The only sensible response to COP 27 as a human


Commit to just one meaningful change in your private and professional life and get started before the end of the month! Do it right and it will make your life better and your business more prosperous. We have far more to gain from the green transition than we stand to lose and still we move too slowly. This is perhaps the most frustrating part. It is time to game your inner change resistance, level up and cash in.

We have now watched another Climate COP come and go without the necessary level of action, commitment, and steps, while the devastating consequences of our CO2 emission and slow transition out of the fossil area unfold around us like a car crash in slow motion. The only sensible response is for each and every one of us to step up and make ourselves (even more) a part of the solution.

There is absolutely a place for the COP negotiations and agreements. There is absolutely a crucial role for politicians to play. Like there is one for business, the knowledge sector, civil society, and citizens. We all have a role to play, and no one can do it alone.

It is clear that we all need to make some changes in our lives both privately and professionally. Take one look at the latest Emission Gap Report from the UN (or your news feed) if you need evidence of the need for massive action now – not later.

Leading by the good example is always powerful, so I figured I would start and hope to inspire you in my community to do something different and thus inspire others around you. A pay-it-forward way of making change you could say.

We are a bit more than 1100 readers of this newsletter. Just imagine if we all make just one change in our private and professional life and all take steps to let our teams know about it and ask them to do the same. I have no idea how many people are in your organizations combined but know it is a serious multiplier even if just 50% ever get around to making a change.

What to do?

Change only happens when the pain of staying where you are appears bigger than the expected pain of the change itself. Thus, you can either magnify the pain of the status quo or minimize the pain of change – or both as I will do here. I will help you create more leverage for the change process and make the change itself smaller. Hence the request for one simple change you can start before the end of the month. This will get you going and hopefully lead to new steps.

As with all other aspects of the green transition, it is important to look at the impact – the results – of any given initiative. It is not the green attributes in themselves that are the most important part, it is the result of applying them. Look at the green attribute as a positive side effect. Then it will be easier to convince yourself and others to implement and stick with the change, as it generates more value.

Let me give you an example from a private and professional point of view.

Say you decide to skip red meat or only eat meat occasionally. That will have a real impact on your personal carbon footprint. But a diet with less meat is also healthier and will make you feel less tired after a meal. And meat cost more than vegetable. The results of making such a change are a healthier and more energized life and most likely a life with better overall health and more money in your pocket. And then it is a less carbon-intensive lifestyle. So instead of having to convince yourself and perhaps people around to make the change because it is good for the climate and your conscience, then you get more leverage for the change because it will give you more energy, a healthier life, saves you money and gives you a better conscience.

Let’s imagine you need to buy new computers in the company, and you decide that they will be refurbished computers and thereby avoiding the production of the new units with everything it demands in material use, energy use and embedded energy. The reduction in carbon emission is up to 70% according to the Danish it-refurbishment company Refurb. But let’s look at it from the results side – what benefits does a refurbished laptop bring with it? I have always been fascinated by the fact that there are fewer problems with refurbished computers than on new ones. Simply because it is well known that the weaker spots might be of the specific model, and thus the refurbishing it-provider simply changes the components before they go out to the market again. So better performance and thus better conditions for you and your employees in your daily work. Then they are obviously cheaper, and, in some cases, they will even buy you current computers as part of the deal. So instead of just making the climate-friendly choice, you can now make the cheaper, more reliable, less frustrating, and climate-friendly choice.

So, when you consider what you will do differently to step up your game, be sure to consider all the benefits that come with the different potential steps you could choose.

My commitment

I said at the beginning of the article I would start with myself. The hardest part I found was the private part. What could I do that I could start by the end of the month? I have been on the sustainability pathway since a day back in my time in the gymnasium when my teacher taught us about the potential impacts of climate change, so many of the standard recommendations are already part of our lifestyle. I buy most of my cloth and items I need as second-hand and what we no longer need is passed on or sold if at all meaningful. The house is refurbished with energy consumption in mind, we don’t drive a lot (and the car is EV) but rather ride our bikes or take the train. And there is not a lot of meat on the table and there are 2-4 years between we board a flight for our holidays. Not to claim that I by any means live a low-carbon lifestyle in a global perspective. With Christmas just around the corner, I decided that and I will only wish for experiences or second-hand gifts and try to only give the same. It will definitely make it more fun and more creative process to do Christmas shopping and it might be cheaper in some cases. And definitely more meaningful. I find it to be a good commitment as it also spreads to everyone, I give such a present and leave room to communicate it to them.

Professionally turned out to be easier. For around half a year I have had an idea to connect all ingoing customers with an outgoing gift. The idea is to take a percentage of all contracts with my clients, or perhaps connected to certain products, and convert that to a free online in-person business consulting program for start-ups, to support them in transforming their company or start-up idea through sustainability and reap the benefits of a more circular economy business approach. A start-up version of my Positive Impact Accelerator I offer business leaders of well-established manufacturing companies (if you want to learn more about this program and the Impact Blueprint behind it, join me for one of my free online workshops. You can sign up on

My commitment is to turn this idea into reality by the end of the month. To the get ball rolling and find out how it will work, what precisely to offer and to whom. And instead of doing it from now on, I will pretend the program started on the first of January 2022, so I will be ready to offer the first round based on this year’s financial performance of my company. Thus, I can upon op for applications early next year.

At the opening of COP27 UN Secretary-General, António Guterres said “We are on a highway to climate hell with our foot still on the accelerator”. If we all commit to the first step both as private persons and business leaders, then we contribute to taking the foot off the accelerator. By investigating and enjoying the benefits of such choices I hope you all experience that the low-carbon road is a pleasant and valuable road and one that you wish to investigate even further.