In honor of the September 20 Global Climate Strike, which calls for people world-wide to walk out of schools and businesses to protest inaction on climate change, companies are kicking their environmental responses into high gear.

Replacing Burton's website are the words "Closed for business, open for action." In addition, on Friday the Burlington, Vermont-based snowboard maker recommitted to its 2020 sustainability goals, including its vow to reduce the carbon footprint of its snowboard production processes by 20 percent by 2022.

Burton is just one of as many as 7,000 companies that have pledged to raise awareness by either donating ad space or putting banners on their sites to highlight the protest. In addition to Jeff Bezos's pledge on Thursday that Amazon will be carbon neutral by 2040, 10 years ahead of schedule, Patagonia has also replaced its homepage with a video about the climate strike. It's also shutting down its physical stores and encouraging employees to protest. Similarly, U.K. soap maker Lush and San Francisco-based shoe startup Allbirds are encouraging employees to protest.

While temporary closures and pushing ahead emissions-abatement plans will cost companies real money, standing on the sidelines, many say, isn't an option either. Beyond the cost for the planet, consumers are increasingly demanding change--from calls for more sustainable products and packaging to curbing transportation emissions.

For Tyler Haney, whose Austin-based athletic clothing company Outdoor Voices is live-streaming her and her team's strike participation on Instagram, the costs are less important. "We live in Texas, where many of our government leaders do not believe in climate change," she says. "It's hard to believe we're marching for facts, but it's incredibly important we show up as a company on a mission."

Published on: Sep 20, 2019