to the bottom line, you actually have no choice but to address your own activities and check your sources of supply. Sooner or later, if you provide goods and services to other businesses, your environmental credentials will be put to the test. And, if you can’t or won’t provide an honest account, you will be sidelined in favour of those who will.

#646464

David Tebbutt is an award-winning columnist and feature writer who specialises on the subject of using software and technology to increase business productivity. He's an analyst with Freeform Dynamics but, in previous lives, wrote for Director magazine, Real Business and was also editor of Personal Computer World. http://freeformdynamics.com

Commenting Is Easy

Do you agree with this blog post? Disagree? Have something to add that others might find helpful? Then please leave a comment in the box below.

If you'd like to have your image included next to your comments here, then you can set yourself up with an avatar in just a couple of clicks.

Leave a comment

Photostream

Listen to the sales podcast for SMEs Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes

PARTNER PROMOTIONS

If looking to boost your businesses performance with promotional marketing, travel incentives or incentive schemes get it touch with NDL Group