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 A Blueprint for Better Business

“This is not a single-generation job. It’s humanity’s job… Let’s all join together, with your neighbours, co-workers, friends, family and go out on to the streets to make your voices heard and make this a turning point in our history.” Greta Thunberg and 46 youth activists from the international school strike movement.

This Friday 20th September, school children across the world have called on adults to join them in a day of global action. The global climate strike is being co-led by several organisations in the UK, among them the UK Student Climate Network, and the Campaign Against Climate Change.

Blueprint, as an organisation, exists to help business be inspired and guided by a purpose that respects people and contributes to a better society. Blueprint believes business can be a force for good and that all businesses need to take urgent action to address the environmental challenges we all face. As our Five Principles establish welcoming public scrutiny on the alignment between stated purpose and actual performance is a key behaviour demonstrated by purpose driven businesses.

Rooting our conversation in this understanding of purpose gave the team a focus when discussing the Climate Strike. It also allowed individuals to be empowered to make their own choice. After this dialogue, some of the team will be choosing to participate in the Climate Strike, and others will continue with our work. We recognise and value these different contributions. This conversation acknowledged the balance of duties, responsibilities, and commitments that people have made in work or life. As well as where people felt they could make the biggest impact as individuals.

Blueprint is very conscious that participating on Friday is just one of many ways people can choose to express their concerns about climate change; call for action by business and government; and make clear their views on the impact inaction will have on society.

However, vitally the Climate Strike offers businesses an opportunity to open or continue conversations with employees and other stakeholders about their thoughts and concerns around the climate crisis.

To mark this event, we thought it might be relevant and helpful to share the questions we considered and debated as a team which helped us come to this decision:

  • What commitments to mitigating climate impacts has our company/organisation made?
  • What concerns do employees have? How do they feel you are responding to the climate crisis as an organisation?
  • What conversations have we had with our wider community and partner organisations?
  • If there is support in the organisation, should the organisation support people choosing to strike?

What does it mean to support your employee’s choice to strike? This link leads to an incomplete list of those organisations supporting employees who choose to participate, including the TUC and Unison, local and national government departments, and businesses including creative industries and architects. The website Business Green in the UK and Fast Company in the US are compiling lists of the companies that have made public statements supporting their employees who choose to strike.