When it comes to achieving net zero carbon emissions, granularity is key. As decision-makers and management in corporate ESG departments strive to make progress on developing a successful corporate ESG program, it is essential to pay close attention to the specifics that can hinder or ensure success.
When implementing a net zero strategy, Start at the top. Find out what your board of directors is looking for in terms of net zero efforts. As a matter of course, they will be primarily concerned with the financial implications of these initiatives. They will want to know upfront the costs involved, the impact to the bottom line, and what the timeline for deliverables is.
To effectively communicate with the board about the details of net zero efforts, ESG departments need to make a compelling business case that outlines all of the direct and indirect benefits of these initiatives. Comparing current policies with industry standards and your own innovative best practices can help demonstrate how the company is benchmarking and differentiating itself against competitors.
What Are The Benefits of Net Zero?
Now that you’ve got this far, it is essential to elucidate what benefits net zero and ESG initiatives can bring to your corporation. You can retain or reimagine the company’s reputation, attracting new talent, eco-minded investors, and customers. Setting Net Zero goals and showcasing ESG practices can also enhance a company’s social license to operate, an increasingly scrutinized portion of any given corporate portfolio.
Establishing and committing to a timeline for deliverables and success metrics is another essential aspect of net zero efforts. To do this effectively, Sustainability departments need to understand the specifics of the company’s operations and develop a roadmap for achieving net zero. KPI’s [Key Performance Indicators] should be aligned with industry and internal standards tailored to the company’s specific needs. Communication and transparency around progress are critical.
What Are Common Net Zero Challenges
One area where many corporations fall short in their net zero efforts is in understanding the specifics of their emissions sources, especially within the Scope 3 quantification. Companies may focus on reducing emissions from their direct operations but fail to, are unable to, or don’t know how to account for emissions from their supply chains or the end-use of their products. A holistic understanding of these details is critical for developing an effective net zero strategy.
Decarbonizing a corporation’s operations can be expensive, typically in the implementation phase, but over time a financial and social ROI can be realized. A thorough cost-benefit analysis should be conducted to determine the financial implications of net zero efforts. This analysis should consider the upfront costs of transitioning to net zero as well as the potential savings from energy efficiency measures. Decision-makers need to understand that the beneficial financial implications of net zero efforts may be further off on the horizon but will ultimately ensure the future survival and prosperity of their business.
Focusing on the wrong details or metrics can significantly hinder progress toward achieving net zero. Misdirected efforts and resources can result from an improper understanding of how to implement a progressive plan, leading to slow or nonexistent progress toward the goal. Diving into, understanding, and tracking the particulars can have a significant impact on ultimately achieving net zero at your company.
Take Inventory of Your Organization’s Net Zero Efforts
To find out if a company has been pursuing the wrong goals in their net zero efforts, it’s essential to conduct a periodic review. This review should aim to identify where efforts have been misdirected and how to recover lost ground. Do not get caught up in a ‘sunk cost’ mentality, if something is proven to be ineffective then ESG departments may need to revisit their goals and re-calculate metrics and timelines to ensure that the company stays on track towards achieving net zero.
How Okapi Can Help Your Organization Achieve Net Zero
ESG and Sustainability departments may require additional help and resources to achieve success. Collaboration with expert partners, such as Okapi, can provide various services, including data analytics, carbon footprint measurements, and sustainability reporting. Such collaborations can provide a more granular understanding of emissions and help to identify specific areas where emissions can be reduced. Okapi can divulge the secrets to ESG success.
Okapi works with organizations to provide customized solutions that meet their specific net zero goals. Okapi’s suite of services includes emissions data analysis, identification of reduction opportunities, and carbon offsetting programs. By leveraging data and analytics, Okapi helps organizations to develop a comprehensive net zero strategy that is effective and financially viable.
One way Okapi gets more granular in net zero efforts is by conducting a thorough emissions analysis that considers all sources of emissions within a company’s operations. By identifying specific areas where emissions are high, organizations can focus their efforts on reducing these emissions and achieving net zero. It’s also important to consider the life cycle of products and services to ensure that emissions are minimized throughout the value chain.
Numerous Okapi consultants are Certified TRUE Advisors, the leading and most thorough Zero Waste certification program worldwide. This and other certifications are the small (and detailed) steps needed to achieve your overall net zero goals. Reach out to our team of ESG specialists today to take your organization further down the path to net zero.