The Keys to Better Climate Collaboration
Climate change is a multifaceted challenge, and solving it will take a multifaceted approach. Organizations across all sectors are seeing the value of collaborating on solutions, whether it’s companies helping their suppliers produce more sustainable products, or communities and governments partnering to help make renewable energy more affordable. But as the article below points out, climate partnerships take work, just like any other relationship.
A strong, successful climate partnership requires a clear understanding of goals and motives, and a shared vision of the future. You need a good mix of resources to allow individual strengths to shine, and a variety of contributors to round things out. You need to devote adequate time and resources to the partnership and be willing to make concessions when necessary. And you need to give the partnership room to change and grow.
Read on for details about forming happy climate partnerships. To learn more about effective cross-sector collaboration, join MomentUs.org and connect with like-minded leaders in your sector and beyond.
Amy Morsch, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions
One city, company, state or nation can’t solve our climate and energy challenges overnight. Meaningful progress requires a variety of approaches by multiple actors, and that’s why partnerships are critical.
The benefits, indeed, the necessity of partnering and collaborating on climate action is increasingly being recognized.
The MIT 2014 Sustainability Report notes that “a growing number of companies are turning to collaborations — with suppliers, NGOs, industry alliances, governments, even competitors — to become more sustainable.” Collaborating with non-traditional partners was the focus of this month’s National Association of Clean Water Agencies’ (NACWA) Winter Conference, where C2ES President Bob Perciasepe touted the benefits of water and energy utility partnerships. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will recognize the importance of innovative partnerships for the first time in the upcoming 2015 Climate Leadership Awards to be announced Feb. 24 in Washington D.C.
Successful partnerships on climate and energy challenges, like successful relationships, take work. So we offer the following six rules for strong partnerships:
1. Be authentic and honest. Coming into the partnership with a clear understanding of what drives your organization and the motivation for partnering can influence the success of the project. As McKinsey&Company puts it, “Any collaboration must make sense for all parties, whether their primary interests are commercial, environmental, or social. Enlightened self-interest is the only genuinely sustainable motive.”