Fighting Climate Change is This Years Competitive Advantage

Happy Friday! I don’t want to alarm anyone, but next week is already the last week of January. Does anyone else feel like they are sprinting into 2020 like I do?

Judging by today’s high-fives, it seems like organizations are sprinting towards sustainability in 2020. Climate change was a hot topic at the World Economic Forum this week and it appears that wall street has started evaluating businesses based on having a sustainability roadmap. So, organizations are not only racing to declare a sustainability initiative, but they are competing to outdo their industry competitors.

In fact, Microsoft President, Brad Smith, was quoted saying that climate change will be a key issues for organizations in 2020. Keep reading to hear more about Microsoft.

Let’s get into this week’s best sustainability news and hand our our Friday high-fives. If you missed the first Friday high-fives of 2020 – click here.

Microsoft Announces “Carbon Negative” Initiative

Picture of microsoft logo on tablet.  Microsoft announces carbon-negative initiative to fight climate change

This week the World Economic Forum took place in Switzerland and climate change was high on the agenda. Microsoft made early headlines by announcing their plan to become “carbon negative” by 2030. Call it competitive pressure or peer influence, but this announcement came only weeks after Amazon sharing their “neutral” strategy? The one-up carbon negative announcement is not lost on me, but I’m encouraged by companies shifting their competitive edge towards climate change. Today’s first high-five goes to Microsoft for their effort to become Carbon Negative.

Patagonia Donates $10 million to Climate Change

Patagonia donates $10 million to fight climate change.

Our next High-five goes to another large US organization fighting climate change. This week Patagonia’s CEO, Rose Marcrio, announced that Patagonia would be donating their entire $10 million tax cut to climate change. This huge tax cut was made possible by the new tax codes passed into law resulting in Patagonia paying A LOT less federal taxes. There is a lot more to say on this story, but it gets political very fast, which I like to avoid on my Friday high fives. For more on this story, click here. Regardless, $10 million to fight climate change is worthy of a big Friday High-Five! Thank you Patagonia.

China Bans Single-Use Plastic

We are going on trip around the world today because our next high-five goes to China for their plan to reduce single-use plastic by 2022. This is huge! China is one of the world’s biggest users of plastic, so not only is this a noble plan, but also aggressive. To reduce plastic waste by 2022, so within the next 2 years, is admirable. The plan includes banning Non-degradable bags and prohibiting the use of straws in restaurants. This is a huge step in fighting climate change. While the US as a whole has not banned single use plastic, there are a few cities that are tackling the problem. Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle have all banned the use plastic bags.

Starbucks Announces New Sustainability Goals

Man standing in line at starbuck's store, which is being recognized for announcing their plan to fight climate change.

Raise your sustainable coffee mugs and cheers to coffee giant Starbucks for setting new sustainability goals moving into this decade. These goals include cutting waste, water usage, and greenhouse gas in half by 2030. Additionally, they are committing to using more eco-friendly packaging and adding more plant-based items to the menu. This is a prime example of a large organization doing their part to save the planet. Now we have no excuse to do our part by using reusable cups, mugs and utensils. High five to Starbucks.

Ben & Jerry’s Netflix And Chill’d Vegan Pint

Today’s final high-five goes to Ben & Jerry’s for launching their new vegan ice-cream flavor Netflix and Chill’d. Ben & Jerry’s gets a high-five this week for two reason. First, any time food manufactures create more plant-based alternatives the better for the environment, so I love that Ben & Jerry’s is offering a vegan pint. And second, a high-five is deserved on creativity alone. I absolutely love the new pint name name Netflix & Chill’d. I can’t wait for my next date night at home with my hubs, Netflix and a pint of vegan Ben and Jerry’s. More on Ben & Jerry’s sustainability initiatives here.

Enjoy reading the Friday High Fives – check out the podcast version here.


  1. Microsoft President Says This is the Next ‘Tidal Wave’ Among Companies in 2020.
  2. Patagonia’s CEO is donating company’s entire $10M Trump tax cut to fight climate change.
  3. Single-use Plastic: China to Ban Bags and Other Items
  4. Starbucks Sets New Sustainability Goal for Decade
  5. Ben and Jerry’s Just Announced a Netflix & Chill’d Vegan Icecream Flavor

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