Climate change: your journey to net zero
1. Mobilise The first step on any journey is to get mobilised. Find like-minded people with an interest in the activity to help you make a start, galvanise interest and generate energy and momentum. Start with getting agreement from the key stakeholders of the business that this change is needed, then the journey can begin. At Project One, the Senior Leadership Team agreed to support the establishment of a Net Zero Carbon committee from across the company to oversee the activity and push the agenda. Be it a working group, committee, or project team, you will need a group of interested and motivated individuals to organise, plan and deliver the change. 2. Define your vision What kind of net zero commitments are your business willing to make and by when? Are you going to include all the scope areas below? Scope 1: direct, such as operational plants Scope 2: indirect and owned, such as purchased power Scope 3: indirect and not owned, such as business travel. Research the options. We explored the science- based targets as well as the potential alignment to initiatives such as the UN backed Race to Zero campaign . Other options include the Pledge to Net Zero or The Climate Pledge . Agree a realistic timeline that allows you to implement the committed changes effectively.
5. identify priority areas Where do you need to make changes across your operations? From your carbon emissions baseline you will have the evidence to tell you where the highest priority areas are. In our case, most carbon emissions come from business travel, so we know we need to make progress with how our team make choices about their travel. Other actions could be the decarbonisation of operations, transport fleets or power supplies. 6. Pledge your commitment Pledge your commitment to reducing your carbon emissions. By now you will have identified the commitment that is right for your situation, either a science-based target or a tangible reduction in emissions by a certain date. In our case, the choice was easy. We identified the UN Race to Zero as a campaign that aligned with our perspective. We wanted to commit to a tangible reduction by a certain date. We also had the option to join the SME Climate Change Hub which gave us access to a plethora of information, ideas, and support with our NZC journey. Being one of only 1800 SMEs to make this commitment in the world also showed that our actions would help lead the way for others to follow. Our commitment to halve our carbon emissions by 2030 and become NZC by 2050 or sooner is now widely shared and understood by our entire team.
7. Create your plan Now you have pledged your commitment and have some confidence that you are on the right track, the hard work can begin. It’s time to create a detailed plan of action. Identify areas of the business against each scope area where you need to act. Start documenting the tasks required and you will have the skeleton of a plan that can be fleshed out over time and with the right input. In our case, it helps that we are a company full of change experts who love putting together plans. A budget may be required for activity as well as tracking where savings are being made. 8. implement your activity Once you have your plan of activity you can then move into the implementation phase, where the plan becomes a reality. Taking these steps to implement lasting change across an organisation can be difficult and time consuming. Make sure you take your stakeholders with you with regular engagement, monitor and report on progress and feed this into the senior team or steering group and if you hit some bumps along the road, don’t be afraid to stop, take stock or re-plan to ensure you can keep making progress. 9. Celebrate success along the way! This is no mean feat, share your successes and congratulate your team for making real change and a real difference.
3. Baseline your emissions To understand the journey of carbon reduction that you need to undertake; you must know your starting position. Baseline your carbon emissions. As the adage goes, to manage it you must measure it. At Project One, we used the raw data available at our disposal which included our operational activity, our team’s travel as well as any supply chain activity. Once we had the data in the right format, we used a carbon calculator , to understand our carbon emissions for a given year. We were ready to progress on identifying a commitment and start the process of exploring how we were going to reduce our carbon emissions. 4. Engage all your stakeholders Include employees, senior management, suppliers and customers. Understand their perspectives on your approach and ideas, as well as their opinions and expectations. Educate your employees on how they can contribute and reduce their own carbon footprint. We engaged our team with a series of videos sharing top tips to living more sustainably. At Project One, we specialise in leading complex change and transformation across all sectors, so we are aware of a growing demand from our customers that we take the issue seriously and in some cases our customers ask for evidence of our approach, policies and actions. This will become more important as major organisations are expected to report on their own NZC policies, actions and reduction targets.
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The time to act is now If you need help to shape or deliver your approach to climate change, or just want a sounding board, please get in touch with email@example.com
real change • real difference
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