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Opening the Path for Cross-Sector Collaboration in Climate-Focused Projects

Opening the Path for Cross-Sector Collaboration in Climate-Focused Projects

Across the world, there are various projects and initiatives that are focused on climate action. However, considering the growing urgency of climate change, the world isn’t keeping up fast enough. Research suggests we aren’t on track to achieve the UN’s Agenda 2030 — the organization’s chosen approach to engaging stakeholders in achieving sustainable development. The UN’s 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) promoted principle-based approaches where multiple sectors from public, private, and knowledge institutions are expected to work together to achieve common medium-term targets.

Global check-up reports from the UN found that the progress on SDGs around the world remains uneven depending on region, sex, age, wealth, and locale. A worldwide survey of the private sector found that nearly 60% of CEOs rank stakeholder engagement among their top three priorities. Still, there is a noticeable gap between intention and realization, with only 7% of respondents stating that their organization regularly aligns the interests of stakeholders and their business.

The UN has long said it: for climate action to truly work, there needs to be cross-sector collaboration on climate-focused projects. While there’s much room for improvement, it’s also important to highlight the work that’s currently being done. In this post, we’ll look at how different sectors can come together to realize climate-focused initiatives:

Private sector

Businesses in the private sector can collaborate with other sectors, such as partnerships with government entities at local or national levels, to work on climate-focused projects. The private sector can also work with local communities to boost environmental equity. For example, tech giant Microsoft partnered with Sol Systems, a renewable energy developer and investor that invests in communities disproportionately affected by environmental challenges, to procure renewable energy.

To help materialize cross-sector collaborations, businesses should invest in dedicated project management to ensure the various aspects and roles needed in a climate-focused project work together. LHH highlights how project managers are key to collaboration due to their organizational skills, communication skills, and their ability to function well in a fast paced environment under tight deadlines. A project manager that can lead the diverse teams involved in a business and nonprofit collaboration can help realize climate-related initiatives. Project managers’ communication and organizational skills can help coordinate stakeholders, sponsors, and team members to carry out a project efficiently from planning to execution.

Education sector

To boost climate action, it’s important to educate younger generations and equip them with the necessary skills to navigate the future sustainably. This is where collaborations with the education sector come in. The education sector frequently works with organizations in the private sector and nonprofits to help spread knowledge and awareness to drive sustainable action. These come in the form of workshops, scholarships, and other education initiatives.

In particular, qualified experts and professionals in relevant fields are great mentors to younger generations. Recently, automotive company Volkswagen announced their partnership with the international educational initiative Moonshot Pirates for a global innovation competition with the end goal of encouraging the youth to think big and identify sustainable solutions to mobility. Volkswagen aims to provide participants with practical experience to stimulate innovative ideas while supported by mobility experts and a jury of scientists and professionals in the industry.


Finally, collaborations with the media are essential to mobilizing climate action and motivating audiences interested in climate protection. People are generally reactive to new information, and disseminating climate-related information through different forms of media can help lead up to more material action. In the case of our social impact and sustainability podcast Care More Be Better, it’s important to bring forth stories from various industries and sectors on their fight against climate change, from charities to small businesses. By telling these stories, we can hope for real change.

Having qualified experts share information can help people learn more about climate-focused projects and drive them to take action. A Nature Scientific Reports study on the role of social media on people-centric climate action found that greater social media engagement can help translate online discourse to environmental justice and expand the climate action network. The study also emphasizes that people should be included systematically in emission reduction decision-making — the democratization of climate action — for real change to truly take off.

Written by Adelyn Conway
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