Flying in the face of reason

We know we have a climate emergency. We know we need to move from plans to action today. But some actions will be difficult to implement, and perhaps the hardest, in the world of work, will be on reducing Corporate Air Travel – CAT.

CAT is currently the life blood of some organisations and sectors. But it is poisoned blood for the planet. The micro is in conflict with the macro.

Some changes are easy if there is an alternative choice. Electric instead of diesel. Public transport (where it exists) instead of private. More insulation instead of more heating. CAT has some alternatives, such as telephone and video calls, and surface travel options such as rail and shipping.

One of the characteristics we value at work is when people show their calm resilience when dealing with ambiguity and uncertainty. For some businesses CAT will be the hardest test of this resilience. Because there isn’t a simple plan B, even though keeping to plan A is fatal.

Perhaps the most honest approach for any business is to say something like – We will reduce our CAT by x% every year starting today, even though none of us yet know precisely how this will change our business, and of course we will continue to look for sustainable growth opportunities through these uncertain changes.”

This is a time when inspiring leaders are needed.

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