Day 1. Back to work: Outline your climate plan & commit budget

Transitioning Sustainability Teams from Reporting to Action: Securing Budget Approval for Climate Actions in 2024

Introduction: As sustainability becomes increasingly intertwined with business strategy, sustainability teams face a pivotal shift from a mere reporting and communication/PR role to becoming catalysts for action, driving cross-functional commercial growth and cost savings. The imperative now demands seamless collaboration between operations and sustainability teams on a daily and weekly basis, integrating sustainable practices into the fabric of routine activities and investments.

The onset of January marks a crucial period to reflect on the data and outcomes from the previous year, reassess the targets for 2025 and 2030, and devise a comprehensive plan for adopting more sustainable practices. Balancing short and long-term projects in alignment with scientific targets and existing commitments may seem daunting. However, this challenge can be navigated effectively through a structured approach.

Here, we present a practical 5-step plan to guide sustainability managers in securing budget approval for climate actions in 2024:

Step 1: Plan & Commit

  1. Understand the Climate Action Goals: Review the commitments made for Science-Based Targets to reduce emissions of around 55% to 2030 and usually 7% Year on Year.
  2. Outline Specific Actions: Develop a detailed plan that aligns with these commitments, specifying initiatives, resources needed, and anticipated outcomes.
  3. Commitment Communication: Clearly articulate the necessity and benefits of these actions in meeting both environmental goals and long-term business sustainability.

Step 2: Act & Ringfence

  1. Initiate Key Actions: Start implementing tangible climate actions within the organisation, emphasising immediate steps with visible impact.
  2. Ringfence Budget: Segment and protect the allocated budget explicitly for climate actions to prevent it from being diverted to other purposes.

Step 3: Show ROI & Risk Mitigation

  1. Data-Driven ROI Analysis: Present a thorough analysis showcasing the expected Return on Investment (ROI) from the proposed climate actions, highlighting cost savings, operational efficiencies, and potential revenue streams.
  2. Risk Assessment & Mitigation: Identify potential risks associated with inaction on climate actions, and propose mitigation strategies to safeguard the business against these risks.

Step 4: Highlight Customer & Employee Demands

  1. Customer & Employee Feedback: Gather and present data illustrating increasing demands from both customers and employees for sustainable practices. Highlight how meeting these demands is crucial for brand reputation and talent retention.
  2. Stakeholder Engagement: Leverage this feedback to demonstrate the importance of climate actions to retain and attract customers and talent.

Step 5: Present Data, Logic, Decision

  1. Data-Driven Presentation: Use concrete data and metrics to support each proposed action and its anticipated impact.
  2. Logical Connection: Clearly outline the logical connection between the proposed budget allocation and the achievement of Science-Based Targets.
  3. Decision-Making Process: Illustrate how these actions align with the company's vision and strategy, ensuring that the decision-making process is rooted in both data and long-term logic.

Early Engagement with Operational Stakeholders

  • Data Sharing & Communication: Initiate discussions with key operational stakeholders in January, presenting data-backed insights and logic supporting the urgency and feasibility of the proposed actions.
  • Address Concerns Proactively: Anticipate and address concerns, providing solutions to potential challenges they might foresee.
  • Engage in Collaboration: Foster collaboration with operational stakeholders, seeking their input and aligning proposed actions with their operational needs.

Remember, constant communication, data-driven insights, and a clear alignment of proposed actions with organisational objectives are essential to gaining the trust and approval of key stakeholders for budget allocation towards climate actions.

Curious to learn more & get some advice how to win your internal stakeholders?

It's hard, but we can help you make it easy!

Book a free session with Anna Sandgren, CEO & Co-founder of Unibloom (20 years of expertise from Unilever, Ben & Jerry's & Seventh Generation) & Vineet Ahuja, CTO & Co-founder of Unibloom (10 years of data & financial expertise from Bloomberg)

Time: or email:


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