Corporate social responsibility

and our changing climate

The problem

"Climate change threatens the basic elements of life for people around the world - access to water, food production, health and use of land and the environment" - Stern Review 2006

Climate change is a reality, which will present us with challenges over the coming century. Statistics published by the World Health Organisation (WHO) state that:

  • "Overall, climate change is projected to increase threats to human health, particularly in lower income populations,predominantly within tropical/subtropical countries."

This is a stark observation, and it is vital that individuals and businesses work together to reduce their carbon emissions and help to support poorer communities impacted by the adverse effects of climate change.

The solution

"The benefits of strong, early action on climate change outweigh the costs" - Stern Review 2006

Changes, however small, will help towards minimising the effects of climate change. As our founder, E F Schumacher stated, ‘Small is beautiful’, and we believe this is as true now as it was over 40 years ago.

Practical Action has a unique approach to helping communities around the world tackle climate change on two levels:

  1. To help people adapt to changing weather patterns, and cope with the challenges of natural disasters.
  2. We give poor people the skills and training to transform their own lives, and never impose outside values. We access local knowledge, traditions and expertise.

Why take action on climate change?

Water collection in Sudan An increased awareness of our environmental impact and an understanding of corporate social responsibility (CSR) is an important and growing part of business activity.

Here are just a few of the benefits and advantages that are offered to companies who partner with us and commit to take action on climate change:

  • Increased reputation
  • Enhanced employee morale and loyalty
  • Financial savings – reducing energy usage and emissions is more cost effective
  • A positive step towards reducing the risk of a predicted future economic downturn, caused by climatic changes

If you already have a CSR policy, we can work with you to build on this and help develop further ideas, such as methods of employee engagement. If you don't have a CSR policy in place, we can offer an effective solution by developing a partnership with you.

"If no action is taken on emissions, there is more than a 75% chance of global temperatures rising between two and three degrees Celsius over the next 50 years" – Stern Review 2006

"A two to three degrees Celsius rise in temperatures could reduce global economic output by 3% – Stern Review 2006

Climate change is a reality and its effects are being felt now. Companies who partner with us today will be making a statement to commit to a positive change for tomorrow.

How can your business help?

In addition to partnering with us, you could introduce small changes in the workplace to help towards reducing emissions and wastage.

  • Reduce office waste produced by paper recycling, print rationing and removing disposable items in place of reusable ones
  • Encourage your staff and suppliers to reduce their environmental footprint by using "green" products. Scotland's first major web-based enterprise, Green Essentials, is specialising in the sale of a range of "green" household products which are environmentally friendly. In addition, a part of their profits help support Practical Action's work to alleviate poverty and the effects of climate change. You can view their product range, and find a range of environmental and energy saving tips at www.greenessentials.co.uk
  • Encourage your suppliers and customers to reduce their environmental footprint
  • Introduce a lift-sharing scheme
  • Introduce a bike scheme to encourage employees to cycle to work. More information can be found at www.bikeforall.net/content/cycle_to_work_scheme.php

Practical Action's work on climate change
Around the world, Practical Action is working with people to help them adapt to the effects of climate change. We are also helping people to escape poverty by using clean, renewable energy.

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