Ākina champions ‘Not Business as Usual’ in NZ, in support of climate strikes
This Friday the 27th of September, The Ākina Foundation will join tens of thousands of New Zealanders in striking to demand more action on climate change. Ākina Chief Executive Louise Aitken says the significance of the threat presented by the climate crisis means that everyone, including business, has a role to play in mitigating its worst effects.
“Our children, and their children will be hugely affected by the consequences of climate change unless we take drastic action now. We whole-heartedly support the right of our rangitahi to strike. We’ve made it clear to our team that they can express their solidarity by taking time out from work on Friday to join the marches happening around the country, and we’re encouraging other businesses to join us” Aitken says.
Ākina has partnered with Future Super, Australia’s first 100% fossil-free super fund, to help promote the Not Business as Usual movement in New Zealand, and is calling for other New Zealand businesses to sign on. The movement encourages businesses to make a pledge to allow their employees to participate in the strikes by allowing time off, or taking other action by not conducting business as usual on the day.
“We came together with other Australian businesses to form Not Business as Usual because there’s nothing usual about students skipping school and asking adults to help them fight climate change,” said Simon Sheikh, CEO and founder of Future Super.
“More than 2800 Australian and global businesses signed up to take action last Friday. We’re thrilled to see the movement continue in New Zealand, and continue to stand in solidarity with our youth.”
Ākina has also signed the open letter to Parliament, penned by the organisers of the School Strike 4 Climate. Sophie Handford, national organiser of the School Strike 4 Climate NZ is encouraged to see more and more businesses supporting the cause and committing to strike on Friday.
“Our movement is growing, and our collective voices are getting louder. We need our politicians to do more and it’s going to take all of us to push for the system change needed to ensure Earth remains a liveable planet in the years to come”. She says.
Louise Aitken says Ākina is pushing for a New Zealand where more businesses are measuring and increasing their positive environmental impact.
“We’re working to develop our economy, so that more businesses operate like social enterprises – incorporating social or environmental impact in to how they do business. But, it’s clear that more needs to be done across government and in the private sector, to urgently address the challenges we’re facing.” says Aitken. “Having more businesses delivering greater environmental impact must be part of a bold and deliberate response to addressing the climate crisis in New Zealand and globally.” she says.
For businesses wanting to pledge to support their employees to join the climate strikes head to https://www.notbusinessasusual.co/ and complete the form.
About Not Business as Usual
Originally started by Australia’s first 100% fossil-free super fund Future Super, the alliance now includes 2,800+ businesses including WWF New Zealand, Sir Peter Blake Trust, The Co-operative Bank, Atlassian, KeepCup, Trees that Count, and Mevo who are supporting worker participation in the upcoming climate strike.
The number one reason people won’t strike is fear of reprisal or punishment at work, which can create a barrier to participating in the global climate strikes. The businesses who are involved with Not Business as Usual have all pledged to ensure their employees are being given the opportunity to take time off to join the strike, or restrict their business activity on the day to show their support for the strikes.
About School Strike 4 Climate
School Strike 4 Climate NZ are holding a third strike to demand the Government and elected members take urgent and meaningful action for the climate and our collective future. New Zealand students will be uniting with students from across the world once again but this time, in a general strike with the general population. This general strike is on Friday, 27th September.