March 29, 2022
While building your approach to carbon neutrality, it's crucial that you announce your actions to stakeholders in a meaningful way. The more transparent you are about your intentions, the more stakeholders will trust you and be loyal to you. Since people have been leery of corporate greenwashing and double counting, the clearer you are about your actions and why you are becoming a carbon neutral company, the less questioning you will receive from suspicious consumers and curious investors.
According to this study by the Business of Sustainability Index, 78% of Americans polled said they prefer to buy environmentally conscious products but approximately 20% of them don't trust that a reporting company is actually doing their part. They are wary without a third party source of validation. This is why when carbon neutral efforts are disclosed it's important to use investor-grade reporting systems and certified offsetting projects for residual emissions to clearly communicate what you are doing, moreover so you also know that honest accounting and offsetting is being done. The same study says 56% of Americans polled would use a credit card that would calculate and offset carbon emissions even if there were a fee. The problem is that the consumer doesn't always trust that the brand is as environmentally conscious as it's claiming to be.
We'll tell you how to communicate your carbon neutrality efforts and why it's important here. Net0 is here to help your process to measure, reduce, offset, report, and certify, go quickly and accurately so you can rid the atmosphere of any CO2 emissions and report them honestly.
When you use Net0 to offset a product, movement, energy bill, or anything that causes CO2 emissions at your company, you automatically receive a hosted certificate from us that communicates your carbon neutral efforts. You can use the certified stamp on any of your products, website, social media and on premises as long as you have offset your residuals.
Depending on your audience, Boomers may respond to more traditional marketing campaigns and company announcements in-store or in newspaper ads. Gen X, Millennials, and Gen Z customers want to see Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and video streaming types of announcements, especially as they are more inclined to shop online than previous generations. These demographics must be taken into consideration when you communicate your carbon neutrality strategies as people tend to listen to what they already know and trust how certain forms of communication give them reliable information.
When you take advantage of Net0's investor-grade reporting, it sends a message to stakeholders that says you are doing your best to transition to net zero by making reductions, not just offsetting as an excuse to emit CO2 as many people think. It's required in many regions now to report your scope 1 and 2 emissions, and companies reporting scope 3 emissions have an even higher competitive edge in their markets. When your customers and investors see by charts and graphs that you are reducing over time and successfully transitioning to net zero as a core of your company's values, they will be impressed and it will foster customer loyalty and an eco-friendly brand rapport.
Scope 1 and 2 emissions are mandatory to report in most regions but consumers demand scope 3 reporting as well. Be sure that you have precisely calculated your entire carbon footprint to follow government and GHG reporting regulations. The GHG Protocol is the most commonly used guideline to follow. On the condition that you have accurately provided your data, Net0 does the measurements and calculations for you.
It's important to explain why something has not been included if it's not in your provided data for calculations and your plans for that in the future. Regarding offsetting residuals, what are your reduction plans for the future in order to curb those further? Asking the critical questions that stakeholders would, will help you with building strategies and in transmitting your message clearly. People want to see that your plans match your actions. Making promises you can't keep, not providing all the data, or giving incomplete or inaccurate facts will discourage people and make them not trust you. It is best to be transparent and realistic.
Another commonly used source around the world is the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) that can assist you with any reporting standards you may have questions about.
Stakeholders want to know there is a commonality between their values and your brand. With the rising need for transparency, people demand to know what your goals are and how you carry them out through your value chain. Consumers want to know the why and how behind the product you are providing. Investors want to know you will be able to stay ahead of the competition and your plans to achieve that.
Environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) investing is a $35 trillion industry and is expected to rise to $53 trillion by 2025. Money managers that handled one-third of managed US assets in 2020 used ESG criteria. This proves that to have a competitive advantage in the next few years, you will need to be a leader in ESG and a big part of that is taking climate action. Thriving companies will put climate change at the forefront of their business and cannot compromise with greenwashing or double counting as the demand for transparency grows. People demand circular supply chains where the life cycle of the product and even scope 3 emissions are counted for, not just scope 1 and 2 as regional policies require. The Business Sustainability Index even says 75% of Millennials would pay more for sustainable products. Investors take this into strong consideration when backing a brand. ESG criteria have to be assessed for company ethos and laws that are being discussed.
In addition, potential employees looking for work are making efforts to find sustainable jobs. This could mean a position that is in that sector or with a company that stresses sustainability as a brand value. To be able to attract the best new hires, it's important to have sustainability at your core.
If you want to go further with your research, check out one of our recommended articles from our academy:
• Article: What Is Corporate Sustainability and How to Achieve It
• Article: Scope 4 Avoided Emissions: Everything You Need to Know
• Article: What Is Sustainable Business & What Are Their Practices?
Now in the UK, businesses bidding on a government contract over 5 million GBP will require a commitment to net zero before 2050. The UK government wants to hear a clear strategy of how companies will reduce carbon before they can even bid. The UK plans on being a world leader on combating climate change and pushing towards the green economy without overly burdening SMEs.
Furthermore, other governments are making pledges for halving emissions by 2030 and cutting them out completely by 2050 so businesses will need to start reporting soon, even just to prepare.
The European Green Deal is the EU's set of policy initiatives in order to be the first climate neutral region, with plans to achieve this by 2050. This includes all areas of life within the EU, so every business eventually has to report. The European Green Deal will touch every aspect of climate neutrality from transport, agriculture, promoting green jobs, buildings, research, industry, oceans, and food. There isn't a sector that will go untouched so reporting the scope 1 and 2 emissions at the very least will soon be in effect.
Communicating your strategy and progress to the public will also keep your company encouraged and accountable on your journey. Not only are you taking action but you are following through and doing what you said you would do in good timing. People will recognize that the results match the efforts and your business will have a trustworthy reputation for carbon neutrality and transparency. When others celebrate the milestones with you every step of the way it boosts company morale. Employees will feel motivated, investors will see your objectives getting completed, and conscious consumers will have satisfaction knowing they have supported your brand.
Net0 emissions management platform enables you to share the link of your public dashboard with your stakeholders so they can celebrate your progress with you. Upload a customized banner and company logo to make your dashboard unique. Every time you make offsets and record reductions, they will show up in your public dashboard in real-time.
Finally, when you position yourself as a leader in climate action it will be a noticeable part of your brand. When other companies and consumers begin to see you and mention your corporate social responsibility (CSR), it will validate your efforts and your mission to do away with carbon will not go unrecognized. The more that consumers go for eco-friendly brands and job seekers search for employment at companies that align with their values, carbon neutrality becomes a desirable and competitive part of your business in addition to the positive change you are making in the world to protect it. Presuming you report your carbon emissions well and you communicate your action plan to stakeholders and follow through with it, your company will be known for doing amazing things for the earth and its atmosphere.
Book a call with Net0 today and learn how to become net zero in no time. Reporting your net zero journey and publicly declaring your achievements will put your business ahead of the rest.
Cover photo by Amy Hirschi on Unsplash