How can you work towards a net-zero future?
More and more businesses around the world are attempting to reduce their carbon footprint and reduce their environmental impact to work towards net-zero. But what exactly does that mean and what steps can be taken to help companies achieve this?
What is net-zero?
According to the UN, net-zero means “cutting greenhouse gas emissions to as close to zero as possible, with any remaining emissions re-absorbed from the atmosphere.” Essentially, that means greenhouse gases going into the atmosphere are balanced by the removal of gases from the atmosphere.
There are other terms you may have heard of (such as Carbon Neutral or the Race to Zero, which is a global campaign to halve emissions by 2030) but all of the initiatives have a similar end goal of cutting emissions.
Why is it important?
Net-zero is an agreed approach to mitigating global warming, with many organisations around the world aiming for the target by 2050.
The Paris Agreement (which 190 countries have signed) outlines the need for net-zero, as do a number of other resources, and when you look at the science it’s clear to see why.
Despite efforts, more needs to be done to create a healthier future for both people and the planet. Emissions across the world are continuing to rise; rising temperatures are already leading to extreme weather conditions, which are contributing to high sea levels, floods and forest fires around the globe.
According to various studies, the global temperature rise needs to stay below 2oC to avoid more harm to the natural world, with countries targeting temperatures of no more than 1.5oC. To make an impact collectively, countries need to work towards a reduction of 45% in emissions by 2030.
How can we achieve net-zero?
To truly create long-term positive change, there needs to be a radical overhaul of the way we all live and work. From what we produce and how we consume it to the way we travel and the fuel we use, there are a number of factors that are contributing to climate change.
While it’s unrealistic to think that global systems will completely change over the next two decades, it is clear that small changes can make a big impact if everybody plays their part.
The UN outlines that:
- More than 70 countries (including the biggest polluters) have set a net-zero target
- Over 1,200 companies have science-based targets in line with net-zero
- More than 1,000 cities, over 1,000 educational institutions and over 400 financial institutions have joined the Race to Zero
What can you do to work towards net-zero?
If you’re considering joining the Race to Zero, or simply want to lower the impact your business is having on both people and the planet, monitoring and reporting on key environmental, social and governance (ESG) metrics is a critical step in that process.
Monitoring and reporting on areas throughout your business can give you greater visibility and a clear indication of where you might need to make improvements to meet your goals.
Legislation is different depending on where you are in the world but, broadly speaking, businesses across the globe are interested in ESG over and above legal requirements because when measured correctly it can have a variety of benefits:
- Monitoring your environmental impact not only helps you reduce the impact you’re having on the planet, but it can identify key cost saving areas and efficiencies too
- Tracking and reporting on ESG metrics can help you mitigate risk and attract consumers and investors
- Understanding key governance metrics can help you improve the working environment of your staff, leading to an increase in employee wellbeing and staff retention
How can we help?
Our expert advisory team has a wealth of experience within ESG and can guide you to make better decisions for people and the planet.
Our team can work with you to outline your priorities, helping you understand the areas you need to focus on and enabling you to gain better visibility across your entire supply chain, so you can understand the impact of things like your Scope 3 emissions and discover opportunities on how to make improvements.
Alongside our dedicated team, we also have our innovative technology platform, Sustainion. The intuitive platform can help you work towards net-zero by:
- Enabling you to track and monitor data throughout your business in multiple locations, centralising the data for greater accessibility
- Collecting data from across various touchpoints in your supply chain to give you a broad view of your business impact
- Aggregating data and mapping it against multiple frameworks so you can ensure you’re meeting regulatory requirements
- Analysing the data and advising you on areas where you could reduce your footprint, save money or boost productivity and efficiency
- And so much more!
Wherever you are in your journey to net-zero, we’re here to help.
Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) Tracking & Metrics – A Better Way Forward