Heaps Normal, Intrepid join with 50 SMEs to get climate action back on the election agenda

heaps normal climate action

Heaps Normal co-founder and chief Andy Miller. Source: supplied.

Sick and tired of climate inaction from the government, more than 50 Australian businesses and brands have banded together on a new campaign called ‘This Is Not Normal’ to spur communities to vote with the climate in mind this month.

The initiative was launched by non-alcoholic beer company Heaps Normal but quickly garnered support in the ambitious startups, scale-ups and SME community. It now counts among its ranks Startmate, Verve Super, Marque Lawyers, Fable Food Co, Unified Music Group, Koskela, Intrepid, Nightingale Housing, and Great Wrap, plus many, many more.

The effort is centred around an open letter that urges the government to act meaningfully on the near-universal conclusions of climate science, not only for the future of the planet in the medium to longer-term but to also help bolster the efforts of the business community in the shorter term.

The value of this is two-fold, the letter says. It would help businesses slash their carbon footprint right now, but also allow them to better transition their operations for the years to come.

There’s no time left to dawdle, Heaps Normal co-founder and CEO Andy Miller tells SmartCompany.

“Like so many businesses around the country, we’re investing in responsibility at both an environmental and social level. But sometimes it feels like we’re using a garden hose to fight a megafire,” he says.

Founder of koskela Sasha Titchkosky agrees, pointing out 99% of all businesses in Australia are SMEs and we employ over 7 million people and represent over 57% of Australia’s GDP”.

While each of us may be small individually, together we can have a huge impact if we help drive change across our businesses, workforce, customers and supply chains,” she says.

Miller says he has been “horrified” by climate disasters over the last three years — businesses in the country’s most expensive flooding crisis ever are still picking up the pieces — and it’s time for a new normal on climate policy”.

Recent analysis from Climate Analytics showed the Morrison government’s current plan for climate action (26-28% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions) would lead to nearly 4 degrees of global heating, while Labor’s would lead to 2 degrees of heating.

Both fall short of the landmark 2015 Paris Agreement and Glasgow climate pact of 1.5 degrees, with only the policies of the Greens and the teal independents falling within that goal, the report found.

Yet Miller says we’ve hardly heard a peep from Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Labor leader Anthony Albanese on climate this election cycle.

“The importance of this conversation feels lost in the noise of the election campaign”, he says.

We really want to highlight that an election presents an opportunity for us to take stock of what really matters to us, to our kids – and to use the power of our vote to shape the sort of future we want to see.”

“Business is getting on with it”

Miller is putting his money where his mouth is, having consciously made his operations as socially and environmentally conscious as possible since he launching Heaps Normal two years back.

And he knows he’s not the only one. “This is what the majority of Australians care about and increasingly expect from companies, too”, he says, yet, it’s our policymakers that are the stragglers.

Business is getting on with it for the planet and also for the bottom line. We would like to see policymakers reflect the actions businesses are taking so that Australia can be a world leader in acting on climate change,” he says.

Marque Lawyers managing partner Michael Bradley says his reasons for signing up to This Is Not Normal’s open letter are threefold.

“As humans, we are scared of our planet getting hotter. As lawyers, we are concerned about the injustice climate change will bring. As a business, we are excited about the opportunities we have in front of us for a renewable resource-led economy,” Bradley tells SmartCompany.

There is no more time to waste.”

After Australia heads to the polls on May 21, the business community behind This Is Not Normal has pledged to work on engaging constructively with whoever forms a government to build a common-sense climate policy.

This Is Not Normal is uniting businesses around a common cause: to put climate at the top of the political agenda, not only as we head into a critical election, but into the future,” says Miller.

As business leaders and founders representing a wide spectrum of industries and sectors, we know it’s an incredibly important issue for so many within our various communities.”

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Giuseppe De Simone
Giuseppe De Simone
7 days ago

50 out of 800,000 small and medium enterprises – sounds like a ginger or splinter group to me.

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