An open letter from the founder and Managing Director of As It Should Be acknowledging that change is urgently needed to mitigate climate change and the damage being done to our natural world.
Jon Gibbins, Founder and Managing Director, October 2022
Business has a key role to play in protecting our planet and its people, and has the power to bring about positive change. This open letter is an acknowledgement of the role that As It Should Be has to play in addressing human-caused climate change and the damage being done to our natural world. It’s also a call to action for fellow business owners to take action and join us in making a commitment to adopting business practices that prioritise the wellbeing of our planet and its people.
The last few years have been a journey of re-evaluation for me.
In January 2019, I went to the New Adventures conference, which had a focus on ethics in the web industry. I went home from that conference with a new drive. Until then, I’d not really sat down and truly taken stock of the environmental and social impacts my business has—how ethical and sustainable my own work is. Neither had I really appreciated the direct control that I have over those things.
This was a watershed moment for me.
Fast forward a little, and the COVID-19 pandemic provided many of us with space to really take stock and reassess many aspects of our lives, including the work we do. The pandemic caused a considerable drop in global carbon emissions of around 6%, demonstrating the kind of impact that’s possible with collective change. It helped to build acceptance of different ways of working. It helped to shape new kinds of businesses—places with compassion, purpose and positive action take centre stage.
I believe we’re seeing the effects of this within the business world, where more and more companies are putting people and our planet alongside profit. Business done differently—the continued rise of the conscious business. Businesses where social and environmental impact are as important as turning a profit, and purpose and impact are embedded at the core. Businesses that act with moral and ethical integrity in everything they do, not just as part of corporate social responsibility initiatives.
This is why we are a Certified B Corporation—a Benefit Corporation. People who use business as a force for good, meeting some of the highest standards of environmental and social performance around. For us, this is business as it should be.
I could inundate you with statistics on climate change or rapid biodiversity loss, or show you clichéd imagery of burning forests, polar bears falling off melting sea ice, or environmental protests. You don’t need them and that’s not what I’m here to do. Suffice to say that there is increasing awareness and concern around human-caused climate change.
I’m more interested in what we can do to make things better than thinking too much on all the problems we see in the world. Businesses that spend too much time thinking and not enough time doing simply don’t last. And it’s important to act now, and start finding new ways to live more harmoniously with this planet and with each other.
We declare a climate and nature emergency and have made commitments to hold ourselves accountable to meaningful and positive impact.
Positive impact is embedded in the DNA of the business—our Articles of Association—which now include a purpose statement, and commitments to responsible business principles and having a positive impact on society and the environment.
Climate and nature form a core part of many of our policies, particularly in what we call our positivity policy, which brings together our thoughts on environmental and social responsibility, and using business as a force for good. It helps us to prioritise climate and nature when making decisions, and give us a place to share the actions we are taking. I hope you’ll have a read through it.
We made the SME Climate Commitment in January 2022, committing to halve our greenhouse gas emissions and reach net zero emissions before 2030. Our progress will be published every year in our annual impact report. In making this commitment, we are proud to be recognised by the United Nations Race to Zero campaign, and join governments, businesses, cities, regions, and universities around the world that share the same mission.
We encourage those we work with—team members, clients and suppliers—to hold us to account in our words and actions, and help us to live and work by our principles.
Let’s use business to build a better world for everyone.