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how to practice
social responsibility

In partnership with
“The climate problem is not a technical problem requiring a technical solution, it is a human-caused problem requiring a human-centred response.”

— Tim Hodgson, Co-founder of the Thinking Ahead Institute

The Solutions

The climate crisis is not only an environmental emergency; it's the greatest threat to human rights. It's increasingly crucial for individuals and companies to recognise the importance of actively investing in social resilience and community empowerment.

Keywords

Inclusion
Empowerment
Investment
Externalities

Ensuring broad democratic support for the green transition through inclusivity

Creating positive change for tomorrow necessitates a broad-based societal shift. For this momentous transformation to occur, we need political approval and widespread democratic support across all levels of society.

Governments, businesses, and individuals must collaborate to secure a “leave no one behind” approach that prioritises genuine inclusivity. An inclusive approach means involving all actors in society — all social strata and all racial communities — in shaping and creating new collective value that they can all feel positive ownership towards.

The prioritisation of diverse representation, investment in local economies, genuine stakeholder engagement, community empowerment, and bottom-up approaches are essential for fostering the transformation we need for both people and planet.

Investing in social impact

Investment in socially productive companies, organisations, and projects can function as the great accelerator of change. Socially responsible investments are not simply investments that don’t make things worse — they’re investment that actively make things better. It’s not enough to divest from fossil fuels; that capital must be redirected to positive activities that regenerate our badly damaged world.

By channelling resources into projects that promote community well-being, environmental stewardship, and equitable economic prosperity, we can drive systemic change on a scale we haven’t yet seen.

Empowering developing nations to leapfrog

We often think that progress is linear. This may make us worry about the extra stress developing countries could put on the planet as their economies and energy needs grow.

However, the concept of leapfrogging offers an inspiring alternative perspective: instead of following the West down the same path of fossil fuel dependency and overconsumption, developing countries can learn from the winning strategies, ditch the destructive ones, and skip ahead to become leaders in sustainability. Technological advances make leapfrogging very possible: for example, many developing countries completely bypassed the infrastructure-heavy landline phone of the 20th century and skipped directly to widespread mobile phone adoption.

Through leapfrogging, developing countries can avoid the most environmentally harmful stages of development and self-determine their own trajectory towards a sustainable future by jumping straight to distributed, agile and clean micro-grids. The West can help by sharing technology, providing financing, and participating in broad coalitions for systemic change.

Accounting for externalities

Externalities, the often overlooked costs of our economic system, must be better integrated into our economic and decision-making frameworks. This means recognising and addressing the environmental and social impacts of activities that are ignored by businesses today and passed on as a cost to society as a whole. A cultural shift is needed where businesses account for and take positive ownership of the social and environmental impacts of their activities. This involves fostering a corporate culture that emphasises long-term thinking, public transparency, and prices that internalise costs.

The Actions

Our biggest social and environmental challenges can become the catalyst for a broad regeneration that benefits all. Find out how you can play a role in community empowerment, strengthened resilience, and fairly shared economic vitality!

Learn

Learn about Just Transition Principles

30 minutes or less
£
Free

Explore the "Just Transition Principles" by the Climate Justice Alliance. This guide outlines strategies for shifting from an extractive economy to a regenerative one, via community-led solutions, equitable resource distribution, and sustainable economic practices.

Learn about investing in social value

30 minutes or less
£
Free

We've collated three resources exploring the role of financial investment as a catalyst for the just transition — the key ingredient needed to help pro-social ventures and good business practices reach the scale we need.

This podcast covers key topics such as inequality as a systemic risk, and the necessity of long-term thinking

This paper includes a number of inspiring case studies from organisations taking pro-social action both voluntarily and in response to new regulation

This guide explains how to use capital as a catalyst for a just transition, using real-life examples

Dive deeper into environmental justice

30 minutes or less
£
Free

Explore Greenpeace's platform on environmental justice, which covers key ideas such as the just transition, community empowerment, loss and damage, and sacrifice zones. Learn about the intersection of racism and the environmental crisis and discover the vital voices fighting for justice in this space.

Support

Shaking hands as a sign of agreement

Donate to the rights of climate refugees

5 minutes or less
£
Up to you

People vulnerable to climate change all over the world can be protected only if agreements ensuring their rights are in place — national or international protection for dignified resettlement, access to essential services, and recognition of climate-induced displacement as a humanitarian issue. By supporting the work of the Environmental Justice Foundation (UK) and Climate Refugees (USA), you contribute to global solidarity and justice for those displaced by climate change.

Support local economy initiatives

5 minutes or less
£
Up to you

Help support the vitality of your local economy by donating to projects that enhance community resilience in your area, or by becoming their customer. Consider contributing to efforts such as community gardens, farmers' markets, renewable energy cooperatives, or social enterprises.

• Community energy projects across the UK: map

• Social enterprises across the UK: directory

• Community gardens across the UK: map

• Local businesses across the UK: directory

Vote for political candidates committed to net zero

£
Free

Exercise your democratic right in the upcoming UK elections by voting for political candidates who have a credible plan for net zero. Look for candidates committed to both ambitious climate targets, and a just transition for all members of society.

Participate

A closeup of a raised fist, against a neutral background.

Participate in community planning

Ongoing
£
Free / Up to you

Get involved in your local community and advocate for projects that promote social flourishing. We recommend you get started by looking at Transition Towns — an inspiring network committed to practical changemaking in towns all over the world!

How to start a transition town
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Choose socially responsible investments

5+ hours
£
VARIABLE

Review your personal investment portfolio and pension plan to ensure that the ethos of the companies invested in aligns with your values. Consider placing your money into companies and pension providers that invest sustainably, avoiding damage to the earth and society.

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Invest in community energy

5+ hrs
£
VARIABLE

Check out new energy projects and finance the installation of clean systems to power communities, businesses, and high-impact organisations (like schools, NGOs, farms etc.). Join a global community of investors for social and environmental good and earn from the clean electricity these projects generate!

Community energy share offers (England)Check out SunExchange (Global)
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Lead

megaphone representing voices heard loud and clear

Become a social entrepreneur

Ongoing
£
Variable

Start your own social enterprise dedicated to addressing environmental and social challenges or, if you already have a business, sign up for the Social Enterprise certification. You can also integrate the "triple bottom line" into your Articles of Association!

School for Social Entrepreneurs
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Make data speak louder

A few months
£
Variable

Advocate for more transparent data collection on your company’s impact, focusing on environmental and social metrics equally. Suggest the implementation of regular feedback mechanisms like surveys, suggestion boxes, or interviews to collect insights from often-forgotten stakeholders, e.g. communities in far-flung countries affected by your supply chain. Propose making data instantly accessible through dashboards that report progress in real-time. Promote the communication of all this data in actionable, easy-to-digest impact reports that can be shared.

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Utilise Greenpeace's Open Workshop

A few days
£
Funding available

Greenpeace is opening up its workshop in Islington (London) to grassroots groups working on racial and social justice, as well as defending the environment. Use the workshop to design, plan, and build your campaigns and changemaking projects. Participants can also apply online for funding from Greenpeace's Movement Support Fund to support their projects!

Greenpeace Open Workshop
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