Are you ready for 2021?

At the beginning of the pandemic, we wrote about how sustainability will keep going. We doubled down on our efforts to create change, and fortunately were able to quickly adapt to remote working and keep the ball rolling. The sentiment was also expressed by many of our clients, who continued to push for bolder and more ambitious targets and commitments. Tommy Hilfiger launched their Make It Possible strategy focused on circularity and inclusion. Google shared how they will transition to a circular business and help all of us to do so as well. YNAP launched Infinity, their 10 year sustainability strategy for being people and planet positive, and the FIA launched a report on how motorsports is uniquely placed for sustainability innovations.


Beyond the (virtual) walls of Futerra, we are delighted to congratulate President-Elect Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris on their historic win. They ran on the boldest climate change platform of any US Presidential ticket in history and enter office with a mandate from the people to follow through with bold climate action. Their team is wasting no time in getting started: President-Elect Biden has committed to rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement as one of his Day One actions. Meanwhile the transition team is readying plans to begin the work of delivering on campaign commitments to achieve Net Zero emissions by 2050 and invest $2 Trillion to “Build Back Better” with clean energy and green jobs. Just this week, President-elect Joe Biden has nominated Congresswoman Deb Haaland to serve as his interior secretary. If confirmed, Congresswoman Deb Haaland will be the first indigenous person to lead the department, which oversees the country’s natural resources and relationship to tribal nations and lands.


We are energized at the promise of a renewed era of progress on issues of climate justice, racial justice and economic justice across the globe – and are excited to partner with our network to ensure their businesses are ready. While many challenging issues remain, with the uncertainty of a long election now over, and having adjusted to new normals with the pandemic, we now have the ability to plan.


To start, here are three questions we recommend asking yourselves to ensure your organization is on track to be Ready for 2021 – and Ready for Change.


Is your strategy ready? 

After the year we’ve been through, ask yourself if your current sustainability strategy feels bold enough. We believe a modern sustainability strategy needs to go beyond ESG to ESJ – where J stands for Justice (environmental, social and economic justice). Moreover, the number of businesses setting Net Zero commitments doubled over the past 12 months, meaning net zero targets are rapidly becoming the norm.  Is it time to revisit your commitments to ensure they are 2021-ready?

Resources: Futerra recently supported Formula One in developing their plan to become Net Zero carbon by 2030, setting a benchmark not only for sustainable sport but the entire car and fuel industry. Launched in December 2019, the strategy transformed the image of F1 in the eyes of the world, generating massive coverage across national and international media and positioning them as an accelerator of the transition into the post carbon age.


Are your people ready? 

They are essential to meeting your goals – but do they understand them? To meet the urgencies of this moment, you need your entire organization to be sustainability-literate and equipped to put plans onto action. Now is the time to build greater organizational capacity around ESG and ESJ and ensure your people are ready.

Resources: Futerra now offers training to raise your organization’s capacity on the most relevant ESG topics of our time, whether that’s Climate Justice, D&I, Greenwashing, Circularity, Carbon and more. Find out more about our engaging, effective and highly regarded training sessions and request a brochure here.


Is your narrative ready? 

Climate change is the story of our time: one to be grappled with and told in compelling ways to diverse audiences. Sharing the solutions to climate change is a creative opportunity, and we must find the interesting and dramatic angles of the journey to create truly world-changing content. The narrative around sustainability from businesses and brands will shift into a more definitive, optimistic and urgent gear next year to match the urgency and momentum of the moment. We’d love to help you ensure you’re hitting the right note.

Resources: Watch Futerra’s webinar Harnessing the Power of Creativity for the Climate Movement  to learn how the creative industries can inspire audiences to take climate action. Our Co-Founder Solitaire Townsend was joined by Aaron Matthews, Head of Industry Sustainability for BAFTA, and Marsha Cooke Senior Vice President IMPACT for Vice Media. We also have a write-up you can read here.

Read about the growing movement in the creative industries to divest their talent from climate change creating industries. And join us as creatives for good. If you are an individual creative you can sign the Clean Creatives pledge here. If you work at an agency, get your company to create a disclosure report to be transparent about the industries you serve. And if you work at a corporate, announce a mandate for all your agencies to submit disclosure reports.


No matter what surprises 2021 may hold for us all, sustainability keeps going. Are you ready?

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