To make my money go a bit further, I recently switched monthly donations from Ecologi to ClientEarth, which takes governments and corporations to court when they breach environmental laws.
A few months ago, ClientEarth took Shell's management board to court. If that's not surprising, what got me is the genius way they did it, which can teach us a lesson on influencing others.
Shell has committed to becoming a net-zero business by 2050, but their plans, under scrutiny, do not add up. It looks like they will be reducing their emissions by only 5% (!!!) while keeping everything pretty much business as usual.
But as the world decarbonises and clean energy becomes cheaper, they will lose money like a sieve.
In the words of Paul Benson, senior lawyer at ClientEarth:
"Shell is seriously exposed to the risks of climate change, yet its climate plan is fundamentally flawed. In failing to properly prepare the company for the net-zero transition, Shell’s Board is increasing the company’s vulnerability to climate risk, putting its long-term value in jeopardy".
This means that, if ClientEarth wins, Shell will need to adjust their future plans for the sake of their shareholders (as well as the environment's).
What can this teach us?
If you want to influence your clients to adopt a more sustainable attitude, you need to focus their attention on what they will lose if they don't do it, e.g. how it will affect their bottom line in the medium to long term or how they will lag behind the competition.
At the end of the day, you'll persuade others only if you can speak their same language.
So, do not be afraid to use money as a tactic to influence others to embrace sustainability!