Updated: Aug 21
As news of heat waves, storms and melting glaciers continues to make headlines, and people all over the world take to the streets in protest of inaction against climate change, it’s becoming clear how fundamental it is for action to be taken to help the future of the Earth.
This growing concern is matched by an increasing number of sustainable companies trying to make a difference, and many existing companies taking steps to become greener.
However, there’s still a long way to go in order to truly reverse the damages already done. The fashion industry, for example, still uses more energy than shipping and aviation combined.
So what meaningful changes can businesses implement to truly make an impact on climate change in 2020?
Five Ways Businesses can Reduce Climate Change:
1) Renewable Energy - Solar energy is beneficial in reducing climate change as it does not create pollution during use, and, as it is light energy from the sun, it is inexhaustible energy. Moreover, with rising electricity costs, swapping to solar energy could be beneficial from a long term financial standpoint. With no moving parts, solar panels need little maintenance after being fitted, meaning the initial investment will typically be the only expense.
2) Wind Farms - Another option for renewable energy is wind farming. Like solar energy, wind farms provide inexhaustible energy, as the energy derives from wind. Unlike other forms of energy which produce large amounts of greenhouse gas, wind energy has a very small impact on the environment, and with wind generated energy being some of the cheapest in the market, it is a sensible choice for businesses looking to help reduce climate change.
3) Natural materials - The use of environmentally sustainable materials in fashion (biocouture) is becoming increasingly more common: cork, linen, bamboo and more natural fibers are being used to make products. As is the use of natural materials such as bamboo for other consumer goods, like crockery. One example of a potential material to combat climate change is Linen. Linen is made from the fibres of flax plant and requires far less water than cotton, hence why it is beneficial for reducing climate change. Moreover, linen is very durable so does not need to be replaced regularly, another plus for the environment.
4) Recycled Fabrics - If you have a business, then you can incorporate recycling in many way, from your paper waste bin, office plastics to the products you use. Perhaps even better than natural materials, are recycled materials. With materials such as polyester taking up to 1000 years to biodegrade, recycling fabrics and materials immediately benefits climate change by preventing these items from ending up in land fills. The source of recycled materials could be anything from old car tyres, to unwanted clothing given to charity shops. Even damaged, stained or ripped materials can be reworked and reused. With companies such as Nike making use of recycled materials, it’s a huge step in the right direction for sustainable businesses.
5) Mindful Social Media Use - Social media is a powerful tool for implementing change. Businesses can use their social media followings to educate on important sustainability topics. For example, the importance of only buying items one intends to keep, as many fashion brands and online retailers burn returned goods, which negatively impacts climate change due to the additional greenhouse gas emissions produced as the items burn. Sustainable businesses can raise awareness of issues such as these via social media without any advertising cost.
Not only does making sustainable changes help reduce climate change, with the growing concern for the environment, a green ethos can attract new customers to a business. Furthermore, many of these changes can lead to reduced financial costs. A win for business, and a win for the environment!
Written by: Lily Luna Sol for Active Therapy Clothing