Our planet is on the line, so we’re going on strike – yes, even me, the CEO.
That’s because the company I have the privilege to lead, CREDO, is a corporate leader in the Global Climate Strike – a massive, week-long, youth-led event to demand climate justice for everyone and end the age of fossil fuels. We’re joining Patagonia, Levi Strauss, Ben & Jerry’s, Lush Cosmetics and others, to enlist as many of our employees and customers in the strike as possible. I’ve urged every one of our employees to walk out and join one of the thousands of marches taking place globally on Friday, September 20.
Fighting climate change isn’t something just for idealists, it’s urgent and existential. That’s why we are willing to take a potential hit to our profits by shutting down for a day. This is the bare minimum that’s necessary to do our part to fight the climate crisis.
Scientists confirmed that climate change is worse than we ever thought, and we have a little over a decade to drastically transform our economy and reduce carbon emissions to ensure we leave the next generation – the millions of young people we will strike with this month – with a habitable Earth. And as a business leader, I know I have a moral obligation to do what’s best for our customers, our employees and for the mission of our company.
CREDO was founded more than 30 years ago to create progressive social change by donating a portion of our revenue to causes that will make a positive social impact – and fighting for climate justice has been a top priority for decades.
Of the $88 million we’ve donated to nonprofit causes since 1985, our customers have helped us give nearly $20 million to groups fighting for the environment and climate. And this month, to coincide with the Climate Strikes, we’re asking our members to vote to donate an additional $50,000 to five groups fighting for climate justice and the passage of a Green New Deal.
Our CREDO Action team has a long history of climate activism. They’ve empowered our millions of CREDO Action members to push the Democratic National Committee to hold an official climate debate, urge companies, universities and financial funds to divest from fossil fuels, and protect our public lands from fracking and oil pipelines. They are also recruiting CREDO activists to join strikes across the country.
Our business model ties us more closely than most to progressive values, but now is the time for all corporate leaders to take action on climate change on behalf of their businesses, their employees, their customers and the planet. I’m not talking about a “CEO Climate Dialogue” filled with some of the largest polluters in the world, or small commitments by some in the Fortune 500 to reduce their carbon footprints, either.
The young people across the world who are leading the Climate Strikes this September are in the streets demanding that the leaders like us in industry, government and media do everything we can to protect our planet for future generations.
As CEOs, it’s more than just a moral obligation to listen to millions of young people rising up for the future of our planet; it will also affect our bottom line.
A recent study found that Gen-Zers (those born between 1995 and 2002) will make up 40 percent of consumers by next year, and more than 50 percent of them “feel that knowing a brand is socially conscious influences purchase decisions.”
We’ve known for a long time that consumers choose brands that align with their values – it’s precisely why our customers choose our wireless or renewable energy services – so if companies want to succeed while also running a socially-responsible company, it’s in their best interests to not only do business sustainably, but to actively fight for climate justice.
Because all the revenue, customers and reputation in the world won’t make a difference if we don’t have a livable Earth on which to do business. So we’re going to keep fighting to protect our planet and end climate change.
And on Friday, we’re going on strike.
CREDO is a socially conscious corporation dedicated to powering progressive change through everyday acts of commerce through CREDO Mobile, CREDO Energy, and CREDO Long Distance. CREDO gives customers the opportunity to support causes they care about — like climate justice and women’s rights — by paying for the services they already use, including mobile service and home electricity supply.