Be Green Be Profitable – How One Entrepreneur is Educating Corporations on Climate Change Risk

By Pumudu K.

Climate change is real, and it will affect us all. Despite the continued rhetoric from the south of the Canadian border and elsewhere, this much is clear. It’s also clear that climate change is precipitated by human actions as well. A lot of this action has to do with industries such oil, coal, and other energy intensive enterprises. For decades, conservationists have been appealing to industry to recognize the danger that climate change poses to the earth. However, a new kind of appeal has now finally started to get the attention of corporations; falling profits and long-term losses.

Whatever else is said and done, the bottom line is what matters to a company. Lose that, and any company will sit up and take notice. Since the Paris Agreement in 2015, there has been a concerted effort to involve corporations as part of the solution to climate change issues. One of the key figures leading this charge has been Philippe Joubert.

As the founder and CEO of Earth on Board, Joubert has been putting his efforts to make both boards and governments understand the dangers of climate change on their trade and future. Joubert understands that without the natural environment, everything else will fall apart, including businesses. “We take nature as unlimited and free of charge, but nature is sending signals”, he says. These signals are being interpreted by some corporations as a call for action, and some as a business opportunity.

The key, Joubert explains is to appeal to the reality of losing profits. The goal of Earth on Board is to not only educate board members of the importance of understanding the reality of what damage climate change can cause, but also to assist in setting up better regulations and policy frameworks by working with Non-Governmental Organizations as well as governments itself.

Don’t ask business to be altruistic, but they are basically realistic and they understand that they can’t operate profitably if the world is in chaos.
— Philippe Joubert

Joubert contends that businesses while being able to provide solutions quickly, still require the governments to put in the legislation upon which those solutions can be implemented. Governments need to set credible long-term goals, within a stable policy framework and with the right price signals. Then, Joubert argues, “the market can harness its creativity and energy to work inside these rules and towards the goals set. Indeed, businesses can be more powerful than countries, since they have the power to scale up solutions very quickly.”

Joubert is an optimist, although a worried one. “We have the solutions to tackle climate change, but decisions have to be taken to deploy those solutions. And that is in the gift of policy makers, and corporate boards.” There’s no question that climate change is an issue that affects us all. But, if we all stepped up to make a difference, especially those in the corporate sector, there’s no doubt we can make a difference with regards to climate change solutions.

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