In 2018, a 15-year-old Greta Thunberg stood outside the Swedish parliament. She was brandishing a simple placard that read “School strike for the climate”, wearing her pigtails and a checkered shirt. Little did Greta and her peers know that very soon she was about to become a trailblazing icon. An icon of climate change activism and started a global movement. She wanted to know what businesses can do for climate change & sustainability.  Nobel Peace Prize i.e. the highest and most recognized awards, Greta was nominated in 2019 for her global efforts.

GRETA THUNBERG- THE EARLY LIFE:

Greta Thunberg was born on 3 January 2003 in Stockholm, Sweden. Her mother is an opera singer and her father an actor. At a very young age, Greta was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome and OCD. Greta first learned about climate change in 2011.

Climate change needs huge attention. There was very little that’s been done on climate change. Something she realized at the young age of 8. She challenged her own family to reduce their carbon footprint and their overall impact on the environment. Furthermore, she adopted a vegan lifestyle, giving up commercial flying and upcycling household waste. Greta refuses to view her Asperger’s diagnoses as a disability. Instead, she preferred to call it her “superpower”, saying that “being different is a gift.”

After her protest outside the Swedish parliament went viral on social media. Strikes sprung up across the globe, and thousands of students also joined in. All this under the “Fridays for Future” banner. Students in more than 100 countries skipped school to demand more action. They demanded action on climate change and a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

 

GRETA THUNBERG & THE CAMPAIGN FOR CLIMATE CHANGE:

Greta became an internationally recognized voice for climate change activism overnight and travelled extensively. Her travellings were for climate change protests and summits. Travelling by train to limit her impact on the environment and even sailing. On more than one occasion, on a zero-emission and solar-panel. Also equipped yacht across the Atlantic on her way to a climate change summit.

Greta has also addressed heads of states at the UN. She was telling them that “This is the biggest crisis humanity has ever faced.”. She also met several International leaders including President Obama and Justin Trudeau. Hence, in an effort to raise awareness and urge governments to do more to tackle the climate change crisis. She continues to speak at Tedx conferences, NGO events and climate strikes. Greta Thunberg also uses her social media to address the following of millions.

“We are facing an existential crisis… it will have a massive impact on our lives in the future. And I think that we should wake up. We should also try to wake the adults up. This is because they are the ones who are responsible. This is along with their generation is the ones who are mostly responsible for this crisis. Hence, we need to hold them accountable.”
Greta Thunberg

 

NOBEL PEACE PRIZE FOR GRETA THUNBERG:

Greta Thunberg has won several accolades for her climate change activism. The Swedish Women’s Educational Association in 2019, named her the Swedish Women of the Year. Time Magazine has named her a “next-generation leader”. Furthermore, In 2019, she was named the Youngest Time Person of the Year. In the same year, she was nominated for Time’s 100 most influential people in 2019. Touted as “The biggest voice on the biggest issue facing the planet”. Greta was nominated in 2019 for a Nobel Peace Prize.
“Miss Thunberg has offered a moral clarion call to those who are willing to act. They also hurled shame on those who are not,” Time magazine

HOW BUSINESSES CAN PLAY A ROLE IN THE FIGHT AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE:

Despite all the effort, it seems the world has hardly budged. There is not much political support for Climate Change action, with the United States. The US is the second-largest emitter of greenhouse gases. They have recently been pulling out of the Paris Climate Change Accords. The required change is nowhere near in sight, and Global emission levels are on the rise. Examples similar to that of Greta Thunberg are hard to find these days.

While climate change might be a harsh reality to accept. The science behind it is solid and our planet is changing. We are facing a humanitarian and planetary crisis and it is a crisis of global scale. The governments cannot do enough on their own to tackle it and the private sector is equally accountable. Therefore, the businesses must do more if we hope to win this fight to save our planet.

If businesses do their part, small efforts can add up to a significant impact on the environment. Companies can take action and draw up plans to reduce waste, set emission reduction targets and reduce food waste. They can also adopt renewal energy sources and recycle wherever possible.

Businesses can also act to reduce their power consumption. They can also encourage employees to switch to more eco-friendly modes of transportation. These modes include carpooling in company-owned electric cars or cycling to work. Business owners and leaders can also come together and influence government policies. The influence of climate change is a priority. Politicians and political parties are the ones that can be a big support in this agenda. The motive must be to shift government policies towards a low-carbon future.

CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY:

Doing your part in the fight against climate change will not adversely affect your business and sustainability. Hence, it does not mean compromising on profitability. Averting a global crisis that threatens life on our planet. As we know it is reason enough to act, however, there is also a shrewd business sense in doing so. Greta Thunberg, The Nobel Peace Prize winner is a huge example to follow in the fight against Climate Change.

People like working for businesses that are eco-conscious and consumers support businesses. These are actively taking part in shaping a better future. The appeal of environmentally aware companies is on the rise and your business can benefit tremendously. These benefits can be from the popularity of a green, eco-friendly reputation. It also has great story-telling potential which can be used in your overall marketing strategy. Furthermore, to show your potential customers that your values align with theirs.