Finding a Work-Sustainability Balance

The important part your role as a professional has to play in our fight against climate change and how you can make the most of it.

In the “Every Action Matters” knowledge series we have already highlighted a number of different roles in which we individuals can take action against climate change. We can have a positive impact as residents, citizens, commuters, parents as well as consumers. Aside from these private roles, we can also make a big difference in our role as professionals.

Take a second to think about this fact when considering the importance of your role as a professional: you spend around 80’000 hours of your life working. That’s around 38 years that you are employed, almost half your life and probably more than half your adult life. When considering the different areas where we as individuals can have an impact on climate change, it’s unthinkable that we ignore our worklife.

Of course there are millions of different jobs, each with a different impact on our climate and with different amounts of potential to have an influence. Additionally, the type of job you do also greatly affects the scope of your impact. This does not change the fact though that there are always things you can do.

Let’s start with some small, simple steps that anyone in any role can fulfil. First, many of the steps that you can do as a resident, are also applicable to your role as a professional. Such as not using lights when unnecessary, unplugging your electronic devices when leaving the office or lowering the heating by one or two degrees. Also, you can assess GHG emissions of your organization.  

Aside from fulfilling these small steps you can also go a bit further and try to make a difference on a company level. You can, for example, advocate for green procurement or that your company invests in low emission sectors. You can start a company internal movement focused on generating awareness for climate issues. As a mympact user you are more informed than most of your colleagues, so pass that knowledge on to them. 

But even if you can’t reach those lofts goals, or simply don’t have the time to try, you are making a positive contribution simply by making small changes. You will be a positive role model and inspire your colleagues to follow your example. And that’s where the real magic happens. If everyone takes those first small steps, then bigger ones will follow. Your company will become aware of the changing sentiment and will reflect this new corporate trend by changing its culture accordingly.

So don’t be discouraged if you can’t make a major impact immediately. Already small changes will make a big difference down the road. And by using the mympact app it is even easier to understand the areas where you can improve yourself and learn about actionable advice and alternatives. We are convinced that as a collective, we can and will make a difference, also in our respective workplaces.

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