Climate change is a fairly inflammatory topic, particularly when it comes to dictating business policy in the United States. There is a lot at stake, and the party lines have been mostly drawn up by big business and environmental interest groups, both of which have put considerable resources into making their case.
Despite that debate, scientists have reached a consensus that climate change is affecting the world — and in a big way. The science is pretty clear in how it is happening, and the predictions are quite dire. In fact, predictions say that if actions aren’t taken to stymie the levels of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere, human beings could end up altering the earth’s atmosphere in an irreversible way. Many scientists have said that it’s already to late, and that we will just need to find ways to cope with the coming changes.
Many groups in America have nonetheless stuck by their guns to keep the debate alive, expressing concern of increased regulation that would take a bite out of the economy. While that is mainly a pro-big business argument, many people would be surprised to learn that the companies that publicly dispel the notion of climate change are, quietly and privately, making plans to deal with the coming effects. Even the U.S. military is preparing for the worst, as right-wing legislators do their best to try and stop it.
As far as industry and big business is concerned, several companies are making changes to how it operates in order to battle the problems its management teams see coming as a result of its own activities. Some are lowering emissions. Others are making changes to logistics processes. Even oil companies are putting together new protocols. Even as only 61% of the United States’ population chooses to ignore the warnings, government and big business are all taking steps to ensure it is able to cope with climate change’s effects in the future. U.S. News and World Report has profiled a handful of those companies, and described what each are doing at the present time.
Building off the U.S. News lead, here are six large corporations that are currently taking steps to prepare itself for a drastically different climate.
Some people may not think about how a changing climate may effect their beverage choices, but the truth is that limited water resources and agriculture can make a big change. That’s why Pepsi is taking the lead by distancing itself from right-wing, climate change-denying groups and doing what it can to improve its efficiency as a company. Pepsi has launched initiatives to harness solar power to help reduce the emissions in many of its operating facilities, and has even started to earn the company recognition from the EPA for meeting energy efficiency goals. Pepsi has a lot to lose if the amount of fresh water available to it is drastically reduced, as well as things like sugar and corn. It’s no wonder it’s taking an active interest in the environment.
2. General Mills
Another company with a lot to lose from a changing climate is General Mills, the maker of cereals and other products. General Mills recently took it upon itself to address the issue in a release, stating that the economic fallout from a shifting climate will have a massive impact on its business. “Changes in climate not only affect global food security but also impact General Mills’ raw material supply which, in turn, affects our ability to deliver quality, finished product to our consumers and ultimately, value to our shareholders,” the company said. General Mills is getting its suppliers on board too by pledging to address the levels of emissions coming from factories and its supply chain. It’s also looking into changes in how water is used, farm land is cared for, and finding ways to reduce waste.
Microsoft — headquartered in liberal western Washington state — is also stepping up its game to combat damaging environmental activity. The company not only acknowledges that the planet is in a perilous position, but plans on making changes to the way it does business in order to do its part. By engaging in cloud-computing and open data networks, the company is able to award subscriptions to its business products to those who participate in a series of challenges.
Microsoft also has put into place stipulations that allow employees work from home, thereby reducing the need for commuting, and resulting in less cars on the road. Microsoft is by no means the only company to do this, but it does make a big difference to those who don’t need to fight traffic daily. The company also has its own bus system to ferry workers to and from their neighborhoods.
What’s this? Nestle is actually doing something that isn’t horrible?
That’s right, Nestle — a company that is detested by many for a variety of reasons — is actually taking some initiative when it comes to climate change. Now, it might be due to the fact that the company’s business operations could be seriously affected by shifting climactic conditions, but either way, it’s good news. The company is making a big effort to cut its emission levels, and adopting green technology to power its operations. It has also put into place a series of sustainable farming initiatives, which train farmers around the world to practice responsible water stewardship and best farming practices. The programs are active in 45 countries around the world, and the hope is that they will spread even further with time.
Amazon, another company based in the Pacific Northwest, is also doing what it can to help in the climate fight. The company has put together the Amazon Climate Research Grant Program, which calls for proposals and research on the best way to fight impending climate change. Amazon is also donating computing power and time to climate researchers as a part of its grant program, which should assist in the study and development of preventative measures against the changing climate.
Not only that, but the company is now making an effort to curb emissions and cut out trucking routes, which could ultimately be replaced by drones, as seen above. Yes, it’s still a ways off, but if packages are going to be delivered by small, aerial robots, imagine the amount of trucks that could be taken off the highways, and the amount of emissions that would go with them.