Bundling benefits (and little people)
We’ve had two weeks of snow here in the North East of England and everyone is getting fed up with it. I assume this will bring guffaws from those of more Northern climes, but these conditions are rare for us, so no-one has snow tyres or chains and it makes no sense to have an arctic-scale snow clearance set-up as it would sit idle most years. Anyway, at least the heavy falls have stopped, so people can get out and about a bit more – and we were delighted that the good people of the Tanfield railway (the world’s oldest) honoured our tickets from last weekend when the going was treacherous. So we bundled up the kids and went to see Santa and a ride on the North Pole Express (and saw how carbon emissions used to come about).
The press loves making a fuss at times like these about how much the weather is costing business. While some companies can’t operate in the snow – a neighbour of mine is a roofer for example (although he’ll be kept busy with wrecked guttering for most of the spring) – many can if they embrace virtual working technology – using teleconferencing and telecommuting to avoid travel disruption. Promoting such technologies for carbon reductions, no matter how effective they are, is unlikely to be such a strong driver as the resilience argument. So if you are struggling to get heard on the carbon side, the approach could be “if we invest in virtual working then we will be resilient to bad weather & rogue volcanos, save some money AND cut carbon emissions”. You can arrange the order or prominence of the three benefits to match your audience.
Such bundling of benefits applies elsewhere, for example if you are selling/buying water based paint then the argument is “safer, no odour and no nasty solvents”. For waste minimisation the argument can be “we’ll save on raw materials, waste costs, disruption to orders AND deliver against our environmental strategy”.
It’s like getting the kids ready to go out in this weather, the more layers the better!