Organisations are looking towards the future as they focus on reaching the target of net-zero emissions. Currently, at 1.1 degrees, the overall global temperature increase is limited to 1.5 degrees, but how can businesses help achieve this?
Sustainability begins with a pledge
As represented by the Global Fortune 500, only 5% of large organisations have pledged to become net-zero to meet the needs of the Paris Climate Agreement. While the bigger businesses seem to have the most scope for climate impact, everyone is capable of making a difference. They can do so by considering the attributes of some of the leading net-zero commitments, including:
- Utilising the Science-Based Targets initiative
- Adhering to strict guidelines around social and environmental causes
- Providing benefits to people and the environment
- Take steps to manage emissions in the value chain
- Recognise that net-zero status requires a change in business mindset
- Allocate the necessary funding and skills to achieve net-zero
- Understand how new technologies can support net-zero development
Net-zero emissions come with challenges
For most small businesses, it is difficult to get started with their net-zero due to the lack of knowledge and necessary financial resources to maintain the business. There are also various challenges that come with decarbonising depending on the geographical location of the company. Supply chains also provide their own challenges as it can be difficult to ensure their values and goals are reflected down the line.
So, what approach should businesses take to reach net-zero?
Firstly, business leaders have to be diligent with their efforts to decarbonise, by understanding the best practices, how emissions impact the value chain, setting out the commitments required to meet net-zero and developing a credible carbon offset system.
In terms of governance, the business must remain accountable for driving the strategy through the entire organisation and beyond. They can do this by establishing a set agenda for net-zero emissions and assigning suitable leaders to manage those responsibilities.
The final stage is to create a strategy in line with the goals of the business. This should take into account how changing market dynamics could affect the outcome and identify steps to meet net-zero.
For more sustainability insights, check out the latest issue of Sustainability Magazine.