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Organizational Change
Project Drawdown Offers Guide for Employees to Enact Climate Solutions at Work

'Climate Solutions at Work' creates a new standard of business climate leadership, driven by employees equipped to take bolder action at work. By moving step-by-step through topics primed for transformation, the guide is a new north star for employees looking to push beyond net zero.

The most recent IPCC report was a wake-up call that we need all hands on deck to successfully avert catastrophic climate change. The private sector, with its vast resources, must play a crucial role in enabling and driving this effort — and employees can help lead the charge.

So, Project Drawdown’s Drawdown Labs has released a free how-to guide that aims to help global employees step into their power and shift the private sector beyond net zero as quickly, safely and equitably as possible. Climate Solutions at Work, presented by Project Drawdown, creates a new standard of business climate leadership, driven by employees equipped to take bolder action at work, making every job a climate job. Readers can explore their company’s enormous untapped potential for climate action by finding their inroad — regardless of job function — to moving their company toward the world’s best climate solutions.

“Inside most businesses, only a handful of people with ‘sustainability’ in their title consider climate issues as part of their workday,” says Jamie Beck Alexander, Director of Drawdown Labs. “But the scope and scale of the climate challenge calls on all of us to find our inroad. Climate Solutions at Work is a playbook for employees — no matter what you do or where you work — to help your business take bolder climate action.”

Pushing beyond “net zero”

In its infancy, “net zero” was meant to embody a long-term climate goal used by entire countries to track Paris Agreement progress — a global goal to reach net zero by 2050 to keep increased warming to 1.5°C. Over the years, “net zero” has shifted from a collective goal to a leadership position from individual companies. This type of vague, long-term target only works if every company makes the same commitment with a shared deadline — a highly unlikely prospect.

Today’s definition of business climate leadership centers on companies doing less harm, gradually reducing their emissions — and the damage they cause — over time. Employees can demand a more expansive view, one that taps every company’s leverage points and the passion of every employee to scale climate solutions available right now, dramatically boosting expectations for business climate leadership around the world. Project Drawdown’s research shows the world can reach drawdown by mid-century so long as global interests make the best use of all existing climate solutions. Climate Solutions at Work focuses on the private sector, so employees have a better sense of where to start — or intensify — their business climate action.

Building a “drawdown-aligned” business

For many employees committed to meaningful change, accelerating climate action at work can feel restricted to staff with “sustainability” in their job title. If a business is serious about their climate ambition, then they will welcome all employees to the work of helping them get there and holding them accountable.

“Project Drawdown wants employees to have the resources to identify and push for bigger climate ambition in the workplace,” Alexander says. “We’ve outlined a drawdown-aligned business framework that allows anyone, anywhere to make their job a climate job.”

This drawdown-aligned business framework zeroes-in on eight key leverage points — and corresponding actions — that businesses must tap to help the world achieve drawdown quickly, safely and equitably:

  1. Emissions reductions

  2. Stakeholder engagement and collaboration

  3. Products, partnerships and procurement (the “three Ps”)

  4. Investments and financing

  5. Climate disclosures

  6. Climate policy advocacy

  7. Business model transformation

  8. Long-term thinking

By moving step-by-step through topics primed for transformation, Climate Solutions at Work is a new north star for employees looking to push beyond net zero. Explore how to help build a “drawdown-aligned” business that leverages all of its social, political, financial and human power to secure a stable climate and just future for all.

Project Drawdown® is a nonprofit organization that seeks to help the world reach “drawdown” — the future point in time when levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere stop climbing and start to steadily decline. Drawdown Labs is Project Drawdown’s private-sector testing ground for scaling bold climate solutions quickly, safely, and equitably. This consortium of visionary partners goes beyond “net zero” to scale global climate solutions, within and outside their own operations. Drawdown Labs and its members — which include Allbirds,Aspiration, Copia, General Mills, Google, Grove Collaborative, IDEO, Impossible Foods, Intuit, Lime, LinkedIn, Netflix, R&DE Stanford Dining and Trane Technologies — experiment with collaborative ways to address climate change at unprecedented scale, and offer the world a transformative vision for private sector climate leadership.