The two faces of climate change in business

and one of them is definitely good for business

The latest United Nations climate talks in Madrid have just stumbled to a close. There has been little conclusive progress – more like a hotchpotch of rancour, indecision, compromise and postponements. But the news isn’t all bad. There’s little doubt that, as we welcome in the new year, the world is at last beginning to address the planet-critical issues of global warming.

World leaders coming round – at last!

The past 12 months have seen the birth of Extinction Rebellion and the launch to superstardom of the unlikely figure of Greta Thunberg. We can question their policies and tactics but few of sound mind would argue their central point. World leaders (with a few notable exceptions) are coming round to the idea that the current climate crisis can no longer be left to the next political generation. This problem is our problem – today. The big question is – have they left it too late?

Clearly, there are certain businesses that will benefit from global warming – the air-conditioning and ice cream sectors to name but two! Setting facetious comments aside, shouldn’t we all be looking at climate change within our own businesses – specifically the climate of Health & Safety?

How’s your business culture?

First, there’s Business Culture. This the ethos of the business – the philosophy that drives the goals and strategy. Is your business culture one which focuses on short-term benefits for shareholders? Or is it a way of carrying out business that considers not only the shareholders but also the directors, the workforce, the customers, the suppliers, even the wider community beyond the confines of the business itself?

What about your business climate?

Your approach to issues of Health and Safety will sit within this culture. But – and it’s a big ‘but’ – you may have invested in the most comprehensive set of Health & Safety research and risk assessment; you may have generated immaculately and thoroughly presented Health & Safety documentation. However, without the right climate in place to match the culture of your business, your efforts and expenditure on Health & Safety measures may well be in vain.

Decisions relating to Health & Safety policy that are taken in Boardroom may well be considered Culture. It’s what happens downstairs on the shop floor that is the Climate.

Fine in theory – but do your Health & Safety policies work in practice?

As a business, you may well have in place environmentally friendly policies and procedures for managing your potential effect on the environment. Obvious examples include the segregation of waste and the responsible sourcing of the goods you purchase. You may have established tried and tested strategies for offsetting your carbon footprint.

Training and communication

But – how sure can you be that these policies and strategies are being actively followed? What processes do you have in place to ensure that your people both believe in and follow your environmentally friendly Health & Safety policies? Much of this is down to training and communication – establishing your culture of environmentally sensitive Health & Safety policies as part of the DNA of your company.

Contaminated Face RespiratorHere’s a striking visual example – a face respirator found in the workplace of a company whose policies are, in theory, beyond criticism. Yet, here it lies, lying around, being contaminated by exactly the elements that it’s intended to protect the user against.

Sky Blue Safety are here to help

How’s the climate in your business? Do you need to reassess, not only, your Health & Safety culture but also the climate in which it’s implemented? Talk to us about Health and Safety Climate Change in your business contact Sky Blue Safety Ltd – 01933 812234 neil@skybluesafety.co.uk