North America Strikes to Limit Climate Change

Climate Change, Canada, North America, San Francisco’s Climate Strike community, economic justice, anti-racism, justice, Sustainability practitioners, Amazon, clean energy, Facebook, technology world, Silicon Valley, Microsoft, FORTUNE 500, CSE, Center for Sustainability and Excellence

What happens when you bring together students, young people, activists, and allies rallying to prevent climate change?  Throughout Canada and the US, young people, their parents, employers, colleges and universities are holding strikes to illuminate the looming climate crisis.

Through Climate Strike Canada and Climate Strike sponsored by 350.org in the US, participants are united to empower, train, and equip participants to create climate justice in their communities.  The effort is non-partisan and inclusive.  Its most recognizable actions are school strikes.  Other climate actions include lawsuits, education and wellness discussions, and calling for the declaration of climate emergencies in towns and cities.

For example, San Francisco’s Climate Strike community is confronting the crisis by representing youth throughout the region.  Climate justice is about more than greenhouse gas emissions.  It addresses the same considerations found under the Sustainability umbrella: workers’ rights and economic justice, the rights of Indigenous peoples and migrants, anti-racism and social justice.  Sustainability practitioners must understand how to address each issue in a unified manner.

Employees at multinational corporations are as involved as their daughters and sons.  For the first time in Amazon’s 25-year history, workers at Amazon headquarters plan to strike.  Over 900 Amazon employees signed an internal petition pledging to walk out over their employer’s lack of action on climate change.  The move will highlight the United Nations Climate Action Summit on September 23.  Demands range from ending donations to politicians who deny Anthropocene climate change to achieving zero carbon emissions by 2030.

Tech workers have walked out to protest specific issues such as Google employees on sexual harassment issues and Wayfair staff on immigration.  Can Amazon employees get the company to stop using fossil fuels entirely? Transportation logistics aside, Amazon is known for being ambitious and can certainly address climate change in a meaningful way.

With a company as large as Amazon, even a fraction of the workforce on strike can drive Amazon to greater efforts.  The key is leadership from a trusted brand.  Fortunately, the very effort of a sustainability strategy affects customers, peers, supply chain and the next generation.  Google and Apple claim to power their operations with 100 percent clean energy, and Facebook has set the same goal.

The technology world is one of many sectors with an important role to play, whether San Francisco’s Silicon Valley, Microsoft up the coast in Redmond, Washington, companies with a large presence in Canada (Shopify, SAP, Telus) and Canada’s own Silicon Valley in the Ketchener-Waterloo, Ontario area.

An important CSE strategy is to meet corporations where they are.  CSE has developed meaningful relationships with both SMEs and large international corporations.  We’ve provided education on Sustainability to leading companies throughout North America.

We have added San Francisco, October 15, 2019, and Seattle to our rotation of trainings.  Others include HoustonNew YorkAtlanta and Toronto. Senior managers and VPs from more than 90% of the FORTUNE 500 have attended our programs.  They join over 1500 Certified Sustainability Practitioners from over 50 countries all over the world.

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