A Letter to Business Owners

Dear Business Leader,

I’ve been working with small businesses for almost twenty years. We are passionate people.  We are visionaries.  We are builders.  We are just beginning to become active in the climate movement.  But small business owners are a key component of our success if we are to demonstrate that a solution to climate change is possible.  We need business leaders who can grab hold of an idea and actuate it via the powerful force of our market-based economy.

As a business creator, I have begun to feel a sense of inner turmoil as I look towards the future.  Like most of us, I haven’t worked hard for decades just to accumulate wealth.  I would like to think that I’m building an institution, and perhaps creating a legacy for future generations.  Many successful business leaders are arriving at middle age already well-travelled on the treadmill of life.  We are living busy lives, balancing business, family, and community obligations.  Although the science tells us that our lifelong efforts to create positive change will likely soon be wiped out by climate change, our lives continue on their daily course.

For leaders like us, there is the Climate Action Liaison Coalition.  This program is intuitive for business owners because it allows us to take action in a way that is familiar—by creating a job in the business.

Businesses hire a climate action liaison to:

  • Analyze the effects of climate change on the business, on the community it serves and in area where it is located.
  • Empower business owners to advocate directly for policy solutions to climate change.
  • Represent the organization’s position on climate change-related issue to legislators, media and the public.
  • Educate the staff and other organization stakeholders about climate change.
  • Support climate-change related initiatives of partner organizations.
  • Participate in CALC capacity-building efforts including strategic planning, organizational development, fundraising, research and development, and recruitment.

Lindsey Flanagan is Tech Networks of Boston’s climate action liaison.  She has been working since January to put this program together.  We have assembled an advisory board, created a website and social media sites, and met with a number of partner and potential partner organizations, including 350 Mass, CERES, New Sector Alliance, and the Sierra Club.  A second climate action liaison, Rick Cutler, is about to begin work part time at Spencer Organ company.

As we continue to build the program we are seeing a high level of understanding and interest from advisors, partners and potential participants.  Having built a small non-profit from within Tech Networks before, I am convinced that we are on the right track to meeting our goal, which is to build a constituency of businesses—each with its own voice—to advocate loudly and clearly for an economic framework that will allow them to participate in restoring our environment and building real prosperity for all.

Through CALC, you can use the power of your business to take direct action against climate change.  By bringing the voice of business to the world of advocacy, we will be able to reach our goal of enacting meaningful climate legislation in the United States by 2017.

I would like to setup a time to talk to you about this unique program that is completely self-supporting and highly scalable. By bringing the voice of business to the world of advocacy, we will be able to reach our goal of enacting meaningful climate legislation by 2017, possibly in time to stem the worst effects of climate change.

When can we meet in person to share our stories?


Susan Labandibar
President of Tech Networks of Boston
President of Sustainable Business Council of Massachusetts