Coronavirus, Behaviour Change and the Environment

Whichever way you look at it, it’s clear that we’re in this strange new coronavirus reality for a while.

Breathing Space for the Environment

From an environmental perspective blue skies over Wuhan, reduced air travel and a lockdown on consumption could be viewed as a welcome reprieve for the planet. However, socially and economically, we all know it’s a disaster. These changes are temporary – normal life will resume at some point – although our new normal could be somewhat different. This post reflects on the crisis as an opportunity for workplaces to develop their strategy for a sustainable environment.

Changing our Behaviours

Other than the sad withdrawal from social contact and interaction, in a strange way, we are demonstrating something very positive. We are indicating something which we can take forward.  We are showing, as a global society, that we can adapt our behaviours. It is an awful time, but we should also congratulate ourselves for our collective action.

This communal response to Covid19 is something to consider when focusing on environmental and climate crises. Changing behaviours, both at work and at home, is one of the greatest stumbling blocks to responding to environmental challenges.

Now humanity has demonstrated that we can come together (albeit by being apart) and react on a massive scale, at short notice, in a way unheard of by the majority of people alive.

Include Ecosystems in Our New Behaviours

We must not ignore the environmental crisis during the pandemic. What if we use this lockdown time as a watershed; a chance to reset our thinking (which we will have to do) with ecosystems in mind?  With many people using homeworking or isolation to consider strategy and work ‘on-the-business, not in-the-business,’ an ideal opportunity has been created to take stock of environmental impacts.  Our current behaviour change could be adapted to benefit our environment, benefiting us too, of course.

Addressing a New Norm

Here’s how. When life returns to normal, we could replicate some of the better behaviours demonstrated during our current challenges. One example would be continuing to schedule conference calls and meetings online, reducing miles travelled. It’s a more efficient use of time too.

Everyone could review both business and personal practices with the learning we have from our current situation. We’ve seen that we can manage, albeit for a short while, with much less. Mismanagement of resources and over-consumption has fuelled climate change since the Industrial Revolution. Where is the middle ground? How can you use less and apply Circular Economy principles and extend the useful life of the resources you use?

Taking greater control of your environmental footprints is good for your mental health too.

Evaluate Your Strategy – Incorporate an Environmental Policy

If you are currently evaluating your business strategies and priorities, it makes sense to review your environmental impacts as part of the process. The benefits of an Sustainability Programme are clear.


During the current coronavirus ‘lockdown’, I am offering two hours Zoom or phone consultation for the price of one. Email me or give me a call to book your consultation.


Wishing all my readers to stay healthy and well. Looking forward to greeting you in person again, with a traditional British handshake or a friendly hug when we get to the other side.

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