Why Climate Action Is Becoming A Major Business Priority
Last week, yet another big corporation severed ties with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the conservative lobbying group known for drafting legislation that denies human-caused climate change. Other major companies, including Google and Yahoo, have pulled their ALEC memberships in recent months, but the latest to drop out was no less than the oil giant BP.
What’s behind this exodus? As this article in the Guardian explains, climate action is increasingly being considered a moral imperative, on a level with social causes like racial equality. Companies are expected to act responsibly on climate, or risk alienating their customers or being targeted by activists. And consumers and investors are paying attention not only to a company’s policies and behaviors, but also their partners and political contributions. Companies need to ensure their commitment to sustainability is consistent throughout their organization.
Of course, protecting their reputation or their bottom line isn’t the only motivation – many business leaders are driven by a desire to do the right thing, and protect the well-being of their customers and communities. But it’s encouraging that so many companies recognize the business value of climate action. Sustainability is good for business – economically, socially, and environmentally.
Kellen Klein, Contributor to Guardian Sustainable Business
It began with Microsoft in July, then Google in September – and now Facebook, Yelp, Yahoo, SAP America, AOL and eBay have all followed suit. These companies have now ended their relationship with the controversial American Legislative Exchange Council, or Alec.
This isn’t the first exodus Alec has seen. Companies such as Amazon, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s and Walmart also pulled out of the group after it supported Florida’s 2005 “stand your ground” gun law after an unarmed black teenager, Trayvon Martin, was killed by a neighborhood watch volunteer, George Zimmerman, in 2012.
But the recent exodus is the first that is largely attributable to the organization’s views on climate change. The trend highlights a major change in business attitudes towards climate change, indicating – perhaps for the first time – that major tech companies see environmental regulation as key to business.
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