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Aussie businesses recognising “business as usual” is not an option

Date: 25-Sep-19
Author: Liam Taylor

Over 80,000 people turned up to the Sydney event in The Domain. © Liam Taylor

Over 80,000 people turned up to the Sydney event in The Domain.

From software and investment firms to real estate agents, breweries and charities; thousands of Australian companies showed their support last week for the students around the company seeking meaningful action on climate change.

Last week’s global climate strike represented one of the largest social movements in Australian history, with an estimated 300,000 people participating in over 100 locations around the country. However, that number may have been far fewer had a number of businesses around the country decided to keep their employees at their desks rather than allowing them to join.

The Not Business As Usual campaign was started by Australian superannuation fund Future Super in an effort to show their support for those participating in the Global Climate Strike by allowing their employees to attend and strike. Before long however, thousands of businesses (including us at Planet Ark!) had joined them to take the pledge and support their workers raising their voice on climate change.

At the time of writing, 2,845 businesses and organisations have now signed up to join the Not Business As Usual alliance. Leading firms Atlassian, Canva, Keep Cup, Amnesty International and Koala are just some of those onboard.

"At the end of the day, the number one reason people might not come to a rally like this is fear of the reaction of their employer," Simon Sheikh, founder and CEO of Future Super, told 10 daily in the lead up to Friday's strike.

"This means there should be no reason not to come down this Friday, at midday, all across the country. The rallies will be huge."

Not every business involved put up the CLOSED sign, with companies given the option of shutting down for the day, having a meeting free day, allowing a long lunch, or sending an email to make it clear teams will not be penalised for taking a few hours off. Even some online businesses joined in by halting online sales for a time.

The private sector clearly has an important role to play alongside government in leading climate action and we hope to see positive actions like the Not Business As Usual campaign continue in the Australian business community.


Taking action


Liam                                              Taylor
Author: Liam Taylor

Liam is Planet Ark's Communications Coordinator. Prior to joining Planet Ark Liam spent his time studying global environmental issues, travelling Southeast Asia on the cheap and working for a sustainable property management company in Bali, Indonesia.

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