Our recent webinar explored how to foster a positive mindset for taking action, use effective approaches to engage stakeholders and achieve executive-level alignment and involvement in climate action initiatives—ultimately, sharing successful strategies to inspire organizations to move from planning to implementation. Here are the top tips from the webinar hosted by climate scientist Patty Martin and joined by two sustainability leaders in the travel and climate sector, Tessa Lee from Expedia Group and Nina Boys from Preferred Travel Group.
Unhelpful thinking can cause unhelpful (in)action
Stories around climate change are often focused on catastrophes, which can lead to individuals disconnecting, becoming complacent or disbelieving events. This type of ‘survival thinking,’ where humans go into fight, flight or freeze mode, turns off access to the ‘creative thinking’ part of the brain used for problem-solving, creativity, and learning.
Growing shoots to inspire others
The image of a fern, with its fractal structure helps to highlight what difference one individual can make. One idea can be replicated, and with collaboration, positive action can grow and become bigger and bigger over time.
Overcoming imposter syndrome
It is helpful to remember that 99% of science fails. Ideas need to be tried. If they don’t work, be curious and try something new. Perfectionism and imposter syndrome are key barriers for climate inaction.
Talk about climate with everybody
The key to inspiring action is talking about climate change. It is easy to get overwhelmed but we all have the ability to talk about climate, and it should be thought of as a journey rather than an endpoint. Climate action is never going to be a tick-box exercise. It needs collaboration and regular check-ins to look at what progress is being made. Climate also needs to be thought of along with other aspects of sustainability, including nature and culture. Understanding how interconnected it all is will result in a way greater impact than working in a silo.
Getting people on board
Include people in discussions and ask for their ideas—foster buy-in. Make climate more personal to individuals rather than talking about the big, global issues. Connect climate to local people and places. Also, empower subject matter experts to become climate leaders to continue talking and taking action. Climate action cannot be led top down. People must be able to see how climate action can help with their own business goals. This can take time.
Increase climate literacy
Don’t assume that people already understand climate jargon. Make time to educate and raise awareness on basic climate knowledge.
Build your own support network
Nurture networks beyond your own organisation that align with your own work. ESG networks beyond travel are helpful, as are peers in the travel industry. Tap into networks with like-minded people who want to do the work but don’t know how to get there too.
Solutions that stick
Look for ideas through a resilience lens. Look at the co-benefits of climate action. Translate ideas into organisational or department goals. Talk about the benefits and why it’s important for the business to take action. Engage and collaborate for maximum impact.
Watch the webinar: