The untapped power of employees
The impacts of rising temperatures - wildfires, drought, flooding and cyclones - are now irreversible and could only get worse, deeply affecting our economies, wellbeing, and risking the people and places we love.
Society is growing increasingly aware of this reality. Climate denialism has significantly waned, even in markets where less than a decade ago the number of people who dismissed the issue was nearly on par with those concerned or alarmed about it.
Businesses too are awakening to the challenge and doing their bit. Many have aligned with science-based targets and determined clear paths to net-zero, joining initiatives like the Race to Zero. Their strategy and operations to achieve these goals are moving at record speed. And now, they are seeing that their scope of influence can be significantly expanded.
Employees: the key to business sustainability
The adage tells us that individuals hold no power in driving changes that matter. But this couldn’t be farther from the truth. In fact, citizen action, when taken collectively, could drive between 25-30% of the global emissions reductions needed to avoid the worst of climate change. And, the collective climate action of 100 million individual employees by 2025 could be at the forefront of this shift. According to Count Us In Partner and carbon footprint experts Giki Zero, if 100 million employees took effective climate action by 2025, this could potentially match the carbon cuts required by the entire global shipping and chemicals industry to be on a net zero pathway by 2030, or the entire emissions of Switzerland from now until 2025*!
But individual carbon cuts are only one of the advantages of employee mobilization around climate action. Employees’ participation, innovation and ownership are essential for all businesses to deliver their net zero plans. By leveraging the existing community of the workplace, businesses are in a game-changing position to mitigate and tackle climate change. Engaged workforces increase the likelihood that businesses will be able to deliver their net zero commitments and transition their business to operate successfully in a net zero economy.
Change is needed, but effecting it alone can be difficult
In recent years a combination of ground-breaking grassroots movements, targeted advocacy campaigns and high-level advocacy have broken new ground, accelerating progress on climate change. To build on this progress, citizens, who are not activists, but who are worried by what is happening to our planet, our wellbeing and a growing sense of our human fragility, must be engaged. And a global movement of committed employees making personal changes that matter in their own lives, could also crucially make them leaders of change in their organizations and sectors, helping create a green economic revolution.
Organizations taking on the challenge to engage their employees with climate action are becoming powerful driving forces for the transition to a low carbon - cleaner, healthier, thriving - future. Those who stay on the sidelines will increasingly stand out and miss out on leveraging employee energy to be part of the climate solution.
To support organizations in their efforts, Count Us In launched the Count Us In Employee Challenge – a global initiative to help employers inspire their employees to take climate action, and build momentum for wider transformation. The aim: to inspire 100 million employees to take climate action by 2025 and make employee engagement on climate a standard practice. It is powered by Count Us In, in partnership with A-World, BrightAction, Do Nation, Deedster, eevie, Giki Zero, Joulebug and Pawprint.
The Count Us In Employee Challenge supports businesses in their journey of employee engagement with climate action through:
IMPACT: Making changes that matter, together. This strong messaging framework motivates employees to take action that adds up to something bigger, and helps businesses communicate and celebrate their contribution to a broader global movement.
COMMUNITY: A growing network of pioneering businesses where organizations can: a) Learn from peers in our monthly Learning Series sessions b) Get support from credible advisors to navigate the space and build capacity internally c) Join leading initiatives to help their business raise its ambition and accelerate its impact
TOOLS: Access actionable resources a) Platform solutions to empower employees & measure individual and collective impact b) Ready-to-use creative ideas to spark creativity and keep up momentum
30 global organizations, like PwC, BT Group, Reckitt, NatWest Group and Bloomberg have signed up to the Count Us In Employee Challenge. Can we count YOU in?
To learn more about the Count Us In Employee Challenge, contact Count Us In Partnerships Lead Ipsita Bhatia at firstname.lastname@example.org
Calculations are based on the annual carbon reductions made to date by employees participating in workplace climate action initiatives on the Giki Zero platform, and assuming the Count Us In Employee Challenge successfully achieves its objective to inspire 100m employees to take similarly impactful actions by 2025.
Comparison to industry reductions are from “Net Zero by 2050 – A Roadmap for the Global Energy Sector” IEA 2021, country level emissions are from ourworldindata.org.