On September 20, many of our staff members participated in the Global Climate Strike in Washington, D.C. Our Director of Public and Community Relations John Olivieri shares what the experience meant to him.
Several weeks ago, I joined millions of people from around the world in the Global Climate Strike. I marched in Washington D.C. with my 5-year-old along with thousands of other concerned citizens — activists, students, friends, and co-workers.
It wasn’t the first time that I have taken to the streets to fight for a more just and sustainable world, but it was the first time that I had ever been given paid time off to do so.
My company’s commitment to climate action is the biggest reason I decided to come work for CleanChoice Energy. CleanChoice is a mission-driven, values-based organization — a leading B-Corp and a Top Impact Company. We make it easy for people to choose 100% clean energy as-a-service, instead of as a home construction project.
Every day, my colleagues and I come to work to help as many people access clean energy as we can. But, on this day, CleanChoice shuttered its doors, offering paid time off for any staff that wanted to participate in the Global Climate Strike.
As I looked around at the crowd at the rally, I realized just how fortunate I was to be there without having to worry about losing my job. I was surrounded by dozens of colleagues who, like myself, would not have been able to attend but for the commitment of our employer.
For me, it was also an opportunity to introduce my son to civics, environmental science, and political activism. Even as I write this a few weeks later, I can still hear him chanting, “What do we want? Climate Justice. When do we want it? Now!”
Reflecting on my recent experience, what stood out to me most was that my company seemed to understand that at a time of great threat when the dangers of climate change grow closer still each day, we cannot outsource our security to others. We must rise to this moment together.
All of us — students and CEOs, corporate America and government, urbanites and rural Americans. Only together will we be able to meet these mounting challenges.
Climate change is the most important issue facing our world and I’m thankful that I get to go to work every day for a company that understands how important this battle is.
Transitioning to a clean energy economy is about more than federal energy policy or even megawatts of solar panels. Transitioning to a clean economy means that you are willing to give your workers paid time off to fight for a better world. It means having a team of motivated colleagues who genuinely care about switching people to clean energy and who show up to work each day to pound the pavement for a better future.
It means leading the way on educating consumers about their clean energy options and providing them 100 percent clean, pollution-free alternatives. Transitioning to a clean energy economy is a comprehensive effort that we are all in together — a battle we fight in all areas, each day, every day, all day.
I’m proud to work for a company that not only gets that but also understands that allowing employees to be part of global actions is part of that fight too.
As for my son, from that day on, I return home from work to the inquiring eyes of a five-year-old trying to make sense of the world that he will one day inherit with the same burning question on his mind.
“Daddy, did you get to fight climate change at work today?
“Yes son, I did,” I reply — with a deep sense of fulfillment, purpose, and pride.
“What do we want? Climate Justice. When do we want it? Now,” he responds.
Learn more about CleanChoice Energy and how easy it is to make the switch to clean energy.