From the European Green Deal and the EU’s “Fit for 55” programme to specific programmes in the U.S. and Asia and the agreements reached at COP26 in Glasgow – climate protection is increasingly becoming the yardstick for political action around the globe. In addition, Germany is pursuing its own ambitious climate targets. The new “traffic light coalition” of Social Democrats, Greens and Liberal Democrats has made the fight against climate change top of its agenda for reform and will step up the pace even further in terms of its climate policy.
Even though the COVID-19 pandemic keeps returning to the top of the socio-political agenda as it takes its course, with the roadmap for the fight against climate change as laid out in the coalition agreement, the world of politics is reflecting the long-term and profound shifts that have occurred in German society over recent months and years – towards an increased awareness of global warming and the effects of climate change. According to a survey by BUND, 86% of Germans are currently willing to make significant cutbacks in their lifestyle in order to protect the climate. Even in the midst of the crisis, a significant majority of Germans has called on the government to stick to its climate targets during the pandemic, according to a Deekeling Arndt/AMO poll. However, it is not only policymakers who are being held accountable by the people in the fight against global warming. According to a survey by Ipsos, some 63% of Germans believe that companies are letting their employees and customers down if they fail to take action against climate change. According to a CIVEY survey, around 73% of Germans are in favour of companies being legally required to do more to combat climate change. This is partly due to the fact that people are now increasingly aware of the effects in their day-to-day lives. The devastating floods on our doorstep earlier this year, in Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia, showed in dramatic fashion what disastrous consequences an increasingly number of torrential rain events may have in the future.
Companies are being watched more closely than before – and no longer just by activists, but also by the wider public. They are demanding more ambitious targets, more effort and action instead of words. This social pressure in turn also increases the pressure from policymakers – at the national and international levels. The time for preventing these developments, counter-lobbying and defending the status quo is over. Companies from all sectors can no longer avoid a consistent transformation and the restructuring of their business models – the question is no longer ‘if’ but ‘how’ they will tackle this transition.
To be prepared for the upcoming changes, in particular in view of the new federal government, and to ensure the long-term success of the company, businesses must address the essential questions of sustainability and climate protection:
- What new regulations, rules and laws will affect my company and our success over the coming years?
- What expectations do my customers have regarding the sustainability of my company and what does this mean for its success?
- What is the best way to meet emerging social and political expectations and maintain my social licence to operate?
- How do I analyse and communicate the social impact of my business activities?
- Which business areas will cease being profitable in the long-term due to social and political changes, and where are new opportunities going to open up for my company?
- How can my company exist in an eco-social market economy?
You can find out more about the impact of climate policy on the energy sector, transportation, industry, agriculture and food as well as the financial industry in our reader titled “Der Pathway to Zero als neue Richtschnur für politisches und wirtschaftliches Handeln", which you can download as a pdf here (in German).
We would be happy to support you with our many years of experience and expertise in answering these and many other questions concerning the long-term security of your company and its success. In a time of great upheaval and changing expectations, we help you navigate pressing and complex challenges in communications and ensure legitimacy and acceptance among all stakeholders.
We provide you with effective support in restructuring to strengthen your resilience and in adapting to the new socio-political challenges. We make sure that we safeguard your reputation throughout. We guide you through the process of (re-)aligning your company and communicating and anchoring your purpose both externally and internally. We advise you on how to manage the new pressure of public expectations and the hugely accelerated discourse processes. We guide you in building acceptance for your interests among policymakers and in the pre-political arena.