To mark COP26 in Glasgow (31st Oct - 12th Nov 2021) we look at the role small businesses activism can play in the fight against climate change.
Often referred to as corporate social responsibility (CSR), like major corporations small businesses also have a responsibility to protect our planet for future generations.
As a small business ourselves, on Earth Day 2021 we proudly launched our pledge to be #NetZero by 2030. We were inspired to do this by the Small Business Britain’s #NetZero initiative - a call to action to get small businesses to make a commitment to taking climate action and part of the United Nations #racetozero global initiative.
With the global focus on the climate emergency and the extinction crisis, it is important to remember that although the climate issue is huge, small actions can make a big difference.
Donating to an environmental charity through your business sales is a sustainable and impactful way of taking action (scroll down to see our list of charities to donate to)
What is Cop26?
COP26 is the 2021 United Nations climate change conference
For nearly three decades the UN has been bringing together almost every country on earth for global climate summits – called COPs – which stands for ‘Conference of the Parties’. In that time climate change has gone from being a fringe issue to a global priority. This year will be the 26th annual summit and most experts believe COP26 has a unique urgency. The goals for the summit are as follows:
- Secure global net-zero by mid-century and keep 1.5 degrees within reach
- 2. Adapt to protect communities and natural habitats
- 3. Mobilise finance
- 4. Work together to deliver
You can read more here.
Environmental Charities Small Businesses Can Donate To:
Working together to make sure climate change is slowed down is crucial and we all must do our bit.
One of the most impactful and simple ways businesses can take climate action, is to make a pledge to donate to an environmental or conservation charity through their sales.
Charities have the ability and knowledge to take tangible actions to protect the environment over the coming year and decade. But they need vital funding and support to do this.
Small businesses can help by donating to a charity through their sales.
And using business platforms to support a charity whose focus and cause the business feels most aligned with is beneficial in so many ways:
✔️ it will educate others, promoting climate literacy so more people will strive to protect the planet
✔️It will raise much needed and vital funds
✔️And It is good for business
Multiple studies and research has shown that people want to buy from and champion businesses that are led by their values and put purpose before profit and do good. Purposeful business is not just a growing trend it is also essential to the success of businesses.
Environmental & Rainforest Charities:
Protecting forests, plants and green spaces as well as carbon-rich rainforest, is crucial if we want to preserve our planet. Trees and rainforests are our global safety net. And protecting them is one of the most important actions we can take to support people, prevent carbon emissions, preserve wildlife, and keep Earth’s climate in balance.
Rainforest Trust UK is a British charity working in partnership with Rainforest Trust in the U.S. to protect the world’s most threatened rainforests and other tropical ecosystems.
Rainforest Trust is one of the world’s most respected and successful conservation charities, and has been protecting rainforests for over 30 years and has already placed over 33 million acres of threatened habitat under permanent protection. 100% of donations they receive from your business will be directed towards direct conservation action as all their operating expenses are covered by their board members and Gift Aid.
Cool Earth is a non-profit organisation that works alongside rainforest communities to halt deforestation and climate change. Cool Earth supports local and indigenous knowledge to develop innovative ways to address threats to the forest while making communities stronger and more resilient.
They put local people back in control, giving them the resources they need to keep their forest intact. They help local people grow sustainable incomes to fight deforestation. By investing in sustainable livelihoods, strong self-determining communities have greater capacity to protect their forest.
Rewilding Britain is a pioneering, innovative charity that promotes rewilding as an effective and cost effective answer to some of the big issues - climate breakdown and species extinctions, as well as localised flooding and soil degradation. In the past, people have thought rewilding was about moving people off the land, leaving the countryside to heal without us and ceasing food production to let nature thrive. But Rewilding Britain believes developing a good, robust, sustainable food system is vital for so many reasons, as well as maintaining functioning ecosystems.
They believe we have the space for both rewilding and food production and that in fact rewilding has the potential to boost local economies and even create jobs.
Trees For Cities are the only UK charity working at a national and international scale to improve lives by planting trees in cities. Each year London’s trees remove 2.4 million tonnes of air pollution, including carbon dioxide dust and other gaseous toxins. They get stuck in with local communities to cultivate lasting change in their neighbourhoods – whether it’s revitalising forgotten spaces, creating healthier environments or getting people excited about growing, foraging and eating healthy food.
By planting thousands of urban trees worldwide each year, Trees for Cities is building resilience against threats facing the natural environment. Planting a range of tree species enhances structural and functional diversity in woodlands and on city streets, as well as building resistance to pests and disease.
Friends of the Earth England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, has led the environmental movement for 50 years. They are the largest grassroots environmental campaigning community in the UK, and part of an international network of over 2 million supporters across 75 countries.
They are dedicated to protecting the natural world and the well-being of everyone in it. They support community groups across the country to make their local areas more climate-friendly, and lobby the government to take meaningful action on climate breakdown.
The Climate Coalition is the UK's largest group of people dedicated to action against climate change.
They are a unique coalition of over 100 organisations and 22 million supporters, with distinctive partnerships across all political parties, multi-faith and development groups, community and sports groups as well as environmental NGOs.
This September they are organising the Great Big Green Week - a huge call for action on climate change.
With the world in crisis, animals and nature is the best defence we have – supporting human wellbeing and providing sustainable, natural solutions to the climate emergency. Nature is in desperate trouble. Species numbers have declined dramatically in recent years and it's vital we work together to help their recovery.
WWF-UK ‘s slogan is ‘FOR A FUTURE WHERE PEOPLE AND NATURE THRIVE’. The world’s leading independent conservation organisation, their mission is to create a world where people and wildlife can live together.
They are on a mission to make it politically, socially and economically unacceptable to degrade our world’s precious natural resources. And are working on truly ambitious programmes to establish green corridors for wildlife, restore major river flows, protect forests and oceans and press for global commitments to end the illegal trade in wildlife. By supporting their campaigns, businesses can help to clean oceans, make sure forests are filled with wildlife and stop climate change.
Wildlife SOS works tirelessly to protect & save India's wildlife. They take action against animal cruelty, rescuing wildlife in distress, working to resolve man-animal conflicts while promoting and educating the public about the need for habitat protection.
The charity rescue injured and displaced wildlife, and addresses alternative livelihoods for communities who have traditionally relied upon wildlife exploitation to survive.
The Bumblebee Conservation Trust is the only UK charity dedicated to conserving the bumblebee and their mission is to halt and reverse their declines.
Their aim is to address the decline in bumblebee (and other wild pollinator) populations by increasing and restoring their habitats. The charity points out that there is a good commercial reason for doing so as pollinators are essential for our short and long term food production (70 of the 100 crop species that provide 90% of food worldwide are pollinated by bees).
RSPB works for a world richer in nature. They protect our shared home at land and sea, save wild birds and wildlife from extinction, and educate and inspire people to get closer to nature. While birds are their focus, they work to save all nature. Reserves are at the heart of what they do, and are vital to their conservation work. But they also believe they work best when they connect with wild spaces and habitats in the wider landscape. And they are now working to make bigger, better, more joined up homes.
They also continue to focus on our priority list of species and help nurture their recovery, through a combination of research, partnerships, landscape-scale conservation and policy work.
Marine & Ocean Environmental Charities:
Alongside the destruction caused by deep-sea mining, unsustainable fishing and pollution; climate change is causing ocean temperatures and acidity levels to rise dramatically. These changes are driving marine ecosystems and species to extinction and putting populations here in the UK, and across the world, at extreme risk. Through protection and rewilding, marine environments can be restored to tackle climate change and help communities adapt to the climate impacts we can no longer prevent.
Surfers Against Sewage is a national marine conservation and campaigning charity that inspires, unites and empowers communities to take action to protect oceans, beaches, waves and wildlife. Through beach cleans to the education work they do in schools, they have already made enormous impacts to help preserve our planet including being instrumental in the 5p plastic bag tax.
They are currently campaigning to make sure governments at COP26 acknowledge the pivotal role the ocean plays in sustaining economies and societal well-being. They want all governments to recognise the importance of a thriving ocean, for the planet and people, and to utilise its capacity as a solution to the climate crisis.
Plastic Oceans recently joined forces with Ocean Generation, a relatively new youth collective, and together they are now Ocean Generation. Prior to this Ocean Generation was breaking stereotypes by using popular culture like gaming, music and fashion to foster an inclusive approach to sustainability.
Together they are using science and storytelling with a fresh vision of youth activism to grow a global movement to tackle ocean threats.
The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) has been protecting our seas, shores and wildlife for 30 years. For those of you moved by the recent documentary Seaspiracy, MSC has a Good Fish Guide informing the public about which fish comes from sustainably managed stocks and is caught or farmed in a way that causes minimal damage to the marine environment and other wildlife.
The MSC also runs many local projects working with communities, governments, marine managers and scientists to ensure that our amazing ocean is well looked after and able to recover where it needs to.
About Work for Good:
At Work for Good we think doing good through business shouldn’t be difficult.
Most businesses are unaware that you need a Commercial Participation Agreement in place before you can start raising money for charity through sales and publicising it.
This legal requirement can cause headaches for both the business and the charity. Through our fundraising platform, businesses can create a Commercial Participation Agreement with each charity they would like to support in just a few minutes.
Making it simple, quick and sustainable for small businesses to integrate purpose into their business and donate to charities they care most about.