Climate change is a human issue. And we humans can do something about it. We need all hands on deck. As employees are at the heart of all businesses, colleague participation, innovation and ownership are essential to drive change.
Getting buy-in from and engaging colleagues on climate action is crucial to building momentum for wider transformation. It requires a head (intellectual), heart (emotional), and hands (practical & behavioural) approach.
Head: This is about appealing to colleagues through logic and information. In this case, climate science is the best place to begin, for instance TED Countdown offers a library of curated talks on the crisis, innovative solutions, and a roadmap to a zero-carbon future. This 7-min talk by climate scientist Johan Rockström is a good starting point.
Heart: this is about appealing to colleagues’ emotions to inspire commitment to taking action. In order for our colleagues to feel they have a role to play in taking action on climate, it’s important for them to understand why - in a deeply personal and relevant way. Rather than focusing on the planet or environment, emphasis on how the climate crisis will impact (or is already impacting) our homes, livelihoods, families and communities is likely to move them to an action-oriented mindset. This 17-min talk by climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe outlines an approach to making climate change personally relevant.
Hands: the practical, actionable bit. Once colleagues are convinced from a logical and emotional perspective, they are ready to transform their understanding and intention to action with meaningful impact. According to research by The Huberman Lab at Stanford School of Medicine, it is action that creates motivation and determines thoughts, feelings and behaviours , not the other way around, as it is often assumed.
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