4 min read

eBike Incentives, OpEd Writing, CEO Lifestyle Choices, Plant-Based Food Policy and Affordable Housing (are all climate influence)

Part of my work is monitoring news, collaborations, announcements and the whole gamut of inputs through my climate influence lens. These days I have my eye on actions that change the expectations of how people get around or what they choose to eat. And, when leaders get loud about climate impacts, stakeholders listen. Trust me. With so little time to address global warming, the real impact lies in leader-facing campaigns. The next step, and my work, is, leveraging and amplifying their personal lifestyle changes as the new, better and obvious leadership narrative.

eBike Incentives for the Denver WIN

Build the "wildly popular" eBike incentive and the riders will come, according to this Planetizen piece. The climate influence context here is how making eBikes easy to ride directly translates to fewer car trips and reduced emissions. A big congratulations to Denver's leaders for putting this into place, especially with a focus on low-income residents. Let's hope other cities proclaiming to be "cities for climate" will soon launch their own such efforts.

Leaders: Write More Call-to-Climate-Action OpEds

The climate influence context of this Salesforce leader's OpEd is just that: she took the time to contribute a piece that published in a mainstream media outlet (and not just in a publication facing the usual corporate sustainability crowd).  Suzanne DiBianca is doing more than standing on a stage at climate events for photo opportunities. She's calling her peer decision-makers to task to work together on climate solutions, and she's leaving a public, searchable footprint to keep herself and her company accountable. Getting louder, more public and more pointed with calls for climate action is what every corporate leader should be doing by now.

Want to be a Better CEO? Live Closer to the Office

Who knew?! The media have to cover super obvious research like this as if it was earth-shattering news because our culture is so car focused. When you are not in a car, you just get a better sense for local life and can understand your employees lives more. Here's what the excellent Sarah Holder Bloomberg piece ($) reports about good leadership without the commute. Academics in Denmark have found a key to better executive leadership: "...chiefs who live in the vicinity of their workplace can improve the performance of their company." And: “We show that [CEOs] having a geographically-connected feel with the local community ...is actually a powerful driver not only for employees’ welfare, but also for the performance of the company at large,...”

Smart Leaders Live Change and Tweet About It

A transit leader who is seen on transit and also tweets evidence of such, is "living change". Not only will he be more trusted by the transit-riding community, but he will help peers start to see that they, too, want to be known for walking/"transiting" the climate action talk.  Being a tweeting, publicly climate-acting leader changes leadership social norms.

Food Policy is Climate Policy: Let's Start with Federal Dining Facilities

A move to help the U.S. Congress see federal food policy as climate action is afoot, thanks to Representative Jamie Raskin.  It was great to play a small part in making this exclusive Bloomberg story by Deena Shanker happen. (Tip: Being a ready resource on Twitter to both media and policy makers helps you become a valuable bridge). In order to encourage more corporate and political leaders to use their #ClimateInfluence, we need to be "naming and faming" those who are already using their platforms to forward emissions reduction change (like bikes/eBikes and plant-based food systems).  When any of us posts a name/fame tweet that tags a leader, it counts as a piece of data in the "well, I guess my constituents support this direction" category. What follows: their staff are more likely to continue to move policies that will "get the love".  

Affordable Housing Plus Safe Streets is Climate Action: Los Angeles

Finally, the Livable Communities Initiative in Los Angeles, an effort (I advise) that focuses on the affordable housing, safe streets, social justice and climate action "whole system" solution, got some excellent LA-ist coverage. A quote: "...cars are a culprit when it comes to high rents: cities require developers to build parking spots with housing. In L.A., each spot can cost more than $50,000, upping rent prices." As in lots of other U.S. cities, higher costs "...push Angelenos out of the city and into longer commutes, adding to planet-heating emissions." Affordable housing with safe streets is climate action. Pass it on.

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Thanks for reading and for passing this newsletter along to anyone in your networks who might also want to learn more about what climate influence is and how they can start building their own. I'm off to Vancouver B.C. this weekend for a quick vacation of bike riding around a beautiful city (a lot like my usual life in Seattle, but... with an even grander view). Hope you are finding time to do what you love this summer, too.