Blog: Glacier X

Climate Action in the DNA

At the first Glacier X, 70 CEOs and decision-makers discussed how climate protection can become an essential part of their companies' DNA.

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Andreas tschas portrait

Andreas Tschas

CEO of Glacier

70 CEOs and decision-makers from the Glacier community met at the Glacier X kick-off at Value One. They discussed how climate protection can become part of the corporate DNA. We have summarised the results of the discussion here.

Glacier X: A meeting for climate action

No company can avoid the topics of sustainability and climate protection anymore. They are at the top of the agenda at the highest management level and are part of strategic decisions. Above all, however, companies must also get their employees excited about the topic. But how can climate protection be brought into the DNA of companies? And how can we actively integrate climate protection measures into everyday work?

On 13 September 2021, 70 decision-makers from the Glacier community discussed these questions and the opportunities and hurdles of this transformation at the Glacier X kick-off.

We have summarised the results of the first edition of Glacier X for you here:

Celebrate small successes

Decision-makers in the field of climate protection are optimistic that the change will succeed, but they face some challenges. For example, not all employees can always be equally enthusiastic about the topic. But how do you deal with indifference? Especially when the contingent of "pleasant" small measures has been exhausted and comprehensive changes are necessary, the support of the entire staff is essential. Here it helps to communicate even the small successes and to point out the personal advantages of each individual. But be careful: The measures communicated should not be perceived as greenwashing.

Climate protection must be a matter for the bosses

Anyone who wants to promote climate transformation in a company should adhere to tried and tested principles. The most important principle is that climate protection must be a matter for the boss and must be exemplified. Overarching goals should be defined in such a way that they clearly communicate to employees why their commitment is worthwhile. In order to spread the topic, it is important to identify and strengthen "early followers". If the necessary awareness and knowledge are missing in some positions, it is important to close this gap. It is also up to the CEO to give the employees the necessary time and space to deal with the topic - independent of daily events and short-term sales targets.

People Chatting 3 Glacier X

Combining top-down and bottom-up

Within the company, it is also necessary to bring together top-down and bottom-up initiatives. There is no longer an either-or. Both approaches are necessary and complement each other. A sustainability team that is not heard by management or employees cannot shape transformation. The team that drives change should therefore be interdisciplinary and integrative and familiar with the basic principles of change management.


Observe external framework conditions

In addition to the factors that the company itself can influence, there are external framework conditions that cannot be directly influenced. Laws and regulations are intended to accelerate climate protection and provide planning security. An essential factor here is aCO2 price that is high enough to fulfil its steering function. Once the external framework, the internal leeway and the necessary structures have been created, the way is clear for change.

Break Out Session 2 Glacier X

Climate protection as a driver for innovation and growth

If climate protection is part of the company's strategic goals, it can become a driver of innovation and growth . The possible win-win scenarios are manifold: In the area of talent management and HR, employees identify more strongly with the company. They are more motivated and productive - with positive effects also for employer branding: the company positions itself as an attractive employer and thus attracts new talent.

From a product development perspective, it is clear that a better understanding of climate change and its impacts drives the internal innovation engine. New profitable offerings emerge that diversify the existing product range.

With the knowledge of the social costs of climate change, internal processes are also streamlined and restructured. And among consumers, active climate protection increases trust in the brand and guarantees long-term loyalty. This is also evident in our dealings with suppliers and customers. Because upstream and downstream emissions in the supply chain can only be implemented together with them. Jointly driving decarbonisation promotes a closer relationship with strategic partners and reveals hidden risks that have not yet been recognised.

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How the path towards a climate-friendly company can look is not yet (entirely) clear for many. At the Glacier X kick-off in September, however, it became clear how committed many companies are to illuminating this path and taking the first steps.

In cooperation with ING Bank, ServiceNow and Value One, we are looking forward to the next event on the 17th of May 2022 and are excited about the findings of the evening!

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