There is a sweeping federal climate change report drafted by 13 federal agencies, which concludes that Americans are feeling the effects of climate change today. With the recent flooding in the Houston area (thanks to Harvey), we don’t have to look far for examples of this real, and devastating, impact.

The report is currently under review and awaiting approval from the Trump administration. If and when it is fully released, we can expect that the totality of the work captured in this climate report will include an unquestionable scientific affirmation of several current realities – particular as they relate to rising sea levels and water quality.

The report forces us to question if we *are* the future generation that is so often referenced when we talk about the impact of climate action. Instead of protecting our home planet for future generations, it now seems that we need to address climate change for our own benefit. The delayed gratification associated with the doing what is right today on behalf of tomorrow has been replaced by our own immediate need to thrive.

An important part of my role is to bring powerful forces together to foster better economic development by achieving high impact conservation – all driven by Abundance Thinking. Keeping each community verdant, with abundant fresh water for drinking, fresh air, working infrastructure, and social connectivity requires a convergence of policy, science, business acumen, and commitment. Collaboration is at the center of each of our most successful projects – doesn’t it seem logical that we should use the same collaborative process to work on our biggest project ever? (which is to protect the earth, btw.)

With so much talk about the future, this report does the very important work of re-focusing our attention on the here and now.

And if you are reading this, the odds are high that you are in the real estate industry. Whether you are an architect, developer, or building owner, you know that after transportation, buildings are the U.S.’s most significant contributor of greenhouse gas emissions.

If your firm hasn’t already, this is an excellent opportunity to declare intent as it relates to climate change. The brands that have already done so have sharpened their perception in the market, and have strengthened their position as industry leaders. Just look at what building for climate resilience did for Mattress Mack and the people of this business’s community. By intentionally building flood-proof mattress stores following his experience during Hurricane Katrina, Mattress Mack was able to set a standard for conscientious business while also doing the good work of helping flood victims.

Would you like your company to be recognized as one of those that lead the U.S. and the world into the greener future by embracing climate resilience and sustainability as integral to your business? Whether you personally care about climate change, companies that demonstrate sustainability and environmental stewardship perform better. It’s not necessary for you to be on a personal mission for this to make good sense.

If making the commitment is step one, then making it real inside your organization has everything to do with your organizational change implementation plan. The payback for your business is significant, the payback for the next generation of leaders is exponential.

Here are three excellent ideas for any company that is ready to make or deepen its commitment to environmental responsibility:

  1. Complete a competitive scan of your peers and learn what they are saying about climate change so you can keep the competition at bay.
  2. Initiate a conversation with company leaders and stakeholders – create a commitment statement you all believe in and that is aligned with your company values.
  3. Pick one action to complete this year that demonstrates your commitment to sustainability and climate resilience. Make your intentions public, and get it done.

Need ideas for quick wins to kick off your commitment to addressing climate change? Email me, comment here, tweet @paladinoandco – we’re here to help!

Our planet is a mixed-use paradise where we all work, play, shop, and live. Your company makes a difference, and not just to future generations – it makes a difference to the 4.2 billion people living in and moving to cities around the world right now.

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