One of the things that clients often ask us for is a step by step guide to taking action. They are working hard to measure their footprint and set reduction targets, and are waiting to get this right before they take action to reduce and compensate for their emissions.

Our advice is to drive actions simultaneously rather than in sequence and then modify and adjust as you learn more. This is because we are up against a deadline to tackle climate change, and there isn’t time to take things one step at a time.

The science is very clear on this. We need to more than halve emissions by 2030. That’s equivalent to reducing the current emissions of China, India, the EU and the US combined.  We need to use every tool available to us to achieve this goal as quickly and effectivley as we can.

While setting ambitious Net Zero targets is to be applauded, it also has to be combined with taking responsility and action now – remember it is todays emissions that are causing climate change tomorrow. Here are some key actions you should take today:

Understand your current emissions

Companies such as The Carbon Trust can help you understand your current carbon footprint and identify quick wins for reducing it. Using a reputable third party helps provide rigour and independence. However, there are also many tools that can help you self assess and get started in better understanding your carbon footprint. Raising awareness and understanding is the first step in driving change.

Set targets for reduction that are based on science

An emissions reduction target is defined as ‘science-based’ if it is developed in line with the scale of reductions required to keep global warming below 1.5 from pre-industrial levels. The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) can help you set appropriate targets, but this takes time. Don’t wait for months to agree the right target, before you take action.

Deliver carbon reductions and efficiencies

Identify quick wins. Put an internal price on carbon to focus minds and drive innovation. Source as much energy from renewable sources as possible. Engage your whole team in making immediate reductions and in developing plans for systematic change to reach your reduction targets.

Develop low carbon products or business models

Low carbon products or business models can help you turn climate change from a risk into a competitive business. A recent survey by B Lab UK and ReGenerate (PDF) revealed that 72% of the UK population believe business should have a legal responsibility to the planet and people, alongside maximising profits. Given this pressure from consumers, if your organisation isn’t thinking about how to make its products and services climate neutral, customers may not choose your brand. Likewise, you may find it harder to attract new customers, retain existing customers and attract talent.

 Compensate for your current emissions

Take responsibility now and offset your current carbon emissions whilst you put in place plans for reduction. Companies like ClimateCare can help you offset your existing emissions through high-quality carbon reduction (avoidance and removal) projects that not only tackle climate change, but also improve people’s lives.

Develop climate projects now, as part of your future strategy

Investing to scale or develop new carbon reduction projects now, can help you plan to manage price and supply of carbon credits to compensate for future emissions.


 

For help to set and implement a Climate Neutral or Net Zero programme for your business, contact Oliver Forster and his team.

 

This article is the first of our three-part How to become Net Zero feature. Read the next piece.