Navigating the Rising Tide: The Crucial Role of Business in Mitigating Climate Change

Graphic illustration of earth with thermometer next to it

The threat of climate change looms large, with the Paris Agreement setting an ambitious goal to limit global warming to no more than 2°C above pre-industrial levels, aspiring for a 1.5°C limit. However, with atmospheric carbon dioxide at its highest, reaching 417 parts per million in 2022, this target is slipping away. By adding this amount of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, we are drastically accelerating the natural greenhouse effect. If we continue at our current rate, the earth’s temperature will hit that 1.5°C rise by approximately 2040, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

The consequences of our actions 

Even a 1.5°C rise in global temperatures poses significant threats: 

  • Extreme heat waves: About 14% of the global population would face extreme heat waves every five years, according to a report published in Environmental Research Letters.    

  • Rising sea levels: Sea levels are expected to rise by 0.26 to 0.77 meters by 2100 with a 1.5°C increase, according to the IPCC’s Special Report: Global Warming of 1.5°C - Summary for Policymakers 

  • Biodiversity loss: The same report indicates a 1.5°C rise could lead to 6% of insects, 8% of plants, and 4% of vertebrates losing more than half of their geographic range.   

  • Fisheries: The global annual catch for marine fisheries is expected to decrease by about 1.5 million metric tonnes at 1.5°C, according to the IPCC report. 

  • Poverty: The report also warns that limiting warming to 1.5°C could significantly reduce the number of people exposed to climate-related risks and poverty, especially in vulnerable communities and regions.   

The role of businesses 

While individual actions like walking instead of driving or choosing local ingredients contribute to sustainability, the real change needs to come from large organizations. “Government and individual actions are vital to addressing climate change, but corporations, with their outsized influence and power in today’s world, have an even larger role to play,” says Josh Axelrod of the Natural Resources Defense Council.  

Global enterprises hold the key to significant environmental impact due to their scale and reach. The path to mitigating climate change necessitates a concerted effort from the corporate world. There is no Planet B, and the time to act is now. 

Introducing the Sustainability Lens 

In this crucial context, we have introduced the Sustainability Lens as part of our OrbusInfinity platform. This tool is more than just an add-on; it's a step towards enabling businesses to better understand, and ultimately improve their sustainability footprint. The Sustainability Lens is available to OrbusInfinity customers at no additional cost. It serves as a foundational tool to help organizations to align their corporate strategies with environmental responsibilities. 

The challenge of climate change is immense, but so is the opportunity for businesses to lead the charge in creating a sustainable future. As we face the realities of a warming world, tools like the Sustainability Lens will support businesses toward a more sustainable and resilient path.