Payday for the planet | Breakthrough Funding

Friday, December 7, 2018

Payday for the planet

How green would you become if your eco-credentials affected your salary?

The phrases ‘hit them in the wallet’ and ‘putting your money where your mouth is’ may not be particularly subtle, but they certainly get the point across.

When Sir David Attenborough tells us the planet is in imminent danger of total annihilation, we pay attention. Earlier this week, the naturalist and national treasure told the UN climate change summit that urgent action was required, otherwise “the collapse of our civilisations and the extinction of much of the natural world is on the horizon.” 

But unfortunately, even the most compelling arguments for the devastating effects of climate change can be lost on people and businesses if they’re not personally invested in some way. And if fear for the future of Earth and all the living things on it isn’t enough to bring about change, money can often do the trick.

Energy colossus Royal Dutch Shell has recently proposed that, subject to a shareholder vote in 2020, it will link its carbon emissions targets to executive pay. Exact figures have not been disclosed, although it’s believed that around 1,300 high-level employees may be affected.

The announcement has come in response to pressure from investors, such as the Church of England Pensions Board; a development that appears to be part of a greater movement in the business world. Investors seem to be generally more aware of the environmental and social impact of a large organisation’s carbon footprint and are pressing for more engaging low carbon policies.

Limiting the wages of the top earners if they don’t keep their company on target could be a really effective way to make the policy pay in the long run.

Are you a manufacturing or engineering business that’s working on ways to cut carbon emissions? Get in touch on 0800 772 0800 – here at Breakthrough Magazine, we’d love to hear your story.

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