S3E8: Corporations and Climate: Consumer, Investor, and Employee
S3E8: Corporations and Climate: Consumer, Investor, and Employee
Many companies talk a big game when it comes to action on climate change. Some actually mean it, and some don't; in this episode, we sit down with Jamie Beck Alexander, founder of Drawdown Labs, to chat corporations, climate, and the future of climate + industry. Together with Jamie, we delve into everything you need to know as a consumer, investor, and employee to evaluate corporate climate pledges and action meaningfully. Jamie will show us how little steps and big steps can make a degree of difference.
ABOUT THE SPEAKER
Jamie Beck Alexander is a solutions-oriented corporate climate
advocate, coalition builder, and founding director of Drawdown Labs.
Jamie joined the Project Drawdown team from Ceres, where she led
corporate engagement on the west coast, working with companies to
set ambitious emission reduction targets and leveraging their influence
in support of strong climate and clean energy policies. At Ceres, she
launched a public-private partnership with the City of San Francisco
and Bay Area companies to identify and deploy collaborative solutions
to decarbonize the transportation sector.
This episode was produced by Global Thinking Foundation USA and Hangar Studios.
Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube!
Follow Jamie and her journey on Twitter here.
Check out Drawdown Labs' report, "Climate Solutions At Work" here.
[00:00:00] Nolan: Welcome back, money people! This is Nolan, and I am so glad you can be here with us today. We have an exciting conversation, continuing these climate conversations with Jamie Beck Alexander, the Director of Drawdown Labs, on corporations and climate.
[00:00:15] Mary: That's right, and I'm here with you all, too. You can't get rid of me. Isn't that fantastic? I'm here with Nolan today and he's right, we have this amazing guest, Jamie Beck Alexander. She is a solutions oriented corporate climate advocate. That sounds like an awesome job. I think we should all get that one. She's a coalition builder and founding director of Drawdown Labs.
[00:00:38] Mary: Jamie joined the Project Drawdown team from Ceres, where she led corporate engagement on the West Coast, working with companies to set ambitious emission reduction targets and leveraging their influence in support of strong climate and clean energy policy.
[00:00:55] Nolan: That's right, Mary, we will be chatting about what companies are doing that's meaningful in the climate space and what consumers, investors and employees should keep in mind to live out their climate values and so, so much more.
[00:01:09] Mary, Nolan, Laquita Ann: Hi, I'm Mary. I'm Nolan. I'm Laquita Ann. We are your hosts, and this is 'Your World, Your Money.' We will be talking real money, with real people, in a real way. Because everyone deserves the opportunity and tools for freedom, financial or otherwise. 'Your World, Your Money' is brought to you by Hangar Studios, a New York City based recording studio, and Global Thinking Foundation, a global nonprofit working toward financial freedom and equality for all.
[00:01:54] Mary: So, Jamie we're so excited to have you here with us. I promise I will not call you Madam Director Alexander, despite how fun that would be, but you are the Director of Drawdown Labs. So, tell us about that exciting work. Get us started understanding the incredible things that you're doing for climate.
[00:02:14] Jamie: Well, thank you for having me. It's so wonderful to be with both of you today. Yeah. So, Project Drawdown is a nonprofit organization. We'd been around for several years now and really exist as an organization to identify and then lift up the biggest solutions that we have in the world to address climate change. But we started realizing a few years ago that the change was not happening quickly enough, and the private sector--so, you know, companies-- are responsible for the vast majority of the emissions that leads to climate change. And so, we decided to launch Drawdown Labs with the aim of, you know, really bringing climate solutions to the business world and contextualizing all of the research that our team had done to make it, you know, useful for companies and to accelerate the adoption of climate solutions and for companies to more rapidly replace the incompatible things that they've been doing with climate solutions. So really trying to expedite corporate kind of ambition around climate change.
[00:03:19] Mary: Thank you for sharing that. And you used to work previously in international development and public health. So, I'm really curious about the personal story behind all of this. I think often we get to know the company and we have that big story, but what's your story? What's your path here?
[00:03:38] Jamie: Thanks for asking. Yeah. I think everyone that, that works in climate change nowadays has a really interesting story of how we got here, because, you know climate change wasn't... like in the two thousands, there weren't a lot of sustainability jobs or a lot of specifically climate focused non-profits, which just wasn't on the radar the way it is now.
[00:03:59] Jamie: And so, I started in the federal government working on foreign aid programs and specifically working on public health. So, it was in 2008 that I was living and working in Bangladesh on Malaria eradication programs and living there... I mean, it's-- the local people there... they were very aware of climate change.
[00:04:20] Jamie: Uh, in 2008, it was not a question. It wasn't like this ambiguous thing. It was very real to them that the flooding and the monsoon season, the flooding that was happening from the melting of the Tibetan plateau, the glaciers up there, was worse and worse every year. It was just very, very clear. And at the same time, there were big companies, big companies with their factories in Bangladesh, producing clothing for Nike and all of these, these big global companies.
[00:04:52] Jamie: And I happened to be there when one of those factories actually collapsed and killed almost a thousand Bangladeshi factory workers.
[00:05:00] Nolan: I remember that. Yeah.
[00:05:02] Jamie: They were on a plaza collapse. So, it was like this coming together for me of climate change, which was clearly affecting local people, and they knew it and they knew what their solutions were and what their risks were. And then this, like, totally just in your face example of corporate-- um, you know, sort of how companies are really responsible and drive a lot of the negative impact around climate and social outcomes. That experience really kind of put me on a different path of wanting to, you know, looking at climate change as this foundational issue for everyone, you know. I mean at that time I thought I was working on climate change for, for Bangladeshi people, for people in low island, developing states. But now, I mean, now it's so clear that it's affecting all of us so much, so much more quickly than any of us realized. So yeah, I think that experience, I mean, I think working in building international partnerships, it's all about understanding the needs and the solutions of local people and understanding like what resonates with local people, what their priorities are like, what different, you know, people in different contexts. And so, the work that I was doing around malaria eradication, it was all about trying to understand why more people weren't using malaria bed nets.
[00:06:26] Jamie: It's like a net that you put over your bed at night while you're, while you're sleeping to prevent mosquitoes from biting you, that could give you malaria. And it was like why aren't more people using these? And so, it was really like having local people lead to show us how it should work and how to get more people using this important solution. And I think there's such relevance for the climate space.
[00:06:47] Jamie: So, when I think about, you know, all of the things that climate is impacting, it's every part of our lives. And so how do we understand people in different contexts and communicate with them and you know, where they are and what their needs are, whether it's their health outcomes or their livelihoods or talking about coffee and wine and good food that are going to be affected by climate change. Like what are the things that we need to, to really bring out? Cause climate is central to all of it. And having different people lead from those communities who have the credibility and the knowledge of their, their local communities, I think is those are things that I've brought with me from that experience in international development work.
[00:07:31] Nolan: I think that's an incredible lesson. And now you're in this amazing vantage where you really can see what the private sector is doing on this giant problem of climate change. And you are in this incredibly thoughtful position of how do we nudge the private sector to do more. So, I'd love to get into some of that. I'm excited for you to listen to our last episode where we get into this really engaging conversation about how to think through the implications of our personal carbon footprints but hanging over that conversation is this idea that corporations are really responsible in a, in a very real way for so much of the global emissions. And I'm curious how we, as individuals should think through that, what can we do to understand what companies are doing that is meaningful in the climate space, what companies are doing that might not be so meaningful... how has this all playing out and how do we interpret this just as in this sea of information and in a world of change, how do we as individuals make sense of it?
[00:08:37] Jamie: I think this is really a fundamental question right now, because you know, we're all in this together, right? We're all in this climate crisis together, experiencing it in real time, we all have a role to play. And, and, you know, I think it's important that we have a shared understanding of what we're trying to do as a global human family to address it. And what these goals are that we're hearing from companies that are responsible for 70 plus percent of our global emissions. So, there was a lot in that question.
[00:09:07] Jamie: I think I'm excited to listen to your last episode. I haven't yet, but I do think we started sort of the climate conversation. Whenever you would say that, that kind of started several decades ago talking, I think too much about individual carbon foot printing and all of that. But I, I fear now that we've overcorrected a bit and that we're sort of, 'nobody talk about individual action,' because that's like, that's now becoming like a taboo thing to talk about because yes, most of the onus should be, and responsibility should be on corporations. But I think we are a part of the system, right? Like I'm, I'm sure you, you touched on this in your last episode, but individuals are part of the system. Companies wouldn't be producing stuff if people weren't buying it, and any one person's individual actions are not going to move the needle but aggregated collective action really can. And so, to go back to your question, I think it's, it's critical that people outside, you know, both employees across the company and people in society have a sophisticated understanding of all of the ways that companies influence climate change.
[00:10:18] Jamie: And I think to date, it's been pretty oversimplified and it's a complex world. And that's what my team at Drawdown Labs is really trying to expose all of the ways that companies influence a livable climate. I don't put a whole lot of stock in big commitments and public kind of pronouncements that companies make because they don't have any teeth. They're not-- yet... this will likely change-- but they're not yet able to be held accountable to those commitments. So right now, you know, I, the biggest barometer for me is how involved our employees in, in this work and how much our employees like brought in and accepted into-- like, if employees are challenging their company to move faster, is that accepted or are they sort of pushed to the side?
[00:11:07] Jamie: And that can be a hard thing to, to ascertain unless, you know, people working inside that company. But for me, with knowing people inside a lot of these big corporations, that's my number one barometer, because I think it's employees inside these corporations who are, who have the sort of resolve, they see the issue more clearly, they're less tied to companies having to like show quarterly returns.
[00:11:33] Jamie: Employees can see the issue more clearly without having to be tied to profit of the company and they can hold their company accountable, you know? And so. If employees, within companies have a broad understanding of all of the ways that their company is influencing the climate, they can both connect to their job wherever it is, to action that they can take and they can work to hold their, their company accountable.
[00:12:00] Jamie: That's kind of specific to employees within a company. I think for, for the general public, I mean, there's a dashboard that's, you know, the, an open-source dashboard that you can find online that's led by the, We Mean Business coalition that does track all of all company commitments. Again, there's no accountability to those, but at least it's a start.
[00:12:23] Jamie: And then I think, you know, coming out of COP26, the international financial reporting standards, they kind of set the rules for public companies. And they came out at COP26 and said that they now are about to release a climate standard that's going to be, you know, transparent, comparable. It's going to really, essentially, require that companies report on their emissions and their pathways to achieve their targets. When that happens, you know, I think that's really going to affect the transparency of like how the general public will be able to see where companies are in their journey to de-carbonization and whether they're actually meeting those, those standards.
[00:13:03] Jamie: And then just one other note, in addition to employee involvement, I think the other barometer that I use is are they stepping up on-- at least here in the U.S.-- are they stepping up on, on climate policy advocacy? Are they speaking up? Are they supporting bold climate policy or not? And if they're not, then I would question, I would question their, their big climate targets because they'll need policy in place to enable them to achieve their targets. So, to go back and revise what I said earlier, I think the two things that I look at our employee involvement and policy advocacy, and whether they're stepping out boldly in support of climate policy.
[00:13:43] Nolan: That makes sense and, and, and I am really heartened to hear about this new standard for measurable corporate goals, because till now I want to bring up this term, greenwashing, till now you have a lot of companies putting out great press releases who are very good at knowing how to position themselves in the media, in how consumers and investors perhaps view these brands. And they're good at saying the right things, right?
[00:14:09] Nolan: But what's so hard is just to know who's doing the right things. And so maybe this is a good segue to be talking about net zero. A lot of these companies are making pledges to be net zero by a certain year. Can you tell us a little bit about what that means exactly and what the implications of that are?
[00:14:29] Jamie: Yeah. So net zero, as a, as a concept started, came from the UN and the IPCC as this global goal. A goal that all of the world needed to reach by 2050, and the IPCC report, um, on 1.5 C from 2018, it was, that was the goal set in that, in that report. And so, I think what happened is everybody sort of took that as a leadership position. 'Well, okay. If that's the-- you know, they said--' if that's the global goal, then I'm going to make that my company goal. And if I achieve that, I'm going to be leading.' The problem with that is that we're not going to get every single company in the world to do that. Some sectors are much, much harder than others. Cement... and you know, I mean, there's, there's certain sectors in, in heavy industry and aviation that are just going to be much more challenging. And, and some companies, you know, in the, in the developing world are going to take longer. So, for, for that to be a come a leadership position is, is nonsensical to me. It's as though we're in this race for everything we know and love.
[00:15:36] Jamie: And if 2050 is like the, you know, the finish line, you want the last person to cross the finish line by 2050, right? You don't want the leader-- like it's, it's like everybody needs to be across the finish line by 2050. So, I think the leaders need to be a lot faster and a lot bigger in their ambition to be truly leaders. So, I think that's one issue. The other issue is that it does sort of, it enables this carbon market trading ecosystem, where companies can continue emitting as usual, but they pay for offsets on another side of their, in another part of their business. Because you know, net zero as a concept, essentially will be achieved when all greenhouse gas emissions released by humans are counterbalanced by the removal of greenhouse gas emissions, either through forests or mangroves or oceans or eventually direct air capture or something like that. So, the problem with that is that, yes, we absolutely need natural climate solutions, like to restore and protect our forests and our oceans. But we need that full stop as an absolute, like right now, natural climate solutions-- so land sinks and ocean sinks absorb about 40% of the greenhouse gas emissions that human beings put into the atmosphere every year.
[00:17:01] Jamie: So, they absorb a lot of our greenhouse gas emissions. We need to just absolutely protect and restore that without it being like a trading piece for continued emissions on the other side of the scale. And so, what's wrong with that is that companies will continue emitting. It enables them to not focus on the absolute reductions that need to happen today and we're seeing parts of the world go up in flames in wildfires that we haven't seen in the past. This past summer, we saw, you know, with the bootleg fire in Oregon, that was a huge carbon offset forest for Microsoft and other large companies. And so, when that forest went up in flames, that was all of the, your, a lot of the carbon credits that Microsoft had been touting for the last several years in order to achieve their net zero commitment.
[00:17:54] Jamie: We can't count on that as part of this trading scheme. We just need to absolutely protect and restore ecosystems, and we need to get as close as we can to absolute zero. And net zero, you know, I think carbon offsets can be used in the very hardest areas to decarbonize and that's about it. The easier stuff we need to go after and just get to absolute zero rather than net zero.
[00:18:19] Nolan: Yeah. I mean, it strikes me as crazy and I want to hit this point home that my understanding is these carbon offsets are oftentimes being sold from forests that really weren't going to be cut down anyway, or to grow new forests that maybe would have cropped up anyway. And if anything happens to these forests-- forest fire or like they just rot and decay naturally-- all of that carbon ends up right back into the air. And so, it seems like it's just fundamentally the way we're accounting, the system of carbon management is fundamentally flawed.
[00:18:53] Jamie: Right. And there are limitations to trees mature, and they absorb a lot of carbon, you know, after they've matured, but then it levels off. It's not, they're not an infinite, you know, I think that there's so many details that we are just glossing over and we're not talking about timescales. We're not talking about, 'okay, how are we going to get off' off- offsets could be like, you know, a crutch maybe for a short period of time, but eventually we need to get to absolute zero. So, I think there's such a lack of, of serious calculations and accountability on that math that make it very problematic. And I'm glad to see that that criticism is now sort of in the mainstream. And I hope that it's starting to shift how companies set their emissions reductions targets.
[00:19:41] Mary: I want to spend just an, an extra minute on carbon emissions and COP26. So, we just finished up COP26 and for a lot of Americans following it, I know that there was a loss of discontent maybe, or a little bit of frustration around the role that corporations played and the pledges that they made and are they actually really going to meet those? And one particular alliance of the finance sector came together on an Alliance and they're committing assets towards cutting carbon emissions and other global actions. How does this come off to you? Give us some impressions on the COP26 and, and also of course we have this financial lens to it. So, this Alliance that we're hearing about, so get us started here and we can dive into it.
[00:20:29] Jamie: I think that that was one of the biggest announcements and kind of global partnerships that, that I heard about, um, that was launched at COP26. I mean, we, you know, according to our analysis at Project Drawdown, we need in the order of $5 trillion a year invested in, in climate solutions. So those nations coming together as a, is a big step forward. I think, I mean, obviously we need much more than that. I think the proof will be in when we actually, you know, see those investments happening and the details of it. I think that's really what we're going to see, whether that has the potential that it sounds like it has. I think we need; we need private capital.
[00:21:09] Jamie: We need public investment. We need philanthropy, we need all of it. And to see that level of commitment happened was very encouraging. We just need much more, and we need to see that the details of how and when it's going to happen and in what ways that, that capital will be deployed. And that's something that, that Project Drawdown works on, is looking at what are the climate solutions that-- where can we get the quick wins? Where do we need an investment right now that will make a tangible dent in our emissions? And then what are the timescales for the other ones and what kind of capital, you know, what kinds of investments-- or, or, you know, investment vehicles or whether it's philanthropy or public investment or private capital-- which is relevant for which different climate solutions and at what time horizons? And in what that's something that we're, we're looking at now.
[00:21:56] Jamie: Um, and we regularly kind of make, make recommendations to investors in that regard. So, I am keen to see what happens with that announcement.
[00:22:07] Mary: Yeah. And do you think, just with the culture shift that we've had and the, your experience and all that you've seen, do you think that corporations are getting more serious about this? Do you think we're going to see them maybe taking their own words and their own promises a bit more seriously? Or are we a little bit more pessimistic on that side?
[00:22:27] Jamie: That is such a tough question. I mean, some days I wake up and I, you know, I really feel like we're going to do this. And companies are going to be a part of the solution and help lead the way. And other days I feel like companies need to just get out of the way and we need to break down the capitalist system if we're going to actually do this. So, it really depends on the day, whether I feel like it's possible within our existing economic structure. But I think what gives me hope is like, I, I work with a lot of the people inside these companies who are really committed, passionate doing the hardest work. Some of the hardest work there is. You know, there's no blueprint for how to take a company and decarbonize it in a period of 10 years. There's no blueprint for how you-- there's just like the history is no guide for, for these people inside companies who are trying to do this work and they are some of the smartest and most committed and passionate individuals.
[00:23:26] Jamie: And they're spending a lot of their own political capital internally to push the company as fast as they possibly can. Employees are joining the fold and, you know, working like pushing their companies, risking their own jobs many times, to push their companies faster, to hold them accountable, taking time out of their own personal lives, to work on the margins of their full-time job. That's where I find... to me, that's that's the future of-- if this economic system that we're in is going to gonna survive and be part of the solution, it's going to be because of employees inside companies who are making it happen. So that's what, when, when I read stories about that and when I'm in, you know, when I work with employees who are organizing, those are the days when I'm like, 'okay, we're gonna, we're gonna do this.'
[00:24:18] Nolan: Well, let's, let's get into that a little bit. And so, yes, assuming we retain some semblance of a capitalist system for the medium term, let's talk about what individuals can do to nudge corporations, to do the right thing. And so, you're referencing what employees can do and you, and the Drawdown Labs team recently released this incredible report, Climate Solutions at Work. And this is really an amazing resource. We'll have it linked in the show notes, everybody listening should go check this out. And the report approaches from so many different angles. Everything a company can and should be considering to take meaningful climate action. And importantly, it's applicable to everyone in that company, whether you're the founding CEO of a company or you're an entry level employee who just started last week. I think it serves as this amazing guide for what employees can do.
[00:25:12] Nolan: And interestingly, I think a guide for, if you're looking for a job, what company to maybe consider in terms of whether it takes climate change seriously. So, let's talk about this report. What can you tell us about the major findings that you and your team found? The suggestions and recommendations you give, let us know what are the highlights?
[00:25:33] Jamie: Yeah. Well, I'll start with the inspiration for the report, which was, um, so several years ago before I started at Project Drawdown, I worked closely with the group of Amazon employees that, that came together. It started as just a couple of dozen employees throughout the company who were concerned about climate change, concerned about Amazon's role in, and at that time Amazon's lack of having a climate commitment to speak of. This was probably in 2017 or 18. And. I worked with them on like, what are the things that Amazon should be doing? Like, is it just emissions? Are there other things? Like, what should we be asking Amazon to do? So, I worked closely with them to craft this list of demands. And then that group of a couple dozen employees grew to be over 7,000 employees throughout the company, including like fleet managers, warehouse workers, people who did deliveries for Amazon. And we're all part of this massive letter that they wrote. And then one of those employees ended up reading at one of the Amazon shareholder meetings to Amazon's board of directors. Because as employees, they are shareholders in the company. And so, that was such an incredible experience and the power that those employees built throughout the company, whether they were in the warehouse or in the headquarters, like they all came together.
[00:26:59] Jamie: Unfortunately, two of those, the two kind of leading employees there ended up losing their jobs. So, this takes a lot of, a lot of courage and a lot of willingness to really risk your own job, which hopefully that won't happen again in the future. So, working with them and just seeing, you know, the power that they were able to build. And then several months after that, that letter was read, Amazon announced their climate pledge, um, which is net zero by 2040. And which is now like Amazon is all about this climate pledge. And it was really started by these, in my opinion, it was this group of employees that inspired that to happen.
[00:27:37] Jamie: And so, that was the seed of the inspiration for this climate solutions at work guide. It's just, it's so clear to me that sustainability, like formal kind of ESG or sustainability teams within companies, they're often have very little funding, very little head count, very limited access to the C-suite. And they're trying to do the most important work there is in the world to do. And so, our goal with this report was to say, 'okay, we need, we need more people than just like the five sustainability people. We need people from a throughout the company. You know, people in marketing, in HR, in finance, in government affairs and design and product like sales, we need everyone.' And so, our goal was really to set out and say, 'okay', one, what are all of the leverage points that companies have to influence the climate crisis positively and negatively? What are all the things that they're doing through all the different parts of their operations that are positively or negatively impacting the climate crisis? And then two, what are the roles that can help tap those levers for good? And so, when we did that, it actually like, it, it touches every part of the business.
[00:28:58] Jamie: Like when, when we actually did that analysis to look at, okay, it's not just about emissions. It's also about what are companies lobbying practices, where are their investments? Where are the 401ks of their employees? What are their products? Are they enabling partnering in some way with the fossil fuel economy? Are they enabling drilling to happen more efficiently through their products? Are they enabling, you know, misinformation on their platforms? Like what are all of the things across all parts of their business that they are doing? And so, like once we got all of that on a page, it was like, 'Wow. This brings in so many more people, so many more job functions, so many more skillsets and expertise.'
[00:29:41] Jamie: So that was really our goal to help-- I think the way the, the broader Drawdown climate solutions are aimed to try to bring more people in and more like to show all of these solutions that we have. Our goal with Climate Solutions at Work was to say, there are so many things that companies are doing that are an opportunity to help address the climate crisis. So, let's like, let's get all of this out there so that people can start to try to find their inroads to working on climate. So that was really the goal and yeah, and I think I was actually really stunned at the amount of different job functions that are relevant when you, when you sort of look at it that way, when you, when you broaden your lens. I was like, 'wow, this is like literally every department in a company that has relevance here.'
[00:30:32] Jamie: And that was really exciting. Cause like, imagine what more is possible when all these people that wants to contribute have an avenue now to do that. So, yeah.
[00:30:42] Nolan: That was one of the biggest takeaways for me. Just everyone can get involved no matter where you are in the company, which department, what level of seniority you are, you have a role to play. And that was really heartening.
[00:30:52] Jamie: That's great. Yeah.
[00:30:54] Nolan: I guess there's one follow up I wanted to ask, which is how can employees use their leverage to push companies to do more? And so, hypothetically, you're a worker for a company that doesn't seem to be taking climate change very seriously. They're not taking proactive action on this. What do you think employees can do working for a company like that? How can they best use their leverage to push the company to do better?
[00:31:15] Jamie: Yeah. So, in addition to sort of looking at your own individual job function and identifying some linkages there, finding your people inside the company who are similarly concerned, passionate, engaged, whatever the word is, sort of like building, organizing internally and figuring out, I think where, you know, one of the things that we recommend in the guide is, is to do power mapping.
[00:31:41] Jamie: So, looking at, okay. If these are all of the things that all of the negative ways that my company is influencing the climate crisis and making it worse, who are the ultimate decision makers here? Because you know, a company has a system, but in the end, there are decision makers. There are individual people inside that company who decided not to support that climate policy or not to say no to that, you know, that contract with the oil and gas company, there are decision makers.
[00:32:10] Jamie: And so, part of what I think we need to do is like to identify those decision makers and who influences them. And what's that like, what's the power map inside of a company and how do we get to them and like, try to change their mind. And that's, you know, speaking up at all hands meetings, raising your hand and asking, you know, asking the question, just asking the question or getting multiple people to do that in a line, you know, person after person. There's strength in numbers.
[00:32:38] Jamie: So, I mean, I work with, you know, I mentor folks who work inside Shell and BP and there's employees inside... we always like criminalize, you know, criminalize these big companies, but there are people inside those companies doing really hard and important work to try to change the system from the inside. Um, so we were trying to speak to those people as well in this guide, but yeah, I mean, building your numbers and, and then speaking up and yeah, and I think mapping the decision-makers and trying to figure out how to, how to influence them are two, two big ones.
[00:33:15] Mary: And we only have a little bit of time left. And so, I wanted to ask one last question that could be really brought home to a lot of the listeners. So, you're sharing a lot about pulling out these decision-makers and finding these people, but also getting involved the voices everyone that you can. And so, one of our last questions was really around understanding what can people do with their own pocketbooks? What kind of decisions can individuals make that can make a difference? You know, for them, whether it's outside of their company or inside their company, they're, they're making choices through their purchases.
[00:33:59] Mary: And so, with the little time we have, what are your thoughts there?
[00:34:03] Jamie: This is a great question. And I think really an active kind of live conversation right now. So, you know, I think for one we've been working with, I think leading companies should be offering their employees 401ks that are divested from fossil fuels and invested in climate solutions. And then in people's own lives, it's a really murky space. Like it took me personally and my partner, two weeks of looking at our own accounts, going through each one and then checking, what are all the things it's invested in, it took us probably like 20 hours, just trying to make sense of all of it. I think there are for one, it's a, I think it's a really important leverage point.
[00:34:46] Jamie: And one that I think is, is, is we're making a lot of progress towards understanding and there are some groups out there. One is a group called Carbon Collective that that is working in this space. That's really trying to, you know, not just divest from fossil fuels, but also invest proactively in climate solutions companies, which is, as we touched on earlier is still kind of a murky space without having a global standard.
[00:35:12] Jamie: But as, as we have more clarity around an ability to make kind of an apples-to-apples comparison Between companies and their relative carbon intensity, we'll be able to invest in those companies that are on the solutions end of things, much with much more clarity. So, I think that there's fossilfreefunds.org, which is a great site to look into. But I think that this is a, this is really an active space right now. And looking at your consumer level banking. There's all kinds of neobanks out there where there's still some debate about how much, how clear it can actually be without a global standard. But again, as we have more regulation in place that standardizes and requires companies to report on their emissions, that will have a cascading effect.
[00:36:02] Jamie: The rest of society will be able to like fall in line with that. So, I do think that is a huge, a huge leverage point and one that's like rapidly accelerating now. And I would highly encourage all of us to do everything at our disposal to do it, what we can in our own, in our own personal lives, while we push for broader, broader ripple effects.
[00:36:26] Nolan: But like you said, sometimes it's difficult, right? Like it requires a lot of research whether looking at your investments and figuring out which companies are truly divested from the fossil fuel space. But if you're a consumer and you just want to like go out and buy a pair of shoes or something, you know, if you really want to live into your climate values, should you be expected to really test the measurability of their net zero pledge, whether they're fully accounting for their scope, one, two, and three emissions?
[00:36:55] Nolan: Like that's a lot of research and we buy things all the time. So, what's the compromise here. If we want to truly live out our values in terms of how we spend our money, but we don't have the ability to spend two hours researching before any given purchase. What's the happy middle ground to what's a behavior change we can adopt that is sustainable that has impact?
[00:37:16] Jamie: Such a great question. I mean, I do think, you know, going back to like our first question around Bangladesh and my coming from that world, like a lot of my personal ethos around this is if you can, if you have the means to choose and you have the luxury of being able to make your house a little more efficient or ask your landlord to put, you know, a composting bin outside, like you should do that.
[00:37:42] Jamie: You know, I mean, there are a lot of people in the world who don't have that luxury and for whom climate change is an existential threat, very in the very near term. And for them like the speed at which we decarbonize is life and death. And so, my personal opinion is like, if you can, and if it requires just a little bit of sacrifice or not buying those shoes or, you know, whatever, like we should do what we can, if we're toward the more like, kind of privileged side of the spectrum. We should do everything we can, but we should look at areas where we can have outsized impact.
[00:38:18] Jamie: And that's typically in, you know, in our communities, we can often have outsized impact by like asking our, you know, whatever our-- kind of the next ripple out from individual action-- is that like asking your apartment building to, to take, you know, to put solar panels on or, you know, making the case for your community to put in more EV charging stations, whatever it is.
[00:38:42] Jamie: I think looking for those leverage points that work for you as an individual or something you're passionate about. And that, that really accept that we have, that we all have a role to play in that we, that we have some level of agency in what happens. So, I, yeah, I think the power of the Drawdown framework is that there's not like one, one solution, but lots of them and it gives everyone an opportunity to be part of bringing that world about. So that's what we're all about and that makes it hard to not have one, one thing, but it's also bringing more people in to the conversation.
[00:39:21] Nolan: I think that's right. We can do everything we can do, right. And the part of the conversation, there's a lot of these climate conversations that kind of end on that point, right. But the part of the conversation, I think you and your team do such a great job of is bringing up our work lives. Us, our identity as employees. Like that is, is a major point in which we can influence change. And if there's one thing, I want listeners to take out of this conversation, it's go read your Climate Change at Work because it is such an impactful document. And I, I think there's so much we can do to nudge the corporations we work for or interact in some other way, in really meaningful ways. And I'm glad you and the team are kind of adding to the discussion in that way.
[00:40:09] Jamie: Thank you so much. That's great to hear that that resonated and yes, that's a great, a great way to close and a great leverage point we-- most of us have at our disposal, yes.
[00:40:21] Mary: Thank you. Fantastic.
[00:40:23] Nolan: Jamie, thank you so much for joining us and it was such a pleasure to have you on.
[00:40:27] Jamie: Thanks for having me.
[00:40:29] Nolan: So, thank you listeners for joining our conversation today with Jamie. We hope you enjoyed this series on climate as much as I did. We're really excited to launch into an exciting new series on mental health starting next week that I think you all will really enjoy.
[00:40:46] Mary: Oh, no. And you're so gracious. I'm going to need that episode. I'm going to need some mental health during December. And I think all of our listeners will, too. We love December and all the holidays that come with it. And we're so excited to lead into a mental health conversation. Honestly, I think we should do mental health for every December. Cause we probably all need it. So, thank you so much listeners for joining us and you can always share with us any thoughts or any comments, or if you want to send us over any ideas for topics you'd love for us to cover.
[00:41:16] Mary: You can always send that to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can send us a DM at Global Thinking Foundation USA on Instagram. We'd love to hear from you, and we'd love to hear your thoughts on topics and some of our guests. Thank you so much for joining us and happy moneymaking.
[00:41:38] Mary, Nolan, Laquita Ann: You've been listening in with 'Your world, Your Money.' You can find us at ywympodcast.com and stay updated on Instagram at Global Thinking Foundation USA. Be sure to rate and review us and you can reach us with questions or thoughts at email@example.com. Our thanks again to Hangar Studios and Global Thinking Foundation. Thanks friends. Happy moneymaking. We'll see you next time.