How ready are you for net zero? 6 areas your business should be looking at
Businesses who fail to act on carbon reduction are becoming the minority and will find themselves at a significant commercial and reputational disadvantage. Those who are already taking positive steps may benefit from taking stock of where they are and what to focus on for the best results.
The first step in any net zero journey is to understand your current position. This will help you identify where work needs to be done and capital should be invested.
To get an understanding of your ‘readiness’ to achieve net zero targets, it’s a good idea to review multiple areas of the business. The most successful organisations take a balanced approach. For example, if you have lots of data but no one taking any action, there will be no delivered outcomes.
We suggest that you consider 6 key areas:
1. Data management and analysis
As we move into a carbon constrained world, it is increasingly important to understand your carbon impact. Understanding your current carbon footprint will allow you to respond to the growing demands of regulations, investors, supply chain partners and other stakeholders.
First, set up systems to understand and manage your scope 1 and 2 emissions. Then build on this so that you can measure and disclose your full value chain emissions (across scopes 1, 2 and 3).
If you would like a refresher on the emissions scopes and how they are reported within the GHG Protocol, take a look at this 15 minute webinar:
2. Governance, roles and responsibilities
Climate change will continue to drive political decision making. To stay ahead, understand how climate change may affect your organisation, starting with the primary risks of upcoming legislation. Build engaged and enthusiastic teams who have the skills, knowledge and authority to make things happen. Board level focus will keep this a business priority
Working towards net zero targets will translate into different actions and KPIs depending on the role someone has within the business.
Our teams have put together their insights, case studies and resources for each stage of the net zero journey: Planning, implementing and reporting.
These are tailored by sector and role:
3. Targets and strategy
Clear goals will allow you to build a strategy to meet your net zero objectives and there is commercial value in external communication of targets. Market leaders set a net zero carbon strategy and delivery plan in line with the Paris Agreement, backed by climate science.
We recently presented a webinar for The Grocer: Bullet Proof net zero targets for your business. Watch this to get an overview of why you might want to set net zero targets, the key components of a successful net zero plan and how to achieve success. It’s a useful resource for those in the food and drink industry.
Watch a recording of the webinar:
4. Culture, knowledge, capability and skills
Now is the time to start making climate change part of the everyday conversation in your business. People and behaviours have a significant impact, even without expensive technology interventions. Build expertise across your business and embed climate change into the culture of your organisation.
Engagement will drive action and help you to recognise and overcome challenges quickly. Communicating your practices (and successes!) will show your business that you are taking positive steps.
We suggest you:
Help others to understand net zero
Establish roles and responsibilities
Embed continuous improvement
See our handy engagement toolkit here:
Your competitors are basing their decisions on their net zero trajectory. The net zero journey is a long one and cannot be achieved at the last-minute (or without an optimised plan!).
Two of our Real Estate experts recently discussed the challenges of putting a net zero plan into action with Business Green in a Q&A webinar which you can view here:
6. External engagement and communication
Positioning yourself as a climate change leader will generate commercial rewards. This can start with publication of your ESG or sustainability goals and how you are going to achieve them. Demonstrate your impact with external communications and collaboration with other organisations to shape the wider sustainability landscape.
Avoid greenwashing fears by taking part in voluntary initiatives such as CDP or TCFD which will give external recognition of your credentials and confidence for public disclosure. Note that TCFD is increasingly becoming mandatory for some larger organisations.
Understand your net zero position and what you need to do next.
Our online diagnostic tool gives you an instant, shareable output of your net zero position across all of the important consideration areas. After answering a short series of questions, you will get a tailored report with sector specific pro-tips from our experienced teams. Wherever you are on your net zero journey, you will have useful and actionable advice.
This only takes a few minutes to complete so try it here:
For further information and guidance with regards to Net zero Targets and strategy: