While multinational corporations are not the first thing that pops into mind thinking about climate change, chances are that they’re going to be part of the solution. So, how do we work with these organizations?
If we’re working with multinational companies to help them reduce their impacts on the environment, we have to make them see what’s in it for them. At heart, two things – a risk of greater costs, and an opportunity to generate new revenue streams. With the proliferation of local, inter-regional programs as well as federal programs designed to combat climate change, the most immediate implication for the multinational industry will be the cost of doing business.
One can see how regional cap and trade programs on carbon emitters, as well as carbon taxes in certain jurisdictions are without a doubt going to have an impact on the bottom line. The key challenge (and, more importantly from a business perspective, opportunity) is for multinational firms to plan for these changes, therefore giving them the opportunity to turn climate change related challenges into long-term competitive advantages.
Why is this of interest to the environmental community? The quickest way to move a business organization is by helping them determine that the path you are suggesting is one that will provide them with a business advantage, greater profits, and increased shareholder value. By speaking their language, “opportunity, risk, and fiduciary duty” environmentalists will have a much easier time working with the business community, instead of against.
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