We see a flood of corporate climate change plans and commitments, but are companies go far enough, or is it just a mirage of corporate responsibility? Right now it is impossible to tell, but a new framework, which evaluates climate change plans with just five multiple-choice questions, is here to help.

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Almost every day now we have an announcement of a company presenting a new climate change plan and/or commitments. This is supposed to be good news, right? After all, it shows that companies pay attention and respond to the climate crisis. At the same time, we need to remember…


What do we do when we have a new Democratic President who wants to pursue a bold climate agenda and a Senate that is not that interested in big climate policies? One option is to work harder to elect politicians who are committed to fighting climate change. Another option is to expand our theory of change and focus on changing companies, not just politicians.

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Image credit: Marcia Cirrilo

This week’s elections are nerve-wracking for everyone, but it seems to be especially difficult, not to say devastating to those of us who had high hopes for a new course of action on climate change. The anticipation was that President Biden, with the help of a Democratic-led Congress (and a push from its progressive wing of the party), will help overcome four years of destruction and move forward quickly and swiftly to advance a bold climate agenda.

Now that the Republican party seems to keep its hold of the Senate (pending two runoff Senate elections in Georgia in January), this…


We will reach soon the milestone of 1,000 companies committing to a science-based target to cut their emissions in line with a 1.5C future, but is this strategy effective? I suggest that there is one critical piece missing from this strategy that needs to be addressed or else we lose the war on climate change.

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Senate Democrats unveiled last month their plan to tackle climate change. The 255-page report paid close attention to the connections between politics and business. One of the key points in the report could be found on its last page: “The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) has pointed out that corporate America’s most powerful tool in the fight against climate change is its political clout. Internal corporate sustainability measures alone will never avert the crisis.”

This sentiment was also echoed in a 2019 report of the watchdog group InfluenceMap, which assessed the impact of influential companies on climate policies worldwide. It…


These are not regular times. The multiple crises we face require us to challenge almost every assumption, idea, and practice we have. The circular economy is no different. Can a non-inclusive, growth-based strategy be a viable sustainability strategy for business in 2020?

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Image credit: Zeronaut.be

Over the last couple of years, the circular economy became a key solution in the fight to fix the dysfunctional ‘take-make-waste’ linear model dominating our economy for a long time. Still, looking at the current challenges we deal with — COVID-19, racial injustice, massive unemployment, and of course climate change, one could not wonder if the circular economy is still the way forward, i.e. should it still be a leading sustainability strategy for companies?

According to the 2020 State of the Green Business report, “the idea of a circular economy is growing up fast,” moving quickly “into the boardrooms…


The corporate response to the George Floyd protests indicates that with all the progress made on corporate social responsibility, companies didn’t move too far from business as usual. In this piece, I explain what’s wrong with this “sustainability-as-usual” approach, and what companies can do to go beyond it.

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Image credit: Geoff Livingston

In 1970 Milton Friedman made the case that the “only one social responsibility of business — to use its resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits”. This view may seem to no longer represent the dominant mindset in the business world, which got more involved in social and environmental responsibility. However, the response of companies in the U.S. to the protests following the death of George Floyd suggests that these efforts are far from enough. …


This is the story of Flight Zero, an experiment with a new recipe for change that works to effectively connect the dots between individual lifestyle changes and collective action to fight the climate crisis

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Chapter 1: The Early Days (remember 2019?)

It’s amazing to think how quickly everything can change. On February 10th, the first day of “Flight Zero”, the number of commercial flights worldwide was 100,456 according to Flightradar24. On May 11, 2020 the number of flights went down by almost 70 percent to 32,009. These numbers could bounce back quickly, but the scope and pace of change in the number of flights due to COVID-19 proved how the unthinkable can quickly become reality.

In 2019 the story of flying was very different. Greta Thunberg’s travel to the U.S. on a sailboat as part of her no-flying commitment, together…


The ongoing coronavirus pandemic is challenging many of the assumptions we have about almost everything, including the role and value of design. We listen to doctors, health experts, politicians, economists and businesspeople, but not (yet?) to designers. We share thoughts and questions on what this moment may mean for designers and their role in and beyond the coronavirus crisis.

By Peter Friedrich Stephan and Raz Godelnik

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Photo credit: Chad Davis

Spaceship Earth is Shaking

Spaceship Earth as Bucky Fuller calls our planet has been traveling in recent months into the “unknown unknowns” territory, making fun of any assumptions, plans, strategies and intentions we had prior to the coronavirus pandemic. Having so many people around the world shaken by a virus they probably never heard about until a month or two ago is a good reminder that we still don’t have the instruction manual for this spaceship. It is also a reminder that we need to be humble about the assumptions we have on how the world…


The coronavirus outbreak demonstrates what happens when governments, companies, and people actually feel that our house is on fire. Here are five lessons we can learn from the coronavirus outbreak to help us in the fight against climate change.

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Image credit: Departimento Protezione

For the most part the conversation about the coronavirus (aka COVID-19) in the context of the climate crisis has been focusing on its impacts on global emissions. The New York Times, for example, reported that the decline in economic activity in China due to measures taken to stop the outbreak resulted in a reduction of about 25% in China’s carbon dioxide emissions over the past three weeks compared to the same period last year. This decline, according to Carbon Brief, is mainly associated with reduction in fossil fuel use. …


2020 is a critical year for the fight on climate change. To act effectively on this messy problem we’ll have to do some things differently as right now we’re losing this war. But what exactly? I decided to watch “The Wire”, hoping this excellent TV show will provide me with inspiration and some ideas on how to win this fight.

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Photo credit: Wikipedia

2020 is going to be an important year for the fight on climate change. Not that 2019 wasn’t important, but 2020 is not only a new year, but also the beginning of a new decade, so maybe it can also provide an opportunity to open a new page in our efforts to win this fight.

I feel 2019 was a critical moment, where we finally saw more mainstream resistance against the inaction on climate change, but even when we’re ending the year with Greta Thunberg celebrated worldwide, including on the cover of Time Magazine as the person of the…


The United Nations published a report showing the growing gap between what we need to do to fight climate change and what we actually do about it. While this report should be a call for action for all of us, most of us will probably ignore it. To stop the loop of inaction — bad report — more inaction we need to start figuring out why we don’t give a f*ck and how we fix this unproductive dynamic.

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Source: UNEP

On November 26 the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) published the “Emissions Gap Report 2019”, in which it “examines the progress of countries to close the gap via their commitments to emissions reduction, to ultimately stop climate change.” The report’s message was very clear: “The summary findings are bleak. Countries collectively failed to stop the growth in global GHG emissions, meaning that deeper and faster cuts are now required”.

I don’t plan to go in detail into the findings — if you’re interested, check UNEP’s summary and the analysis on CarbonBrief. Still, it’s worth mentioning the report suggests that…

Raz Godelnik

Assistant Prof. at Parsons School of Design. Working on new book: Rethinking Corporate Sustainability in the Era of Climate Crisis — A Strategic Design Approach

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