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5 key steps to setting a net zero goal

This article was originally published in BSR insight.

Although more than 3,000 companies have joined UNFCCC Race to zero The campaign has committed to achieving net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050, but many companies face challenges in implementing this guideline.

Wipro is a founding member of the following organizations To net zero, A cross-sectoral industry initiative designed to accelerate the transition to an inclusive net-zero global economy. Our 2025 goal is for 1,000 Fortune Global companies to adopt the goals supported by the transformation plan to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

In order to promote a robust net-zero goal setting, the new transition guide to net-zero will share how three members who have transitioned to net-zero-Danone, Wipro and the Environmental Protection Fund (EDF)-approach a net-zero goal setting process , Into a meaningful business transformation.

Here are five steps in how your organization can navigate the net-zero goal setting process and commit to achieving meaningful emission reduction targets.

Step 1: Know your emissions

Every company’s decarbonization journey begins with a comprehensive value chain greenhouse gas benchmark and footprint assessment. Knowing your footprint allows you to set a net-zero goal, but it is easier said than done, especially for Scope 3 emissions, which are usually the largest share of company emissions.

The calculation of Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions is relatively simple because they come directly from the company’s operations and therefore are remedied within the company’s direct control. Scope 3 needs to consider your entire value chain, most of which are not under your control, whether upstream or downstream, which makes Scope 3 emissions a difficult problem to crack.

However, measuring emissions in Scopes 1, 2, and 3 is a critical first step in developing an accurate net-zero roadmap that demonstrates credibility to investors, customers, civil society, and other stakeholders. As the scrutiny of the company’s net zero target becomes more stringent, your carbon footprint calculation must be reliable and transparent.

Step 2: Set an ambitious net zero goal and clear temporary milestones

In terms of emissions, every company needs to make a North Star commitment. For example, Wipro promises to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040 and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 55% by 2030. But making a promise is not enough. Publishing detailed plans to explain how you will get there is also a major component. In the era of the supremacy of credibility, you must show your work.

Creating and publishing a detailed roadmap of all aspects of emissions including temporary milestones will enable you to track and share your progress towards net zero emissions.

This means sharing key details about each stage of greenhouse gas reduction, including direct emissions (company facilities and vehicles), indirect emissions (purchased electricity, goods and services), and your value chain (waste, transportation, business travel) , Employee commuting and all downstream life cycle activities related to your products and services). Creating and publishing a detailed roadmap of all aspects of emissions with temporary milestones will enable you to track and share your progress towards net-zero emissions with key internal and external stakeholders.

Step 3: Work with leaders to create and maintain the support of the organization

Decarburization will not happen immediately. This is a long process and requires many people to accept and support it over many years. In the beginning, your leader must be present, because decarbonization requires major operational changes in your organization. For more than 15 years, Wipro has been committed to decarbonizing its value chain. Initially, the focus was on communicating ideas for a strong climate change plan with the leadership and reaching a consensus on the necessary investment and resource commitments. Over time, this process has gradually matured into the consensus of the entire company that we need to continuously improve our net zero emissions and sustainable development work.

Step 4: Work with suppliers and employees to address scope 3 challenges

If Scope 3 emissions are not addressed, it is impossible to achieve net zero emissions. By definition, Scope 3 emissions are not under the direct operational control of the company. For many companies, measuring and ultimately eliminating Scope 3 emissions provides the greatest potential for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, so this is a worthwhile but difficult task. For example, 75% of Wipro’s emissions in FY21 came from Scope 3 sources, of which business travel, employee commuting, and purchased goods/services accounted for a large proportion.

To help reduce Scope 3 emissions, please consider the following strategies:

  • Cooperate with local transportation departments to improve employees’ access to public transportation
  • Increase employee carpooling
  • Develop a robust process to facilitate remote work and collaboration
  • Reduce business travel, especially air travel
  • Extend the life cycle of your product and its end-of-life processing
  • Minimize the waste generated by your organization

In addition, direct cooperation with suppliers through industry associations to decarbonize purchased goods, such as IT hardware, telecommunications and other business services. Your suppliers must be a key part of your emission reduction strategy, because they are likely to contribute most of the emissions in your value chain.

Step 5: Work with customers

The greenhouse gas emissions of IT service industries are often lower than those of carbon-intensive industries. For B2B companies, although reducing your own value chain emissions to net zero is a major contribution, you can also play an equally important role in helping customers reduce their own greenhouse gas footprint by using the right technology to solve Program and expertise. Organizations all over the world are facing net zero emissions requirements, and your organization’s experience in planning and implementing net zero commitments is valuable and important. Share with your customers. Although many of the largest companies in the world have net zero commitments, many more do not. It is essential for more and more organizations to join the net zero drive, and by sharing your story with your customers, you can make their own journey more palatable.

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