Your brand will cease to exist in 6 years' time
Got your attention, haven’t we? The year is 2030 and the stakes are incredibly high because the climate science is clear: to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius and greenhouse gas emissions MUST be reduced by half and ultimately reach net zero to avoid the worst climate impacts.
This must not have been the first time you have read such a message in any article that urges immediate action because inaction can and will be catastrophic. But despite these warnings, many businesses are not feeling the immediate impact or urgency in the matter.
There are a few reasons for this temporal disconnect between businesses and individuals. Climate change and its repercussions often happen over a period of time, and the impact of climate change is not evenly distributed. Moreover, Singapore’s geographical location is relatively safe from natural disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis, and major typhoons or cyclones.
Are we sceptics or are we just complacent?
The nuclear apocalypse scene (Terminator 2: Judgement Day)
No, an apocalypse is not going to happen but for businesses, it carries substantial implications for how our brands can operate and thrive. Let’s bring this case much closer to home.
Our thriving F&B scene: With Singapore importing more than 90% of its food and water from 180 countries, how will we endure in the face of climate change impacting these source nations?
The unpredictable weather: No, not the heat yet. We’ll come to that. But the wet and dry months used to be more predictable. The intensity and frequency of the rainfall have also changed. Remember in 2021, when it rained for 3 days? If we depended on the sun for our electrical needs, this weather would clearly not yield any energy.
Rise in sea levels: With 30% of Singapore with an elevation of less than 5 metres, there is no way for us to defend.
The extreme heat: On May 13 2023, temperatures soared to 37 degrees Celsius. While many of us were able to seek air-conditioned comfort from our public transportation, malls, and offices, it was unbearable for the outdoor workforce. With sun hours longer, workers need to take more breaks to hydrate themselves.
Brands have the potential to be catalysts for climate action. Behavioural science has been used for years to convince consumers to buy more or buy a certain product, and now it’s time to harness behavioural science for the good of the climate.
- Make sustainable option the default
Currently, the green option waits for a consumer to opt in and the price is added to the base price of a product. How about flipping things around? And if the price difference isn’t too significant, we’re pretty sure consumers will start to be tuned and look out for a green option!
- Begin by altering one or two of the materials used in your current product line
Every small change will make a big difference. Altering one or two materials may not impact your bottom line as much and it gives more time for R&D, together with feedback from the consumers.
- Carbon data disclosure
Put in place a carbon footprint reporting system for accountability to internal stakeholders as well as consumers. People like to know that the premium they paid for goes to doing good and its quantifiable!
With Singapore’s ambition of net-zero targets by 2050, many businesses are struggling to make sense of what needs to be done, and how it should be done. With climate disclosures mandatory for listed companies in financial, energy, agriculture, food and forest sectors in 2023 and transportation, materials and building sectors from 2024, SMEs have to be mindful that their responsibility lies therein reducing the Scope 3 emissions for larger corporates.
Seeking guidance to understanding ESG or eager to embark on your brand’s sustainability narrative? At ABrandADay, we have an unwavering commitment to do better and make a positive impact on the climate through brands. Talk to us!