Talk about your eco guilt, it really helps put it in perspective

by | 17 Feb 2022

“Talk about your eco guilt, it really helps put it in perspective”

When I talk to businesses about the current environmental crisis we’re facing and the impact they may be having be on it, the discussion can often turn to the ‘guilt’ they are feeling.

This guilt can stem from feeling they may not be ‘doing enough’ as a business to help, or that they may not have considered what they ‘should’ be doing as a business to help, or in some instances the guilt is being felt because they have never really considered that their business might be having a negative environmental impact.

The pressure of ‘being greener’ has started to slowly ramp up in all areas of our lives now, and is beginning to be felt by many of us who may never considered how to ‘be green’ before, or who considered it to be something that other people did.

This pressure can quickly manifest into guilt and embarrassment if we don’t really know what ‘being greener’ means, or if we perceive everyone around us to be ‘much better at it’ or ‘doing more’ than us.

The embarrassment felt from not really knowing where or how to start or not really having much of an idea of what ‘being green’ really means in a practical sense, can become overwhelming which in turn often means we tend to do nothing and hide behind our embarrassment, which in turn feeds the guilt, and so it goes round.

The emissions target set by the government requiring net zero by 2050 may seem like a long way off at the moment, but the 68% decrease in emissions by 2030 as part of this target pathway is fast approaching and businesses need to start thinking strategically about what they need to do and change in order to work towards achieving this, but so many businesses haven’t.

The age old solution of talking can help us all here. Talking through the fears and concerns we have for our businesses regarding the net zero target or the eco issues we face helps us gain some perspective on this new form of ‘eco guilt’, and helps us confront it rather than hide from it.

By allowing ourselves to discover our businesses are not alone in this, and understanding that we are all at the beginning of our own eco journeys, it helps to put things in perspective and enables us to plan our own green path, finding ways to resolve the issues and problems faced, and work towards achievable greener solutions.

I’ve spoken to a number of businesses who are all experiencing their own form of ‘eco guilt’ but none of them has considered discussing it with their competitors or peers as they feel guilty and embarrassed about how little they have done themselves, or they are worried their business won’t survive all the green changes they perceive to be needed.

Every business I’ve spoken with is in the same boat in terms of their eco journey but every single one perceived every other business to be doing a much better job than them. Simply by talking through these concerns and worries with me and discovering they were not alone, then discussing the options available to them, and planning how to tackle the next steps, the eco guilt and overwhelm they were experiencing reduced dramatically, which allowed them to start taking action.

Talking through eco guilt really does help work through the issues and blockers we are all facing and allows us to begin taking action. The planet doesn’t need a tiny minority of businesses ‘doing green perfectly’, it needs all businesses to become conscious of their own individual environmental impact and start their own journey towards reducing and improving this impact.

I help businesses overcome their eco guilt and overwhelm, working closely with them to understand their business strategies and models, conducting a green audit, applying the correct processes, systems and techniques to implement sustainable and achievable green action plans and reduce and improve their environmental impact in both the short and long term.

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