A group of 32 Australian businesses have formed a coalition to call for immediate action on climate change, including supporting their employees to participate in a global climate strike.
Under the tag #notbusinessasusual, the diverse group of businesses — including law firms, investment groups and manufacturers — are actively supporting and promoting the Global #ClimateStrike planned for next Friday, 20 September.
Among the coalition are KeepCup, Stone & Wood Brewing Co, Australian Ethical Investment, Rankin Business Lawyers, Future Super and Intrepid Group.
They noted that the strike will take place three days before the UN Emergency Climate Summit, at which world leaders have been asked to present “concrete, realistic plans to enhance their nationally determined contributions by 2020, in line with reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 45 per cent over the next decade, and to net zero emissions by 2050”.
“We believe every business in the country can make a difference, use their voice and support their workers in making the statement that urgent action is needed to address climate change,” said Andrew Davies, CEO of B Lab Australia & New Zealand.
“We ask all businesses, big and small, to support the Not Business As Usual campaign.”
The Global Climate Strike movement, taking place between 20 and 27 of September, was originally designed as a mass walkout by students and young people.
But according to the #notbusinessasusual campaign, at least 642 businesses and organisations of various size have pledged their support, including Atlassian, Domain, Oxfam Australia and Sendle.
Speaking of the coalition, Leigh Barnes, chief purpose officer at Intrepid Group, said that “these B corporations believe the private sector cannot fix climate change alone, but that the responsibility shouldn’t fall on Australian students either”.
A dedicated website launched by the group said that the main reason people don’t want to join the strike is because of their work, and so are calling on other employers to join the global cause.
“Every business can do something, whether it’s closing the doors, having a meeting-free day, allowing a long lunch, or sending an email to make it clear teams will not be penalised for taking a few hours off,” it states.
“The reality is that while it’s not up to the private sector to lead climate action, we can do our part in this first-of-a-kind moment.”
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.