Climate and environment

Climate and environment are closely linked to human rights. When natural resources like land and water get scarce, the people that are worst affected are often those living in poverty or marginalisation. Companies have a responsibility to know how they affect the climate and the environment, and to prevent contributions to environmental degradation or climate change.

Our climate and our environment are affected in various way by companies’ operations. Climate change, deforestation, contamination and loss of biological diversity are just a few examples. When people lose access to land, forests and clean water their incomes, health and food supplies come under threat.

Vulnerable groups suffer the most

In rural areas and cities, vulnerable groups such as indigenous peoples and people living in slums are the ones who suffer the most as a result of environmental pollution and climate change. These challenges are expected to increase in the future and cause more conflicts. Climate change is already a major obstacle in efforts to tackle poverty.

Sustainable business models

Companies have a considerable responsibility both to reduce their impact and to demonstrate new alternatives. In order to turn things around, companies need to develop business models, products and supply chains that respect the limits for what the world’s ecosystems can endure. At the same time, companies should respect human rights in all their activities.

Financial sector fuels economy

The financial sector offers investments, loans and services to projects and companies. A large proportion of the world’s stock markets are currently invested in fossil-based industries and companies that cause, for example, pollution and loss of biological diversity. Banks, fund managers and insurance companies therefore have the potential to use their influence to put pressure on companies to protect ecosystems, but also to reallocate resources in favour of green and climate-friendly projects and companies.